Bolivia ex-leader claims to have spent night after resigning lying on floor under blanket, before seeking asylum

Fox News 1 month ago
The decision comes after continued protests for the president to step down.

Bolivia’s socialist ex-president Evo Morales released a photo late Monday that showed how the ousted leader allegedly spent the night after his dramatic fall, lying on the floor under a blanket at an undisclosed location before fleeing to Mexico for asylum.

Morales stepped down on Sunday after weeks of violent protests sparked by allegations of election fraud in the Oct. 20 election he claimed to have won. The former leader’s whereabouts following his resignation were initially unknown after he claimed officials in Bolivia wanted him arrested – an allegation that was disputed by a police official.

"This was my first night after leaving the presidency forced by a coup by [opposition leaders Carlos] Mesa and [Luis Fernando] Camacho with the help of the police,” Morales tweeted in Spanish. “I remembered my times as leader. I'm grateful to my brothers from the of Cochabamba tropic's federations for providing us with security and care."

Morales said his resignation was "forced by a coup" led by opposition leaders. 
Morales said his resignation was "forced by a coup" led by opposition leaders. 

The resignation of Morales didn't end the violence in Bolivia, as his angry supporters clashed with opposition protesters and police. Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said any delays in Morales' exit from Bolivia could put the former president in danger.

Morales appeared to have slept under the blanket before boarding a government plane sent by Mexico. However, getting to Mexico remained complicated for Morales as some countries closed their airspace for the flight.

A police station was attacked by supporters of Morales in El Alto, on the outskirts of La Paz. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
A police station was attacked by supporters of Morales in El Alto, on the outskirts of La Paz. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Ebrard said his country sent a military jet from Peru to Bolivia to pick up Morales on Monday. Bolivian authorities at first granted permission but then revoked it. As the plane was heading back to Peru, Bolivia relented and allowed the plane to retrieve Morales.

But then Peru wouldn’t allow the plane carrying Morales back in. Paraguay eventually allowed the jet to land.

Morales held a Mexican flag aboard a Mexican Air Force aircraft on Monday after having been granted asylum in Mexico following his resignation. (Mexico's Foreign Minister via AP)
Morales held a Mexican flag aboard a Mexican Air Force aircraft on Monday after having been granted asylum in Mexico following his resignation. (Mexico's Foreign Minister via AP)

Morales is expected to arrive in Mexico later on Tuesday. He had earlier expressed his desire to return to Bolivia.

"It pains me to leave the country for political reasons, but I'll always be concerned," Morales said Monday on Twitter. "l'll return soon, with more strength and energy."

His resignation has left a political leadership vacuum and escalating street clashes between Morales' supporters and the opposition. It remained unclear who his eventual successor would be.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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