The courtesy visit that ended in a diplomatic incident

The involvement of Spain in the mounting diplomatic friction between Bolivia and Mexico, it happened accidentally. Started with the courtesy visit, without offi

The courtesy visit that ended in a diplomatic incident

The involvement of Spain in the mounting diplomatic friction between Bolivia and Mexico, it happened accidentally. Started with the courtesy visit, without official character, which asked on Thursday for an informal ambassador of mexico in La Paz, Maria Teresa Market, to the charge d'affaires of Spain in Bolivia, Cristina Borreguero.

The diplomatic mexican has lived a month and a half of tension with the interim Government of bolivia by the asylum given to nine loyal to the former president of bolivia Evo Morales, who left his post on November 10. Since then, the facilities of the mexican Embassy have been guarded by police bolivians. Mexico protested last week and denounced the harassment and intimidation of its staff. And it is in such a mess where they ended up entangled two diplomats Spanish. This Saturday, after the incident, Arturo Murillo, the minister ad interim to the bolivian Government, has announced that it will ask for the change of the officials of the legation of spain.


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The house of the ambassador Market is in La Rinconada, an area completely fenced and closed to traffic. The entrance is controlled by a guardhouse and a gate. La Rinconada is located in the South Zone, the most affluent of The Peace, which is home to many diplomats. In that neighborhood, the protest against Moral was more intense than in any other place in the bolivian capital. And it still is now. Groups of neighbors and youth, opponents of Morales ' party, yesterday held a vigil in La Rinconada.

The protestors were outside during the whole night and Saturday afternoon were still stationed at the exit of the urbanization after the incident, starring in the Friday by two diplomats-spaniards and their escorts. They assured that they will remain there as needed to prevent the “traffickers” of the previous Government —as they call the nine senior members of the Executive Morales sought asylum in the Embassy, including five former ministers and the exfiscal general— to escape from the residence of the ambassador of mexico. With the consent of the police, the participants in the vigil stopped and checked cars entering and leaving the development. The tension was increased on Friday morning, when a truck left the facility with a fridge and protesters assumed that there would hide the most wanted man in the country, Juan Ramón Quintana, the former minister of Interior of Morales, who is in the residence, mexican, and whom the new authorities of Bolivia, accused of sedition and terrorism. Then they saw that it was a false alarm.

The charge d'affaires of Spain in Bolivia, Cristina Borreguero, was presented at the Embassy of Mexico, about eight of the morning of Friday, the day agreed upon for the visit. She was accompanied by the consul of Spain in La Paz, Alvaro Fernandez. The meeting occurred without the knowledge of the minister of Defense of Spain in charge of Foreign affairs, Margarita Robles. Lasted 40 minutes, according to the Secretariat of Foreign Relations of Mexico (SRE), which has not revealed the content of the speech. Neither has Foreign in Madrid.

The problem is presented at the end of the meeting, when the ambassador Market accompanied his guests to the departure of the official residence. When you reach a terrace at the entrance of the house, where the diplomats spaniards expected to find the two cars that they had brought, they saw that there was none. The car had come out of the estate bound by the neighbors. In them were four bodyguards in the Special Group of Operations (GEO) of the Spanish national police, which covered the face before the local photographers.

the Market was at the end of the terrace to watch the slope leading to his house, and where they had to raise the car with registration diplomatic. The cars had not yet arrived. He heard shouts. The diplomatic then invited Borreguero and Fernandez to return to the residence. “At that time the diplomats spaniards were informed that their car had been stopped at the access to the urbanization and not allowed to enter”, reported in a note, Foreign Relations of Mexico on Friday afternoon. Borreguero and Fernández attempted to establish a communication, without success, with the Ministry of Foreign affairs of bolivia. They also reported these facts to his ministry, to know what steps were to follow.

The ambassador, mexican turned to social networking in that time. Were the 09.10 Friday morning. “I'm with charge d'affaires and consul of Spain in residence, have stopped his car with diplomatic plates in addition to any attacked!!!! [sic]”, wrote on Twitter Market by directing your message to the minister of Foreign affairs of bolivia, Karen Longaric, and the under-secretary mexican in charge of Latin America and the Caribbean, Maximiliano Reyes. Market said in his tweet that the event was a “violation” of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations. The message was deleted, but were viralizó quickly in the midst of an atmosphere of tension.

The bolivian police prevented the access of cars to the development. Finally, in a call, the bolivian foreign ministry said Borreguero that should be down the hill on foot. The diplomat and the consul refused to do the walk without the protection of their escorts. As an alternative, the ministry in charge of Longaric offered a car to cover the distance, about 300 meters, which came an hour later. Later, Longaric accused Spain of abusing their privileges and enrareció the environment stating that, “the hooded [the bodyguards] were a potential threat.” A mess of a diplomat for a courtesy visit.

Exterior will send a fact-finding mission

Miguel Gonzalez

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent to Bolivia in the next few days on a mission with the purpose of investigating what happened on the occasion of the visit of the charge d'affaires in the andean country, Cristina Borreguero, and the consul, Alvaro Fernandez, the ambassador of Mexico. Outside, explained that the mission will be headed by an officer of the General Inspection of Services, yesterday issued a note to “clarify that the object of the visit was purely complimentary and denies that he could have as objective to facilitate the exit of people who are isolated in those dependencies”. That is the accusation which slipped to the chancellor of bolivia, Karen Longaric, the load against Spain and denounced “violations” of the sovereignty of the country. Diplomatic sources indicate that the Spanish Embassy has made some accompanyingmovements of people related to the Government of Evo Morales to the border of Argentina, but without any charges against them, and with the approval of the bolivian authorities, according to the same. The Minister of Defence in office, in charge of Foreign affairs, Margarita Robles, will appear in the Congress when the investigation ends.

Date Of Update: 29 December 2019, 02:00