— By Domani Spero
This weekend Brazilian diplomat Eduardo Saboia, the charge d’affaires of the Brazilian Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia reportedly smuggled Roger Pinto, a Bolivian senator and opponent of President Evo Morales out of the country using an embassy car escorted by Brazilian Marines. According to Al Jazeera, the escorted embassy car traveled from La Paz to the southwestern Brazilian city of Corumba, a drive of some 22 hours. Today, UK’s Independent newspaper reported the resignation of Brazil’s Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota. Apparently, the smuggling of the senator from La Paz to Brasilia was not approved by either country. It also reported that Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has accepted Mr Patriota’s resignation but immediately appointed him as head of Brazil’s UN delegation. The head of Brazil’s UN delegation Luiz Alberto Figueiredo has now been appointed the new foreign minister.Via Al Jazeera:
Eduardo Saboia, the Brazilian charge d’affaires in La Paz, revealed earlier on Monday that he helped Roger Pinto, a Bolivian senator, escape to Brazil after he was holed up for 15 months in Brasilia’s embassy in the Bolivian capital despite having been granted asylum.
Pinto, an opponent of Bolivian President Evo Morales, made his escape Friday in an embassy car escorted by Brazilian marines, driving 22 hours to the southwestern Brazilian city of Corumba, 1,600km from La Paz.
“I chose life. I chose to protect a person, a persecuted politician, like [Brazilian] President Dilma [Rousseff] was persecuted,” Saboia told Globo television on his arrival in Brasilia, where he was recalled for consultations.
He said he made the personal decision to help Pinto escape “because there was an imminent threat to the life and dignity of the senator.”
Saboia said Pinto was suffering from depression and was contemplating suicide.
The Bolivian government views Pinto as a fugitive from justice after he was accused of corruption, for which he was sentenced to a year in prison.
He sought refuge at the Brazilian embassy last year, claiming to be a victim of political persecution after he denounced alleged cases of corruption and alleged links between authorities and drug traffickers.
His case strained relations between La Paz and Brasilia. Morales last year said Brazil’s decision to grant Pinto asylum was “a mistake”.
In La Paz, David Choquehuanca, Bolivian foreign minister, expressed “deep concern over the transgression of the principle of reciprocity and international courtesy”.
Read in full: Brazil’s top diplomat quits over Bolivia row.
We’re waiting for Bolivian President Morales to announce soon that he will close the Brazilian embassy in La Paz. Because of the yanquis. Wait, wait — still trying to connect the dots; it’s there somewhere. It looks like diplomat Eduardo Saboia shared a toast with Secretary Kerry. Oh, my lord, what were they whispering about?
- Morales Foe Flees From Bolivia Escorted by a Brazilian Diplomat – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Brazil minister quits in Bolivia row (bbc.co.uk)
- Brazil foreign minister loses job in diplomatic fiasco over Bolivian senator (theguardian.com)
- Brazil’s Foreign Minister Resigns Amid Tension (abcnews.go.com)
- Bolivian senator’s bolt to Brazil sparks diplomatic row (theguardian.com)
- Brazil’s foreign minister resigns amid row with Bolivia (edition.cnn.com)