Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez announced on Monday that they will be expelling Mexico’s ambassador and two Spanish diplomats escalating a dispute over an alleged attempt to extract an ex-government aide.
Anez who gave the diplomats 72 hours to leave the country, accused them of seriously harming the sovereignty and dignity of the people and the constitutional government of Bolivia.
The expelled diplomats include Ambassador of Mexico in Bolivia Maria Teresa Mercado, the charge d’affaires of Spain Cristina Borreguero and the (Spanish) consul Alvaro Fernandez.
The Bolivian interim President said;
“The constitutional government that I preside over has decided to declare persona non grata the ambassador of Mexico in Bolivia, Maria Teresa Mercado, the charge d’affaires of Spain, Cristina Borreguero, and the (Spanish) consul, Alvaro Fernandez.”
The announcement came after Bolivian government accused a Spanish embassy staff of trying to infiltrate the Mexican mission in La Paz with a group of masked men to extract Juan Ramon Quintana, a wanted former aide of ex-president Evo Morales.
Mexico’s foreign ministry has however denounced the “political” decision, alleging that it instructed Mercado to return home.
Madrid also categorically denied the claim, saying its riposte was a reaction to “a hostile gesture by the Bolivian government to declare two Spanish diplomats personae non gratae”.
A statement released by the Spanish government reads;
“Spain categorically rejects any insinuation of presumed willingness to interfere in Bolivia’s internal political affairs.
“Spain wishes to maintain close relations of friendship and solidarity with the country and brother people of Bolivia,” Madrid concluded, urging La Paz to return to a “common sense path of confidence and cooperation between our two countries.”