Home >news >world >Brazil’s foreign affairs minister resigns after Bolivia protest

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil’s foreign affairs minister Antonio Patriota resigned after Bolivia’s government demanded an explanation on how one of its diplomats helped an opponent of President Evo Morales escape the country.

Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, who represents Brazil at the United Nations, will replace Patriota, President Dilma Rousseff’s spokesman Thomas Traumann said.

Brazil’s business attache in La Paz, Eduardo Saboia, escorted Bolivian Senator Roger Pinto in an embassy vehicle from the country’s diplomatic compound in La Paz, where the Bolivian had been hold up since May 2012, to the Brazilian border town of Corumba. In a television interview, Saboia said he acted without the consent of his superiors after Pinto’s physical and mental health deteriorated to the point that he felt the lawmaker’s life was in danger.

Rousseff granted Pinto asylum in June 2012, after he said he received death threats for denouncing ties to drug- traffickers by the Morales government. Morales rejected the allegations and blocked Pinto’s safe passage to Brazil, saying that the lawmaker’s asylum request was an attempt to evade prosecution on corruption charges. Bolivian authorities said on Tuesday they’ll continue to seek his arrest and demanded Brazil explain how he was allowed to leave the embassy under diplomatic cover.

What happened is serious, which is why we’re demanding explanations from Brazil, Foreign minister David Choquehuanca said at a press conference in La Paz on Tuesday.

Pinto arrived on Monday in Brasilia accompanied by Brazilian Senator Ricardo Ferraco, a member of the ruling coalition and head of the Senate’s foreign relations committee. BLOOMBERG

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