Two years after taking up the federal government’s offer of political asylum, former Bolivian president Evo Morales is back in Mexico to attend a seminar organized by the Labor Party (PT), one of the allies of the ruling Morena party.
Morales, who spent just three weeks in Mexico in late 2019 before departing for Argentina, also met with President López Obrador on Thursday.
Speaking at the PT’s 25th International Seminar, the former leftist president declared that Mexico saved his life by offering him political asylum after he lost the support of the police and the military in Bolivia following the disputed 2019 general election.
“When I arrived and said [Mexico] saved my life it wasn’t to ingratiate myself with the president, the government and the Mexican people. Brothers and sisters, Mexico and other countries really did save my life. Mexico is not just my home it’s the home of all those who fight for the liberation of our peoples,” Morales said.
Representatives of dozens of leftist organizations from Latin America and beyond are in Mexico City for the PT seminar, where they will close ranks against “imperialist meddling,” according to the newspaper El País.
Among the topics up for discussion at the three-day event, which began Thursday and will conclude Saturday, are the drafting of a new constitution in Chile; a potential political comeback by former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact; the political situation in El Salvador; the conquest of the Americas; and the case of the 43 students who disappeared in Guerrero in 2014.
After his participation in the seminar on Thursday, Morales and his entourage attended a two-hour meeting with López Obrador and other Mexican officials in the National Palace. Both men acknowledged the meeting on their Twitter accounts.
“We spoke to Evo Morales, loyal leader of the people of Bolivia and the most authentic representative of the native peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean,” López Obrador wrote.
“With the brother president of Mexico @lopezobrador_ and his political team we had an extended and very productive meeting to share experiences of government and public management and to make an assessment about the political and economic situation of Latin America,” Morales said.
“We expressed … our gratitude, deep respect and affection for saving our lives and our admiration for helping us recover democracy in Bolivia,” he wrote.
Among the Mexican officials at the meeting was Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who welcomed Morales to Mexico on Wednesday.
The former Bolivian president also met with Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum on Friday morning. “We went over our history and the struggle of our ancestors and shared experiences,” Morales wrote on Twitter.
Sheinbaum described the opportunity to meet with Morales and the Bolivian ambassador to Mexico as “a great honor.”