LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales said Saturday that the crisis with Brazil is now resolved that exploded with the escape to that country of Bolivian opposition Sen. Roger Pinto without the required safe-conduct and with the direct complicity of a Brazilian diplomat.
“Unfortunately, because of a corrupt Bolivian, Pinto, they tried to divide us, put us against Brazil. (On Friday) we met with our fellow president (Dilma Rousseff), resolved the problem and no one is going to divide us, no one can set us against each other,” Morales said at a ceremony in La Paz.
The head of state was referring to his meeting with Rousseff to discuss the matter Friday in Suriname, where both were attending a summit of the Union of South American Nations.
Sen. Pinto was granted refuge at the Brazilian Embassy on May 28, 2012, the date when he asked Brazil for political asylum with the argument that he was the object of political persecution, which Bolivian authorities denied.
The politician managed to sneak into Brazil a week ago with the aid of Brazilian Embassy officials in La Paz, which set off a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and led to the resignation of Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.
The Bolivian government has asked Brazil to “return” the senator, against whom it has brought several lawsuits for corruption, while the Attorney General’s Office has asked Interpol to issue a “red alert” for him to be captured and handed over.
According to Morales, Rousseff expressed at the meeting “her greatest irritation” at what officials in the Brazilian Embassy did to help Pinto leave the country.
Rousseff said she was sorry the Pinto case was not handled correctly and that it will therefore be up to the national government, specifically the National Refugee Committee (Conare), to determine what must be done.