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Ousted Bolivian president Morales condemns coup government's arrest of 2 former ministers

OUSTED Bolivian president Evo Morales slammed the coup administration for its arrest of two former government ministers on Saturday.

Former mining minister Cesar Navarro and former agriculture minister Pedro Dorado were held as they were about to board a plane at El Alto airport, having been given a guarantee that they could leave Bolivia as political exiles.

Mr Navarro was released after a few hours and alleged that he had been beaten by paramilitary forces associated with the US-backed interim government of Jeanine Anez.

His daughter said: “Paramilitary resistance groups and police officers physically assaulted my dad Cesar Navarro, violating his human rights and his right to political asylum.”

The pair had been living in the Mexican embassy for 82 days when international mediators negotiated an agreement allowing them safe passage to Mexico.

“The Mexican embassy transferred the asylees to the El Alto airport with the guarantee [of] safe conduct extended by the Bolivian government. In that sense, the asylees should be transferred to Mexico without any problem,” an embassy statement said.

Interior minister Arturo Murillo later claimed that the pair “had been arrested by mistake” and said they would be free to leave the country in the next few hours. But their status was still unknown when the Morning Star went to print.

Mr Morales, who is currently in exile in Argentina, blamed the “inhuman dictatorship” led by Ms Anez for the incident and said: “All my solidarity with my brother Cesar Navarro and his family for the aggressions he suffered this morning as he was leaving the country by making use of international law and a safe conduct.”

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