Mexico says Spanish diplomats' cars blocked by Bolivia at La Paz embassy

Mexico's government said Bolivian police had impeded the departure of Spanish officials visiting the Mexican ambassador in La Paz on Dec. 27, widening a spat over Bolivia's surveillance of its diplomatic facilities that has rumbled on for days.

Two Spanish diplomats were about to leave the Mexican ambassador's residence when they were told their cars had been detained some minutes away and would not be allowed to re-enter the compound, Mexico's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Mexico says Bolivian authorities have harassed and intimidated its diplomatic staff in a row centering on the Mexican government's decision to grant asylum to nine people, now housed in its diplomatic facilities in La Paz. Some of them are wanted by Bolivia's new conservative administration.

Interim Bolivian President Jeanine Aez took power last month when long-serving socialist leader Evo Morales resigned and fled to Mexico City after a presidential election that the Organization of American States said was rigged in his favor.

Morales' acceptance of an offer of political asylum from the leftist government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador strained ties with Aez, an opponent of Morales.

On Dec. 27, Mexico's ambassador eventually made contact with Bolivia's foreign ministry, which urged the diplomats to exit the premises and walk back to their cars, but they refused to do so without their security details, the statement added.

In the end, the two diplomats were collected by a car sent by the Bolivian foreign ministry over an hour later, it said.

Bolivia's Foreign Minister Karen Longaric told a news conference the Spanish diplomats were accompanied on arrival by men with their faces covered trying to enter the residence...

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