Bolivian Senator Roger Pinto, leader of the opposition bloc Convergencia Nacional (National Convergence—CN), sought refuge at the Brazilian embassy in La Paz on Monday. In a written statement to other members of the bloc released yesterday, Pinto claimed that he has been the victim of political persecution and the recipient of multiple threats directed toward himself and his family, which in recent days had escalated and led him to fear for his life.
Diputado Adrián Oliva, also of the opposition, told the Associated Press that the senator faces multiple judicial proceedings that are intended to remove him from his post. In his letter to the CN, Pinto also claimed that a judge had falsified evidence against him. Last week Oliva and Senator Jeanine Añez visited Brazil and met with the Human Rights Commission and select senators to discuss human rights violations and political persecution of the opposition in Bolivia, including the specific case of Pinto.
In response to the letter written by Pinto, Brazil’s Ministry of External Relations confirmed that the government will analyze the political asylum request and that the senator’s case will be vetted carefully. In the meantime Pinto can remain in the embassy until further notice.