Latin America has witnessed unfortunate and violent events in which the Constitutional order breaks down and democratically elected officials are forced to abandon everything to protect their lives and safety.

International law recognizes that an individual may apply to a State of which he is not a citizen for asylum, as a result of situations that arise in the State of his nationality.

Mexico has been known throughout its history for its tradition of protecting those who seek asylum. It has shown itself to be an inclusive and supportive State whose doors have been open to those who have had to abandon their countries.

Two international legal instruments support the granting of asylum: the Havana Convention on Asylum of 1928 and the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum signed in Caracas in 1954. Mexican law also recognizes the granting of political asylum in its 2011 Law on Refugees, Complementary Protection and Political Asylum.

Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard reports that he just received a call from President Evo Morales responding to our invitation and that President Morales verbally and formally requested political asylum in Mexico.

According to Mexico's current legislation, the Mexican Foreign Ministry, after prior consultation with the Ministry of the Interior, as represented by Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero, has decided to grant Evo Morales political asylum for humanitarian reasons and because of the emergency situation that he faces in Bolivia, where his life and safety are at risk. Therefore, we will proceed to inform the Senate about these important developments for our foreign policy and ask for its support in this decision.  In addition, we have informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, so that in accordance with international law it proceeds to issue the corresponding safe-conduct and other guarantees, such as ensuring that Mr. Morales' life, personal integrity and freedom will not be put in danger and that he can seek safety.

It should be noted that the first agreement regarding asylum dates from 1853 when Mexico and Colombia signed a no-extradition treaty for political crimes. Our tradition has always been to protect persecuted politicians. The tradition is also based on Article 15 of our Constitution. Mexico has granted protection to individuals such as Giuseppe Garibaldi, José Martí and Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre.

The granting of asylum is a sovereign right of the Mexican State that is consistent with its foreign policy principles regarding the protection of human rights, respect for the self-determination of peoples,  the peaceful resolution of disputes and non-intervention.

The decision of the Mexican government has been communicated to the Organization of American States and will be made known to the United Nations, invoking international protection for the life and safety of Evo Morales.