Bolivian prosecutors issue arrest warrant for exiled former president Evo Morales

Morales left Bolivia for Mexico in mid-November after being granted asylum

FILE PHOTO: Bolivia's exiled former president Evo Morales. Pictured October 26, 2019. REUTERS/Manuel Claure NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES/File Photo
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Bolivian prosecutors on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for exiled former president Evo Morales on charges of sedition and terrorism, after claims from the interim government that he has been stirring unrest.

Luis Fernando Guarachi, head of the Bolivian police's public corruption division, confirmed in La Paz that the warrant had been issued.

Interior Minister Arturo Murillo tweeted a picture of what appeared to be the arrest warrant, adding: "FYI, Senor Morales."

Mr Morales left Bolivia for Mexico, which granted him asylum, in mid-November.

He was pressured into leaving by the armed forces, in what he has called a coup, after a disputed election.

Mr Morales moved to Argentina last week, days after the inauguration of Peronist President Alberto Fernandez.

He was granted asylum in Argentina and had requested "definitive refugee status", the country's Interior Ministry said.

The case against Mr Morales in Bolivia centres on a video obtained by Mr Murillo, a member of the interim government of President Jeanine Anez.

Ms Anez is a former senator and opponent of Mr Morales, who stepped into the presidency in November after he resigned.

Mr Murillo last month filed a criminal complaint against the former socialist leader.

In the video, a Bolivian man is shown talking to someone on a speakerphone who appears to be directing plans for road blockades. Mr Murillo said the voice on the speakerphone was that of Mr Morales.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified.

Mr Morales, speaking in Argentina, said there was no proof of the accusation and called the warrant an act of intimidation.

"I have the right to defend myself," he said. "I want to tell you that I have already summoned some of our lawyers who are here."

Blocking roads is a common form of protest in Bolivia and much of South America.

Blockades by Morales supporters have cut off fuel and food to some cities.