LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Brazil announced on Friday that it was granting asylum to a Bolivian opposition senator who has holed up in its embassy in La Paz claiming political persecution and saying he feared for his life.
The decision about Sen. Roger Pinto came in a one-sentence email that did not explain Brazil's reasoning for granting the request.
Pinto, a member of Bolivia's small right-wing opposition bloc in congress, has been living in the embassy since May 28 and accuses President Evo Morales' government of corruption though he has provided no evidence.
He says he sought asylum after he and his family received telephoned death threats.
But Bolivia's government says Pinto's exile is an opposition smear campaign against Morales. It accuses Pinto of corruption and wants him on criminal charges including economic damage to the state from when he was governor of the northern state of Pando, which borders Brazil.
Pinto did not make any statement but one of his colleagues, Sen. Geanine Anez, said Brazil had confirmed Pinto's accusations.
Tovar Munes, a spokesman for Brazil's Foreign Ministry in Brasilia, said Pinto remained in the embassy in La Paz.
Despite winning asylum, Pinto will not be allowed to travel to Brazil until the Bolivian government agrees with Brazil's action, Munes said, citing rules within a 1954 convention on diplomatic asylum.
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