Brazil will not return opposition Senator Roger Pinto to Bolivia, who last August fled the country with the help from Brazilian diplomats, said President Dilma Rousseff advisor on foreign affairs Marco Aurelio Garcia.
There are two options: or he is granted asylum in Brazil or he can go to another country, said Garcia in reference to the Senator who for over a year was living in the Brazilian embassy in La Paz, until helped to flee.
Garcia explained that Pinto on arriving in Brazil was granted a refuge provisional status and currently is waiting for the National Refuges Committee from the Ministry of Justice to decide on the issue. However Garcia was emphatic that if Pinto is not granted definitive asylum, he will not be returned to Bolivia.
Return him to Bolivia, no. We will not return him, insisted Garcia, who said the option is for him to travel to another country.
Senator Pinto argues he is being persecuted by the Bolivian government on false corruption charges and was protected at the Brazilian embassy in La Paz for over a year until last 23 August when he abandoned the legation with help from Brazilian diplomats.
The incident described by Bolivia as an 'escape' caused a diplomatic conflict between the two countries which was overcomes when Evo Morales met with Dilma Rousseff in the framework of the Unasur summit in Suriname.
However the diplomatic complicity with the escape forced the resignation of Brazilian foreign minister Antonio Patriota replaced on 28 August by Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.
The Bolivian government argues that Pinto has been accused of five different cases of corruption and has been sentenced to a one year term of jail for one of the charges and thus La Paz refusal to grant his a 'safe-conduct' to abandon the country.
Last month three Bolivian ministers visited Brasilia and delivered at the National Refuges Committee all the documents referred to Senator Pinto case and sentencing.
Almost simultaneously the Bolivian lawmaker visited a group of Brazilian members of Congress to request 'help' and 'solidarity' given his situation,
But Garcia in the interview admitted that Senator Pinto made a big mistake on referring to the Brazilian congress: one of the basic rules for asylum is to keep silent with your mouth shut.