People gesture at policemen as they patrol the streets in La Paz, Bolivia on Monday night. Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images

Evo Morales, who's stepped down as Bolivia's president, departed for Mexico Monday night after tweeting that he had accepted the country's offer of political asylum amid violent clashes between pro- and anti-Morales groups, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Bolivia is now in a "political vacuum" and facing its "worst unrest in decades," per AP, which reports Morales loyalists set barricades alight to "block some roads leading to the country's main airport" as anti-Morales protesters obstructed the majority of streets near the front of the presidential palace and congressional building over Monday night.

What's happening: Morales left on a Mexican government plane from the town of Chimore in central Bolivia, "a stronghold of his supporters where he retreated over the weekend after weeks of protests" over his disputed election victory, per Reuters, which notes the military and police were on the streets of La Paz amid unrest over Morales.

  • AP reports that opposition leader Opposition candidate Carlos Mesa has "laid out a possible path toward new elections."

What they're saying: "I am leaving for Mexico, grateful for the openness of these brothers who offered us asylum to protect our life," the country's first indigenous leader said in the tweet, translated by AP.

"It hurts me to leave the country, for political reasons, but I will always be concerned. I will return soon, with more strength and energy."
  • Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted a photo of Morales aboard the plane to say that the former leader had left Bolivia and was safe.

Background: Deadly violence erupted after last month's election, which was plagued by allegations of voter fraud. Mesa rejected the results and urged Bolivians to protest in the streets, while Morales accused him of mounting a coup. On Sunday, the Bolivian military asked Morales to resign.

Go deeper: Mexico grants asylum to Evo Morales, Bolivia's outgoing president

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!