LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — A Danish foundation is being expelled from Bolivia for taking sides in a leadership struggle for control of one of the nation's biggest indigenous organizations, the government announced Friday.
Presidential aide Juan Ramon Quintana said that Copenhagen-based IBIS "abused" the government's hospitality and has been intervening in the nation's internal politics instead of focusing on its mission of development work.
President Evo Morales is Bolivia's first Indian president but he's shown little tolerance for criticism from the nation's indigenous majority. IBIS' office in La Paz said it was taken by surprise by its expulsion and is analyzing how to respond. In a statement issued by IBIS Secretary General Vagn Berthelsen, the organization said it is "very surprised" by the move and has worked to cooperate with Bolivian government agencies during its more than 30 years in the country.
"IBIS is trying to find out what has prompted this announcement by the government, which IBIS has not yet received," said the statement. It said the group will seek a dialogue to "hopefully clear up misunderstandings."
In May, Morales expelled the US Agency for International Development after almost five decades in the Andean nation for allegedly conspiring to undermine his rule.