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Brazil's foreign minister resigns amid row with Bolivia

Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, speaks in Rio de Janeiro on August 19.

Story highlights

  • Antonio Patriota, Brazil's foreign minister, steps down Monday night
  • A Brazilian diplomat helped an opposition senator from Bolivia flee into Brazil
  • Patriota resigns in the diplomatic fallout; statement says he'll get U.N. post

Antonio Patriota, Brazil's foreign minister, stepped down Monday night amid a diplomatic row with neighboring Bolivia.

President Dilma Rousseff's office issued a brief statement, saying Patriota had submitted his resignation and would be replaced by Brazil's representative at the United Nations, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.

The resignation comes a day after a Brazilian diplomat helped an opposition senator from Bolivia flee into Brazil.

The senator, Roger Pinto, had been living in the Brazilian embassy in La Paz for more than a year after seeking asylum there. Pinto said he was targeted by Bolivian officials after accusing members of Bolivian President Evo Morales' government of drug trafficking and corruption.

Over the weekend, Brazilian diplomat Eduardo Saboia helped Pinto flee to the border during a 20-hour drive in a diplomatic car. That action sparked outrage from the Bolivian government.

In a television interview, Saboia said he had acted without consulting with the Foreign Ministry.

According to the press statement, Patriota will be appointed to head up Brazil's mission at the United Nations.

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