Former Bolivia minister leaves Mexican embassy, faces charges


La Paz (AFP)

A former Bolivian minister who took refuge inside the Mexican ambassador's residence in La Paz has returned to his home and been placed under investigation for corruption.

Youth activists protested outside the home of Carlos Romero -- a former interior minister under ex-president Evo Morales -- for a second consecutive day, chanting slogans and waving Bolivian flags.

Morales said on Twitter that Romero was "surrounded by paramilitary groups promoted by the de facto government of Bolivia. With police support."

Romero has been summoned to face anti-corruption prosecutors at a hearing on Monday, according to a subpoena affixed to his door.

He was one of around 10 Bolivian officials who took refuge in the Mexican ambassador's residence after Morales resigned on November 10 and fled to Mexico following a wave of post-election violence.

Three other ministers inside the Mexican diplomatic residence have been charged with sedition and terror-related offenses.

It was unclear how and when Romero left the embassy, but the pro-government activists began laying siege to his home early Thursday.

The group covered their faces with masks and scarves when approached by the media and said they represented a youth resistance group in the central city of Cochabamba.

Similar groups around the country played a key role in the street opposition to Morales after the Organization of American States denounced his October 20 re-election as fraudulent.

Morales accepted political asylum offered by Mexico but recently moved to Argentina, which has a large Bolivian population.

Interim president Jeanine Anez's right-wing government announced Wednesday that it would investigate nearly 600 ministers and officials of the former government for corruption.

She has called fresh elections for May 3.