Evo Morales has accepted an offer of political asylum in Mexico a day after resigning as president of Bolivia amid election fraud protests.
In a tweet, he said it hurt to be leaving Bolivia but he would return with more “strength and energy”.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed Mr Morales had boarded a Mexican government plane.
Meanwhile, Bolivia’s military commander ordered troops to back up police who have clashed with Morales supporters.
Some 20 people were reported injured in the clashes. Mr Morales earlier urged his supporters to resist the “dark powers” that had forced him to step down.
He also tweeted a photo of what he described as “my first night after leaving the presidency forced out by the coup [organised by opposition leader Carlos] Mesa and [opposition activist Luis Fernando] Camacho with the help of the police”.
The deputy head of the Senate, Jeanine Áñez, has said she will take over as interim president until new elections are held.