July 24, 2024

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General arrested after coup attempt – 20 minutes

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BoliviaThe general was arrested after the coup attempt

Armed soldiers with tanks advance against the government palace in the Bolivian city of La Paz. But the head of state, Louis Arce, defies the army.

  • There was a coup attempt in Bolivia.

  • The soldiers tried to storm the gates of the government palace with a tank.

  • The leader of the coup, General Juan Jose Zunica Macias, was arrested.

After the coup attempt in Bolivia, the leader of the coup was arrested. Local media unanimously reported that General Juan Jose Zunica Macias was arrested in La Paz on Wednesday. The Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation against the officer and his co-conspirators. Zúñiga was charged with terrorism and armed rebellion against the security and sovereignty of the state.

Head of State Louis Arce removed the army chief and replaced the entire leadership of the armed forces. The new commanders of the armed forces ordered the withdrawal of troops from the center of the city of La Paz.

The doors of the government palace were smashed by tanks

Earlier, soldiers under Zuniga’s command occupied La Paz’s central square and rammed a tank into the gates of the government palace, as seen on Bolivian television. “We came to express our displeasure,” Zuniga said. In the presence of media representatives, he spoke without elaborating on “attacks on democracy”.

“We condemn the irregular mobilization of some units of the Bolivian army. Democracy must be respected,” Bolivian President Luis Arce wrote on the X news site. “We cannot allow any conspiracy attempts.”

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A coup against the former head of state

The coup attempt appears to have been directed against the renewed presidential candidacy of former head of state Evo Morales (2006-2019). The leftist head of state resigned in 2019 under pressure from the military after the opposition and international election observers accused him of rigging the presidential election.

Morales and incumbent President Arce are currently battling for the leadership role in their MAS party ahead of the 2025 elections. “The president told me that the situation is very bad,” General Zúñiga said on television before his arrest. “It is necessary to prepare something to increase its popularity.”

In Latin America, armed forces stage coups from time to time. Many states in the region were ruled by military rulers, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Tens of thousands of people fell victim to their tyranny in Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

The EU stands behind the elected government

EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen has strongly criticized the coup attempt in Bolivia. “I strongly condemn the attempts to overthrow the democratically elected government in Bolivia,” van der Leyen wrote on Platform X on Wednesday evening. The European Union sided with the democracies.

Several Latin American presidents also condemned the military action. “We condemn any kind of coup in Bolivia and reaffirm our commitment to the people and democracy in our brotherly country,” said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Chilean President Gabriel Boric wrote on the X news site: “We cannot tolerate violations of the legitimate constitutional order in Bolivia or anywhere else.”

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(DPA/chk)