BREAKING: Coup Attempt Underway in Bolivia

BREAKING: Coup Attempt Underway in Bolivia

A military coup is apparently underway in La Paz, Bolivia, against Bolivian President Luis Arce.

Details are very sketchy at the moment, but at least part of the Bolivian armed forces are taking control of government buildings in the capital, and there are no signs of resistance.

Bolivian President Luis Arce appeared on Wednesday to warn of a coup attempt orchestrated by part of the country’s military in La Paz. 

“We denounce irregular mobilizations of some units of the Bolivian Army. Democracy must be respected,” Arce said on X, formerly Twitter.

The coup’s leader seems to be the commander of the Bolivian Armed Forces, Juan José Zúñiga. Zúñiga was fired yesterday after a public spat with former president Evo Morales, who seems to be constitutionally barred from running for president again, but Morales apparently has a different opinion. Zúñiga also doesn’t seem to take his being fired all that seriously.

“We are going to recover this homeland,” General Juan José Zúñiga told reporters from Murillo Square after it was taken by troops, according to the El Deber newspaper.

Armored vehicles and troops have occupied the presidential palace:

UPDATE: Tanks smashed into Bolivia’s Presidential Palace which is now seized by the military. Armoured vehicles are attempting to seize Congress. Clashes have broken out as people have responded to the calls of the government and Evo Morales to mobilize and repel the attempted…

— red. (@redstreamnet) June 26, 2024

BREAKING: Bolivian armed forces surround the government palace in Bolivia’s Plaza Murillo in an apparent coup attempt.

— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) June 26, 2024

BREAKING: Bolivian armed forces have surrounded the government palace in Bolivia’s Plaza Murillo in an apparent coup attempt.

— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) June 26, 2024

The building of the Bolivian Legislative Assembly is also occupied:

Bolivian army vehicles and soldiers have blocked Plaza Murillo outside the Bolivian legislative assembly. Commander general of the Bolivian Army Juan José Zuñiga is in La Paz leading the potential coup. #Bolivia

— CNW (@ConflictsW) June 26, 2024

Though Arce won a majority in Bolivia’s 2020 election, he won while opposed by all Bolivian institutions:  

Despite a comfortable electoral victory in October 2020, the government of Luis Arce was viewed as fragile in September 2021. It enjoyed broad support among the lower-paid sectors of the population, such as peasants and miners, but was contested by most of the urban middle class as well as by almost all of the upper classes. The opposition thus includes most of the country’s de facto powers: the economic elite, the churches, the universities, professional associations and the mainstream media.

He has been cozying up to Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia and has expressed a desire to bring Bolivia into China’s AstroTurfed BRICS group.

Bolivia sees BRICS as an organization that provides expansive opportunities to its member states to grow economically, President of the South American republic Luis Arce said.

“BRICS is a space where huge opportunities are opening up, in trade, access to financial resources and speeding up our economic and social development, taking us to new frontiers,” the Bolivian leader was quoted as saying by the Telesur TV channel. “It is extremely important to continue on the path toward a sovereign, anti-hegemonic and multipolar world,” he added.

The last coup in Bolivia took place in 1980.

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