Bolivian coup fails after military withdraws from palace

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun27,2024
Bolivian armed forces have pulled back from the presidential palace in La Paz and a general was arrested after President Luis Arce slammed a “coup” attempt against the government and called for international support.
What happened: Earlier in the day, military units led by general Juan José Zúñiga, recently stripped of his military command, had gathered in the central Plaza Murillo square, home to the presidential palace and Congress.
An armoured vehicle rammed a door of the presidential palace and soldiers rushed in, according to the Reuters news agency. A few hours later, soldiers withdrew from the square and police took control of the plaza.

Inside the presidential palace, Arce swore in José Wilson Sánchez as the military commander, Zúñiga’s former role. Sánchez called on the soldiers to return to their barracks and for their leaders to avoid bloodshed.

The background: Tensions have been building in Bolivia ahead of general elections in 2025, with leftist former president Evo Morales planning to run against former ally Arce, creating a major rift in the ruling socialist party and wider political uncertainty.
Many do not want the return of Morales, who governed from 2006 to 2019 — when he was removed amid widespread protests and replaced by an interim conservative government. Arce then won the election in 2020.
Zúñiga recently said Morales should not be able to return as president and threatened to block him if he attempted to, which led Arce to remove Zúñiga from his post.
The key quote: “I order that all personnel mobilised on the streets return to their units. We entreat that the blood of our soldiers not be spilled.” — José Wilson Sánchez.

What happens next: Bolivia’s public prosecutor’s office said it would launch a criminal investigation against Zúñiga and others involved in the attempted coup.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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