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Bolivian General Arrested After Failed Coup Attempt

Bolivian General Arrested After Failed Coup Attempt

A Bolivian general, Juan Jose Zuniga, has been arrested for attempting a coup against the government after trying to storm the presidential palace on Wednesday. Dismissed as commander of the Bolivian army a day earlier, Zuniga led military units in occupying the main square in La Paz, with armored vehicles ramming the palace doors and soldiers attempting to breach government offices.

President Luis Arce confronted Zuniga in the crowded palace hallway, ordering him to stand down. After Zuniga was handcuffed and taken away by police, Arce addressed the gathered crowds, signaling the defeat of the coup attempt. Defense Minister Edmundo Novillo later confirmed the government had regained full control over the military.

Bolivia, a country with a history of political instability and military coups, is currently facing a severe economic crisis, leading to recent street protests. Zuniga alleged, without evidence, that he was acting on Arce’s instructions to stage the coup to boost the president’s popularity. Justice Minister Ivan Lima denied these claims.

The coup attempt was widely condemned by both the Bolivian government and international leaders. Bolivia’s Attorney General’s Office has launched a criminal investigation against Zuniga and others involved. The situation appears to have been defused, with new military commanders appointed and troops withdrawing from the square.

Bolivia’s ongoing political tension is heightened by plans for former president Evo Morales to run for reelection against Arce in the upcoming general elections. The failed coup reflects widespread discontentment in the country, especially regarding the economic situation. International leaders, including those from Paraguay, Mexico, and the European Union, have expressed their support for Bolivia’s democracy and condemned the coup attempt.

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