Failed coup in Bolivia.  General Juan José Zúñiga attempted to overthrow the government and was arrested

Armed soldiers gathered in La Paz, where the offices of the government and the President of Bolivia are located. General Juan José Zuniga, who announced the overthrow of the government, was arrested. – We cannot allow a coup attempt – the president said. The former president also spoke and announced the national mobilization of his supporters to protect democracy.

On Wednesday, Bolivian armed forces occupied the central square in La Paz, where the headquarters of the government and the President of Bolivia are located. An armored vehicle entered the presidential palace and soldiers entered, raising fears of a military coup. Videos circulated on social media showed the presence of soldiers and armored vehicles also in Plaza Murillo.

Soldiers and armored vehicles outside the Bolivian government headquartersAFP Photos/Juan Carreta/East News

– The three leaders of the armed forces came to express our concern. “There will be a new government, everything will definitely change, but our country can no longer continue like this,” General Juan Jose Zuniga told a local TV station.

In a conversation with journalists, Zuniga addressed the Bolivian authorities. – Stop destroying, stop impoverishing our country, stop humiliating our army – he said in full military uniform, surrounded by soldiers, stressing that the measures taken have popular support.

General Juan José Zúñiga announced an imminent change in the country’s government. -We are disturbed by public anger. “Enough is enough,” the military officer said in a conversation with the media in La Paz’s Murillo Square.

The military commander added that the army units he commanded were planning an imminent change in the government. Zuniga added: – We will defend our country against attacks on democracy.

See also: Bolivia’s president sends the army to gas stations

The president calls for mobilization against the coup

Bolivian President Luis Arce said that there was an “irregular” deployment of troops in the capital, and condemned this action. – We cannot allow a coup attempt – the president said. Ars demanded that the army withdraw its soldiers and armored vehicles from Murillo Square.

“We need the Bolivian people to organize and mobilize against the coup,” Arce said in a video message to the nation.

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the general of planning a coup and announced a national mobilization of his supporters to support democracy. He said: We will not allow the armed forces to violate democracy and terrorize people.

There was a failed coup attempt in BoliviaLuis Gandarilas/PAP/EPA

The rebel army units withdrew from the presidential palace

In the presidential palace, according to recordings broadcast by the Bolivian channel BTV, the head of state came to meet the rebels, shouting at them in the corridor, demanding that they abandon the coup. The coup attempt failed. Just before midnight Polish time, the new commander of the Bolivian army, General José Wilson Sanchez, announced the withdrawal of the rebels from the presidential palace. According to the media, shortly after the soldiers withdrew, police units appeared in the presidential palace area and “took control” of this part of the city.

General Zuniga captured

– General Juan Jose Zuniga was arrested – Bolivian media reported on Wednesday evening, local time. He was accused of terrorism and armed rebellion against the security and sovereignty of the state. The Bolivian Public Prosecutor’s Office issued the general arrest warrant for the general.

At a press conference held on Wednesday, Minister Eduardo del Castillo announced that “we have the first detainees.” – So I will ask the officers to present the first criminal arrested, Juan José Zuniga – he announced. After these words, the regular forces brought the general in front of the cameras, with his hands clasped behind his back.

Juan Jose ZunigaPAP/EPA

Main image source: PAP/EPA

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