Watch: Bolivian general gets arrested on live TV after failed coup attempt – Times of India

Bolivia faced a dramatic coup attempt on Wednesday, as armored vehicles stormed the presidential palace in La Paz. Led by General Juan José Zúñiga, the troops quickly withdrew after President Luis Arce denounced the move as a coup and called for international support. Within hours, Zúñiga and former navy Vice Admiral Juan Arnez Salvador were arrested, bringing an end to the rebellion.This event adds to the existing political and economic turmoil in Bolivia, where President Arce and former president Evo Morales are engaged in a bitter power struggle within the ruling Movement for Socialism party.
The coup attempt, which began with soldiers storming Plaza Murillo, drew swift condemnation from both domestic and international leaders. President Arce’s firm response included confronting Zúñiga and ordering the troops to retreat. Despite the political crisis, there was no substantial support for the coup, with even Arce’s rivals defending democracy. The incident underscores the ongoing political tension and economic challenges facing Bolivia ahead of the 2025 general elections.

What triggered the coup attempt in Bolivia?

  • The coup attempt was triggered by General Juan José Zúñiga, who led military units into Plaza Murillo and stormed the presidential palace. Zúñiga claimed the military intended to “restore democracy,” citing frustration with the political and economic situation.

How did President Luis Arce respond to the coup attempt?

  • President Arce quickly denounced the coup attempt, urging Bolivians to mobilize in defense of democracy. He confronted General Zúñiga in the palace and ordered the troops to withdraw, appointing new military leaders shortly afterward.

Who is Bolivia’s President Luis Arce?

  • Luis Arce is Bolivia’s president, elected in 2020 after a period of deep political turmoil. A former economy minister, Arce is known for his role in crafting Bolivia’s economic policies during Evo Morales’ presidency, contributing to the country’s significant growth during that time. Despite their past alliance, Arce and Morales have become political rivals, particularly as both eye the upcoming 2025 elections. Arce’s presidency has been marked by efforts to stabilize the economy and navigate political challenges, including a recent coup attempt which he successfully quashed.

What are the broader implications of this coup attempt for Bolivia?

  • The coup attempt adds to the political and economic turmoil in Bolivia, with tensions rising ahead of the 2025 general elections. The power struggle within the ruling Movement for Socialism party, between President Arce and former president Evo Morales, further complicates the situation.

How has the international community reacted to the coup attempt?

  • The international community, including regional leaders and organizations like the Organization of American States, condemned the coup attempt and expressed support for President Arce. There were calls for calm and a return to constitutional order.

What are the next steps for Bolivia’s government?

  • Following the coup attempt, President Arce and his administration are focused on maintaining stability and addressing the economic crisis. Vice President David Choquehuanca emphasized that the Bolivian people will not permit future coup attempts, indicating a commitment to safeguarding democracy.

(With inputs from agencies)

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