MBN

NEWS

Bolivia: Bolivia's president says his country is facing an attempted coup...

Arike Ogunbowale: Arike Ogunbowale and Caitlin Clark lead WNBA All-Stars to ...
Published Time: 26.06.2024 - 19:05:32 Modified Time: 26.06.2024 - 19:05:32

In a video of Arce surrounded by ministers in the palace, he said: “The country is facing an attempted coup d’état. Here we are, firm in Casa Grande, to confront any coup attempt. We need the Bolivian to organize.” Bolivia


The

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Armored vehicles rammed into the doors of Bolivia's government palace Wednesday as President Luis Arce said the country faced an attempted coup, insisted he stands firm and urged to mobilize.

In a video of Arce surrounded by ministers in the palace, he said: “The country is facing an attempted coup d’état. Here we are, firm in Casa Grande, to confront any coup attempt. We need the Bolivian to organize.”

Arce confronted the general commander of the army — Juan José Zúñiga, who appeared to be leading the rebellion — in the palace hallway, as shown on video on Bolivian television. “I am your captain, and I order you to withdraw your soldiers, and I will not allow this insubordination,” Arce said.

Before entering the government building, Zúñiga told journalists in the plaza: “Surely soon there will be a new Cabinet of ministers; our country, our state cannot go on like this." Zúñiga said that “for now” he recognizes Arce as commander in chief.

Zúñiga did not explicitly say he's leading a coup, but in the palace, with bangs echoing behind him, he said the army was trying to “restore democracy and free our political prisoners.”

In a message on his X account, Arce called for “democracy to be respected.” It came as Bolivian television showed two tanks and a number of men in military uniform in front of the government palace.

“We cannot allow, once again, coup attempts to take the lives of Bolivians,” he said from inside the palace, surrounded by government officials, in a video message sent to news outlets.

An hour later, Arce announced new heads of the army, navy and air force amid the roar of supporters. Video showed troops setting up blockades outside the government palace. He said the troops who rose against him were “staining the uniform” of the military and vowed that democracy would be respected.

“I order all that are mobilized to return to their units, said the newly named army chief José Wilson Sánchez. “No one wants the images we’re seeing in the streets.”

Former President Evo Morales, also in a message on X, denounced the movement of the military in the Murillo square outside the palace, calling it a coup “in the making.”

The leadership of Bolivia’s largest labor union condemned the action and declared an indefinite strike of social and labor organizations in La Paz in defense of the government.

Bolivia, a country of 12 million , has seen intensifying protests in recent months over the economy’s precipitous decline from one of the continent’s fastest-growing two decades ago to one of its most crisis-stricken.

NEWS