July 16th, 2024

Bolivian president warns “irregular” military deployment underway in capital, raising coup fears

By The Associated Press on June 26, 2024.

Soldiers stand guard outside the presidential palace in Plaza Murillo in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, June 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) – Armored vehicles rammed into the doors of Bolivia’s government palace Wednesday as a top government official warned of a coup attempt and President Luis Arce said “irregular” deployment of troops was taking place in the capital.

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.

Former Bolivian 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 general commander of the Army, Juan José Zúñiga, present in the same square, confirmed the movement of uniformed officers and said: “We are upset by the affront, enough is enough.”

He spoke on television of “attacks on democracy,” without elaborating.

María Nela Prada, minister of the presidency and a top Bolivian officials, said military and tanks were taking over the plaza, calling it an “attempted coup d’etat.”

“The people are on alert to defend democracy,” she said to local television station Red Uno.

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