July 14th, 2024

Bolivia’s president says the general accused of leading failed coup wanted to take over as president

By The Associated Press on June 28, 2024.

Bolivia's President Luis Arce pauses during an interview in La Paz, Bolivia, Friday, June 28, 2024, two days after Army troops stormed the government palace in what Arce called a coup attempt. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) – Bolivian President Luis Arce said Friday a former general had intended to take over the government and become president in a failed coup, and he denied that the Andean nation was experiencing an economic crisis.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the embattled leader denied once again that Wednesday’s attack on the government palace was a “self-coup” designed to garner him political points.

“I didn’t escape, I stayed to defend democracy,” Arce said.

About ongoing political spats with his one-time ally Evo Morales, Arce said “we’ve been politically attacked” by Morales, underscoring a “legislative boycott” which has hamstrung the government in taking on economic turmoil.

Arce washed his hands of claims by family members of the 21 detained by the government who were innocent of attempting a coup, and that they were tricked by the ex-military General Juan Jose Zúñiga.

“It’s a problem of those who were involved, it’s not the government’s problem,” Arce told the AP.

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