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HomeWorld NewsBolivian soldiers storm government plaza; officials warn of ‘coup’

Bolivian soldiers storm government plaza; officials warn of ‘coup’

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Bolivian soldiers filled the main plaza in La Paz and a tank breached a government palace on Wednesday afternoon in what government officials warned was a coup attempt by elements of the military.

“The country today is facing an attempted coup,” President Luis Arce, surrounded by his cabinet, said in a video statement.

Videos showed recently fired Bolivian Army Gen. Juan Jose Zuñiga entering the Palacio Quemado as Arce ordered him to withdraw troops.

Arce denounced the “irregular” troop movements in the plaza and said “democracy must be respected.” Live-streamed video showed heavily armed soldiers launching gas at crowds in Plaza Murillo.

Former president Evo Morales called for a national mobilization to “defend democracy against the coup d’état.” In a post on X, the former president accused Zuñiga of leading a coup attempt.

Zuñiga was dismissed from his post on Tuesday after saying in televised remarks that Morales, Bolivia’s president from 2006 to 2019, could not be allowed to run for president again, Bolivian media reported.

Arce served in Morales’ cabinet before his election in 2020.

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