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President Arce Foils Coup Attempt in Bolivia, Mobilizes Public Support and Arrests Mastermind

Bolivia faced a tense moment as soldiers, under the command of army chief Juan Jose Zuniga, gathered with tanks outside government buildings in what President Luis Arce described as an attempted coup. The troops attempted to breach the door of the presidential palace, prompting swift international condemnation. However, after several hours of standoff, they eventually withdrew from Plaza de Armas as supporters of Arce celebrated with Bolivian flags in a central square.

President Arce, standing firm against the coup attempt, swiftly named a new army commander who ordered the troops to stand down. Zuniga was subsequently arrested, and investigations into his actions began immediately. In a defiant video statement from within the palace, Arce asserted, “Here we are, firm in Casa Grande, to confront any coup attempt.”

The situation escalated when Zuniga, prior to entering the government building, hinted at potential changes in the Cabinet but affirmed recognition of Arce as commander in chief. Following his dismissal by Arce and the appointment of new military heads, including Jose Wilson Sanchez as army chief, troops began dismantling blockades outside the presidential palace.

The incident sparked outrage both domestically and internationally. Regional leaders and organizations, including the Organization of American States and neighboring countries’ presidents, denounced the attempted coup. Bolivia, amid economic turmoil and political divisions within the ruling Movement for Socialism party, faces significant challenges ahead of the 2025 elections.

The episode underscored ongoing tensions in Bolivia, where political stability remains fragile amidst economic hardship and internal party disputes. As the country grapples with these issues, President Arce and his administration continue to navigate a path forward amid calls for national unity and democratic stability.

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