Bolivia witnesses failed coup attempt and arrest of several top-ranking military officials

Bolivia witnesses failed coup attempt. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Bolivian authorities have arrested more than 10 high-ranking military and intelligence officials following its failed coup attempt on Wednesday to unseat the country’s president.

According to reports, the coup was led by former army chief Gen. Juan Jose Zuniga.

Military officials first held meetings in May to plot the coup attempt on Wednesday, which involved mobilising armed forces toward the capital’s main square and seizing power “by force”, according to a report sent to CNN by the Bolivian government.

The meetings were led by former army chief Gen. Juan Jose Zuniga and former navy commander Gen. Juan Arnez, with Zuniga’s civilian personal adviser allegedly devising the “strategy” of the coup, the report claims.

All three men have been arrested following the failed coup attempt.

Military intelligence chief Julio Buitrago is also among the 17 people arrested so far, following the failed attempt, media reports said.

The coup attempt was made at a time when the country was facing financial struggles and political instability for months.

Shocking the nation, hundreds of soldiers led by Gen. Juan Jose Zuniga marched on Murillo Square, the epicenter of Bolivia’s political power, and forced their way into the old Government Palace, during their failed attempt to oust President Luis Arce from office.

Hours later, President Luis Arce was seen confronting Zuniga in the hallway of the palace when he ordered him to withdraw soldiers and stand down.

Arce, who has been in power since 2020, later declared victory, ending the coup attempt with Zuniga forced into the police car following his arrest.