The Bolivian people defeat another coup

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“No one can take away our democracy!” Bolivian President Luis Arce addressed the people of Bolivia on 26 June to declare that an attempted military coup had been defeated.

On the afternoon of 26 June, hundreds of military personnel mobilised under the orders of General Juan José Zúñiga in the centre of La Paz, surrounded the Quemado Palace (the government palace) ahead of a ministerial meeting.

They proceeded to break down the main door to the palace with a tank and attempted to enter by force.

Zúñiga then announced that the military personnel would free Bolivia’s “political prisoners” including Jeanine Áñez and Luis Fernando Camacho who are imprisoned over their involvement in the 2019 coup against former President of Bolivia Evo Morales.

Áñez later wrote on X that she rejected the attempt by the military to destroy constitutional order and that “MAS [Movement of Socialism] with Arce and Evo should leave through the ballot box in 2025. We Bolivians will defend democracy.”

Morales called on the Bolivian people to mobilise in defence of democracy.

While the army attempted to storm the palace, hundreds of Bolivian people began to mobilise to demand that democracy be respected and the army stand down.

These protests, which saw members of mass organisations, trade unions and the public participating, were met with heavy repression by the military police officers, who shot tear gas indiscriminately and blocked off access to the Plaza Murillo.

The Bolivian Workers’ Central (COB), representing over two million workers, declared an indefinite general strike and “the mobilisation of all social and union organisations to the city La Paz to defend and restore the constitutional order and our legally established government in Bolivia”.

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After an hour of the military encirclement of the palace, President Arce held a press conference to name José Sánchez as the new military command to replace Zúñiga.

Sánchez ordered the military personnel to return to their stations to avoid any bloodshed of the Bolivian people and affirmed he supported the legal and constitutional government of Luis Arce.

A video also emerged of Arce confronting Zúñiga in the palace and firmly telling him to stand down and respect democracy.

Shortly after the pronouncement by Arce and Sánchez, the tanks that had initially blocked off the plaza and surrounded the palace began to withdraw, and thousands of people flooded the area to affirm their rejection of the attempted coup and show support for Arce. “Arce you’re not alone! Long live democracy!” they declared.

COB and other organisations in Bolivia have celebrated the people’s victory but also called on the Bolivian people and the international community to continue their vigil against any further coup attempts. – Peoples Dispatch/Globetrotter News Service

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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