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Updated Jun 27, 2024, 3:09pm EDT

Bolivia thwarts coup attempt as country grapples with popular discontent

Bolivian General Juan José Zuñiga. Claudia Morales/Reuters
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Bolivian police arrested the leader of an apparent attempted coup shortly after soldiers stormed the government palace.

General Juan José Zuñiga — who was sacked as army chief earlier this week after making disparaging comments about former President Evo Morales — gathered hundreds of troops in La Paz’s main square in a bid to “restructure democracy” in the country.

Morales was forced out of office in 2019 by military leaders after trying to manipulate the results of an election.

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The coup attempt highlights a growing rift between Bolivia’s rural mountainous regions, which support left-wing governments including the current one, and the more urbanized lowlands, which have backed rightist and military leaders.

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