Bolivian government asserts control after failed coup attempt

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Bolivian Defense Minister Edmundo Novello assured the nation on Wednesday that those responsible for the attempted coup will face justice, and affirmed that the government has “total and absolute control over our Armed Forces.”

A tense calm returned to Plaza Murillo in La Paz after the Bolivian armed forces retreated from the presidential palace and General Juan Jose Zuniga was arrested.

This followed President Luis Arce’s denunciation of a “coup” attempt and his appeal for international support.

Earlier in the day, military units led by Zuniga, who had recently been stripped of his command, gathered in the square, which houses the presidential palace and Congress. A Reuters witness reported seeing an armored vehicle ram a door of the presidential palace, with soldiers subsequently rushing inside.

Tensions have been escalating in Bolivia ahead of the 2025 general elections. Leftist ex-President Evo Morales plans to run against his former ally Arce, creating a major rift within the ruling socialist party and contributing to wider political uncertainty.