Bolivian President Recounts the Moments of Tension Experienced During the Failed Coup Attempt

We have to make up for lost time, take all the measures, all the collections, said Luis Arce.

The President of Bolivia, Luis Arce Catacora, recounting on Thursday the development of the coup attempt, said that everything has returned to normal.

The ‘Self-Coup Hypothesis’ in Bolivia Does Not Hold Up: Moldiz

Highlighting the help of the Bolivian people, who gave confidence and energy to resolve the situation, the president said that “we have had the report of our Defense Minister that everything is under control”.

“It has been assumed in the offices of the new commanders of the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy; and normalcy has been restored,” the dignitary said.

Also, Luis Arce said that “we want to inform the population that everything has returned to normal. It remains for us to make up for lost time, to take all the measures, all the collections; in the Army and the armed forces everything is calming down and going into normality».

“This has an impact on the economic activity that is most important, the most important concern that our population has is the economy and we are working for it,” he added, while noting that there are several measures that have been taken in relation to this sector. 

«On behalf of the people of Bolivia we extend our most sincere thanks to our brother president of #Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. His support is an endorsement of democracy and the good living of our peoples. The coup will not pass!»

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 27, 2024

On the other hand, in recounting the events of the attempted coup on Wednesday, Luis Arce said that “our ministers have been reporting. For us, for me, the information that comes to us is mainly at noon when we were with the comrades of the Confederation of Workers of Bolivia, and in the middle of the event we received an urgent communication from our defense minister who wanted to communicate with us,” the Bolivian president insisted.

There he shares “his concern that the commander of the Army Juan José Zúñiga was not answering the calls made to him, and that military units were heading towards La Paz and there was no instruction that these motorized units and military personnel who were moving were not authorized,” Arce said.

Likewise, Luis Arce reported that Edmundo Novillo called Juan José Zúñiga and asked him what was going on, and he affirmed that “he did not know what was happening and that he was going to investigate”.

You know our Defense Minister’s attempts to communicate with him. They were in contact with the command in chief of the military command; they also did not receive any communication or response from the three force commanders, Arce said.

Stating that the country has the Air Force, the Army and the Navy (Navy), Luis Arce said that the three commanders did not respond to the call.

#Bolivia | President Luis Arce thanks citizens after coup attempt.

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 27, 2024

The president also stressed that he instructed the Minister of Defense to insist on communication with whoever the commander of the Army was at the time and that he later insisted that he could not communicate with Zúñiga either.

“Arriving at Casa Grande I contact David Choquehuanca to meet to assess the situation. We were here communicating with our Defense Minister. We began to evaluate and heard the siren,” he said.

“We noticed the violent coup. We instructed to inform the population. Murillo Square is being taken by the military,” said the head of state.

«General Zúñiga said he would not obey my orders. He did not comply, violating the political constitution of the state», said President Arce.

#ENVIVO | Presidente de #Bolivia @LuchoXBolivia: todo ha vuelto a la normalidad, que nos queda ahora es recuperar el tiempo perdido, una jornada, donde nosotros, inclusive, hemos interrumpido el día ayer y hoy para tomar todas las medidas

Síguelo aquí

— teleSUR TV (@teleSURtv) June 28, 2024

“He took a stand to try to justify himself when he was apprehended. He means that he had received an instruction. I gave him an instruction here, in front of the rest of the commanders, to withdraw, and he never complied with the instruction. He argues that I had instructed him to gain a little popularity,” Arce said.

“Unfortunately for him,” the president said, “I am not a politician who will gain popularity with the blood of the people”. “We have come to vindicate that Bolivian people who gave their blood to vindicate democracy,” he said.

“I would never instruct him. When I rebuked Zuniga and instructed him to comply, he said he would not obey my instructions. He acted on his own,” Arce said.

“When I reproached him and instructed him at the Palace gate to demobilize the troops he had mobilized, he replied that he would not abide by my instructions. If you’re not following my instructions, it means you’re not following what I had instructed you to, supposedly. He was flouting orders that his captain general was telling him, so how could it be an instruction or a planning of a self-coup,” he said.

“He could obey a counter-order, but he doesn’t comply,” he said.

Noting that 14 people were injured, several of them operated on, President Arce indicated that much remains to be investigated, not only with those who executed, but also with those who planned it.

“Military intelligence worked for the army commander. And he did not pass information to the Ministry of Defense, let alone the head of state,” Arce said, referring that the intelligence department was not reporting, for “that’s why we have more than 17 detainees”.

“Information was hidden,” said the Bolivian politician, when he revealed that “not only military personnel were involved, but also retired members of the armed forces, civilian personnel and that is what we want to investigate”.

Likewise, the Bolivian head of state reported that he called former president Evo Morales. “We may have differences, Arce said. “It was clear that they were coming for me and then for him. We were partners. I had to tell him to take his questions. It was a call of seconds,” he insisted.