Military coup attempted in Bolivia on 26th June

Locations Affected: Bolivia


Bolivia faced a coup attempt led by Army General Juan Jose Zuniga on 26th June. The attempt lasted five hours, after which General Zuniga, along with 16 others suspected of being involved, were arrested.


Bolivia’s current president, Luis Acre, secured his election victory in 2020 after political turmoil in 2019, marked by violent protests, the resignation of former President Evo Morales, and a year of interim leadership by right-wing congresswoman Jeanine Anez. Economic challenges in the country have also fuelled social unrest.

Political tensions have been reported between President Acre and former President Morales, with accusations of a ‘soft coup’ by Acre against Morales. Additionally, Army General Juan Jose Zuniga has publicly criticized the government and opposed Morales’ potential 2025 presidential run.

Since its independence in 1825, Bolivia has experienced 190 revolutions and coups.

So What:

  • · Troops with army vehicles entered Plaza Murillo in La Paz, where the presidency and Congress are situated. Clashes were reported between the soldiers and police.
  • The arrested include the head of the Bolivian navy, Juan Arnez Salvador.
  • Jose Wilse Sanchez has been appointed as the military commander, replacing Zuniga.
  • Criminal action against Zuniga has been initiated under articles 121, 127, and 128 of the penal code, which deal with armed uprisings against security and state sovereignty, incitement of troops, and attacks against the president and state dignitaries.
  • Some citizens also protested on the streets against the attempted coup on 26th June. The Bolivian Workers’ Central (COB) declared an indefinite strike, urging all unions to defend the government.
  • Former Presidents Morales and Anez condemned the attempted coup. Large-scale condemnations against the coup were also received from leaders of various countries, including Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Mexico.


Zuniga has accused President Acre of orchestrating the coup to boost his declining popularity. The claims have been denied by Acre and his government. Acre’s supporters rallied outside the presidential palace on 27th June. After the coup, public support has increased for Acre. However, the underlying political tension and economic troubles remain. Heightened security measures can be expected near government buildings. Demonstrations by supporters of Acre and Zuniga can be anticipated. Organizations are advised to stay updated on the situation and prepare necessary contingency plans.

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