17 in custody after attempted coup in Bolivia

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17 in custody after attempted coup in Bolivia

La Paz: As many as 17 people, mostly members of the military, have been arrested in Bolivia for their role in a failed coup, Government Minister Eduardo Del Castillo has said.

On Wednesday, hundreds of soldiers led by Gen. Juan Jose Zuniga marched on Murillo Square, the epicentre of Bolivia’s political power, and forced their way into the old Government Palace, in a failed bid to oust President Luis Arce from office.

Investigations show the planning of the coup began in May and it was orchestrated by three well-defined groups, including the “preparation and planning group” led by Zuniga and Vice Admiral Juan Arnez, who were arrested on Wednesday night, Xinhua news agency reported, citing Del Castillo.

Members of the second “organisation and coordination” group were arrested on Thursday and the third group, described by Del Castillo as “the most violent”, was responsible for entering Murillo Square with tanks and deploying military weapons against the Bolivian people.

Police are still looking for three soldiers who are currently fugitives.

Ammunition and heavy-calibre weapons were found in the home of one of the soldiers, pointing to the seriousness and meticulous preparation of this insurrection, the official said on Thursday.


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