Bolivia’s Military Accused of ‘Coup Attempt’

Members of Bolivia’s military gathered on Wednesday outside the presidential palace, the country’s president, Luis Arce, said on the platform X, in what appeared to be an attempt by a general to take over the government building.

Video on Bolivian television showed the country’s main political plaza occupied by security forces in riot gear, a camouflaged tank ramming into a palace door and soldiers trying to make their way into the palace.

Standing on the doorstep of the palace on Wednesday afternoon and surrounded by members of the armed forces, the general, Juan José Zúñiga, claimed that the Bolivian Army, air force and navy were “mobilized.”

“The police force is also with us,” he said in La Paz, the country’s administrative capital.

He later entered the palace briefly, according to local reporters.

A key minister in Mr. Arce’s government, María Nela Prada, speaking in a video taken from a building overlooking the occupied plaza, denounced the move as “coup attempt.”

Ministers were holding a meeting inside when the military arrived. On X, Mr. Arce, a leftist and the handpicked successor of former President Evo Morales, denounced the effort.

“Democracy must be respected,” he said.

Mr. Morales claimed that a “coup,” was underway. “At this time, personnel from the Armed Forces and tanks are deployed in Plaza Murillo,” he said on social media. “Let’s call on the social movements of the countryside and the city to defend democracy.”

Local news media had reported that Mr. Zuñiga was dismissed from his position this week, which some in the country believed to be related to remarks he made about Mr. Morales.

The move was immediately criticized by some leaders in the region, including President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil. “Coups have never worked,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

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