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Bolivia conducts severe investigation against coup plotters

La Paz, Jun 27 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian public opinion remains attentive to the severe investigation underway within criminal and military regulations against those who failed the day before in an attempted coup.

“We have total and absolute control of our Armed Forces, through the military command. Everything is now under control. And the investigation processes in the ordinary and military fields are ongoing,” said Defense Minister Edmundo Novillo at a press conference at the Casa Grande del Pueblo (government headquarters). He added: “a deep and severe investigation was ordered for those who are the authors of this regrettable and shameful act, and who must also receive all the sanctions expected by the population.”

The frustrating coup lasted more than five hours, with the population resistance defending democracy.

As a result, 12 persons who opposed the coup plotters were injured by pellets, with some of them requiring surgical intervention.

Two of the ringleaders of the attempted coup against President Luis Arce, the former commander of the Army, former general Juan José Zúñiga, and the former commander of the Bolivian Navy, former vice admiral Juan Arnez, were arrested and presented on television. According to Novillo, the coup attempt was planned and Arnez and the former commander of the Bolivian Air Force Marcelo Zegarra also participated.

Novillo reported that the reason that motivated the movement of the troops was the dismissal of Zúñiga due to an interview broadcast on television, in which he expressed deliberative criteria from a political point of view, and even threatened to arrest former President Evo Morales. Due to these statements, Arce decided to replace him and other commanders, which was conveyed to Zúñiga on Tuesday in a meeting by Novillo and the Minister of the Presidency, María Nela Prada. This prompted him to mobilize troops.

By criticizing these acts of sedition as shameful, Novillo ratified the decision to proceed with a “severe investigation in the field of military regulations to clarify, above all, who participated in that failed coup.” He asserted that facing the new unconstitutional coup adventure, all those responsible must assume the consequences.