Bolivian Gov’t Says It Detained Four More People In Connection With Failed Coup Attempt

(AP) — Bolivian government officials said Friday they arrested four more people in connection with Wednesday’s failed coup attempt against President Luis Arce, bringing the total detained to 21.

Government Minister Eduardo del Castillo said that among those arrested were military officers, including the driver of an armoured vehicle that rammed into the government palace.

“He had the audacity to use an armoured vehicle against the patrimony and put the life of the president at risk,” del Castillo said.

Previous arrests included a man who officials say was conducting intelligence in the plaza outside the palace with a bullet proof vest, and another military sergeant who was communicating through the app FaceTime and other social media.

The government claims the coup attempt was headed by Juan José Zúñiga, a top general, who alleged without providing evidence that the president had ordered him to carry out the mutiny in a ruse to boost his flagging popularity.

That fuelled speculation about what really happened among Bolivians, already disillusioned with their government as ongoing political spats between Arce and his one-time political ally Evo Morales have exacerbated the economic crisis in the country.

Arce on Thursday night declared accusations that he had carried out a “self-coup” to garner political support “lies.” He vowed Zúñiga and those involved would face justice.