Who is Juan Jose Zuniga? Bolivia Army General's attempted military coup goes wrong, gets arrested

On June 26, Wednesday, Bolivian President Luis Arce faced down a coup attempt in La Paz by Juan José Zuniga Macias, is a Bolivian military officer.

USA, Bolivian Military, Juan José Zuniga Macias, Commanding General (Former), Bolivian Army 2024, Bolivian Coup Attempt, Dismissed Military Officer- True Scoop

On June 26, Wednesday, Bolivian President Luis Arce faced down a coup attempt in La Paz. Heavily armed troops occupied the main plaza region, and an armored vehicle breached the government palace before eventually withdrawing.

Bolivian authorities have arrested General Juan Jose Zuniga, the rebel military leader, who was recently dismissed as commander of the Bolivian Army.
The Public Prosecutor's Office has launched a criminal investigation against him and the other participants. Navy Vice Admiral Juan Arnez Salvador was ordered to be arrested by Arce.

On Wednesday afternoon, troops seized control of Murillo Square in La Paz (home to key government buildings). General Zuniga entered the Palacio Quemado and confronted President Arce, declaring the armed forces intention to restructure democracy. Zungia called for the release of imprisoned politicians and military members, criticizing prolonged rule by a few individuals.

Arce instructed Zuniga to stand his troops down, asserting his authority as their captain. Subsiquently, soldiers and tanks withdrew from the square after a five-hour standoff. Zuniga was later arrested, with the footage capturing Deputy Interior Minister Jhonny Aguilera informing him of his arrest. From the balcony of the government palace, Arce declared that the country's democracy would not be taken away, and he swore in new military leaders, replacing Zuniga.

Before his arrest, Zuniga claimed that Arce had requested the coup attempt to boost his popularity amid a critical situation. Bolivia's Justice Minister, Ivan Lima, refuted these claims, stating that Zuniga was attempting to justify his action. Lima indicated that prosecutors would seek a maximum sentence of 15 to 20 years in prison for Zuniga for attacking democracy and the constitution.

Who is Juan José Zuniga Macias?

Juan José Zuniga Macias, is a Bolivian military officer. He has served as the commanding general for the Bolivian Army from November 2022 until his dismissal in June 2024. Earlier, Zuniga held various positions, including colonel of the REIM-23 Max Toledo regiment between 2012 and 2013, and later as Chief of Staff and brigadier general. His appointment as commanding general came through a decree by President Luis Arce on November 1, 2022.
Zuniga's career is marked by controversy. During his tenure as colonel, he was charged with the embezzlement of Bs2.7 million intended for social programs Renta Dignidad and Juancito Pinto, resulting in a seven-day incarceration.