Military Coups Aren’t the Real Threat to Latin America’s Democracies

Military Coups Aren’t the Real Threat to Latin America’s Democracies
Bolivian President Luis Arce greets his supporters on a balcony of the government palace after thwarting an attempted military coup, La Paz, Bolivia, June 26, 2024 (DPA photo by Radoslaw Czajkowski AP Images).

Last week’s failed military coup in Bolivia was a relic of a past era for Latin America, with a very modern twist. Days before the attempted coup, President Luis Arce fired Gen. Juan Jose Zuniga as head of the country’s military due to comments he made about former President Evo Morales and the 2025 presidential election.

Zuniga declared that Morales—who was ousted in 2019 after a contested election in which Morales ran for a constitutionally prohibited third consecutive term—was not eligible for next year’s election and suggested that the military would prevent him from running if he tried.

Despite Arce’s recent clashes with Morales—his former friend and mentor—he was not going to allow the military leadership to undermine the election process or threaten Bolivia’s democracy.

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