The families of those arrested in a failed coup in Bolivia say they were tricked. The president says it’s not his problem

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The death threats came shortly after Kimina Silva’s husband was arrested for alleged involvement in a crime spree. A failed coup in Bolivia.

“They call us and say that if we do something, say anything, they will make us disappear. They threaten not only us, but also our children,” said Silva. “They make anonymous calls and say they will kill our children.”

Now, Silva, a mother of three, clings to any news of her husband, Luis Domingo Balanza, and sits with her mother and brother crying at the prison door.

Balanza was an army major for over 15 years 21 people were arrested After trying a team of army and armored vehicles, the government ” A failed coup.” Friday night, Bolivian Judge Ex-Gen. Juan Jose ZunigaThe leader of the failed coup was sent to a maximum-security prison on remand with two others charged with terrorism and armed rebellion against the state.

The families of those arrested, who were left confused and worried on Friday at the prison where their loved ones were being held, said they knew nothing of the plot before Wednesday’s scene. Many families of those detained say their loved ones were simply “following orders” or undergoing “military training”.

Bolivian President Luis Arce dismissed the families’ claims that those arrested were innocent or duped. In an interview Friday with The Associated Press.

“It’s the problem of the people involved, it’s not the problem of the government,” Arce said.

Images of Bolivia shocked the world on Wednesday, as an armored car crashed into the government palace in La Paz, the country’s seat of government, and army officers fled after Arce said his government was not backing down.

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Senior cabinet member Eduardo del Castillo told the AP in an interview on Friday that a group of snipers was helping Zuniga but did not arrive in time as the coup plot broke down. He said the coup attempt represented a stunning failure of Bolivia’s intelligence services.

Meanwhile, Zuniga was sacked by Arce amid the chaos and claimed to have invaded government office in favor of Arce to gain political support for himself at a time of deep economic discontent. BoliviaArousing suspicion among many.

About 200 military officers took part in the coup attempt, Bolivia’s ambassador to the Organization of American States said Thursday.

“These people ordered the destruction of Bolivian heritage,” del Castillo told a news conference.

Del Castillo echoed hundreds of roaring protesters outside the prison and other government buildings Friday, carrying placards reading “Zunica, traitor, coup leader, respect the state.”

The sobbing families inside told a different story.

Silva and his mother, Daniela, said their family was financially devastated, with no income to support their three children. The family was among those who said their father was following orders and was asked to move away from online studies to the plaza outside the government palace. Silva said her husband later changed her.

“How are we going to feed our family?” asked Daniela, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of threats.

“My son is not a villain,” she said. “He was a subordinate. He protected his heritage and they took advantage of him.

Families and lawyers of the defendants interviewed by the AP could share few details about their family members’ cases and legal arguments because they were behind the legal proceedings, but most said they sought “justice” for the detainees.

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Others, such as Nubia Barbery, said her husband, Colonel Raul Barberi Muyba, was instructed by Zuniga to undergo “military training”. Once inside the square, Barberi told Sunika that he had been “cheated” and called her shortly after.

The families’ claims add further confusion to the doubts already sown by Zunica on Wednesday night about the veracity of the coup.

After his quick arrest, without providing evidence, Ars accused him of ordering the rebellion, prompting political opposition to call the case a “self-coup”.

Zunika said the acquisition was a ploy to boost Ars’ popularity. Circular economy, fueling deep political divisions and public discontent. Arce vehemently denied the allegations on Thursday. He told the AP that Bolivia is not in an economic crisis and that the government is “taking action” to address the economic crises Bolivians are suffering.

The embattled president is running With powerful ex-president Evo Morales on who will be their party’s candidate for the 2025 presidential election. Arce said his government was “politically attacked” by Morales, barring his government from addressing the economic turmoil.

The escalating political feud has left Bolivians disillusioned and baffled as to what really happened in those three chaotic hours when armored vehicles rolled into the city of La Paz on Wednesday.

It is unclear whether Zuniga’s allegations about Arce were true – or whether the disgruntled general was trying to exploit Bolivia’s mounting crises for his own benefit.

Still, many like Cynthia Ramos were angered by Wednesday’s chaos.

“Zuniga should serve the highest sentence for attacking the Bolivian people,” said Cynthia Ramos, 31, one of the jailed protesters.

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Families may say their loved ones are innocent, but Ramos said, “One person couldn’t have done this. This person had associates, high level associates. … They should be given the highest punishment.

Police were seen marching Zuniga into the jail in handcuffs on Friday morning.

Moments earlier, his wife, Graciela Arzasibia, was keeping her eyes down as she waited for the general to emerge from the police station. Holding a small bag of snacks, she expressed concern for her 6-year-old son, who she said she believed his jailed father was away at work.

“I’m asking that they consider the families,” he told the AP. “We didn’t do anything.”

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