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Threat to democracy in Bolivia still latent, ambassador says

Although the threat to democracy that shook Bolivia seems to have dissipated, it is necessary to remain alert to the situation today because the risk of an attempted seizure of power by irregular groups is still latent.

This was stated in an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina by the Andean country’s acting ambassador to Colombia, Gabriel Campero, who reiterated the words of President Luis Arce that what was seen earlier could be just a trial balloon on the part of certain actors who insist on overthrowing the legitimately elected government. Although investigations are still underway, the information gathered so far confirms the existence of many people involved, and that this was not an improvised exercise, but rather a manoeuvre prepared in advance and even meticulously coordinated with other military forces that did not join in the events that took place in the capital on 26 June.

Campero recalled that in Cochabamba, in the centre of the country, snipers were sent to carry out actions in La Paz, a situation denounced by the Minister of Government, Eduardo del Castillo.

They also presented the assault teams they had planned, and it was possible to intercept communications with the group of satinators in Tarija (south), which is the place where the training for a special group to carry out repressive actions takes place, he remarked.

Although some of the material authors of the attempted coup have already been arrested, the ambassador echoed President Arce’s statements that, according to confessions by some of those involved, there may have been financing from abroad, and the support of certain diplomatic missions and organisations within Bolivian territory is suspected.

In the midst of a still very delicate situation in his country and real threats, Campero described as nonsense the attempt by certain media to impose an information matrix that alludes to a self-coup.

Such a thing, he said, is nonsense for the issue of unity and goes against the popular bloc that since 2019, when the first coup d’état against former president Evo Morales (2006-2019) took place, has always raised its voice in denunciation of this situation.

«Any action that goes on to reduce these irregular acts planned for the violent seizure of power, and which fortunately was not consolidated, is something very reprehensible, it only weakens the international left, it only weakens the internal progressive bloc of Bolivia, the popular bloc. This only leaves us exposed to another coup attempt», he said.

He added that there are many precedents of reactionary groups harbouring the desire to regain power in Latin American nations.

«When the mobilisation of the people is ignored or when a coup attempt is minimised, it only does a disservice to imperialism and the most conservative sectors,» he insisted.

Campero emphasised that it is necessary to alert the international community that there is still a latent risk, and that what has happened should not be disqualified, since it is a warning that something much stronger could happen.

In the face of this, he said, we must remain vigilant and keep the people organised so that they can defend their democracy.

A second aspect of guaranteeing the country’s stability, he said, is to respect the conditions that will allow President Arce’s term in office to come to an end.

This implies, he said, making all the programmatic plan that the president proposed from day one viable within the corresponding bodies: industrialisation, the approval of laws, and everything that refers to ensuring economic stability.

He regretted that these aspirations have recently been truncated by the personal interests of certain sectors, «which have prematurely electoralised the Bolivian political space and directly harmed the ability to carry out an optimal administration».

The diplomat took the opportunity to urge the international community to continue monitoring what is happening in Bolivia.

«This attempted coup d’état is a clear sign that imperialism is not resting. We are a sovereign, dignified people, who decided to return to democracy in 2020 after an ill-fated coup d’état in 2019, when there were many dead. What we want now is to ensure the growth of our homeland, but in a democracy,» he said.

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