Bolivia's interim President, Mrs Lidia Gueiler, in office for just over a week, is already faced with an internal military crisis.
Bolivia's interim President, Mrs Lidia Gueiler, in office for just over a week, is already faced with an internal military crisis. The former Army Commander , General Luis Garcia Meza, angry at being sacked has taken control of the main barracks in the capital, La Paz. He's placed armoured cars and tanks behind the gates and says the new High Command won't be allowed in.
SYNOPSIS: Miraflores barracks houses the headquarters of the Armed Forces Joint Command, but since Friday it's been under the control of General Garcia. He's been holding out with the support of rebel army units, although it's not clear just how many men he has behind him.
General Garcia was part of the military leadership appointed earlier this month by self proclaimed President Colonel Alberto Natusch after the coup which toppled interim head of state Walter Guevara Arze. The Colonel's rule lasted just sixteen days when violent clashes between troops and civilians forced him ti make way for Mrs Gueiler. When she came in as the new interim President she sacked the military command and appointed her own leaders. The new army Commander General Armnado Reyes met with the rebels, but so far there's been no solution.
General Garcia maintains he and his supporters are not rebelling against the civilian government, but against the military officials it's appointed. He claims to have the backing of all army units in the Capital, but the government says he has little support. As the rebellion continued General Garcia was warned he'd be disciplined.