Rightist Revolt in Bolivia 1971

[ 1971 ]

The arrest of 30 leaders of a right-wing demonstration in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, triggered a brief general revolt (August 19-22, 1971) that pitted peasants, students, miners, the air force, and other supporters of leftist president Juan Jose Torres (1921-) against most of the army and the conservative middle and upper classes. The government declared the arrests were to prevent a "fascist conspiracy," while the rightist rebels said they were fighting "to keep the country from falling into the hands of communism." The rebels gained control of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba and, a day later, after the air force defected to them, captured La Paz, Bolivia's administrative capital. Torres fled to Peru and then to Chile, where he was granted asylum. A military-civilian coalition government was formed with rebel Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez (1924-) as the head.

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