Golpe de Estado

Autocracia parlamentaria

Los golpes de Estado no suceden, como en el pasado, con hechos violentos de militares. Desde hace años la toma de todos los poderes del Estado la hace el grupo de poder que ostenta el Ejecutivo con su mayoría parlamentaria.

Son autogolpes desde el Gobierno del Estado. Sin necesidad de remontarnos a Hitler, lo hizo Erdogan en Turquía, Maduro en Venezuela, Ortega en Nicaragua, Putin en Rusia (los cuatro acompañados de una brutal represión con eliminación criminal de la oposición), Viktor Orban en Hungría y el partido ultraconservador Ley y Justicia en Polonia. Todos llegaron al poder tras elecciones más o menos libres.…  Seguir leyendo »

No son pocos los ciudadanos que se preguntan cómo es posible que el Gobierno esté desarrollando su «golpe de Estado blando», paso a paso, sin que nadie, ni personal ni institucionalmente, lo frene en seco. Una de las respuestas puede ser que el Gobierno se prevale de la apariencia de legalidad formal de sus decisiones, apoyándose ante las críticas en la lentitud de la Justicia y la parálisis del Tribunal Constitucional mientras la mayoría de esa institución no sea del gusto de su presidente y de sus aliados comunistas y separatistas; unos aliados que lo mantienen en el poder y, de paso, se benefician de dar apoyo a semejante personaje como nunca soñaron.…  Seguir leyendo »

Autogolpe

Parafraseando a Gertrude Stein, un golpe es un golpe. De Estado. Este en concreto, de la modalidad 'auto' porque lo está dando el propio Gobierno. O sea, autogolpe. No en un nanosegundo, como el de Sombrero Luminoso. En un proceso que está en marcha. Es conveniente llamar a estas cosas por su nombre. El uso de la palabra precisa no solo es signo de inteligencia y pulcritud; también permite que los tardos entiendan cuanto antes lo que pasa. Kelsen: un golpe de Estado consiste en modificar la Constitución por vías diferentes a las que la propia Constitución prevé.

Anteayer, en las Cortes, los golpistas acusaron de golpistas a altas instituciones del Estado y a la oposición.…  Seguir leyendo »

La aventura política del maestro de una escuela de la sierra peruana que consiguió llegar a la presidencia de Perú ha terminado de la peor manera. Pedro Castillo ha sido detenido tras comunicar al país su decisión de disolver el Congreso y el Poder Judicial, convocar elecciones para reformar la Constitución y declarar que iba a gobernar por decreto de emergencia. Un golpe de Estado en toda regla horas antes de que el Congreso debatiera, por tercera vez, una moción de vacancia en contra suya.

Perú es una democracia disfuncional en la que un golpe de Estado, o un autogolpe como en este caso, era una opción plausible a corto plazo dada la precaria situación del presidente, que había perdido el apoyo de su grupo parlamentario y que sólo se encontraba precariamente cobijado por una parte de la oposición.…  Seguir leyendo »

El destituido presidente peruano, Pedro Castillo, junto al exprimer ministro Aníbal Torres, mientras comparece ante los fiscales anticorrupción en la oficina del Fiscal General en Lima, Perú, el 7 de diciembre de 2022. (Fiscalía General del Perú vía Reuters)

La imagen invita al engaño. Un hombre está sentado en un sofá de cuero o cuerina negra. Lleva una chaqueta sport azul y ojea —con lo que a la distancia y en el preciso momento de la instantánea parece despreocupación— una revista. Abstraído, ajeno, en apariencia, a lo que ocurre a su alrededor.

A su lado, un hombre mayor, de traje gris y corbata a rayas, se encuentra hundido en el mismo sofá. Tiene el gesto arisco, cansado o aburrido. La acción transcurre en una oficina genérica y en la imagen puede verse, como es habitual en las dependencias gubernamentales del Perú, unos cuantos símbolos religiosos y patrios.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian President Vladimir Putin watching a military parade in Moscow, May 2022. Mikhail Metzel / Sputnik via Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost touch with reality. He has declared a partial mobilization to reverse his defeats in Ukraine and, signaling his desperation, ratcheted up Russia’s nuclear saber rattling. Each day the war drags on, his country grows more isolated from the rest of the world. Increasingly, Russia depends on China to keep its economy from collapsing under the weight of sanctions, even as Chinese leaders express doubts about the invasion. Russia’s failure to take Kyiv, and its recent reversals in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine, have led even pro-Putin commentators to question his decisions. Against this backdrop, it makes sense that many Russians are starting to ask how much longer Putin can stay in power and pursue his barbarous war.…  Seguir leyendo »

Swearing Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in as president of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, March 2022. Anne Mimault / Reuters

On September 5, 2021, a 41-year-old colonel in Guinea’s special forces took to the radio to announce that President Alpha Condé had been arrested and the constitution had been dissolved. The colonel, Mamady Doumbouya, said he and his fellow coup makers were fulfilling their duty to “save the country”. As he spoke, a photo of the disheveled 83-year-old Condé—slouched on a couch, surrounded by his captors—went viral on social media, inspiring a meme as young Guineans humorously reenacted the scene.

Over the last two years, coups themselves seem to have gone viral in West Africa, accelerating an already troubling trend toward authoritarianism.…  Seguir leyendo »

Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló arrives for an E.U.-Africa summit at the European Council in Brussels on Feb. 17. (John Thys/Pool/AP)

Armed assailants attempted to launch a coup against the Guinea-Bissau government last month. Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló quickly reported that the plot was foiled, and he linked the perpetrators to the illicit drug trade.

My research suggests Embaló’s actions in the coming months — especially decisions about the appointments and shuffling of political elites — will yield important clues about whom the president sees as threatening to his rule.

A coup isn’t over, even if conspirators fail

Once launched, a coup attempt ushers in a crisis rulers cannot afford to ignore. Embaló’s predicament is reminiscent of Yahya Jammeh, the former ruler of neighboring Gambia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Damiba is sworn in as head of state in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Feb. 16. (EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

In many ways, the recent spate of coups and coup attempts in Africa feels like a flashback to earlier periods in the continent’s history. With 11 coup attempts since 2019, coups appear to be on the rise after steadily declining, raising concerns about a return to military rule.

Recent coups, like the one in Burkina Faso, followed a familiar pattern — coup leaders suspended the constitution, closed borders, revealed the acronym of the new junta and promised their rule will be more aligned with the interests of “the people.”

But this recent wave of coups is distinct in a number of key ways.…  Seguir leyendo »

People gather in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, on Jan. 25 to show their support for a coup.

Last week, soldiers in Guinea Bissau surrounded the government palace, attacking President Umaro Sissoco Embaló during a cabinet meeting. Although the coup attempt ultimately failed, the firefight resulted in numerous fatalities. Only a week earlier, widespread mutinies in Burkina Faso prompted army officers to depose another competitively elected African president.

These two latest military moves only add to what U.N. Secretary General António Guterres in October called an “epidemic of coups d’état.” From 2000 to 2020, the average was about two coup attempts per year in Africa. But in the past 12 months, eight coup attempts occurred — in Chad, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Sudan (twice), Burkina Faso and Guinea Bissau.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters discharge fire extinguishers to counter the effects of tear gas fired by police in Mandalay, Myanmar, on March 7, 2021. (AP)

A little over a year ago, I was filled with hope for the future of my country. In November 2020, citizens of Myanmar had voted overwhelmingly for pro-democracy forces in a national election — the culmination of about a decade of progress toward a more open society. Like many others, I had taken advantage of our country’s access to the world to seize new opportunities — in my case, graduate study in the United States. In January 2021, I took a job working for lawmakers in our nascent parliament.

But then everything changed. On. Feb. 1, 2021, I was in Naypyidaw, the capital, getting ready to start work on the first day of a new parliamentary session.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators gathering in Ouagadougou to show support to the military hold a picture of Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba the leader of the mutiny and of the Patriotic Movement for the Protection and the Restauration (MPSR) on 25 January 2022 Olympia DE MAISMONT / AFP

Que sait-on de ce coup d’Etat et de celui qui l’a mené?

La journée du 22 janvier 2022 a été marquée par de violentes manifestations à Ouagadougou et à Bobo Dioulasso, les deux plus grandes agglomérations du pays, avec pour mot d’ordre le rétablissement de la sécurité. Ces mouvements de protestation ont été suivis, à l’aube du dimanche 23 janvier 2022, par des tirs dans plusieurs casernes militaires de Ouagadougou, notamment aux camps Sangoulé Lamizana et Baba Sy, ainsi que dans deux villes du nord, Kaya et Ouahigouya. Depuis le camp Sangoulé Lamizana, un groupe de soldats en colère a présenté une liste de six revendications, dont le remplacement du chef d’état-major et du directeur de l’Agence nationale de renseignement (ANR), jugés incompétents ou corrompus.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, hold a picture of Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Damiba, the leader of the recent mutiny by the armed forces. (Olympia De Maismont/AFP/Getty Images)

On Monday evening, the people of Burkina Faso were met with what has become a telltale sign of a coup — a group of soldiers in fatigues appearing on the national television station. By this point the statement of a military takeover by a group calling itself the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR) did not come as a surprise to most, given the significant signs of military unrest in the previous 36 hours.

Burkina Faso has one of the highest coup and mutiny rates on the continent, giving many citizens a sense of deja vu this week. The revolt came in the midst of the country’s struggle to combat attacks by Islamist armed groups.…  Seguir leyendo »

Spraying next to a stencil painting of Sudan's top army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan with a writing in Arabic that reads 'leave' during a protest in Khartoum against the 2021 military coup. Photo by AFP via Getty Images.

The head of Sudan’s armed forces Lieutenant General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan claims the military coup of 25 October was to protect the transition to democracy because political infighting was stalling progress on establishing crucial institutions. But despite a clear determination to make the coup stick, the military is clearly under pressure and may have overestimated its chances of success.

The coup has been accompanied by arrests of politicians, activists, and leaders of local resistance committees, including some of Sudan’s most effective advocates for democratic transformation. Additionally, administrators appointed since the revolution have been dismissed while members of the old regime and Bashir’s feared intelligence service have reappeared.…  Seguir leyendo »

KHARTOUM, SUDAN - OCTOBER 30: Sudanese people stage a demonstration demanding the end of the military intervention and the transfer of administration to civilians in Khartoum, Sudan on October 30, 2021. Mahmoud Hjaj/ANADOLU AGENCY/Anadolu Agency via AFP

What has been the reaction to the coup over the past two weeks?

The Sudanese people have mobilised swiftly and peacefully against the 25 October coup, recalling the protests that toppled the dictator Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Since the generals wrested full control of government from the civilian-military power-sharing arrangement made to oversee the post-Bashir transition, men and women in the capital Khartoum and other towns have taken to the streets, culminating in coordinated countrywide demonstrations numbering hundreds of thousands on 30 October. Many Sudanese workers are meanwhile striking, paralysing the country’s economy, though banks and key businesses such as pharmacies have occasionally reopened as organisers sought to ease the burden on the public.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of the civilian government at a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan, on Oct. 21. The counterrevolution can still be reversed. Credit Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

On Monday, the Sudanese military launched a coup. Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the military, seized control of the transitional government — which was established in the aftermath of the 2018-19 revolution that ousted the autocrat Omar Hassan al-Bashir — and announced a state of emergency. He took the prime minister captive and arrested numerous other cabinet ministers.

General al-Burhan justified the intervention by citing strife and deadlock within the transitional government, whose popularity has waned as the country’s economic conditions have deteriorated. But the real reason for the coup is likely to be more straightforward: General al-Burhan was due to hand over the chairmanship of the Sovereignty Council, the country’s collective head of state, as early as November.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudanese security forces keep watch as they protect a military hospital and government offices during protests against a military coup overthrowing the transition to civilian rule on Monday in the capital's twin city of Omdurman. (AFP/Getty Images)

Just days ago, tens of thousands of Sudanese joined protests in memory of the October 1964 Revolution, a peaceful uprising that brought down a military regime and installed a democratic government. On Monday, many Sudanese were back out on the streets, this time in a desperate bid to keep democracy alive.

The origins of the current crisis go back to 2019, when the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), a broad coalition of activists, opposition political parties and rebel groups, came together to topple the government of Omar al-Bashir. In the wake of Bashir’s fall, civilian and military leaders formed the Sovereignty Council, an 11-member body charged with scheduling elections and overseeing the transition to permanent democratic rule.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudanese protesters lift national flags as they rally on 60th Street in the capital Khartoum, to denounce overnight detentions by the army of government members. 25 October 2021. AFP

Sudan is in peril. On 25 October, just weeks after a failed coup attempt, the country’s generals removed the civilian-led government that had been piloting a transition after an uprising unseated long-serving ruler Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Soldiers surrounded Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s residence in the capital Khartoum, detaining him and other senior officials. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who headed the Sovereign Council, a joint civilian-military body that has governed the country since August 2019, announced its dissolution, declaring a nationwide state of emergency. Reaction to the coup from the street was swift. Thousands of protesters massed in Khartoum and across the country, raising the spectre of a reprise of past crackdowns on dissent.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-democracy protesters take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials, in Khartoum, Sudan, on Oct. 25. (Ashraf Idris/AP)

The Sudanese military staged a coup on Monday and arrested members of the ruling Sovereignty Council, a joint civilian-military government charged with navigating Sudan’s transition to democratic rule. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of Sudan’s military, announced on Monday afternoon that he was dissolving the government and the Sovereignty Council. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, an economist, was among those arrested.

The coup comes amid recent widespread and highly polarized protests. Pro-military demonstrators marched in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, on Oct. 16. Marchers reportedly implored the Sudanese armed forces to stage a coup. Days later, on Oct. 21, thousands of counterprotesters turned out in Khartoum and other cities in Sudan, calling for a fully civilian government.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators march in Yangon, Myanmar, on July 3. (Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The United Nations recently condemned coups in Mali in West Africa and Myanmar in Southeast Asia — and called for regional organizations ECOWAS and ASEAN to manage the crises. In May, Mali, a member of the Economic Community of West Africa, experienced its second coup in 18 months. And the civilian government of Myanmar, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, was overthrown in February.

With mounting pressures from the United Nations and the risk of retreat from others in the international community, many countries expect these regional organizations to do more to prevent unconstitutional changes in government. However, our research shows how established organizational cultures and principles temper the ASEAN and ECOWAS responses to the coups — and how that might unintentionally benefit coup leaders.…  Seguir leyendo »