Bolivia

Bolivia

Overview
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 and Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 to the south, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 by the south west, and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 by the west.
Prior to European colonization
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

, the Andean
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

the largest state in Pre-Columbian America.
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Timeline

1809   The city of La Paz, in what is today Bolivia, declares its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and forms the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.

1812   Bolivian War of Independence: In Bolivia, the Battle of La Coronilla, in which the women from Cochabamba fight against the Spanish army.

1825   Bolivia gains independence from Spain.

1839   In the Battle of Yungay, Chile defeats an alliance between Peru and Bolivia.

1879   The War of the Pacific breaks out when Chilean armed forces occupy the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta.

1879   War of the Pacific is fought between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile takes over Arica and Tarapacá, leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

1879   Chile declares war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

1932   Crowds in the capitals of Bolivia and Paraguay demand their governments declare war on the other after fighting on their border.

1932   Chaco War: Last day of the Battle of Boquerón between Paraguay and Bolivia.

1935   Chaco War ends: a truce is called between Bolivia and Paraguay who had been fighting since 1932.

 
Encyclopedia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 and Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 to the south, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 by the south west, and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 by the west.
Prior to European colonization
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

, the Andean
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 conquered the region in the 16th century. During most of the Spanish colonial period, this territory was called Upper Peru
Upper Peru
Upper Peru was the region in the Viceroyalty of Peru, and after 1776, the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, comprising the governorships of Potosí, La Paz, Cochabamba, Los Chiquitos, Moxos and Charcas...

and was under the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

, which included most of Spain's South American colonies
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. After declaring independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, named for Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

, on 6 August 1825. Bolivia has struggled through periods of political instability, dictatorship
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

s and economic woes.

Bolivia is a democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 republic that is divided into nine departments. Its geography is varied from the peaks of the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

, with a Medium Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 score, and a poverty level of 53%. Its main economic activities include agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, forestry
Forestry
Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, and manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 goods such as textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum
Refinery
A refinery is a production facility composed of a group of chemical engineering unit processes and unit operations refining certain materials or converting raw material into products of value.-Types of refineries:Different types of refineries are as follows:...

. Bolivia is very wealthy in minerals
Geology of Bolivia
The geology of Bolivia compromises a variety of different lithologies as well as tectonic and sedimentary environments. On a synoptic scale, geological units coincide with topographical units, to begin the country is divided into a mountainous western area affected by the subduction processes in...

, especially tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

.

The Bolivian population, estimated at 10 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizo
Mestizo
Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America, Philippines and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent...

s, Europeans, and Africans. The main language spoken is Spanish, although the Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

 and Quechua languages are also common and all three, as well as 34 other indigenous language
Languages of Bolivia
The languages of Bolivia include Spanish, at least 30 indigenous languages, most prominently Quechua, Aymara, and Tupi Guaraní, and other languages such as Plautdietsch spoken by descendants of immigrants. All of the indigenous languages and Spanish are official languages of the state according to...

s, are official. The large number of different cultures within Bolivia has contributed greatly to a wide diversity in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Etymology


Bolivia was named for Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

, a leader in the Spanish American wars of independence. Antonio José de Sucre
Antonio José de Sucre
Antonio José de Sucre y Alcalá , known as the "Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho" , was a Venezuelan independence leader. Sucre was one of Simón Bolívar's closest friends, generals and statesmen.-Ancestry:...

 had been given the option by Bolívar to either keep Upper Peru
Upper Peru
Upper Peru was the region in the Viceroyalty of Peru, and after 1776, the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, comprising the governorships of Potosí, La Paz, Cochabamba, Los Chiquitos, Moxos and Charcas...

(present-day Bolivia) under the newly formed Republic of Peru, to unite with the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, or to formally declare its independence from the Viceroyalty of Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

 that had dominated most of the region. Sucre opted to create a new nation and, with local support, named it in honor of Simón Bolívar.

However, the original name given to the newly formed country was Republic of Bolívar. The name would not change to Bolivia until some days later when congressman Manuel Martín Cruz proposed: "If from Romulus
Romulus
- People:* Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome* Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor* Valerius Romulus , deified son of the Roman emperor Maxentius* Romulus , son of the Western Roman emperor Anthemius...

 comes Rome, then from Bolívar comes Bolivia
" . The name stuck and was approved by the Republic on 3 October 1825.

In 2009, a new constitution
Constitution of Bolivia
The current Constitution of Bolivia is the 17th constitution in the country's history; previous constitutions were enacted in 1826, 1831, 1834, 1839, 1843, 1851, 1861, 1868, 1871, 1878, 1880, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1961 and 1967. It came into effect on February 7, 2009, when it was promulgated by...

 changed the country's name from the "Republic of Bolivia" to the "Plurinational State of Bolivia" in recognition of the multi-ethnic nature of the country and the enhanced position of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under the new constitution.

History




The region that is now known as Bolivia has been occupied for over 2,000 years, when the Aymara arrived in the region. Present-day Aymara associate themselves with an advanced civilization situated at Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku, is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia, South America. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five...

, in Western Bolivia. The capital city of Tiwanaku dates from as early as 1500 BC when it was a small agriculturally based village.

The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

. According to early estimates, at its maximum extent, the city covered approximately 6.5 square kilometers, and had between 15,000 – 30,000 inhabitants. However, satellite imaging was used recently to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people.

Around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. However, Tiwanaku was not a violent culture in many respects. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku exercised great political astuteness, creating colonies, fostering trade agreements (which made the other cultures rather dependent), and instituting state cults.

The empire continued to grow with no end in sight. William H. Isbell states that "Tiahuanaco underwent a dramatic transformation between AD 600 and 700 that established new monumental standards for civic architecture and greatly increased the resident population." Tiwanaku continued to absorb cultures rather than eradicate them. Archaeologists note a dramatic adoption of Tiwanaku ceramics into the cultures which became part of the Tiwanaku empire. Tiwanaku's power was further solidified through the trade it implemented among the cities within its empire.

Tiwanaku's elites gained their status through the surplus food they controlled, collected from outlying regions and then redistributed to the general populace. Further, this elite's control of llama
Llama
The llama is a South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times....

 herds became a powerful control mechanism as llamas were essential for carrying goods between the civic centre and the periphery. These herds also came to symbolize class distinctions between the commoners and the elites. Through this control and manipulation of surplus resources, the elite's power continued to grow until about AD 950. At this time a dramatic shift in climate occurred.

There occurred a significant drop in precipitation in the Titicaca Basin. Some archaeologists venture to label this a major drought. As the rainfall decreased, many of the cities further away from Lake Titicaca began to tender less foodstuffs to the elites. As the surplus of food decreased, and thus the amount available to underpin their power, the control of the elites began to falter. The capital city became the last place viable place for food production due to the resiliency of the raised field method of agriculture. But, in the end, even this more productive design for food production was no match for the vagaries of the weather. Tiwanaku disappeared around AD 1000 because food production, the main source of the power elite's control, dried up. The area remained uninhabited for centuries thereafter.


Between 1438 and 1527, the Inca empire, during its last great expansion, gained control over much of what is now western Bolivia. The Incas would not maintain control of the region for long however, as the rapidly expanding Inca Empire was internally weak. As such, the impending Spanish conquest would be remarkably easy.

Colonial period


The Spanish conquest of the Inca empire began in 1524, and was mostly completed by 1533. The territory now called Bolivia was known as "Upper Peru", and was under the authority of the Viceroy of Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

. Local government came from the Audiencia de Charcas located in Chuquisaca (La Plata—modern Sucre
Sucre
Sucre, also known historically as Charcas, La Plata and Chuquisaca is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and the capital of the department of Chuquisaca. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2750m...

). Founded in 1545 as a mining town, Potosí
Potosí
Potosí is a city and the capital of the department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at a nominal . and it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint, now the National Mint of Bolivia...

 soon produced fabulous wealth, becoming the largest city in the New World with a population exceeding 150,000 people.

By the late 16th century Bolivian silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 was an important source of revenue for the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. A steady stream of natives served as labor force (the Spanish employed the pre-Columbian draft system called the mita
Mita (Inca)
Mit'a was mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire. Historians use the hispanicized term mita to distinguish the system as it was modified by the Spanish, under whom it became a form of legal servitude which in practise bordered slavery.Mit'a was effectively a form of tribute to...

). Upper Peru was bounded to Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, , was the last and most short-lived Viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire in America.The Viceroyalty was established in 1776 out of several former Viceroyalty of Perú dependencies that mainly extended over the Río de la Plata basin, roughly the present day...

 in 1776. Túpac Katari
Tupac Katari
Túpac Katari or Catari , born Julián Apasa Nina, was a leader in the rebellions of indigenous people of Bolivia against the Spanish Empire in the early 1780s....

 led the indigenous rebellion that laid siege to La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

 in March 1781, during which 20,000 people died. As Spanish royal authority weakened during the Napoleonic wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, sentiment against colonial rule grew.

Independence and subsequent wars


The struggle for independence started in the city of Sucre
Sucre
Sucre, also known historically as Charcas, La Plata and Chuquisaca is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and the capital of the department of Chuquisaca. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2750m...

 in 1809, with the Chuquisaca Revolution
Chuquisaca Revolution
The Chuquisaca Revolution was a popular uprising on 25 May 1809 against the governor and intendant of Chuquisaca , Ramón García León de Pizarro. The Real Audiencia of Charcas, with support from the faculty of University of Saint Francis Xavier, deposed the governor and formed a junta...

 (Chuquisaca was then the name of the city). That revolution, which created a local government Junta, was followed by the La Paz revolution
La Paz revolution
The city of La Paz experimented a revolution in 1809 that deposed Spanish authorities and declared independence. It is considered one of the early steps of the Spanish American wars of independence, and an antecedent of the independence of Bolivia...

, during which Bolivia actually declared independence. Both revolutions were short-lived, and defeated by the Spanish authorities, but the following year the Spanish American wars of independence raged across the continent. Bolivia was captured and recaptured many times during the war by the royalists and patriots
Patriot (Spanish American Revolution)
Patriots was the name the peoples of the Spanish America, who rebelled against Spanish control during the Spanish American wars of independence, called themselves. They supported the principles of the Age of Enlightenment and sought to replace the existing governing structures with Juntas...

. Buenos Aires sent three military campaigns, all of which were defeated, and eventually limited itself to protecting the national borders at Salta. Bolivia was finally freed of Royalist dominion by Antonio José de Sucre
Antonio José de Sucre
Antonio José de Sucre y Alcalá , known as the "Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho" , was a Venezuelan independence leader. Sucre was one of Simón Bolívar's closest friends, generals and statesmen.-Ancestry:...

, with a military campaign coming from the North in support of the campaign of Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

. After 16 years of war the Republic was proclaimed on 6 August 1825 and named Bolivia in honor of Bolívar.

In 1836, Bolivia, under the rule of Marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

 Andrés de Santa Cruz
Andrés de Santa Cruz
Andrés de Santa Cruz y Calahumana was President of Peru and Bolivia...

, invaded Peru to reinstall the deposed president, General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Luis José de Orbegoso
Luis José de Orbegoso
Luis José de Orbegoso y Moncada count De Olmos , an aristocratic Peruvian soldier and politician, was President of Peru from 1833 to 1836...

. Peru and Bolivia formed the Peru-Bolivian Confederation
Peru-Bolivian Confederation
The Peru–Bolivian Confederation was a short-lived confederate state that existed in South America between 1836 and 1839. Its first and only head of state, titled Supreme Protector, was the Bolivian president, Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz....

, with de Santa Cruz as the Supreme Protector. Following tension between the Confederation and Chile, Chile declared war on 28 December 1836. Argentina, Chile's ally, declared war on the Confederation on 9 May 1837. The Peruvian-Bolivian forces achieved several major victories during the War of the Confederation
War of the Confederation
The War of the Confederation , was a conflict between the Peru-Bolivian Confederation on one side and Chile, Peruvian dissidents and Argentina, on the other, fought mostly in the actual territory of Peru and which ended with a Confederate defeat and the dissolution of the...

: the defeat of the Argentinian expedition and the defeat of the first Chilean expedition on the fields of Paucarpata near the city of Arequipa
Arequipa
Arequipa is the capital city of the Arequipa Region in southern Peru. With a population of 836,859 it is the second most populous city of the country...

.

On the same field, the Chilean and Peruvian rebel army surrendered unconditionally and signed the Paucarpata Treaty. The treaty stipulated that Chile would withdraw from Peru-Bolivia, Chile would return captured Confederate ships, economic relations would be normalized, and the Confederation would pay Peruvian debt to Chile. In Chile, public outrage over the treaty forced the government to reject it. Chile organized a second attack on the Confederation and defeated it in the Battle of Yungay
Battle of Yungay
The Battle of Yungay effectively destroyed the Peru-Bolivian Confederation created by Bolivian Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz in 1836...

. After this defeat, Santa Cruz resigned and went to exile in Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and then Paris, and the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation was dissolved.

Following the independence of Peru, Peruvian president General Agustín Gamarra
Agustín Gamarra
Agustín Gamarra Messia was a Peruvian soldier and politician, becoming twice President of Peru from 1829 to 1833 and from 1838 to 1841....

 invaded Bolivia. The Peruvian army was decisively defeated at the Battle of Ingavi
Battle of Ingavi
The Battle of Ingavi occurred on November 18, in the 1841 in the town of Ingavi, Bolivia. There the Bolivian Army commanded by Jose Ballivian met an invading Peruvian Army commanded by Agustín Gamarra who would later die during the battle....

 on 20 November 1841 where Gamarra was killed. The Bolivian army under General José Ballivián
José Ballivián
José Ballivián was a Bolivian general during the Peruvian-Bolivian War and the 11th president of Bolivia from September 27, 1841 to December 23, 1847.-Biography:...

 then mounted a counter-offensive, capturing the Peruvian port of Arica
Arica, Chile
Arica is a commune and a port city with a population of 185,269 in the Arica Province of northern Chile's Arica and Parinacota Region, located only south of the border with Peru. The city is the capital of both the Arica Province and the Arica and Parinacota Region...

. Later, both sides signed a peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 in 1842, putting a final end to the war.

Economic instability and continued wars


A period of political and economic instability in the early to mid-19th century weakened Bolivia. Then in the War of the Pacific
War of the Pacific
The War of the Pacific took place in western South America from 1879 through 1883. Chile fought against Bolivia and Peru. Despite cooperation among the three nations in the war against Spain, disputes soon arose over the mineral-rich Peruvian provinces of Tarapaca, Tacna, and Arica, and the...

 (1879–83) against Chile, it lost its access to the sea and the adjoining rich salitre (saltpeter
Sodium nitrate
Sodium nitrate is the chemical compound with the formula NaNO3. This salt, also known as Chile saltpeter or Peru saltpeter to distinguish it from ordinary saltpeter, potassium nitrate, is a white solid which is very soluble in water...

) fields, together with the port of Antofagasta
Antofagasta
Antofagasta is a port city in northern Chile, about north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2002 census, the city has a population of 296,905...

.

Since independence, Bolivia has lost over half of its territory to neighboring countries in wars. It also lost the state of Acre
Acre (state)
Acre is one of the 27 states of Brazil. It is situated in the southwest of the Northern Region, bordering Amazonas to the north, Rondônia to the east, Bolivia to the southeast and the Ucayali Region of Peru to the south and west. It occupies an area of 152,581.4 km2, being slightly smaller...

, in the Acre War; important because this region was known for its production of rubber. Peasants and the Bolivian army fought briefly but after a few victories, and facing the prospect of a total war against Brazil, it was forced to sign the Treaty of Petrópolis
Treaty of Petrópolis
The Treaty of Petrópolis, signed on November 11, 1903, ended tensions between Bolivia and Brazil over the then-Bolivian territory of Acre , a desirable territory during the contemporary rubber boom....

 in 1903, in which Bolivia lost this rich territory. Popular myth has it that Bolivian president Mariano Melgarejo (1864–71) traded the land for what he called "a magnificent white horse" and Acre was subsequently flooded by Brazilians which ultimately led to confrontation and fear of war with Brazil.

In the late 19th century, an increase in the world price of gold brought Bolivia relative prosperity and political stability. During the early 20th century, tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

 replaced gold as the country's most important source of wealth. A succession of governments controlled by the economic and social elite followed laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 capitalist policies through the first thirty years of the 20th century.

Living conditions of the native people, who constitute most of the population, remained deplorable. With work opportunities limited to primitive conditions in the mines and in large estates having nearly feudal status, they had no access to education, economic opportunity, and political participation
Participation (decision making)
Participation in social science refers to different mechanisms for the public to express opinions - and ideally exert influence - regarding political, economic, management or other social decisions. Participatory decision making can take place along any realm of human social activity, including...

. Bolivia's defeat by Paraguay in the Chaco War
Chaco War
The Chaco War was fought between Bolivia and Paraguay over control of the northern part of the Gran Chaco region of South America, which was incorrectly thought to be rich in oil. It is also referred to as La Guerra de la Sed in literary circles for being fought in the semi-arid Chaco...

 (1932–35), where Bolivia lost a great part of the Gran Chaco
Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, where it is connected with the Pantanal region...

 region in dispute, marked a turning-point.

Nationalist Revolutionary Movement


The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement
Revolutionary Nationalist Movement
The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement is a Bolivian political party, perhaps the most important in the country during the 20th century. At the legislative elections in 2002, the party won, in an alliance with the Free Bolivia Movement, 26.9% of the popular vote and 36 out of 130 seats in the...

 (MNR) emerged as a broadly based party. Denied its victory in the 1951 presidential elections, the MNR led a successful revolution in 1952. Under President Víctor Paz Estenssoro
Víctor Paz Estenssoro
Ángel Víctor Paz Estenssoro was a politician and president of Bolivia. He ran for president 8 times , winning in 1951, 1960, 1964, and 1985....

, the MNR, having strong popular pressure, introduced universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 into his political platform and carried out a sweeping land-reform promoting rural education and nationalization of the country's largest tin mines.

12 years of tumultuous rule left the MNR divided. In 1964, a military junta
Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a form of government where in the political power resides with the military. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military....

 overthrew President Estenssoro at the outset of his third term. The 1969 death of President René Barrientos Ortuño, a former member of the junta who was elected president in 1966, led to a succession of weak governments. Alarmed by the rising Popular Assembly and the increase in the popularity of President Juan José Torres, the military, the MNR, and others installed Colonel (later General) Hugo Banzer Suárez as president in 1971.

Banzer ruled with MNR support from 1971 to 1974. Then, impatient with schisms in the coalition, he replaced civilians with members of the armed forces and suspended political activities. The economy grew impressively during most of Banzer's presidency, but human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 violations and eventual fiscal crises undercut his support. He was forced to call elections in 1978, and Bolivia again entered a period of political turmoil.

CIA activities and leftist insurgency



The CIA had been active in providing finances and training to the Bolivian military in 1960s. The revolutionary leader Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

 was killed by a team of CIA officers and members of the Bolivian Army on 9 October 1967, in Bolivia. The CIA reported that Guevara was captured on 8 October as a result of the clash with the Cuban-led guerrillas. He had a wound in his leg, but was otherwise in fair condition. At 1150 hours on 9 October the Second Ranger Battalion received direct orders from Bolivian Army Headquarters in La Paz to kill Guevara. These orders were carried out at 1315 hours the same day with a burst of fire from an M-2 automatic rifle. Félix Rodríguez
Félix Rodríguez (Central Intelligence Agency)
Félix Ismael Rodríguez Mendigutia is a former Central Intelligence Agency officer infamous for his involvement in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, in the interrogation and execution of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara and his ties to George H. W. Bush during the Iran-Contra Affair...

 was a CIA officer on the team with the Bolivian Army that captured and shot Guevara. Rodriguez said that after he received a Bolivian presidential execution order, he told "the soldier who pulled the trigger to aim carefully, to remain consistent with the Bolivian government's story that Che had been killed in action during a clash with the Bolivian army." Rodriguez said the US government had wanted Che in Panama, and "I could have tried to falsify the command to the troops, and got Che to Panama as the US government said they had wanted", said Mr Rodriguez, but he chose to "let history run its course" as desired by Bolivia."

Military governments: García Meza and Siles Zuazo


Elections in 1979 and 1981 were inconclusive and marked by fraud. There were coups d'état, counter-coups, and caretaker governments. In 1980, General Luis García Meza Tejada
Luis García Meza Tejada
Luis García Meza Tejada is a former Bolivian dictator. A native of La Paz, he was a career military officer who rose to the rank of general during the reign of dictator Hugo Banzer...

 carried out a ruthless and violent coup d'état that did not have popular support. He pacified the people by promising to remain in power only for one year. (At the end of the year, he staged a televised rally to claim popular support and announced, "Bueno, me quedo", or, "All right; I'll stay [in office]." He was deposed shortly thereafter.) His government was notorious for human-rights-abuses, drug-trafficking, and economic mismanagement; during his presidency, the inflation that later crippled the Bolivian economy could already be felt. Later convicted in absentia for various crimes by attorney Juan del Granado
Juan del Granado
Juan del Granado is a Bolivian human-rights lawyer and politician, mayor of La Paz and founder of the Without Fear Movement , a progressive political party...

, including murder, García Meza was extradited from Brazil and began serving a 30-year prison sentence in 1995.

After a military rebellion forced out Meza in 1981, three other military governments in 14 months struggled with Bolivia's growing problems. Unrest forced the military to convoke the Congress
National Congress of Bolivia
The Plurinational Legislative Assembly also known as the National Congress is the national legislature of Bolivia, based in the nation's de facto capital, La Paz....

 elected in 1980 and allow it to choose a new chief executive. In October 1982, Hernán Siles Zuazo
Hernán Siles Zuazo
Hernán Siles Zuazo was a politician from Bolivia. He served as his country's constitutionally elected president twice, from 1956 to 1960 and again from 1982 to 1985....

 again became president, 22 years after the end of his first term of office (1956–60).

Sánchez de Lozada and Banzer: Liberalizing the economy


Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada y Sánchez de Bustamante , familiarly known as "Goni", is a Bolivian politician, businessman, and former President of Bolivia. A lifelong member of the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario , he is credited for using "shock therapy", the economic theory championed by then...

 pursued an aggressive economic and social reform agenda. The most dramatic reform was the "capitalization" program, under which investors, typically foreign, acquired 50% ownership and management control of public enterprises, such as the state petroleum corporation, telecommunications system, airlines, railroad
Rail transport in Bolivia
The Bolivian rail network has had a peculiar development throughout its history, owing to losses of land, prestige and credit rating due to the failure of the War of the Pacific, railway development came late to Bolivia. The demand for mineral wealth and communication to the inland city of La Paz,...

s, and electric utilities, in return for agreed upon capital investments.

The reforms and economic restructuring were strongly opposed by certain segments of society, which instigated frequent and sometimes violent protests, particularly in La Paz and the Chapare coca
Coca
Coca, Erythroxylum coca, is a plant in the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America. The plant plays a significant role in many traditional Andean cultures...

-growing region, from 1994 through 1996. The de Lozada government pursued a policy of offering monetary compensation for voluntary eradication of illegal coca by its growers in the Chapare region. The policy produced little net reduction in coca, and in the mid-1990s Bolivia accounted for about one-third of the world's coca that was being processed into cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

. The coca leaf has long been part of the Bolivian culture, as indigenous workers have traditionally used the leaf for its properties as a mild stimulant and appetite suppressant.

During this time, the umbrella labor-organization of Bolivia, the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), became increasingly unable to effectively challenge government policy. A teachers' strike in 1995 was defeated because the COB could not marshal the support of many of its members, including construction and factory workers. The state also used selective martial law to keep the disruptions caused by the teachers to a minimum. The teachers were led by Trotskyites, and were considered to be the most militant union in the COB. Their downfall was a major blow to the COB, which also became mired in internal corruption and infighting in 1996.

In the 1997 elections, General Hugo Banzer
Hugo Banzer
Hugo Banzer Suárez was a politician, military general, dictator and President of Bolivia. He held the Bolivian presidency twice: from August 22, 1971 to July 21, 1978, as a dictator; and then again from August 6, 1997 to August 7, 2001, as constitutional President.-Military and ideological...

, leader of the Nationalist Democratic Action
Nationalist Democratic Action
Nationalist Democratic Action is a right-wing political party in Bolivia led by Jorge Quiroga. ADN was founded on March 23, 1979 by the military dictator Hugo Banzer after he stepped down from power. It later expanded to include the Revolutionary Left Party and a faction of the Bolivian Socialist...

 party (ADN) and former dictator (1971–78), won 22% of the vote, while the MNR candidate won 18%. General Banzer formed a coalition of the ADN, MIR, UCS, and CONDEPA parties, which held a majority of seats in the Bolivian Congress. The Congress elected him as president, and he was inaugurated on 6 August 1997. During the election campaign, Banzer had promised to suspend the privatization of the state-owned oil-company, YPFB. But this seemed unlikely to happen, considering Bolivia's weak position globally. The Banzer government basically continued the free-market and privatization-policies of its predecessor.

The relatively robust economic growth of the mid-1990s continued until about the third year of its term in office. After that, regional, global and domestic factors contributed to a decline in economic growth. Financial crises in Argentina and Brazil, lower world prices for export commodities, and reduced employment in the coca sector depressed the Bolivian economy. The public also perceived a significant amount of public sector corruption. These factors contributed to increasing social protests during the second half of Banzer's term.

At the outset of his government, President Banzer launched a policy of using special police-units to physically eradicate the illegal coca of the Chapare region. The policy produced a sudden and dramatic four-year decline in Bolivia's illegal coca crop, to the point that Bolivia became a relatively small supplier of coca for cocaine. Those left unemployed by coca eradication streamed into the cities, especially El Alto, the slum-neighborhood of La Paz. The MIR of Jaime Paz Zamora remained a coalition-partner throughout the Banzer government, supporting this policy (called the Dignity Plan).

Between January 1999 and April 2000, large-scale protests
2000 Cochabamba protests
The Cochabamba protests of 2000, also known as the "Cochabamba Water Wars", were a series of protests that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia's third largest city, between January 1999 and April 2000 in response to multinational participation in the infrastructure and management of the city's...

 erupted in Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban population of 608,276 and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people...

, Bolivia's third largest city, in response to the privatization of water resources by foreign companies and a subsequent doubling of water prices.

On 6 August 2001, Banzer resigned from office after being diagnosed with cancer. He died less than a year later. Vice President Jorge Fernando Quiroga Ramírez
Jorge Quiroga
Jorge Fernando "Tuto" Quiroga Ramírez was President of Bolivia from August 7, 2001 to August 6, 2002. He is of Spanish descent.-Background and early life:...

 completed the final year of his term.

In the June 2002 national elections, former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (MNR) placed first with 22.5% of the vote, followed by coca-advocate and native peasant-leader Evo Morales
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

 (Movement Toward Socialism
Movement for Socialism (Bolivia)
The Movement for Socialism-Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples , alternately referred to as "Movement Toward Socialism" or "Movement to Socialism", is a left-wing, socialist, Bolivian political organization led by Evo Morales, founded in 1995...

, MAS) with 20.9%. Morales edged out populist candidate Manfred Reyes Villa
Manfred Reyes Villa
Manfred Reyes Villa is a Bolivian politician, who was mayor of Cochabamba four times and ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2002 and 2009 against Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and Evo Morales Ayma. He founded and led the Nueva Fuerza Republicana political party...

 of the New Republican Force
New Republican Force
The New Republican Force is a center-right personalist political party in Bolivia.At the legislative elections in 2002, the party won 26.5 % of the popular vote and 25 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and two out of 27 seats in the Senate...

 (NFR) by just 700 votes nationwide, earning a spot in the congressional run-off against Sánchez de Lozada on 4 August 2002.

A July agreement between the MNR and the fourth-place MIR, which had again been led in the election by former President Jaime Paz Zamora, virtually ensured the election of Sánchez de Lozada in the congressional run-off, and on 6 August he was sworn in for the second time. The MNR platform featured three overarching objectives: economic reactivation (and job creation), anti-corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, and social inclusion.

In 2003 the Bolivian gas conflict broke out. On 12 October 2003 the government imposed martial law in El Alto after 16 people were shot by the police and several dozen wounded in violent clashes which erupted when a caravan of oil trucks escorted by police and soldiers deploying tanks and heavy-caliber machine guns tried to breach a barricade. On 17 October 2003 Evo Morales' supporters from Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban population of 608,276 and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people...

 tried to march into Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia and the largest city in the country...

, the largest city of the eastern lowlands where support was strong for the president. They were turned back. Faced with the option of resigning or more bloodshed, Sanchez de Lozada offered his resignation in a letter to an emergency session of Congress. After his resignation was accepted and his vice president, Carlos Mesa
Carlos Mesa
Carlos Diego Mesa Gisbert is a Bolivian politician, historian and President of Bolivia from October 17, 2003 until his resignation on June 6, 2005....

, invested, he left on a commercially scheduled flight for the United States.

In March 2004, the new president Carlos Mesa announced that his government would hold a series of rallies around the country, and at its embassies abroad, demanding that Chile return to Bolivia a stretch of seacoast that the country lost in 1884 after the end of the War of the Pacific. Chile has traditionally refused to negotiate on the issue, but Mesa nonetheless made this policy a central point of his administration.

However, the country's internal situation became unfavorable for such political action on the international stage. After a resurgence of gas protests in 2005, Carlos Mesa attempted to resign in January 2005, but his offer was refused by Congress. On 22 March 2005, after weeks of new street protests from organizations accusing Mesa of bowing to U.S. corporate interests, Mesa again offered his resignation to Congress, which was accepted on 10 June. The chief justice of the Supreme Court, Eduardo Rodríguez
Eduardo Rodríguez
Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé is a former president of Bolivia; prior to that appointment he was the chief justice of the Supreme Court.-Background:...

, was sworn as interim president to succeed the outgoing Carlos Mesa.

Plan de Todos


Mobilizing against neoliberalism
Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism is a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that emphasizes the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the...

 as a common enemy of the people, the indigenous population of the Andean
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 region was able to achieve widespread government reform. Bolivia, in particular, was quite successful due to the prominence of an indigenous population and the persistence of reformist policies. In 1993, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada y Sánchez de Bustamante , familiarly known as "Goni", is a Bolivian politician, businessman, and former President of Bolivia. A lifelong member of the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario , he is credited for using "shock therapy", the economic theory championed by then...

 ran for president
President of Bolivia
The President of Bolivia is head of state and head of government of Bolivia. According to the current Constitution, the president is elected by popular vote to a five year term, renewable once...

 in alliance with the Tupac Katari Revolutionary Liberation Movement
Revolutionary Liberation Movement Tupaq Katari
The Revolutionary Liberation Movement Tupaq Katari is a left-wing political party in Bolivia....

, which inspired indigenous-sensitive and multicultural-aware policies. Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (colloquially known as Goni) was able to shift Bolivian society by selling state firms and constitutionally acknowledging the existence of a multicultural and multiethnic population. Current development has led to a neoliberal citizenship regime in which civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 are expressed through private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

 ownership, formal democracy and representation
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

, and an investment in the maintaining of infrastructure.

In the 1990s, Bolivia introduced, the Plan de Todos, which led to the decentralization of government, introduction of intercultural bilingual education
Intercultural bilingual education
Intercultural bilingual education or bilingual intercultural education is an intercultural and bilingual model of education designed for contexts with two cultures and languages in contact, in the typical case a dominant and an underprivileged culture...

, implementation of agrarian
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

, and privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 of state owned businesses. The Plan de Todos main incentive was to encourage popular participation among the Bolivian people
Demographics of Bolivia
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Bolivia, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

. The law recognizes the existence of barrio
Barrio
Barrio is a Spanish word meaning district or neighborhood.-Usage:In its formal usage in English, barrios are generally considered cohesive places, sharing, for example, a church and traditions such as feast days...

s and rural communities as Territorially Based Organizations (TBOs) and has oversight boards known as rómiles de agilancia, or vigilance committees, that are responsible for overseeing municipal government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

s and planning projects. The Plan formally acknowledged the existence of 311 municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

, which benefited directly based on the size of their populations. The Plan de Todos inspired the development of a market democracy
Democratic capitalism
Democratic capitalism, also known as capitalist democracy, is a political, economic, and social system and ideology based on a tripartite arrangement of a market-based economy based predominantly on a democratic polity, economic incentives through free markets, fiscal responsibility and a liberal...

 with minimally regulated capitalist economy. The Plan explicitly stated that Bolivian citizens would own a minimum of 51% of enterprises; under the Plan, most state owned enterprises
Government-owned corporation
A government-owned corporation, state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, or parastatal is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government...

 (SOEs), besides mines, were sold. This privatization of SOEs led to innovative neoliberal structuring that acknowledged a diverse population within Bolivia.

The Law of Popular Participation gave municipalities the responsibility of maintaining various infrastructures (and offering services): health, education, systems of irrigation, which stripped the responsibility away from the state. The state provides municipalities with twenty percent of federal tax revenue
Tax revenue
Tax revenue is the income that is gained by governments through taxation.Just as there are different types of tax, the form in which tax revenue is collected also differs; furthermore, the agency that collects the tax may not be part of central government, but may be an alternative third-party...

 so that each municipality can adequately maintain these infrastructures. The Law also redistributes political power to the local level.

The Morales administration




The two main candidates for the 2005 Bolivian presidential election
Bolivian presidential election, 2005
The 2005 Bolivian presidential election was held on December 18, 2005. The two main candidates were Evo Morales of the Movement Towards Socialism Party, and Jorge Quiroga, leader of the Democratic and Social Power Party and former head of the Acción Democrática Nacionalista Party. Felipe Quispe,...

 held on 18 December 2005 were Juan Evo Morales Ayma
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

 of the MAS Party and Jorge Quiroga
Jorge Quiroga
Jorge Fernando "Tuto" Quiroga Ramírez was President of Bolivia from August 7, 2001 to August 6, 2002. He is of Spanish descent.-Background and early life:...

, leader of the Social and Democratic Power
Social and Democratic Power
Podemos is the name of a right-of-center, pro-business Bolivian political party. It is a pseudo-acronym standing for 'Poder Democrático y Social' , but the word also means "We can."-Nationalist Democratic Action:...

 (PODEMOS) Party and former head of the Acción Democrática Nacionalista
Nationalist Democratic Action
Nationalist Democratic Action is a right-wing political party in Bolivia led by Jorge Quiroga. ADN was founded on March 23, 1979 by the military dictator Hugo Banzer after he stepped down from power. It later expanded to include the Revolutionary Left Party and a faction of the Bolivian Socialist...

 (ADN) Party. Morales won the election with 53.7% of the votes, an absolute majority, unusual in Bolivian elections. He was sworn in on 22 January 2006, for a five-year term. Prior to his official inauguration in La Paz, he was inaugurated in an Aymara ritual at the archeological site of Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku, is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia, South America. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five...

 before a crowd of thousands of Aymara people and representatives of leftist movements from across Latin America. Though highly symbolic, this ritual was not historically based and primarily represented native Aymaras — not the main Quechua-speaking population. Since the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century, this region of South America, where there is a majority native population, has been ruled mostly by descendants of European immigrants.

On 1 May 2006, Morales caused controversy when he announced his intent to re-nationalize Bolivian hydrocarbon assets. While stating that the initiative would not be an expropriation, Morales sent Bolivian troops to occupy 56 gas installations simultaneously, including the two Petrobras
Petrobras
Petróleo Brasileiro or Petrobras is a semi-public Brazilian multinational energy corporation headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue, and the largest company headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere by market...

-owned refineries which provide over 90% of Bolivia's refining-capacity. All foreign energy firms were required to sign new contracts within 180 days giving Bolivia majority ownership, and up to 82% of revenues for the largest natural gas fields. All such firms signed contracts. Reports from the Bolivian government and the companies involved are contradictory as to plans for future investment.

By far the biggest customer for Bolivian hydrocarbons has been Brazil, which imports two-thirds of Bolivia's natural gas via pipeline
Pipeline transport
Pipeline transport is the transportation of goods through a pipe. Most commonly, liquids and gases are sent, but pneumatic tubes that transport solid capsules using compressed air are also used....

s operated by the semi-private Petrobras. Since gas can only be exported from landlocked Bolivia via Petrobras' large (and expensive) pipelines, the supplier and customer are strongly linked. Petrobras has announced plans to produce enough natural gas by 2011 to replace that now supplied by Bolivia. Bolivia's position is strengthened by the knowledge that hydrocarbon reserves are more highly valued now than at the times of previous nationalizations, and by the pledged support of President Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 of Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Morales opened on 6 August 2006, the Bolivian Constituent Assembly
Bolivian Constituent Assembly
The Bolivian Constituent Assembly, convened on August 6, 2006 in Sucre, with the purpose of drafting a new national constitution by December 14, 2007; extended from the original deadline of August 6, 2007. The Assembly approved the new Political Constitution of the State on 9 December 2007...

 to begin writing a new constitution aimed at giving more power to the indigenous majority. Problems immediately arose when, unable to garner the two-thirds votes needed to include controversial provisions in the constitutional draft, Morales' party announced that only a simple majority would be needed to draft individual articles while two-thirds needed to pass the document in full. Violent protests arose in December 2006 in parts of the country for both two-thirds and departmental autonomy, mostly in the eastern third of the country, where much of the hydrocarbon wealth is located. MAS and its supports believed two-thirds voting rules would give an effective veto for all constitutional changes to the conservative minority.

In August 2007, more conflicts arose in Sucre, as the city demanded the discussion of the seat of government inside the assembly, hoping the executive and legislative branch could return to the city, but assembly and the government said this demand was overwhelmingly impractical and politically undesirable. The conflict turned into violence, and the assembly was moved to a military area in Oruro. Although the main opposition party boycotted the session, a constitutional draft was approved on 24 November.

In May 2008, Evo Morales was a signatory to the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. Bolivia has ratified the treaty.

In the 2009 national general elections, Evo Morales was re-elected with 64.22% of the vote. His party, Movement for Socialism
Movement for Socialism (Bolivia)
The Movement for Socialism-Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples , alternately referred to as "Movement Toward Socialism" or "Movement to Socialism", is a left-wing, socialist, Bolivian political organization led by Evo Morales, founded in 1995...

, also won a two-thirds majority in both houses of the National Congress
National Congress of Bolivia
The Plurinational Legislative Assembly also known as the National Congress is the national legislature of Bolivia, based in the nation's de facto capital, La Paz....

.

Administrative divisions


Bolivia is divided into nine departments, each of them divided into 112 provinces and these ones into 339 municipalities and into native community lands.

According to what is established by the Bolivian Political Constitution, the Law of Autonomies and Decentralization regulates de procedure for the elaboration of Statutes of Autonomy, the transfer and distribution of direct competences between the central government and the autonomous entities. There are four levels of decentralization:

Departmental Government
Constituted by the Departmental Assembly, with rights over the legislation of the department. The governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 is chosen by universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

.

Municipal Government
Constituted by a Municipal Council, with rights over the legislation of the municipality. The mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 is chosen by universal suffrage.

Regional Government
Conformed by several provinces or municipalities of geographical continuity within a department. It is constituted by a Regional Assembly.

Original Indigenous Government
Self-governance
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

 of original indigenous people on the ancient territories where they live.


(ISO
ISO 3166-2:BO
ISO 3166-2:BO is the entry for Bolivia in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Bolivia, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

)

! style="background:#e8e8e8;" | Population
! style="background:#e8e8e8;" | Surface (km²)
! style="background:#e8e8e8;" | Density
! style="background:#e8e8e8;" | Capital city
!rowspan=11|
|-
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left| Bolivia
| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|BO
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|10.027.644
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|1.098.581
| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|9,1
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|Sucre
Sucre
Sucre, also known historically as Charcas, La Plata and Chuquisaca is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and the capital of the department of Chuquisaca. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2750m...

(Constitutional)
Nuestra Señora de La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

(Administrative)
|-
|align=left|
Beni
Beni Department
Beni, sometimes El Beni, is a northeastern department of Bolivia, in the lowlands region of the country. It is the second largest department in the country , covering 213,564 square kilometers , and it was created by supreme decree on November 18, 1842 during the administration of General José...


|align=center| BO-B
|align=right| 430.049
|align=right| 213.564
|align=center| 1,9
|align=left| Trinidad
Trinidad, Bolivia
Trinidad, officially La Santísima Trinidad , is a city in Bolivia, capital of the department of Beni. The population is 130,000 ....


|-
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|
Chuquisaca
Chuquisaca Department
Chuquisaca is a department of Bolivia located in the center south. It borders on the departments of Cochabamba, Tarija, Potosí, and Santa Cruz. The departmental capital is Sucre, which is also the constitutional capital of Bolivia.-Geography:...


| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|BO-H
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|631.062
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|51.524
| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|11,9
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|Sucre
Sucre
Sucre, also known historically as Charcas, La Plata and Chuquisaca is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and the capital of the department of Chuquisaca. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2750m...


|-
|align=left|
Cochabamba
Cochabamba Department
Cochabamba is one of the nine component departments of Bolivia. It is known to be the "granary" of the country because of its variety of agricultural products due to Cochabamba's geographical position. It has an area of 55,631 km². Its population, in the 2007 census, was 1,750,000...


|align=center|BO-C
|align=right|1.786.040
|align=right|55.631
|align=center|22,7
|align=left|Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban population of 608,276 and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people...


|-
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left| La Paz
| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|BO-L
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|2.756.989
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|133.985
| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|19,9
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...


|-
|align=left|
Oruro
Oruro Department
Oruro is a department in Bolivia, with an area of 53,588 km². Its capital is the city of Oruro. At the time of census 2001 it had a population of 391,870.- Provinces of Oruro :...


|align=center|BO-O
|align=right|444.093
|align=right|53.558
|align=center|8,2
|align=left|Oruro
Oruro, Bolivia
Oruro is a city in Bolivia with a population of 235,393 , located about equidistant between La Paz and Sucre at approximately 3710 meters above sea level. It is the capital of the department of Oruro....


|-
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|
Pando
Pando Department
Pando is a department of Bolivia, with an area of , adjoining the border with Brazil. Pando has a population 66,689 . Its capital is the city of Cobija....


| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|BO-N
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|75.335
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|63.827
| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|1,1
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|Cobija
Cobija
The Bolivian city of Cobija is located about 600 km north of La Paz in the Amazon Basin on the border of Brazil and Peru. Cobija lies on banks of the Rio Acre across from the Brazilian city Brasiléia. Cobija lies at an elevation of ca...


|-
|align=left|
Potosí
Potosí Department
Potosí Department is a department in southwestern Bolivia. It comprises 118,218 km² with 709,013 inhabitants . The capital is the city of Potosí....


|align=center|BO-P
|align=right|780.392
|align=right|118.218
|align=center|6,5
|align=left|Potosí
Potosí
Potosí is a city and the capital of the department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at a nominal . and it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint, now the National Mint of Bolivia...


|-
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|
Santa Cruz Department
Santa Cruz Department
Santa Cruz, with an area of 370,621 km², is the largest of the nine constituent departments of Bolivia. In the 2001 census, it reported a population of 2,029,471. The capital is the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The state is one of the wealthiest states in Bolivia with huge reserves of...


| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|BO-S
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|2.626.697
| style="background:#efefef;" align=right|370.621
| style="background:#efefef;" align=center|7,1
| style="background:#efefef;" align=left|Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia and the largest city in the country...


|-
|align=left|
Tarija
Tarija Department
Tarija is a department in Bolivia. It is located in south-eastern Bolivia bordering Argentina to the south and Paraguay to the east. According to the 2001 census, it has a population of 391,226 inhabitants. It has an area of 37.623 km²...


|align=center|BO-T
|align=right| 496.988
|align=right|37.623
|align=center|12,5
|align=left|Tarija
Tarija, Bolivia
Tarija or San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa is a city in southern Bolivia. Founded in 1574, Tarija is both the capital and largest city within the Tarija Department, with an airport offering regular service to primary Bolivian cities, as well as a regional bus terminal with domestic and...


|-
|colspan=7 style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=righth|Source: Demographic Projections 2008, Bolivian National Demographic Institute. The departmental densitiy has been calculated with the population of 2006.
|}

Territorial limits



2 =From the 544 kilometers of maritime boundaries with Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, 150 kilometers are in the Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...

, being the rest rivers.
|-
|}


Bolivia limits at north and east with the Federative Republic of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, and east and southeast with the Republic of Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, at south with the Argentine Republic
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, at southwest with the Republic of Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and at west wih the Republic of Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

. The total perimeter of the boundaries is of 6.834 kilometers.
  • Limits with Argentina: This international limit starts at the Zapalari mountain and ends in Esmeralda, Tarija Department
    Tarija Department
    Tarija is a department in Bolivia. It is located in south-eastern Bolivia bordering Argentina to the south and Paraguay to the east. According to the 2001 census, it has a population of 391,226 inhabitants. It has an area of 37.623 km²...

     (which is a triple boundary point between Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay). The main boundary points are the Panizo mountain, the Malpaso mountain, the towns of Villazón
    Villazón
    Villazón is a town in southern Bolivia, on the border with Argentina. It sits directly across a river from La Quiaca in Argentina. The town is a busy trading hub, with large quantities of goods flowing north....

    ,Bermejo
    Bermejo, Bolivia
    Bermejo is a town in Bolivia, south of the Tariquía Flora and Fauna National Reserve. It is served by Bermejo Airport....

    , Fortín Campero, Yacuiba
    Yacuíba
    Yacuiba is a city in southern Bolivia and the capital city of Gran Chaco Province in the Tarija Department. It lies three kilometers from the Argentine border. It has a population of approximately 80,000 and lies above sea level. ıt was part of Salta Province of Argentina until its cession to...

     and Fortín D'Orbigny over the Pilcomayo River
    Pilcomayo River
    The Pilcomayo River is a river in central South America. At long, it is the longest western tributary of the Paraguay River. Its drainage basin is in area, and its mean discharge is ....

    .
  • Limits with Brazil: This international limit is the most extense. It starts in the town of Bolbepra and ends on Bahía Negra ("Black Bay"), which is a triple boundary between Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. The main boundary points are Brasiléia
    Brasiléia
    Brasiléia is a Brazilian municipality located in the southern state of Acre. Its population in 2007 was estimated at 20,238 inhabitants. Its area is 336.189 km ² 4 ....

    , located in front of Cobija
    Cobija
    The Bolivian city of Cobija is located about 600 km north of La Paz in the Amazon Basin on the border of Brazil and Peru. Cobija lies on banks of the Rio Acre across from the Brazilian city Brasiléia. Cobija lies at an elevation of ca...

    ), the towns of Fortín Manoa (close to the Madeira River
    Madeira River
    The Madeira River is a major waterway in South America, approximately 3,250 km miles long The Madeira is the biggest tributary of the Amazon...

    ), Villa Bella, Cerro Cuatro Hermanos, San Matías
    San Matías, Santa Cruz
    San Matías is a small town in Bolivia.-References:...

    , the La Gaiba Lake, the Mandioré Lake, the Cáceres Lake and the Gutiérrez Guerra Port in the Paraguay River
    Paraguay River
    The Paraguay River is a major river in south central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina...

    .
  • Limits with Chile: The current limit between Bolivia and Chile was agreed with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship
    Treaty of Peace and Friendship (1904)
    The Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1904 between Chile and Bolivia was signed in Santiago de Chile on October 20, 1904 in order to delimite the boundary through 96 specified points between Cerro Zapaleri and Cerro Chipe and to regulate the relations between the two countries 20 years after the...

     of 1904. This document allowed the surrender of the Bolivian littoral zone and coasts in the Pacific Ocean
    Pacific Ocean
    The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

    , making Bolivia a landlocked country. The limits start at Visviri
    Visviri
    Visviri is a Chilean hamlet at the northern end of the country and the capital of the General Lagos commune in Parinacota Province, Arica and Parinacota Region. It is notable for being Chile's northernmost populated area. Pop. 265 , and for being near border of three countries of Bolivia, Peru and...

     (boundary point for Bolivia, Chile and Peru) and ends at the Zapaleri mountain
    Zapaleri
    Cerro Zapaleri is an extint volcano whose summit is the tripoint of the borders of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. It is part of Potosí Department , Jujuy Province , and Antofagasta Region ....

    , which is a triple boundary point for Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. The main points of the boundary are the Licancabur
    Licancabur
    Licancabur is a highly symmetrical stratovolcano on the southernmost part of the border between Chile and Bolivia. It is located just southwest of Laguna Verde in Bolivia. The volcano dominates the landscape of the Salar de Atacama area...

     and Ollagüe
    Ollagüe
    Ollagüe is a massive andesite stratovolcano in the Andes on the border between Bolivia and Chile. It is located southeast of the village that shares its name....

     volcanos and the Payachata mountains.
  • Limits with Paraguay: It starts in Esmeralda and ends on Bahía Negra, on the Black River. The main boundary points are the Ustares mountain, Palmar de las Islas, Hito Chovoreca and the Jara mountain.
  • Limits with Peru: The boundary starts at the town of Bolbepra (triple boundary point for Bolivia, Peru and Brazil) and ends on Choquecota and Visviri. The most important points in the international boundary are the Heath Port on the Madre de Dios River
    Madre de Dios River
    The Madre de Dios River, homonymous to the Peruvian region it runs through, then becomes the Beni River in Bolivia and then turns northward into Brazil, where it is called the Madeira River...

    , the Apolobamba
    Apolobamba
    Cordillera Apolobamba is a mountain range in the South American Andes.-Geographical Location:The Cordillera Apolobamba is located in the eastern borderland of Peru and Bolivia. It stretches across a distance of 50 km from East to West and 30 km from North to South...

     mountain range and Puerto Acosta, where the division of the Titicaca Lake starts.

Maritime claim


Despite losing its maritime coast, the called Litoral Department, after the War of the Pacific
War of the Pacific
The War of the Pacific took place in western South America from 1879 through 1883. Chile fought against Bolivia and Peru. Despite cooperation among the three nations in the war against Spain, disputes soon arose over the mineral-rich Peruvian provinces of Tarapaca, Tacna, and Arica, and the...

, Bolivia has historically maintained as a state policy a maritime claim to Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

; the claim asks for a soverein access to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and its maritime space. The Political Constitution of 2009 established that Bolivia declares its right to an access to the sea and that its objective is to solve the problem pacifically.

Since the foundation of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 in 1945, Bolivia has requested to the General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 to consider its petition of a sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean. The issue has also been presented in the Organization of American States
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

; in 1979 the organization created the 426 Resolution, which declared that the Bolivian problem is an hemispheric problem. Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 has tried to help in the issue, but without yielding its sovereign territory.
  • Access to the Pacific Ocean by Chile. On April 4, 1884, a truce treaty is signed with Chile
    Chile
    Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

    , for which Chile gives facilities of access to the Bolivian products through Antofagasta
    Antofagasta
    Antofagasta is a port city in northern Chile, about north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2002 census, the city has a population of 296,905...

     and freed the payment of export rights in the port of Arica
    Arica
    Arica is a city in northern Chile. "Arica" may also refer to:Places* Arica and Parinacota Region, Chile* Arica Airport , Chile* Arica, Amazonas, town in Colombia* Rio Aricá-açu, tributary of the Cuiabá River south of Cuiabá, BrazilOther...

    . In October
    October
    October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of seven months with a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old Roman calendar, October retained its name after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the...

    , 1904 the Treaty of Peace and Friendship
    Treaty of Peace and Friendship (1904)
    The Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1904 between Chile and Bolivia was signed in Santiago de Chile on October 20, 1904 in order to delimite the boundary through 96 specified points between Cerro Zapaleri and Cerro Chipe and to regulate the relations between the two countries 20 years after the...

     is signed and Chile accepts to build a railway between Arica and La Paz
    Arica-La Paz railway
    The Arica-La Paz railway or Ferrocarril de Arica-La Paz was built by the Chilean government under the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1904 between Chile and Bolivia. It was inaugurated on 6 March 1912, and is the shortest line from the Pacific Coast to the interior. It is long, of which is in...

     to improve the access of Bolivian products to the ports.
  • Access to the Pacific Ocean by Peru. The Special Economical Zone for Bolivia in Ilo (ZEEBI) is a special economical area of 5 km of maritime coast and a total extension of 358 ha
    Hectare
    The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

     called Mar Bolivia ("Sea Bolivia") in which Bolivia may use a free port in Ilo
    Ilo
    Ilo is a port city in southern Peru, with some 58,000 inhabitants. It is the largest city in the Moquegua Region and capital of the province of Ilo.-History:...

    , Peru
    Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

     for its administration and operation for a period of 99 years starting on 1992; once the time has passed, all the construction and territory go back to the Peruvian government.
  • Access to the Altantic Ocean by Argentina. Since 1964, Bolivia has its own port facilities in the Bolivian Free Port in Rosario, Argentina
    Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

    . The port is located on the Paraná River
    Paraná River
    The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some . It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language...

    , which is directly connected to the Atlantic Ocean
    Atlantic Ocean
    The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

    .

Geography


Bolivia is located in the central zone of South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, between the meridians 57º 26´ and 69º 38´ of western longitude to the Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian is the meridian at which the longitude is defined to be 0°.The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian , which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.An international...

 and the parallels 9º 38´ and 22º 53´ of south latitude. At 1,098,580 square kilometres (424,160 sq mi), Bolivia is the world's 28th-largest country. Its surface is extended from the Central Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

, going partially through the Gran Chaco
Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, where it is connected with the Pantanal region...

, to the Amazon
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

. The geographical center of the country is the called Puerto Estrella ("Star Port") on Río Grande
Río Grande (Bolivia)
The Río Grande in Bolivia rises on the southern slope of the Sierra de Cochabamba, east of the city of Cochabamba, at . At its source it is known as the Río Rocha and crosses the Cochabamba valley basin in a westerly direction...

, in the Ñuflo de Chávez Province
Ñuflo de Chávez Province
Ñuflo de Chávez is one of the fifteen provinces of the Bolivian Santa Cruz Department and is situated in the northern central parts of the department. The name of the province honors the conquistador Ñuflo de Chaves who founded the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Its capital is Concepción...

, Santa Cruz Department.

The geographical location of the country allows it to comprise a great variety of land relieves
Terrain
Terrain, or land relief, is the vertical and horizontal dimension of land surface. When relief is described underwater, the term bathymetry is used...

 and climate. Bolivia has a huge biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

; it is considered one of the biggest of the world, as well as several ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

s with ecological subunits as the Altiplano
Altiplano
The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

, tropical rainforest
Tropical rainforest
A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator . This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall...

s (along with the Amazon rainforest
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

), dry valleys
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

, and the Chiquitanía, which is a tropical savanna
Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands are a grassland terrestrial biome located in semi-arid to semi-humid climate regions of subtropical and tropical latitudes. Grasslands are dominated by grass and other herbaceous plants. Savannas are grasslands with scattered trees...

. All of them comprise enormous altitudinal varations, from an elevation of 6.542 meters above sea level in Nevado Sajama
Nevado Sajama
Nevado Sajama is an extinct stratovolcano and the highest peak in Bolivia. The mountain is located in the Oruro Department, Sajama Province, Curahuara de Carangas Municipality, Sajama Canton. It is situated in the Sajama National Park in the southwest area of the country some 16–24 km from...

 to close to the 70 meters in the Paraguay River
Paraguay River
The Paraguay River is a major river in south central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina...

. Despite the great geographical contrast, Bolivia is a landlocked country (does not have any direct access to the sea) since the War of the Pacific
War of the Pacific
The War of the Pacific took place in western South America from 1879 through 1883. Chile fought against Bolivia and Peru. Despite cooperation among the three nations in the war against Spain, disputes soon arose over the mineral-rich Peruvian provinces of Tarapaca, Tacna, and Arica, and the...

.

Land relief


Bolivia can be divided into three physiographic
Physical geography
Physical geography is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the...

 regions:
  • Andean Region: in the southwest. It spans the 28% of the national territory and has an extension of 307.603 km². This area is located above the 3000 meters of altitude and located between two big Andean sections: the Cordillera Occidental ("western range") and the Cordillera Central ("central range"), where are located some of the highest spots in the Americas
    Americas
    The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

    , as the Nevado Sajama
    Nevado Sajama
    Nevado Sajama is an extinct stratovolcano and the highest peak in Bolivia. The mountain is located in the Oruro Department, Sajama Province, Curahuara de Carangas Municipality, Sajama Canton. It is situated in the Sajama National Park in the southwest area of the country some 16–24 km from...

    , with 6.542 meters, and the Illimani
    Illimani
    Illimani is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real of western Bolivia. It lies just south of La Paz at the eastern edge of the Altiplano. It is the second highest peak in Bolivia, after Nevado Sajama, and the eighteenth highest peak in South America...

     with 6.462 meters. Here it is located the Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...

    , the highest comerciallly navigable lake in the world. and also the largest lake in South America
    South America
    South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

    , shared with Peru
    Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

    . Also in this region is located the Altiplano
    Altiplano
    The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

     and the Salar de Uyuni
    Salar de Uyuni
    Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat at . It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated above the mean sea level. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes...

     which is the largest salt flat of the world and an important source of lithium
    Lithium
    Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

    .
  • Sub-Andean Region: in the center and south. Intermediate region between the Altiplano
    Altiplano
    The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

     and the eastern llanos
    Llanos
    The Llanos is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the Flooded grasslands and savannas Biome....

     and comprises the 13% of the territory with an extension of 142.815 km². It encompasses the Bolivian valleys and the Yungas region. It is distinguished by its farming activities and its template-warm climate.
  • Llanos Region: in the northeast. It comprises the 59% of the territory with an extension of 648.163 km². It is located at the north of the Cordillera Central; it extends from the Andean foothills to the Paraguay River
    Paraguay River
    The Paraguay River is a major river in south central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina...

    . It is a region of flatland and small plateaus, all covered by extense rainforests with an enormous biodiversity. The region is located below the 400 meters above sea level.

Hydrography


Bolivia has three drainage basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

s that disembogue in the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 or in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

.
  • Amazon Basin
    Amazon River
    The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined...

    , also called North Basin (724.000 km² / 66% of the territory). The rivers of this basin generally have big caudals and meander
    Meander
    A meander in general is a bend in a sinuous watercourse. A meander is formed when the moving water in a stream erodes the outer banks and widens its valley. A stream of any volume may assume a meandering course, alternately eroding sediments from the outside of a bend and depositing them on the...

    s, therefore forming lakes as the Murillo Lake in the Pando Department
    Pando Department
    Pando is a department of Bolivia, with an area of , adjoining the border with Brazil. Pando has a population 66,689 . Its capital is the city of Cobija....

    . The main Bolivian tributary
    Tributary
    A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

     to the Amazon basin is the Mamoré River with a lenght of 2000 km which runs north until the confluence with the Beni River
    Beni River
    The Beni River is a river in the north of Bolivia.It rises north of La Paz and flows northeast through the pampas. One of the tributary rivers is Tuichi River in the Madidi National Park. Tuichi River joins the Beni River upstream from the town Rurrenabaque. South of Rurrenabaque, Río Beni runs...

    , 1.113 km of lenght and the second most important river of the country. The Beni River, along with the Madeira River
    Madeira River
    The Madeira River is a major waterway in South America, approximately 3,250 km miles long The Madeira is the biggest tributary of the Amazon...

     form the main tributary of the Amazon River
    Amazon River
    The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined...

    . From east to west the basin is formed by other important rivers as the Madre de Dios River
    Madre de Dios River
    The Madre de Dios River, homonymous to the Peruvian region it runs through, then becomes the Beni River in Bolivia and then turns northward into Brazil, where it is called the Madeira River...

    , Orthon River
    Orthon River
    -References:*Rand McNally, The New International Atlas, 1993....

    , Abuna River
    Abuna River
    The Abuna River is a river in South America. As a part of the Amazon Basin, it forms part of the border between northern Bolivia and north-western Brazil....

    , Yata River
    Yata River
    -References:*Rand McNally, The New International Atlas, 1993....

     and the Guaporé River
    Guaporé River
    Rio Guaporé is the name of a river in western Brazil along the Bolivian border. Its Bolivian name is Río Iténez.The river has its source in the Brazilian Mato Grosso circa 150 km northeast of Pontes e Lacerda. From this town on it flows in a westerly direction for about 120 km, where at...

    . The most important lakes are the Rogaguado Lake and the Rogagua Lake.
  • Rio de la Plata Basin, also called South Basin (229.500 km² / 21% of the territory). The tributaries are in general less abundant that the ones from the Amazon basin. It is mainly compounded by the Paraguay River
    Paraguay River
    The Paraguay River is a major river in south central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina...

    , Pilcomayo River
    Pilcomayo River
    The Pilcomayo River is a river in central South America. At long, it is the longest western tributary of the Paraguay River. Its drainage basin is in area, and its mean discharge is ....

     and Bermejo River
    Bermejo River
    The Bermejo River is a river in South America that flows from Bolivia to the Paraguay River in Argentina. The river is generally called Bermejo in spite of its different names along its way, but it also has its own Native American names; in Wichí it is called Teuco, and in Guaraní it is called Ypitá...

    . The most important lakes are the Uberaba Lake and the Mandioré Lake, both located in the Bolivian marshland.
  • Central Basin, which is an endorheic basin (145.081 km² / 13% of the territory). The Altiplano
    Altiplano
    The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

     has big amounts of lakes and rivers that do not run to any ocean, as they are enclosed by the Andean range of mountains. The most important river is the Desaguadero River
    Desaguadero River (Bolivia)
    The Desaguadero River in Peru and Bolivia is the river that drains Lake Titicaca. It exits the lake at the southern part of the river basin, it flows south and drains approximately five percent of the lake's flood waters into Lake Uru Uru and Lake Poopó....

    , with a lenght of 436 km is the longest river of the Altiplano and borns in the Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...

     and then runs in a southeast direction to the Poopó Lake. The basin is then formed by the Lake Titicaca, Lake Poopó, the Desaguadero River and great salt flats as the Salar de Uyuni
    Salar de Uyuni
    Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat at . It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated above the mean sea level. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes...

     and the Coipasa Lake.


Nevado Sajama
Nevado Sajama
Nevado Sajama is an extinct stratovolcano and the highest peak in Bolivia. The mountain is located in the Oruro Department, Sajama Province, Curahuara de Carangas Municipality, Sajama Canton. It is situated in the Sajama National Park in the southwest area of the country some 16–24 km from...


! colspan=3 style="text-align: center; background:#e8e8e8;" |
Mamoré River
! colspan=3 style="text-align: center; background:#e8e8e8;" |

Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...


|-
! colspan=3 style="text-align: center; background:#e8e8e8;" | Elevations
! colspan=3 style="text-align: center; background:#e8e8e8;" | Rivers
! colspan=3 style="text-align: center; background:#e8e8e8;" | Lakes
|-
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" |
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" | Name
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" | Elevation
(m)
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" |
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" | Name
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" | Length
(km)
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" |
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" | Name
! style="text-align: center; background::#f0f0f0;" | Surface
(km²)
|-
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 1
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Sajama
Nevado Sajama
Nevado Sajama is an extinct stratovolcano and the highest peak in Bolivia. The mountain is located in the Oruro Department, Sajama Province, Curahuara de Carangas Municipality, Sajama Canton. It is situated in the Sajama National Park in the southwest area of the country some 16–24 km from...


| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 6.542
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 1
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Mamoré
| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 2.000
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 1
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Titicaca
Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...


| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" |3.790¹
|-
| align=center | 2
| align=left | Illampu
Illampu
Illampú is the fourth highest mountain in Bolivia. It is located in the northern section of the Cordillera Real, part of the Andes, east of Lake Titicaca. It lies just north of the slightly higher Ancohuma, near the town of Sorata...


| align=right | 6.485
| align=center | 2
| align=left | Itonomas River
| align=right | 1.493
| align=center | 2
| align=left | Poopó
| align=right | 2.337
|-
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 3
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Illimani
Illimani
Illimani is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real of western Bolivia. It lies just south of La Paz at the eastern edge of the Altiplano. It is the second highest peak in Bolivia, after Nevado Sajama, and the eighteenth highest peak in South America...


| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 6.462
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 3
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Grande
Río Grande (Bolivia)
The Río Grande in Bolivia rises on the southern slope of the Sierra de Cochabamba, east of the city of Cochabamba, at . At its source it is known as the Río Rocha and crosses the Cochabamba valley basin in a westerly direction...


| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 1.438
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 3
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Coipasa
| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 806
|-
| align=center | 4
| align=left | Ancohuma
Ancohuma
Ancohuma is the third highest mountain in Bolivia . It is located in the northern section of the Cordillera Real, part of the Andes, east of Lake Titicaca...


| align=right | 6.427
| align=center | 4
| align=left | Beni
Beni River
The Beni River is a river in the north of Bolivia.It rises north of La Paz and flows northeast through the pampas. One of the tributary rivers is Tuichi River in the Madidi National Park. Tuichi River joins the Beni River upstream from the town Rurrenabaque. South of Rurrenabaque, Río Beni runs...


| align=right | 1.130
| align=center | 4
| align=left | Rogoaguado
| align=right | 329
|-
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 5
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Parinacota
| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 6.362
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 5
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Blanco
Río Blanco (Bolivia)
-References:*Rand McNally, The New International Atlas, 1993....


| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 1.087
| style="text-align: center; background:#efefef;" | 5
| style="text-align: left; background:#efefef;" | Rogaguado
| style="text-align: right; background:#efefef;" | 315
|-
|colspan=9 style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=left|Notes:
1 = The Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...

 has a total surface of 8.562 km², from which 3.790 km² are in Bolivia.

|-
| colspan="9" style="text-align: center; background:#f5f5f5;" | Source: Bolivian National Geographic Institute (IGN)
|}

Climate


The climate of Bolivia vary drastically from one ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

 to the other, from the tropics
Tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

 in the eastern llanos to polar climates
Polar climate
Regions with a polar climate are characterized by a lack of warm summers . Regions with polar climate cover over 20% of the Earth. The sun shines 24 hours in the summer, and barely ever shines at all in the winter...

 in the western Andes. The summers are warm, humid in the east and dry in the west with rains that often modify the temperatures, the humidity, the winds, the atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

 and the evaporation, giving place to very different climates. When the climatological phenomenon "El Niño
El Niño-Southern Oscillation
El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, is a quasiperiodic climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean roughly every five years...

" takes place provokes big alterations in the weather. The winters are very cold in the west and have snow in the proximity to the mountain ranges, while in the western regions windy days are more usual. The autumn is dry in the non tropical regions.
  • Llanos. Humid
    Humidity
    Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

     tropical climate
    Tropical climate
    A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

     with an average temperature of 30°C. The wind coming from the Amazon rainforest
    Amazon Rainforest
    The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

     cause significant rains. Starting on May, dry winds cause a minimun precipitation, and most of the days have clear skies. At the contrary, winds from the south, called surazos, can bring fresh temperatures for several days.
  • Altiplano
    Altiplano
    The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

    . Desert
    Desert climate
    A desert climate , also known as an arid climate, is a climate that does not meet the criteria to be classified as a polar climate, and in which precipitation is too low to sustain any vegetation at all, or at most a very scanty scrub.An area that features this climate usually experiences less than...

    -Polar
    Polar climate
    Regions with a polar climate are characterized by a lack of warm summers . Regions with polar climate cover over 20% of the Earth. The sun shines 24 hours in the summer, and barely ever shines at all in the winter...

     climates with strong and cold winds. The average temperature ranges from 15 to 20°C. At night, the temperatures descend drastically to slightly above 0°C, while during the day the weather is dry and the solar radiation
    Sunlight
    Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

     is high. Ground frost
    Ground frost
    Ground frost refers to the various coverings of ice produced by the direct deposition of water vapor on objects and trees, whose surfaces have a temperature below the freezing point of water .- Types :...

    s happen every month and snow
    Snow
    Snow is a form of precipitation within the Earth's atmosphere in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless packed by...

     is frequent.
  • Valleys and Yungas. Temperateness climate. The humid northeastern winds are pushed to the mountains, making this region to be very humid and rainy. The temperatures fall as increasing the elevation. Snow is comming starting at 2000 meters.
  • Chaco
    Gran Chaco
    The Gran Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, where it is connected with the Pantanal region...

    . Subtropical
    Subtropics
    The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

     Semi-arid climate. Rains and humidity in January and rest of the year with warm days and cool nights.


Los Yungas, La Paz
La Paz Department
La Paz Department may refer to:* Argentina** La Paz Department, Catamarca** La Paz Department, Entre Ríos** La Paz Department, Mendoza* La Paz Department, Bolivia* La Paz Department * La Paz Department...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Cold desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...


Dalí Desert, Potosí
Potosí Department
Potosí Department is a department in southwestern Bolivia. It comprises 118,218 km² with 709,013 inhabitants . The capital is the city of Potosí....


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Dry broadleaf forest
Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests
The tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest biome, also known as tropical dry forest, is located at tropical and subtropical latitudes. Though these forests occur in climates that are warm year-round, and may receive several hundred centimeters of rain per year, they have long dry seasons...


Chaqueño Forest
Gran Chaco Province
Gran Chaco is a province in the eastern parts of the Bolivian department Tarija. The province voted to become an autonomous region on 6 December 2009.-Location:Gran Chaco province is one of six provinces in the Tarija Department...

, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Department
Santa Cruz, with an area of 370,621 km², is the largest of the nine constituent departments of Bolivia. In the 2001 census, it reported a population of 2,029,471. The capital is the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The state is one of the wealthiest states in Bolivia with huge reserves of...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Template valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...


Samaipata
Samaipata, Bolivia
The town of Samaipata is located in the department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Samaipata is a Quechua word that means: The Height to Rest. With its delightful subtropical climate and an altitude of 1600-1800 m it tempts foreigners to settle...

, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Department
Santa Cruz, with an area of 370,621 km², is the largest of the nine constituent departments of Bolivia. In the 2001 census, it reported a population of 2,029,471. The capital is the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The state is one of the wealthiest states in Bolivia with huge reserves of...


|-
|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
|-
|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Rainforest
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...


Amazon rainforest
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

, Cochabamba
Cochabamba Department
Cochabamba is one of the nine component departments of Bolivia. It is known to be the "granary" of the country because of its variety of agricultural products due to Cochabamba's geographical position. It has an area of 55,631 km². Its population, in the 2007 census, was 1,750,000...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Humid Altiplano
Altiplano
The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...


Collao Plateau, La Paz
La Paz Department
La Paz Department may refer to:* Argentina** La Paz Department, Catamarca** La Paz Department, Entre Ríos** La Paz Department, Mendoza* La Paz Department, Bolivia* La Paz Department * La Paz Department...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Dry Altiplano
Altiplano
The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...


Isla del Pescado
Isla del Pescado
Isla del Pescado, Isla de los Pescadores or Cujiri is an island in the middle of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, situated in the Daniel Campos Province, Tahua Municipality, Caquena Canton....

, Potosí
Potosí Department
Potosí Department is a department in southwestern Bolivia. It comprises 118,218 km² with 709,013 inhabitants . The capital is the city of Potosí....


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Andean glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...


Glaciar Lake, La Paz
La Paz Department
La Paz Department may refer to:* Argentina** La Paz Department, Catamarca** La Paz Department, Entre Ríos** La Paz Department, Mendoza* La Paz Department, Bolivia* La Paz Department * La Paz Department...


|-
|}

Biodiversity


Bolivia is part of the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries and has an enormous variety of organisms
Organism
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

 and ecosystems
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

.

Its altitudinal variation, that moves from 90 to 6.542 meters above sea level allows to have this huge biologic diversity. The territory of Bolivia composes 4 types of biome
Biome
Biomes are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, and are often referred to as ecosystems. Some parts of the earth have more or less the same kind of abiotic and biotic factors spread over a...

s, 32 ecological regions and 199 ecosystems. In this grographical space cohabit several natural parks and reserves, as the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is a national park in northeast Santa Cruz Department, Province of José Miguel de Velasco, Bolivia, on the border with Brazil.-Description:...

, the Madidi National Park, the Tunari National Park
Tunari National Park
Tunari National Park is a national park located in the Cochabamba Department, Bolivia.- External links :*...

, the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve
Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve
The Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve is located in Sur Lípez Province. Situated in the far southwestern region of Bolivia, it is the country's most visited protected area...

, the Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area
Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area
Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area is the biggest national park in Bolivia and one of the largest in South America. It is a protected area in the region of the Gran Chaco and has a larger surface area than Belgium...

, among others.

The biodiversity of species may be divided into:
  • Plant
    Plant
    Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

    s: Bolivia counts with more of 200.000 species of seed
    Seed
    A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

    s, from which there are more than 1.200 species of fern
    Fern
    A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...

    , 1.500 species of marchantiophyta
    Marchantiophyta
    The Marchantiophyta are a division of bryophyte plants commonly referred to as hepatics or liverworts. Like other bryophytes, they have a gametophyte-dominant life cycle, in which cells of the plant carry only a single set of genetic information....

     and moss
    Moss
    Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems...

     and at least 800 species of fungus
    Fungus
    A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

    . Besides, more than 3.000 species of medicinal plants. Bolivia is considered the place of origin of species as the peppers, the chilli peppers
    Capsicum
    Capsicum is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas where they have been cultivated for thousands of years, but they are now also cultivated worldwide, used as spices, vegetables, and medicines - and have become are a key element in...

    , the peanut
    Peanut
    The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

    , the common bean, the yuca
    Cassava
    Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

     and several species of palms. Bolivia naturally produces more than 4.000 kinds of potato
    Potato
    The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

    es.
  • Vertebrate
    Vertebrate
    Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

    s: Bolivia has more than 2.900 species, divided into 398 mammal
    Mammal
    Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

    s, more than 1.400 of birds
    Bird
    Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

     (70% of the birds known in the world, being the sixth country with more variety), 204 amphibian
    Amphibian
    Amphibians , are a class of vertebrate animals including animals such as toads, frogs, caecilians, and salamanders. They are characterized as non-amniote ectothermic tetrapods...

    s, 277 reptile
    Reptile
    Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

    s and 635 fish
    Fish
    Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

     of fresh water
    Fresh Water
    Fresh Water is the debut album by Australian rock and blues singer Alison McCallum, released in 1972. Rare for an Australian artist at the time, it came in a gatefold sleeve...

     (as Bolivia is a landlocked country). Besides, more than 3.000 types of butterflies
    Lepidoptera
    Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

     and more than 60 domestic animals
    Domestication
    Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

    .


Ocelot
Ocelot
The ocelot , pronounced /ˈɒsəˌlɒt/, also known as the dwarf leopard or McKenney's wildcat is a wild cat distributed over South and Central America and Mexico, but has been reported as far north as Texas and in Trinidad, in the Caribbean...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Saimiri boliviensis
Black-capped squirrel monkey
Black-capped Squirrel Monkey
The black-capped squirrel monkey is a South American squirrel monkey, found in Bolivia, Brazil and Peru. This South American monkey can be found at the Ellen Trout Zoo.-Subspecies:...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Phoenicopterus andinus
Andean Flamingo
Andean Flamingo
The Andean flamingo, or Phoenicopterus andinus, is one of the rarest flamingos in the world. It has a pale pink body with brighter upperparts, deep vinaceous-pink lower neck, breast, and wing-coverts. It is the only flamingo species with yellow legs and three-toed feet. The bill of the Andean...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Lama glama
Llama
Llama
The llama is a South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times....


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Inia boliviensis
Amazon river dolphin
|-
|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
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|align=center valign=center bgcolor="white"|
|-
|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Heliconia rostrata
Patujú
Heliconia rostrata
Heliconia rostrata is an herbaceous perennial native to the north western region of South America. Other Heliconias grow in the upright position , their cup-shaped flowers storing water for birds and insects...


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Echinopsis boyuibensis
Boyuibe cactus
|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Ceiba speciosa
Toborochi
|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Swietenia macrophylla
Mara
Swietenia macrophylla
Swietenia macrophylla, commonly known as big leaf mahogany, is a species of plant in the Meliaceae family. It is one of two species that yields genuine mahogany timber, the other being Swietenia mahagoni....


|style="background:#e9e9e9;" align=center|Cantua buxifolia
Cantuta
|-
|}

Geology



The geology of Bolivia
Geology of Bolivia
The geology of Bolivia compromises a variety of different lithologies as well as tectonic and sedimentary environments. On a synoptic scale, geological units coincide with topographical units, to begin the country is divided into a mountainous western area affected by the subduction processes in...

 comprises a variety of different lithologies
Lithology
The lithology of a rock unit is a description of its physical characteristics visible at outcrop, in hand or core samples or with low magnification microscopy, such as colour, texture, grain size, or composition. It may be either a detailed description of these characteristics or be a summary of...

 as well as tectonic
Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere...

 and sedimentary environments. On a synoptic scale, geological units coincide with topographical units. Most elementally, the country is divided into a mountainous western area affected by the subduction
Subduction
In geology, subduction is the process that takes place at convergent boundaries by which one tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate, sinking into the Earth's mantle, as the plates converge. These 3D regions of mantle downwellings are known as "Subduction Zones"...

 processes in the Pacific and an eastern lowlands of stable platforms
Platform (geology)
In geology, a platform is a continental area covered by relatively flat or gently tilted, mainly sedimentary strata, which overlie a basement of consolidated igneous or metamorphic rocks of an earlier deformation...

 and shields
Shield (geology)
A shield is generally a large area of exposed Precambrian crystalline igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks that form tectonically stable areas. In all cases, the age of these rocks is greater than 570 million years and sometimes dates back 2 to 3.5 billion years...

.



Economy



Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America, despite being rich in natural resource
Natural resource
Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems....

s. Bolivia's 2002 gross domestic product (GDP) totaled USD $7.9 billion. Economic growth was about 2.5% per year, and inflation was between 3% and 4% in 2002 (it was under 2% in 2001). Bolivia was rated 'Repressed' by the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom
Index of Economic Freedom
The Index of Economic Freedom is a series of 10 economic measurements created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Its stated objective is to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations....

. However, despite a series of mostly political setbacks, between 2006 and 2009 the Morales administration has spurred growth higher than at any point in the preceding 30 years. The growth was accompanied by a moderate decrease in inequality.

Bolivia's current economic situation remains lackluster, a factor that can be linked to several factors from the past three decades. The first major blow to the Bolivian economy came with a dramatic fall in the price of tin during the early 1980s, which impacted one of Bolivia's main sources of income and one of its major mining-industries. The second major economic blow came at the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 in the late 1980s and early 1990s as economic aid was withdrawn by western countries who had previously tried to keep a market-liberal regime in power through financial support.

Since 1985, the government of Bolivia has implemented a far-reaching program of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform aimed at maintaining price stability, creating conditions for sustained growth, and alleviating scarcity. A major reform of the customs service in recent years has significantly improved transparency in this area.
Parallel legislative reforms have locked into place market-liberal policies, especially in the hydrocarbon and telecommunication sectors, that have encouraged private investment. Foreign investors are accorded national treatment, and foreign ownership of companies enjoys virtually no restrictions in Bolivia.

Bolivia has the second largest natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 reserves in South America. The government has a long-term sales-agreement to sell natural gas to Brazil through 2019. The government held a binding referendum in 2005 on the Hydrocarbon Law.

The US Geological Service estimates that Bolivia has 5.4 million cubic ton
Cubic ton
A Cubic ton is a measure of volume .It is no longer used in the United Kingdom but seems to be still in use in the USA, see "definitions" below.-Definitions:...

nes of lithium
Lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

 which represents 50%–70% of world reserves. The light metal is used to make high-capacity batteries used in electric cars and such. The spinoff effect of lithium mining could cause Bolivia to become the "Saudi Arabia of the Green World." However, to mine for it would involve disturbing the country's salt flats (called Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat at . It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated above the mean sea level. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes...

), an important natural feature which boosts tourism in the region. The government does not want to destroy this unique natural landscape, to meet the rising world demand for lithium.
In April 2000, Hugo Banzer, the former President of Bolivia, signed a contract with Aguas del Tunari, a private consortium, to operate and improve the water supply in Bolivia's third-largest city, Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban population of 608,276 and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people...

. Shortly thereafter, the company tripled the water rates in that city, an action which resulted in protests and rioting
2000 Cochabamba protests
The Cochabamba protests of 2000, also known as the "Cochabamba Water Wars", were a series of protests that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia's third largest city, between January 1999 and April 2000 in response to multinational participation in the infrastructure and management of the city's...

 among those who could no longer afford clean water. Amidst Bolivia's nationwide economic collapse and growing national unrest over the state of the economy, the Bolivian government was forced to withdraw the water contract.

Bolivian commercial exports were $1.3 billion in 2002, from a low of $652 million in 1991. Imports were $1.7 billion in 2002. Bolivian tariff
Tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

s are a uniformly low 10%, with capital equipment charged only 5%. Bolivia's trade-deficit was $460 million in 2002.

Bolivia's trade with neighboring countries is growing, in part because of several regional preferential trade agreements it has negotiated. Bolivia is a member of the Andean Community of Nations
Andean Community of Nations
The Andean Community is a customs union comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The trade bloc was called the Andean Pact until 1996 and came into existence with the signing of the Cartagena Agreement in 1969...

 and enjoys nominally free trade with other member countries.

The United States remains Bolivia's largest trading partner (excepting natural resources, such as natural gas). In 2002, the United States exported $283 million of merchandise to Bolivia and imported $162 million.

Agriculture accounts for roughly 15% of Bolivia's GDP. Soybeans are the major cash crop
Cash crop
In agriculture, a cash crop is a crop which is grown for profit.The term is used to differentiate from subsistence crops, which are those fed to the producer's own livestock or grown as food for the producer's family...

, sold into the Andean Community market.

Bolivia's government remains heavily dependent on foreign assistance to finance development projects. At the end of 2002, the government owed $4.5 billion to its foreign creditor
Creditor
A creditor is a party that has a claim to the services of a second party. It is a person or institution to whom money is owed. The first party, in general, has provided some property or service to the second party under the assumption that the second party will return an equivalent property or...

s, with $1.6 billion of this amount owed to other governments and most of the balance owed to multilateral development banks. Most payments to other governments have been rescheduled on several occasions since 1987 through the Paris Club
Paris Club
The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of some of the world's biggest economies, which provides financial services such as war funding, debt restructuring, debt relief, and debt cancellation to indebted countries and their creditors...

 mechanism. External creditors have been willing to do this because the Bolivian government has generally achieved the monetary and fiscal targets set by IMF programs since 1987, though economic crises in recent years have undercut Bolivia's normally good record.

The rescheduling of agreements granted by the Paris Club has allowed the individual creditor countries to apply very soft terms to the rescheduled debt. As a result, some countries have forgiven substantial amounts of Bolivia's bilateral debt. The U.S. government reached an agreement at the Paris Club meeting in December 1995 that reduced by 67% Bolivia's existing debt stock. The Bolivian government continues to pay its debts to the multilateral development banks on time. Bolivia is a beneficiary of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries is a group of 40 developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang which are eligible for special assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.- History and structure :...

 (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC debt relief programs, which by agreement restricts Bolivia's access to new soft loans.

The income from tourism becomes increasingly important. Bolivia's tourist industry
Tourism in Bolivia
Bolivia has many natural and artificial tourist attractions, and has experienced growth in the tourism industry since 1990 in spite of deterrents to tourism such as political instability.-Attractions:...

 has grown gradually since about 1990.




Demographics



Bolivia's ethnic distribution is estimated to be 30% Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

-speaking and 25% Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

-speaking. The largest of the approximately three dozen native groups are the Quechuas
Quechuas
Quechuas is the collective term for several indigenous ethnic groups in South America who speak a Quechua language , belonging to several ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Argentina.The Quechuas of Ecuador call themselves as well as their...

 (2.5 million), Aymaras (2 million), then Chiquitano (180,000), and Guaraní (125,000). So the full Amerindian population is at 55%; the remaining 30% is mestizo
Mestizo
Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America, Philippines and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent...

 (mixed Amerindian and European), and around 15% are whites
White Latin American
White Latin Americans are the people of Latin America who are white in the racial classification systems used in individual Latin American countries. Persons who are classified as White in one Latin American country may be classified differently in another country...

.

The white population consists mostly of criollo
Criollo people
The Criollo class ranked below that of the Iberian Peninsulares, the high-born permanent residence colonists born in Spain. But Criollos were higher status/rank than all other castes—people of mixed descent, Amerindians, and enslaved Africans...

s
, which in turn consist of families of relatively unmixed Spanish ancestry, descended from the early Spanish colonists. These have formed much of the aristocracy since independence. Other smaller groups within the white population are Germans, who founded the former national airline Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano S.A. was an airline serving as flag carrier of Bolivia. It operated domestic and international flights, aiming at passenger as well as cargo transport. LAB was active for more than 80 years, having been based in Cochabamba most of the time, with Cochabamba Airport being an...

, as well as Italians, Basques
Basque people
The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

, Croats
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

, Russians, Poles and other minorities, many of whose members descend from families that have lived in Bolivia for several generations. Some 40,000 German-speaking Mennonite
Mennonites in Bolivia
As of 2010, there are close to 60,000 conservative Russian Mennonites living in Bolivia. In addition to this there are a number of native Bolivians who have converted to Mennonitism...

s live in eastern Bolivia.

The Afro Bolivian
Afro Bolivian
Afro Bolivians are Bolivians of African ancestry, and to historical or cultural elements in Bolivia thought to emanate from this community. The term can refer to the combining of African and other cultural elements found in Bolivian society such as religion, music, language, the arts, and class...

 community numbers more than 0.5% of the population, descended from African slaves that were transported to work in Brazil and then migrated westward into Bolivia. They are mostly concentrated in the Yungas
Yungas
The Yungas is a stretch of forest along the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains from southeastern Peru through central Bolivia. It is a transitional zone between the Andean highlands and the eastern forests. Like the surrounding areas, it has characteristics of the Neotropic ecozone...

 region (Nor Yungas
Nor Yungas Province
Nor Yungas is a province in the Yungas-area of the Bolivian department of La Paz.. Its administrative seat is the town of Coroico.- Subdivision :The province is divided into two municipalities which are further subdivided into cantons....

 and Sud Yungas
Sud Yungas Province
Sud Yungas is a province in the Bolivian department of La Paz. Its capital is Chulumani.- Subdivision :The province is divided into five municipalities which are further subdivided into cantons.- External links :*...

 provinces) in the department of La Paz. There are also Japanese who are concentrated mostly in Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia and the largest city in the country...

, and Middle Easterners who became prosperous in commerce.

Bolivia is one of the least developed countries in South America. Almost two-thirds of its people, many of whom are subsistence farmers, live in poverty. Population density ranges from less than one person per square kilometre in the southeastern plains to about ten per square kilometre (25 per sq. mi) in the central highlands. As of 2006, the population is increasing about 1.45% per year.

Major cities are La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

 (administrative capital), Sucre
Sucre
Sucre, also known historically as Charcas, La Plata and Chuquisaca is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and the capital of the department of Chuquisaca. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2750m...

 (capital), Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia and the largest city in the country...

 (largest population), El Alto
El Alto
At one time merely a suburb of adjacent La Paz, Bolivia, on the Altiplano highlands, the city of El Alto is today one of Bolivia's largest and fastest-growing urban centers. As of the 2001 census, the population was 649,958. In 2010, the population may be nearly 900,000, or more. The city contains...

, Oruro
Oruro, Bolivia
Oruro is a city in Bolivia with a population of 235,393 , located about equidistant between La Paz and Sucre at approximately 3710 meters above sea level. It is the capital of the department of Oruro....

 and Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban population of 608,276 and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people...

.

Health


In 2006, life expectancy at birth was 64 for males and 67 for females. A study by UN Development Programme and UNICEF reported that over 230 babies in Bolivia died per day through lack of proper care. The majority of the population has no health insurance. A significant part of the population has no access to healthcare. Demographic and Health Surveys
Demographic and Health Surveys
The MEASURE Demographic and Health Surveys Project is responsible for collecting and disseminating accurate, nationally representative data on health and population in developing countries. The project is implemented by Macro International, Inc...

 has completed five surveys in Bolivia since 1989 on a wide range of topics.

Religion





Although the great majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic, Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 denominations and traditional ethnic Inca religion
Inca religion
In the heterogeneous Inca Empire several polytheistic religions were practiced by its different people. Most religions had common traits such as the existence of a Pachamama and Viracocha...

 Religions are expanding rapidly. According to a 2001 survey conducted by the National Statistical Institute, 78% of the population is Roman Catholic, 16% is Protestant and 3% follow other Christian denominations. Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is practiced by the descendants of Arabs and local converts, constituting a small minority of just over 2000 adherents. There is also a small Jewish community that is almost all Ashkenazim in origin. The state has no official religion.

There are colonies of Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

s in the Santa Cruz Department. Many Native communities interweave pre-Columbia and Christian symbols in their worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

.

Language


Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

 21.2% (official), Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

 14.6% (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2% (2001 census according to CIA Factbook). According to Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Bolivia 28.1% of the population of Bolivia spoke an indigenous language
Indigenous languages of the Americas
Indigenous languages of the Americas are spoken by indigenous peoples from Alaska and Greenland to the southern tip of South America, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. These indigenous languages consist of dozens of distinct language families as well as many language...

 as a first language in 2007. This had increased to 29.4% in 2008. Approximately 90% of the children attend primary-school but often for a year or less. Until the 2001 census the literacy rate was low in many rural areas, but, according to the CIA, the literacy rate was 87% nationwide, which is similar to Brazil's but below the South American average. Nevertheless in 2008 after the campaign "Yes I can", Bolivia was declared illiteracy-free under the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 standards.

Politics and government




Bolivia has been governed by democratically elected governments since 1982, when a long string of military coups came to an end. Presidents Hernán Siles Zuazo
Hernán Siles Zuazo
Hernán Siles Zuazo was a politician from Bolivia. He served as his country's constitutionally elected president twice, from 1956 to 1960 and again from 1982 to 1985....

 (1982–85) and Víctor Paz Estenssoro
Víctor Paz Estenssoro
Ángel Víctor Paz Estenssoro was a politician and president of Bolivia. He ran for president 8 times , winning in 1951, 1960, 1964, and 1985....

 (1985–89) began a tradition of ceding power peacefully which has continued, although two presidents have stepped down in the face of popular protests: Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada y Sánchez de Bustamante , familiarly known as "Goni", is a Bolivian politician, businessman, and former President of Bolivia. A lifelong member of the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario , he is credited for using "shock therapy", the economic theory championed by then...

 in 2003 and Carlos Mesa
Carlos Mesa
Carlos Diego Mesa Gisbert is a Bolivian politician, historian and President of Bolivia from October 17, 2003 until his resignation on June 6, 2005....

 in 2005. Bolivia's multiparty democracy has seen a wide variety of parties in the presidency and parliament, although the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement
Revolutionary Nationalist Movement
The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement is a Bolivian political party, perhaps the most important in the country during the 20th century. At the legislative elections in 2002, the party won, in an alliance with the Free Bolivia Movement, 26.9% of the popular vote and 36 out of 130 seats in the...

, National Democratic Action
National Democratic Action
The National Democratic Action Society - Wa'ad is Bahrain's largest leftist political party. It emerged out of the Popular Front, a radical clandestine opposition movement of Maoist, socialist and Arab nationalist orientation...

, and the Revolutionary Left Movement
Revolutionary Left Movement
Revolutionary Left Movement may refer to:*Revolutionary Left Movement *Revolutionary Left Movement *Revolutionary Left Movement *Revolutionary Left Movement...

 predominated from 1985 to 2005. The current president is Evo Morales
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

, the first indigenous Bolivian to serve as head of state. Morales' Movement for Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples party was the first to win an outright presidential majority in four decades, doing so both in 2005 and 2009.

The constitution
Constitution of Bolivia
The current Constitution of Bolivia is the 17th constitution in the country's history; previous constitutions were enacted in 1826, 1831, 1834, 1839, 1843, 1851, 1861, 1868, 1871, 1878, 1880, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1961 and 1967. It came into effect on February 7, 2009, when it was promulgated by...

, drafted in 2006-07 and approved in 2009, provides for balanced executive, legislative, judicial, and electoral powers, as well as several levels of autonomy. The traditionally strong executive branch tends to overshadow the Congress
National Congress of Bolivia
The Plurinational Legislative Assembly also known as the National Congress is the national legislature of Bolivia, based in the nation's de facto capital, La Paz....

, whose role is generally limited to debating and approving legislation initiated by the executive. The judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Bolivia
The Supreme Court of Bolivia is the South American country's highest court, located in Sucre, 410 kilometres to the south-east of La Paz, Bolivia's capital. The Court was created by the Supreme Decree of April 27, 1825, which transformed the Royal Audience of Charcas into the new country's...

 and departmental and lower courts, has long been riddled with corruption and inefficiency. Through revisions to the constitution in 1994, and subsequent laws, the government has initiated potentially far-reaching reforms in the judicial system as well as increasing decentralizing powers to departments, municipalities, and indigenous territories.

Executive branch



The executive branch is headed by a President and Vice President, and consists of a variable number (currently, 20) of government ministries
Ministry (government department)
A ministry is a specialised organisation responsible for a sector of government public administration, sometimes led by a minister or a senior public servant, that can have responsibility for one or more departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions or other smaller executive, advisory, managerial or...

. The president is elected to a five-year term by popular vote, and governs from the Presidential Palace (popularly called the Burnt Palace, Palacio Quemado) in La Paz. In the case that no candidate receives an absolute majority of the popular vote or more than 40% of the vote with an advantage of more than 10% over the second place finisher, a run-off is to be held among the two candidates most voted.

Prisons


There are 53 prisons in Bolivia
Prisons in Bolivia
There are 53 prisons in Bolivia which incarcerate around 8,700 people as of 2010. The prisons are managed by the Penitentiary Regime Directorate . There are 17 prisons in departmental capital cities and 36 provincial prisons...

 which incarcerate around 8,700 people as of 2010. The prisons are managed by the Penitentiary Regime Directorate . There are 17 prisons in departmental
Departments of Bolivia
Bolivia is divided into nine departments . Each of the departments is subdivided into provinces , which are further subdivided into municipalities ....

 capital cities and 36 provincial prisons.

Legislative branch


The Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional (Plurinational Legislative Assembly or National Congress) has two chambers
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

. The Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies) has 130 members elected to five year terms, seventy from single-member districts (circunscripciones), sixty by proportional representation, and seven by the minority indigenous peoples of seven departments. The Cámara de Senadores (Chamber of Senators) has 36 members (four per department). Members of the Assembly are elected to five year terms. The body has its headquarters on the Plaza Murillo in La Paz, but also holds honorary sessions elsewhere in Bolivia. The Vice President serves as titular head of the combined Assembly.

Judicial branch


The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Bolivia
The Supreme Court of Bolivia is the South American country's highest court, located in Sucre, 410 kilometres to the south-east of La Paz, Bolivia's capital. The Court was created by the Supreme Decree of April 27, 1825, which transformed the Royal Audience of Charcas into the new country's...

, the Constitutional Tribunal, the Judiciary Council, Agrarian and Environmental Tribunal, and District (departmental) and lower courts.

In October 2011, Bolivia will hold its first judicial elections to choose members of the national courts by popular vote.

Electoral branch


The electoral branch of Bolivia's government, formally the Plurinational Electoral Organ
Plurinational Electoral Organ
The Plurinational Electoral Organ is the independent electoral branch of the government of Bolivia. It replaced the National Electoral Court in 2010. The branch consists of the 7-member Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the nine Departmental Electoral Tribunals, Electoral Judges, the anonymously selected...

, is an independent branch of government which replaced the National Electoral Court
National Electoral Court of Bolivia
The National Electoral Court was the government-appointed court which oversaw elections and electoral results at all levels of Bolivian government from 1956 to 2010, and supervised nine Departmental Electoral Courts in each department...

 in 2010. The branch consists of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the nine Departmental Electoral Tribunals, Electoral Judges, the anonymously selected Juries at Election Tables, and Electoral Notaries. Wilfredo Ovando presides over the seven-member Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Its operations are mandated by the Constitution and regulated by the Electoral Regime Law (Law 026, passed 2010). The Organ's first elections will be the country's first judicial election
Bolivian judicial election, 2011
The first Bolivian judicial election was held on 16 October 2011. The national vote was held to elect magistrates to serve on the Supreme Tribunal of Justice , the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal , the Agro-environmental Tribunal and members of the Council of the Judiciary...

 in October 2011 and five municipal special elections expected to be held in 2011.

Military



The Bolivian military
Military of Bolivia
- Army :The Bolivian Army has around 55,500 men. There are six military regions in the army. The Army is organized into ten divisions...

 comprises three branches: Ejército (Army), Naval (Navy) and Fuerza Aérea (Air Force). The legal age for voluntary admissions is 18; however, when the numbers are small the government recruits anyone as young as 14. The tour of duty
Tour of duty
In the Navy, a tour of duty is a period of time spent performing operational duties at sea, including combat, performing patrol or fleet duties, or assigned to service in a foreign country....

 is generally 12 months. The Bolivian government annually spends $130 million on defense.

The Bolivian Army has around 31,500 men. There are six military regions (regiones militares—RMs) in the army. The Army is organized into ten divisions.

Though it is landlocked Bolivia keeps a navy. The Bolivian Naval Force (Fuerza Naval Boliviana in Spanish) is a naval force about 5,000 strong in 2008.

The Bolivian Air Force
Bolivian Air Force
The Bolivian Air Force is part of the Military of Bolivia.-History:By 1938 the Bolivian air force consisted of about 60 aircraft , and about 300 staff; the officers were...

 ('Fuerza Aérea Boliviana' or 'FAB') has nine air bases, located at La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia and the largest city in the country...

, Puerto Suárez
Puerto Suárez
Puerto Suárez is an important inland river port and municipality in Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia. It is located 10 km west of the border with Brazil.-Location:...

, Tarija
Tarija, Bolivia
Tarija or San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa is a city in southern Bolivia. Founded in 1574, Tarija is both the capital and largest city within the Tarija Department, with an airport offering regular service to primary Bolivian cities, as well as a regional bus terminal with domestic and...

, Villamontes
Villamontes
Villamontes is a town in the Tarija Department in south-eastern Bolivia.-Location:Villamontes is the administrative center of Villamontes Municipio and situated at , 390 m above sea level, on the left bank of Río Pilcomayo where the river crosses the Sierra del Aguarague mountain range and flows...

, Cobija
Cobija
The Bolivian city of Cobija is located about 600 km north of La Paz in the Amazon Basin on the border of Brazil and Peru. Cobija lies on banks of the Rio Acre across from the Brazilian city Brasiléia. Cobija lies at an elevation of ca...

, Riberalta
Riberalta
Riberalta is a town in the Beni Department in northern Bolivia, situated where the Madre de Dios River joins the Beni River. Riberalta is on the south bank of the Beni River....

, and Roboré
Roboré
-References:...

.

Civil aviation


The General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil—DGAC) formerly part of the FAB, administers a civil aeronautics school called the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (Instituto Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil—INAC), and two commercial air transport services TAM and TAB.

TAM (Transporte Aéreo Militar)


'TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar (the Bolivian Military Airline) is an airline based in La Paz, Bolivia. It is the civilian wing of the 'Fuerza Aérea Boliviana' (the Bolivian Air Force), operating passenger services to remote towns and communities in the North and Northeast of Bolivia. TAM (a.k.a. TAM Group 71) has been a part of the FAB since 1945.

A similar airline serving the Beni Department
Beni Department
Beni, sometimes El Beni, is a northeastern department of Bolivia, in the lowlands region of the country. It is the second largest department in the country , covering 213,564 square kilometers , and it was created by supreme decree on November 18, 1842 during the administration of General José...

 with small planes is Línea Aérea Amaszonas
Amaszonas
Línea Aérea Amaszonas, often shortened to Amaszonas, is an airline in Bolivia, operating scheduled and chartered short-haul, low-volume passenger flights throughout the Northern and North Eastern regions of the country. The company was founded in 2000...

, using smaller planes than TAM.

TAB (Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos)


Although a civil transport airline, TAB – Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos, was created as a subsidiary company of the FAB in 1977. It is subordinate to the Air Transport Management (Gerencia de Transportes Aéreos) and is headed by an FAB general. TAB, a charter heavy cargo airline, links Bolivia with most countries of the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

; its inventory included a fleet of Hercules C130 aircraft. TAB was headquartered adjacent to El Alto International Airport
El Alto International Airport
El Alto International Airport is an international airport located south west of La Paz, La Paz Department, Bolivia.The airport is located in the city of El Alto and has served since the first half of the 20th century, but was modernized in the late 1960s, when its runway was lengthened and a new...

. TAB also flew to Miami and Houston, with stops in Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

.

Culture


Bolivian culture has been heavily influenced by the Quechua, the Aymara, as well as by the popular cultures of Latin America as a whole.

The cultural development is divided into three distinct periods: precolumbian, colonial, and republican. Important archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 ruins, gold and silver ornaments, stone monuments, ceramic
Ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

s, and weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

s remain from several important pre-Columbian cultures. Major ruins include Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku, is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia, South America. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five...

, El Fuerte de Samaipata
El Fuerte de Samaipata
El Fuerte de Samaipata , also known simply as 'El Fuerte', is an archaeological site and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Santa Cruz Department, Florida Province, Bolivia. It is situated in the eastern foothills of the Bolivian Andes, and is a popular tourist destination for Bolivians and...

, Incallajta
Incallajta
Incallajta is a monumental Inca site in central Bolivia, Cochabamba Department, Carrasco Province, Pocona Municipality, approximately 130 kilometers east of Cochabamba. It was most recently excavated by Larry Coben...

, and Iskanawaya. The country abounds in other sites that are difficult to reach and have seen little archaeological exploration.
The Spanish brought their own tradition of religious art which, in the hands of local native and mestizo builders and artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

s, developed into a rich and distinctive style of architecture, painting, and sculpture known as "Mestizo Baroque". The colonial period produced not only the paintings of Pérez de Holguín, Flores, Bitti, and others but also the works of skilled but unknown stonecutters, woodcarvers, goldsmiths, and silversmiths. An important body of Native Baroque religious music of the colonial period was recovered in recent years and has been performed internationally to wide acclaim since 1994.

Bolivian artists of stature in the twentieth century include Guzmán de Rojas, Arturo Borda, María Luisa Pacheco
Maria Luisa Pacheco
María Luisa Pacheco was a Bolivian painter who emigrated to the United States.-Biography:Born at La Paz, she studied at the local Academia de Bellas Artes, later becoming a member of the faculty. In the late 1940s and until 1951, she worked at the newspaper La Razón as an illustrator and as the...

, Roberto Mamani Mamani
Roberto Mamani Mamani
Roberto Mamani Mamani is an Aymaran artist from Bolivia. His work is significant in its use of Aymaran indigenous tradition and symbols. His art has been exhibited around the world, including shows in Washington, D.C., Tokyo, Munich, and London....

, Alejandro Mario Yllanes
Alejandro Mario Yllanes
Alejandro Mario Yllanes was an Aymara painter and printmaker from Bolivia. He disappeared from the public spotlight in 1946, after he was awarded, but did not claim, the Guggenheim Fellowship.-Art career:...

, Alfredo Da Silva
Alfredo Da Silva
Alfredo Da Silva is a painter, graphic artist, and photographer, known for his abstract expressionism. He came to international prominence in 1959.- Biography :...

, and Marina Núñez del Prado
Marina Núñez del Prado
Marina Núñez del Prado was a celebrated Bolivian sculptor.Marina Núñez del Prado was one of the most respected sculptors from Latin America. Her work is highly sensuous, with rolling curves. She carved from native Bolivian woods, as well as black granite, alabaster, basalt and white onyx...

, William Vega.

Bolivia has a rich folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

. Its regional folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 is distinctive and varied. The "devil dances" at the annual carnival of Oruro are one of the great folkloric events of South America, as is the lesser known carnival at Tarabuco
Tarabuco
Tarabuco is a Bolivian town in the department of Chuquisaca, capital of the Yamparáez Province and its first section, Tarabuco Municipality. It is best known as the home of the Yampara culture. Its people host the Pujllay festival in March each year...

.
The best known of the various festivals found in the country is the "Carnaval de Oruro
Carnaval de Oruro
The Carnival of Oruro is a more than 2000 year old religious celebration that, through creativity, continuity, and ritual, came to constitute a model of "Masterpieces of Oral Heritage and Intangible Heritage of Humanity...

", which was among the first 19 "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity", as proclaimed by the UNESCO in May 2001.

Entertainment includes football, which is the national sport, as well as table football
Table football
Table football, also known as gitoni or foosball, is a table-top game and sport that is loosely based on association football.-Names:...

, which is played on street corners by both children and adults.


Education



Under UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 standards, Bolivia has been declared free of illiteracy in 2008, making it the fourth country in Latin America with this status.

Bolivia has a wide variety of public and private universities. Among them: Universidad San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca USFX – Sucre, founded in 1624; Universidad Mayor de San Andres UMSA – La Paz, founded in 1830; Universidad Mayor de San Simon UMSS – Cochabamba, founded in 1832; Universidad Autónoma Gabriel Rene Moreno
Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno
The Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno is a university in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. It was created by a supreme decree of December 15, 1879...

 UAGRM – Santa Cruz de la Sierra, founded in 1880; Universidad Tecnica de Oruro
Universidad Técnica de Oruro
The Universidad Técnica de Oruo , or UTO, is one of ten public universities in Bolivia. It is located in the city of Oruro.The university was created on 15 October 1892 as Distrito Unversitario de Oruro...

 UTO – Oruro, founded in 1892; Universidad Autónoma Tomás Frías UATF – Potosi, founded in 1892; Universidad Juan Misael Saracho UJMS – Tarija, founded in 1946; Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo UCB, founded in 1966; Universidad Técnica del Beni UTB – Trinidad, founded in 1967; Universidad Nur NUR, founded in 1982; Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra UPSA – Santa Cruz de la Sierra, founded in 1984; Universidad Nacional Siglo XX UNSXX – Llallagua, founded in 1986; Universidad del Valle UNIVALLE -Cochabamba, founded in 1988; Universidad Privada Boliviana UPB, founded in 1993; Universidad Privada Franz Tamayo UPFT, founded in 1993 and Universidad Amazónica de Pando UAP – Cobija, founded in 1993.

For the first time in Bolivian history, three indigenous universities were created: Universidad Aymara Tupac Katari UATK – La Paz, founded in 2009; Universidad Quechua Casmiro Huanca UQCH – Cochabamba, founded in 2009 and Universidad Boliviana Guaraní y Pueblos de Tierras Bajas UGPTB – Chuquisaca, founded in 2009.

Further reading


External links




Related information