sovereign state in South America

Bolivia, officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre, while the seat of government and financial center is located in La Paz. The country's population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians and Africans. Its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. Bolivia is very rich in minerals, including tin, silver, lithium, and copper.

Map of Bolivia
Coat of arms of Bolivia
Bolivia has the world’s largest known lithium reserves
Bolivian President Evo Morales, a leftist and former coca farmer, is counting on lithium to serve as the economic engine that lifts his country out of poverty.




  • Bolivia has this long record of giving into the I.M.F. and the World Bank, privatizing their resources, like their power company and their water company. And the people of Bolivia were fed up with this... so Evo Morales ran on this ticket that said, “I’m not going to put up with this anymore.” .. The reason he was elected.. has to do with the extreme frustration and anger of the Bolivian people, of how they’ve been exploited and how the I.M.F. and the World Bank have insisted that they turn their resources over to foreign corporations. And also, you know, part of the World Trade Organization policies is that we insist that countries like Bolivia not subsidize their local industries and products, but that they accept our subsidies of them, and that they not erect any barriers against our goods coming in there, but they accept the barriers that we erect against their goods. And people around the world, Amy, are getting fed up with this. 300 million Latin Americans — South Americans out of 360 million, over 80% have voted for these types of candidates.... people like Evo Morales, really looked to Hugo Chavez as an example of someone who’s had the staying power. He’s been able to stay there, despite the fact that the (G.W. Bush) administration has spoken so strongly against him and is so angry...
  • Well, I have no doubt that he (Evo Morales) has been visited by at least one of these men... they walk into his office and shake his hands and say, “Congratulations, Mr. President. You won. We launched a strong campaign against you, but now you’ve won. And now, I want to tell you the facts of life and make you —”... Morales was very diplomatic about the whole thing, but absolutely stood firm and said, “You know, my people have elected me for a reason, and I intend to honor that.” This is what his initial response was. But what I will say is we can’t imagine the pressure now that’s being exerted on a man like Morales, as is true with all these other presidents. They know what’s happened before their time. And... the pressure will be put on them tighter and tighter and tighter.... And imagine being in that position. Imagine being an integritous person and really wanting to help your country, being elected with a majority — Morales got 54% of the vote, which is unheard of in Bolivia; he was up against many opponents — and then, wanting to implement the policy, and somebody walks into your office and reminds you of what happened to all these other presidents.




  • Broadly speaking, Evo Morales was a successful leader of Bolivia. A trade unionist with familial roots among the country’s indigenous peoples, he was first elected president in 2005 and was twice returned to office with substantial majorities. Morales is credited by the IMF with achieving a drastic reduction in poverty among farmers and coca growers and a societal revolution that, among other things, transformed the standing of Bolivia’s numerous ethnic minority groups.
  • He championed a “plurinational” constitution that guaranteed equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, effectively ending the monopoly on power previously enjoyed by Bolivians of European descent. His time in office also saw a big increase in women’s political participation.
  • The Venezuelan head of state President Nicolás Maduro also referred to the coup in Bolivia against the legitimate President Evo Morales, saying that "Evo is the only one who can restore the peace in Bolivia," in the face of the police repression unleashed by the Bolivian president's resignation. "The order to arrest Evo and to assassinate him was given to a paramilitary group in Santa Cruz and another in Potosi, it is the intelligence information that reached us," he said, adding that the coup was financed from Washington and organized at the U.S. embassy in La Paz.
  • At least eight people were killed and dozens injured in the Bolivian city of Sacaba on Friday, after security forces fired on supporters of ousted president Evo Morales, according to the Associated Press.
  • With tensions running high following Morales' resignation last Sunday, demonstrators took to the streets to decry the nation's interim president, Jeanine Añez. The protesters, made up largely of members of Bolivia's indigenous population, view Añez's rule as illegitimate and are calling for Morales to return.
  • In Bolivia, indigenous-led protests continued to rage in La Paz Thursday, after Bolivia’s self-proclaimed interim President Jeanine Áñez swore in a new Cabinet with no indigenous members. Áñez is a right-wing Christian who’s previously blasted indigenous communities as “Satanic” in tweets that she later deleted. She said Thursday that exiled socialist President Evo Morales — who fled to Mexico after he was deposed by the military Sunday — would not be allowed to compete in a new round of elections.
  • Añez also faces a challenge to her legitimacy in Congress, where lawmakers loyal to Morales tried to hold new sessions that would undermine her claim to the presidency... Morales’ backers, who hold a two-thirds majority in Congress, boycotted the session that she called Tuesday night to formalize her claim to the presidency, preventing a quorum. She claimed power anyway, saying the constitution did not specifically require congressional approval.
  • We want to be a democratic tool of inclusion and unity,” said the 52-year-old religious conservative, sitting at a table bearing a huge open Bible and crucifix. But the transitional cabinet initially sworn into office on Wednesday night did not include a single indigenous person, in a country where at least 40% of the population belongs to one of 36 indigenous groups.
  • Bolivia’s key reserves are in lithium, which is essential for the electric car. Bolivia claims to have 70 percent of the world’s lithium reserves... Morales made it clear that any development of the lithium had to be done with Bolivia’s Comibol — its national mining company—and Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) — its national lithium company—as equal partners... Tesla (United States) and Pure Energy Minerals (Canada) both showed great interest in having a direct stake in Bolivian lithium. But they could not make a deal that would take into consideration the parameters set by the Morales government. Morales himself was a direct impediment to the takeover of the lithium fields by the non-Chinese transnational firms. He had to go.


  • Bolivia has descended into a nightmare of political repression and racist state violence since the democratically elected government of Evo Morales was overthrown by the military on 10 November last year. That month was the second-deadliest in terms of civilian deaths caused by state forces since Bolivia became a democracy nearly 40 years ago... Morales' government was able to reduce poverty by 42% and extreme poverty by 60%... The November coup was led by a white and mestizo elite with a history of racism, seeking to revert state power to the people who had monopolised it before Morales’ election in 2005. The racist nature of the state violence... all of the victims of the two biggest massacres committed by state forces after the coup were indigenous.
  • What has received even less attention is the role of the Organization of American States (OAS) (with headquarters in Washington, D.C.) in the destruction of Bolivia’s democracy last November. The wheels of justice grind much too slowly in the aftermath of US-backed coups. And the Trump administration’s support has been overt: the White House promoted the “fraud” narrative, and its Orwellian statement following the coup praised it: “Morales’s departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard.” According to the Los Angeles Times: “Carlos Trujillo, the US ambassador to the OAS, had steered the group’s election-monitoring team to report widespread fraud and pushed the Trump administration to support the ouster of Morales.”



See also

At Wikiversity, you can learn about:
  •   Encyclopedic article on Bolivia on Wikipedia
  •   Media related to Bolivia on Wikimedia Commons
  •   The dictionary definition of Bolivia on Wiktionary
  •   Bolivia travel guide from Wikivoyage