Return to homeBolivia Hist: http://www.loc.gov/collections/country-studies/?q=bolivia An ancient Inca site at
Tiwanaku, Bolivia, indicates the sowing of over 2,000 varieties of
potato. The Aymara-speaking people once ruled the region around lake
Titicaca, northwest of Cerro Rico. The 650-square-foot Akapana
pyramid at Tiwanaku was entirely man-made.
(Hem., Dec. '95, p.24)(NH, 11/96, p.37)(Arch,
Bolivia has 9 departments under elected provincial
governors. These and their capitals include Chuquisaca (Sucre);
Cochabamba (Cochabamba); El Beni (Trinidad); La Paz (La Paz); Oruro
(Oruro); Pando (Cobija); Potosi (Potosi); Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz de
la Sierra) and Tarija (Tarija).
(Econ, 4/23/05, p.40)(www.statoids.com/ubo.html)
Bolivia is nearly eight times bigger than New York state.
(AP, 5/22/06) 6000BC
Researchers in 2007 reported that evidence for the use of chili
peppers date back to this time in Ecuador. Botanists if general
agreed that chili peppers originated in Bolivia. Evidence for early
use was also found in the Bahamas, Colombia, Panama, Peru and
(SFC, 2/16/07, p.A7)
3000BC The use of coca in Bolivian culture can be
traced back to at least this time. It is commonly called hoja
sagrada, or sacred loaf.
(SFC, 6/29/00, p.A12)
1200 The Inca Empire conquered
the area of Bolivia around this time and remained in control until
arrival of Spaniards.
c1470 The Quechua-speaking
Incas came to dominate what is now Bolivia a mere 75 years before
the Spaniards arrived.
(NH, 11/96, p.37)
1545 The Spanish discovered the
silver mines of Potosi, Bolivia. From the town of Cerro Rico, which
means Hill of Riches, they took out the equivalent of $2 billion
from one mountainside.
(NH, 10/96, p.4)(NH, 11/96, p.38)
1548 Jul 16, La Paz, Bolivia,
1561 Santa Cruz (Bolivia) was
founded by the Spaniard Nuflo de Chavez as a bulwark against
(WSJ, 12/6/96, p.A12)
1573 The city of Potosi,
Bolivia, at the foot of Cerro Rico grew to surpass Seville, Madrid,
Rome or Paris. During colonial rule, an estimated 30,000 Africans
worked as slaves in Potosi.
(NH, 11/96, p.38)(http://tinyurl.com/pptepb9)
1600 Feb 19, Arequipa, Peru,
was destroyed as the Huaynaputina volcano exploded catastrophically,
in the largest volcanic explosion in South America in historic
times. The eruption continued with associated earthquakes into March
and devastated the socioeconomic fabric of southern Peru and
neighboring Chile and Bolivia. The explosion had effects on climate
around the Northern Hemisphere, where 1601 was the coldest year in
six centuries, leading to a famine in Russia.
1626 Mar 15, The Potosi (San
Ildefonso) dam collapsed. It was one of the major hydraulic
disasters in the world with 4.000 human lives lost.
1672 In Bolivia the Royal Mint
in Potosi was established. It required the construction of
reservoirs, dams and a canal system to deliver water used in the
1781 Tupak Katari, Aymara
Indian leader, laid siege to La Paz, Bolivia, for 109 days. A
Spanish army finally broke through and Katari was executed by being
drawn and quartered.
(SFC, 4/5/01, p.A12)(WSJ, 1/8/04, p.A1)
1783 Jul 24, Simon Bolivar
(d.1830), was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He was a soldier and
statesmen who led armies of liberation throughout much of South
America, including Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Peru and
Bolivia, which took its name from Bolivar. Bolivar, called "the
Liberator," was a leader in Venezuela for struggles of national
independence in South America. He formed a Gran Colombia that lasted
8 years but broke apart into Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.
Bolivar died of tuberculosis.
(AHD, p.148)(SFC, 6/14/97, p.E3)(AP,
1809 Jul 16, A well-prepared
revolutionary insurrection burst out in La Paz, Bolivia.
1809 Jul 27, In Bolivia a
proclamation of independence of the La Paz colony, said to have been
written by Priest Medina and the first proclamation of that kind,
was released and sent to the other main cities of the colony, hoping
they would support the uprising.
1825 Aug 6, Simon Bolivar drew
up a constitution for Bolivia in which a life president appointed
his successor. Sucre served as the sole capital until losing a brief
civil war to La Paz in 1899. Upper Peru became the autonomous
republic of Bolivia.
(Econ, 7/1/06, p.77)(AP, 7/21/07)(AP, 8/6/08)
1826-1828 Gen. Antonio Jose de Sucre (1793-1830),
Venezuela-born national hero of Ecuador, served as president of
1830 Dec 17, Simon Bolivar
(b.1783), called "the Liberator," died of TB in Santa Marta, in
Colombia. He was a leader in Venezuela for struggles of
national independence in South America. He formed a Gran Colombia
that lasted 8 years, but broke apart into Venezuela, Colombia and
Ecuador. In 2006 John Lynch authored “Simon Bolivar: A Life."
(AHD, p.148)(SFC, 6/14/97, p.E3)(AP,
12/17/97)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.77)
1830 Mayor de San Andres,
Bolivia’s major university, was founded in La Paz.
1834 Bolivia’s Penal Code
of 1834, Article 139, stated: "Anyone who conspires directly and in
fact to establish another religion in Bolivia or (promotes) that the
Republic cease to profess the Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic
Religion, is traitor and will be punished with the death penalty."
1839 Jan 20, Chile defeated a
confederation of Peru and Bolivia in the Battle of Yungay.
1860-1947 Don Simon Iturbi Patino, part Indian
Bolivian miner, made a fortune in tin. While working as a clerk a
customer in debt offered him the deed to an old tin mine. It turned
out to be one of the richest deposits on earth. He served as an
ambassador to Spain and France but was shunned by Bolivian
(WSJ, 1/11/98, p.R18)
1879 Feb 14, Chile invaded the
Bolivian port of Antofagasta after Bolivian authorities attempted to
auction the confiscated property of CSFA, a Chilean mining company.
1879-1883 In the War of the Pacific, Chile’s army
won the nitrate-rich desert lands from Peru and Bolivia. The war was
fought over the treatment of Chilean investors in the desert
territories. The area remained in contention until a 1929 agreement
proposed by Pres. Herbert Hoover.
(SFC, Z-1, 4/28/96, p.5)(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A22)
1887 Nov 28, Ernst Roehm, early
Nazi and German staff member, later Bolivian leader, was born.
1898 In Bolivia Sucre began to
lose its pre-eminence to La Paz following a decline at the nearby
silver mine at Potosi.
(Econ, 7/28/07, p.39)
1899 La Paz became the seat of
Bolivia’s legislative and executive branches after winning a brief
civil war against Sucre, which retained the country’s high courts.
(AP, 8/6/97)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.77)(AP, 7/21/07)
1904 Oct 20, Bolivia and Chile
signed a treaty ending the War of the Pacific. The treaty recognized
Chile's possession of Bolivia's nitrate-rich coastal province of
Antofagasta, but provided for construction of a railway to link La
Paz, Bolivia, to Arica on the coast.
(HN, 10/20/98)(Econ, 12/6/03, p.34)
1907 Robert Leroy Parker and
Harry Longabaugh, known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, held
up another bank in Argentina. They sold their ranch in Patagonia to
a beef syndicate and went to Bolivia where they were gunned down by
soldiers after robbing a mine payroll.
(SFC, 1/19/98, p.A10)
1926 May 10, Hugo Banzer
(d.2002), later dictator and president, was born in Concepcion.
(SFC, 5/6/02, p.B5)
1926-1930 Hernando Siles Reyes led the country.
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A22)
1928 Dec 5, Paraguay initiated
a series of clashes, which led to full-scale war with Bolivia in
spite of inter-American arbitration efforts. Both belligerents moved
more troops into the Chaco Boreal, a wilderness region north of the
Pilcomayo River and west of the Paraguay River that forms part of
the Gran Chaco. By 1932 war was definitely under way.
1929 Jun 3, Chile, Peru &
Bolivia signed an accord about the Tacna-Arica area. Chile and Peru
accepted a proposal by Pres. Herbert Hoover over the outcome of the
1879-1893 War of the Pacific. Chile would retain Arica and return
Tacna to Peru and grant access to the Arica port as a compromise.
The accord was not implemented until 1999.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A22)(MC, 6/3/02)
1931 Mar 5, In Bolivia
President Daniel Salamanca Urey (1869-1935) became president.
1932-1935 The Chaco War was fought between
Paraguay and Bolivia. The war was waged over disputed territory in
the Chaco Boreal, a plain shared by both South American countries.
Although outnumbered and poorly equipped, the Paraguayan army won
every major engagement with the Bolivians. Some 90,000 people were
killed in the war. A commission of neutral nations awarded most of
the disputed territory to Paraguay in 1938.
(HNQ, 7/18/98)(SFC, 8/17/06, p.A10)
1932-1935 Prisoners of the Chaco War built the
one-lane Unduavi-Yolosa highway from La Paz to the Yungas region. It
was called the world's most dangerous highway and every week at
least one vehicle fell off its edge.
(SFC, 2/24/00, p.A12)
1933 May 10, Paraguay declared
war on Bolivia.
1933 Dec 11, Reports said
Paraguay had captured 11,000 Bolivians in the war over Chaco.
1934 Nov 27, In Bolivia
President Daniel Salamanca Urey (1869-1935) was suddenly deposed by
the Bolivian military.
1934 Dec 1, In Bolivia Jose
Luis Tejada Sorzano (1882-1938) was installed as president by the
military. He served to 1936 and was succeeded by David Toro.
1935 Jun 14, A commission of
neutral nations (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and the
United States) declared an armistice in the Chaco War between
Bolivia and Paraguay. A definite settlement was finally reached in
1936 The YPFB (Yacimientos
Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos) was created with the exclusive
right to explore, produce and distribute hydrocarbons.
(WSJ, 2/14/97, p.A8)
1937 Bolivia under the
nationalist administration of General David Toro nationalized its
energy sector. Toro cancelled the Standard Oil Company's oil
contracts and seized the US company's holdings in exchange for a 1.7
million dollar indemnification.
1941 Jun 7, Jaime Laredo,
violinist (Queen Elisabeth of Belgium prize 1959), was born in
1942 Jun 7, Victor Paz
Estensorro founded the National Revolutionary Movement (MNR party).
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.D5)
1952 Apr 9, A popular uprising
in Bolivia broke the grip by three families on the rich silver and
tin lodes of Oruto and Potosi in the altiplano. This led to the
state owned Minera de Bolivia known as Camibol. Hernan Siles Zuazo
led the revolution that brought far-reaching social and economic
reforms. Feudalism was replaced with universal suffrage. Every
business of note was passed into the hands of the state.
(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-9)(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A22)(WSJ,
8/15/95, p. A-6)(MC, 4/9/02)
1952 In Bolivia the MNR Party
was the driving force behind a national revolution that launched
agrarian reforms, the universal right to vote, and the
nationalization of the country’s mines. The MNR was also accused of
assassinations and torture.
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.D5)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.40)
1952 In Bolivia many of the
largest haciendas were broken up as part of agrarian reforms,
thousands of indigenous worked on the plantations in near slavery.
1952-1956 Victor Paz Estensorro founder of the
National Revolutionary Movement, served his 1st of 4 terms as
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.D5)
1953 Bolivia’s agrarian reform
of 1953, born of the1952 revolution, was adversely affected by
corruption and pressure groups. By 1996, 55 million hectares had
been handed over to large landholders, and 45 million hectares to
1953-1955 Bolivia’s President Paz Estenssoro
established universal suffrage. The government reduced the size and
budget of the armed forces. The three major tin companies were
nationalized, to be run by the Mining Corporation of Bolivia
(Comibol). Strongly influenced by peasants, the government enacted
sweeping agrarian reform. Miners organized the Bolivian Labor
1956-1960 In Bolivia Hernan Siles Zuazo
(1913-1996) became president.
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A22)
1960-1964 Victor Paz Estensorro founder of the
National Revolutionary Movement, served his 2nd of 4 terms as
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.D5)
1964 Hugo Banzer was appointed
director of the military academy.
(SFC, 5/6/02, p.B5)
1964 A string of military coups
began in Bolivia, but it returned to democratic rule in 1982.
1964-1965 Victor Paz Estensorro founder of the
National Revolutionary Movement, served his 3rd of 4 terms as
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.D5)
1965-1981 Military regimes ran the country. Their
human rights violations were documented in the 1993 book “Never
Again for Bolivia" by Jesuit author Federico Aguilo.
(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A11)
1967 Pres. Barrientos had
peasant support with distribution of 25-acre plots and the adoption
of Indian rights measures. This made it very difficult for
revolutionary activity to take hold.
(SFC, 5/12/96, Z1p.4)
1967 Jan, Ernesto “Che" Guevara
began organizing the National Liberation Army in
(SFC, 5/12/96, Z1p.4)
1967 Apr, French author Regis
Debray (b.1940) was imprisoned in Bolivia shortly before the capture
of Che Guevara [see Nov 17].
1967 Aug 31, Haydee Tamara
Bunke Bider, aka Tania the Guerrilla, was killed when her guerrilla
column was ambushed by Bolivian soldiers. The remains of Bider, who
was born in Argentina, were uncovered in Sep. 1998 in Vallegrande
and returned to Cuba, her adopted homeland.
(SFC, 12/15/98, p.A17)
1967 Oct 8, Che Guevara was
captured by US trained Bolivian Rangers near Vado del Yeso.
(SFC, 5/12/96, Z1p.4)(SFEC, 7/13/97, p.A10)
1967 Oct 9, Latin American
guerrilla leader Che Guevara (b.1928), Ernesto Serna, was executed
while attempting to incite revolution in Bolivia. Guevara was
captured the previous day and executed on the orders of Bolivia’s
Pres. Gen. Rene Barrientos. Guevara believed that a man of action
could revolutionize a people and strove to fight what he perceived
as the American domination of Latin America. "Pueblo unido jamas
sera vencido." (A United people will never be overcome.)
(AP, 10/9/97)(SFC, 12/23/04, p.A18)(SFC, 10/9/07,
1967 Oct 10, The body of Che
Guevara was laid out at the Lord of Malta Hospital in Villegrande,
Bolivia, 300 miles from the site of capture. The next day his body
vanished. His body was found in a common grave on Jun 28, 1997.
(SFC, 5/12/96, Z1p.1)(SFEC, 7/13/97, p.A10)
1967 Nov 17, French author
Regis Debray (b.1940) was sentenced to 30 years in Bolivia. Debray
(b.1940) was jailed in Bolivia shortly before Che Guevara was
captured and was convicted of having been part of Guevara's
guerrilla group. He was released in 1970 after an international
campaign for his release which included Jean-Paul Sartre, André
Malraux, General De Gaulle and Pope Paul VI.
1968 Bolivia’s Gen. Juan Jose
Torres selected economist Hugo Torresgoitia as vice president.
(SFC, 7/14/03, p.A2)
1969 Apr 27, Gen. Rene
Barrientos (b.1919), military president of Bolivia, died in a
1969 Nov 5, Bolivia
nationalized its energy sector a 2nd time. Marcelo Quiroga Santa
Cruz, the Minister of Mines and Petroleum, nationalized the assets
and concessions of the Gulf Oil Company, under the administration of
General Alfredo Ovando Candia (1969-1970).
1970 Nov 27, Pope Paul VI,
visiting the Philippines, was slightly wounded at the Manila airport
by Benjamin Mendoza, a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as
1970 Dec 23, French journalist
Regis Debray (b.1940), arrested in 1967, was freed in Bolivia.
1971 Jan, Gen. Juan Jose Torres
dismissed Hugo Banzer from his position as director of the military
academy. Banzer followed with a coup attempt and was exiled to
1971 Aug 22, A coup led by Col.
Hugo Banzer Suarez deposed leftist army Gen’l. Juan Jose Torres, who
had created a Soviet-style legislature. Torres fled to Argentina.
(WUD, 1994, p. 1688)(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A11)(SFC,
1971 Oct, Bolivia restored the
death penalty for terrorism, kidnapping, and crimes against
government and security personnel. In 1997 the death penalty was
abolished for ordinary crimes.
1971-1978 Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez served as the
military dictator and ruled the country through repression and
(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A10)
c1973 In Bolivia Pres. Hugo
Banzer met with Chilean military authorities. The Chilean military
Operation Condor sought Chilean exiles in Bolivia and other
countries for return to Chile for execution.
(SFEC, 11/29/98, p.A26)
1974 Hugo Banzer, military
dictator of Bolivia, prohibited all political activity.
(SFC, 5/6/02, p.B5)
1976 May 11, Col. Joaquin
Zenteno Anaya, Bolivia’s ambassador to France, was assassinated in
Paris. Members of the Che Guevara brigade claim credit. Zenteno had
led the army division that captured and executed Che Guevara in
1976 Jun 2, Gen’l. Juan Jose
Torres (b.1920), ousted as president of Bolivia in 1971, was
kidnapped by a death squad in Argentina and killed. He was a victim
of the Condor Plan, a South American military pact between
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay to exchange
intelligence information and help each other hunt down suspected
1976 Carla Rutila was abducted
as a baby in Bolivia, where her parents were fighting as leftist
guerrillas with the National Liberation Army, or ELN. Her father,
Uruguayan Enrique Luca Lopez, was killed, and her mother, Argentine
Graciela Rutila Artes, disappeared after being taken to a secret
torture center in Buenos Aires, the Automotores Orletti garage. At
age 10 she discovered her true identity through DNA tests advocated
by the human-rights group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. In 2010
Rutila (35) testified against Eduardo Ruffo, the agent who adopted
her, and said that from the age of 3 until she was rescued at 10,
Ruffo physically and sexually abused her. Ruffo was not arrested
until 2006, when a judge found sufficient evidence to charge him
with human-rights violations.
1978 Jul 3, The Amazon Pact was
established. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru,
Suriname, and Venezuela signed the Amazon Pact, a Brazilian
initiative designed to coordinate the joint development of the
1978 Jul 21, In Bolivia Gen’l.
Juan Pereda Asbun overthrew Pres. Banzer in a coup.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1979 Nov 16, Lidia Gueiler
(1921-2011) became the second woman to lead a Latin American nation.
She served as president of Bolivia when she held the post for about
eight months in 1979-80 between coup d'etats. She assumed the
presidency after a deadly popular revolt ousted coup leader Gen.
Alberto Natusch Busch.
1980 Jul 17, In Bolivia a
bloody coup installed a reactionary (and cocaine-tainted)
dictatorship led by general Luis Garcia Meza. Former president
(1956-1960) Hernan Siles Zuazo (1914-1996), who had won the most
votes in elections flew to exile. He returned in 1982, when the
military's experiment had ran its course and the Bolivian economy
was on the verge of collapse. He served a 2nd term from 1982-1985.
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A22)(http://tinyurl.com/3andtr)
1980 Mar 22, In Bolivia the
bullet-riddled body of Rev. Luis Espinal (48), a Jesuit priest, was
found in la Paz. Espinal was the editor of the weekly newspaper
1981 Aug 4, In Bolivia Pres.
Luis Garcia Meza, 1980 military coup leader, was succeeded by Gen.
Celso Torrelio (1933-1999).
1982 Oct 10, In Bolivia Hernan
Siles Zuazo (1914-1996) became president again and served to 1985.
His presidency restored democracy after 18 years of harsh military
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A22)(AP,
1983 Jan 25, Klaus Barbie, SS
chief of Lyon in Nazi-France, was arrested in Bolivia.
1983 Feb 5, Former Nazi Gestapo
official Klaus Barbie (d.1991), expelled from Bolivia, was brought
to trial in Lyon, France. He was convicted and sentenced to life in
(MC, 2/5/02)(AP, 2/5/03)
1985 Hyperinflation and a
hostile Congress cut short the term of Pres. Hernan Siles Zuazo and
early elections were called. Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez won the
election but lost out to a coalition alliance. Pres. Paz Estenssoro
led the country and initiated a neoliberal reform to save the
country from hyperinflation that reached 22,000% per year.
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A22)(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A10)(SFC,
1985 The price of tin crashed
and 23,000 miners lost their jobs.
(NH, 11/96, p.38)
1985 The IMF couched the
country through a maxi-devaluation and fiscal adjustment.
(WSJ, 6/19/98, p.A15)
1985 Roberto Suarez, drug
dealer, was sentenced to a 15-year prison term.
(WSJ, 12/6/96, p.A12)
1985 Drug traffickers gunned
down naturalist Noel Kempff Mercado and a colleague while the pair
visited a remote area to record bird calls.
(WSJ, 12/6/96, p.A12)
1985-1986 Jeffrey Sachs, UN special advisor,
helped stop the hyperinflation in Bolivia.
(Econ, 7/7/07, p.27)
1985-1989 Victor Paz Estensorro founder of the
National Revolutionary Movement, served his 4th of 4 terms as
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.D5)
1986-1996 The US provided $1.2 billion in aid.
(WSJ, 12/6/96, p.A12)
1988 Aug 8, Sec. of State
Shultz narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in Bolivia.
1989 Aug 6, Jaime Paz Zamora
was inaugurated as president of Bolivia.
1989 Arce Gomez was captured in
eastern Bolivia and extradited to the United States, where he was
convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 30 years. Gomez,
known as "the minister of cocaine," took part in the July 1980 coup
led by then-Gen. Luis Garcia Meza and backed by drug traffickers. In
2009 Gomez was returned to Bolivia to serve a 30-year prison
sentence for crimes including genocide and political assassinations.
1992 Edmundo Paz Soldan
authored his novel “Turing’s Delirium." It won the Bolivian National
Book Award and in 2006 appeared in English translated by Lisa
(SSFC, 7/9/06, p.M3)
1993 The book "Never
Again for Bolivia" by Jesuit author Federico Aguilo documented the
human rights violations of the military regimes from 1965-1981.
(SFC, 3/15/97, p.A11)
1993 Mr. Gonzalo Sanchez de
Lozada (Goni) was elected president of Bolivia. In 1995 he began a
plan of auctioning off companies to foreign investors. The proceeds
were directed to go half for modernizing the companies and half for
a pension fund for the people of Bolivia.
(WSJ, 8/15/95, p. A-1)
1993 The constitution was
changed to allow the next president a five-year term.
(WSJ, 2/14/97, p.A7)
1993 A Bolivian court convicted
Arce Gomez in absentia of a series of crimes including armed
insurrection and genocide. He was sentenced to 30 years without
parole. Gomez was in the US serving time following a conviction for
1994 Mar 21, Bolivia’s Congress
approved a new capitalization program.
(WSJ, 2/14/97, p.A8)
1994 Houston based Enron
Development Corp. was called in to help develop the Bolivian side of
the Bolivia-Brazil natural gas pipeline.
(WSJ, 2/14/97, p.A8)
1995 Dec, The Paris Club of
creditor countries will recommend writing off 67% of the country's
foreign debt and consolidating the remainder at market interest
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-9)
1995 In Bolivia Evo Morales
founded the Movement Toward Socialism. He was later elected to
congress, and in 2002 narrowly lost the presidential race to Gonzalo
Sanchez de Lozada.
1995 Former Bolivian dictator
Luis Garcia Meza Tejada (1980-1981) was extradited to Bolivia from
Brazil and began serving a 30 year prison sentence, in the same
prison where he once kept his enemies.
1996 May, In Bolivia the
Inti-Raymi SA unit of Battle Mountain Gold of Houston accounts for
10% of the country’s annual export. It churns out more gold in its
open pit mine with 318 workers than the rest of Bolivia’s 20,000
(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-9)
1996 Aug, In Bolivia a holding
dam at a COMSUR owned mine burst and released 230,000 metric tons of
sludge containing lead and arsenic into the Rio Pilaya which in turn
feeds the Pilcomayo. Local reports called this the worst
environmental disaster in Latin America of the century.
(NH, 2/97, p.6)
1996 Oct 10, In Bolivia the
government reached an agreement with landowners and Indian leaders
on a land reform bill. Large landowners received a 50% tax reduction
in return for their support. More than 20,000 Indians had staged
daily protests over the last 2 weeks. Under the law land could only
revert to the state if its owners failed to pay the land tax.
(SFC, 10/11/96, p.A17)(Econ, 9/23/06, p.41)
1996 Oct 14, Bilateral
agreements with the US held that 12,000 to 19,000 acres of coca
production be eradicated. Failure to do so would cause a suspension
of foreign aid and approval of funds from agencies such as the World
(SFC, 10/14/96, p.A13)
1996 Bolivia joined Mercosur,
the Southern Cone Common Market, as an associated member.
(WSJ, 2/14/97, p.A9)
1996 Bolivia passed a
hydrocarbons law that paved the way for privatizations.
(Econ, 9/13/03, p.34)
1996 The state oil company,
YPFB, was divided into 2 upstream exploration and production units
and one transport division.
(WSJ, 2/14/97, p.A8)
1996 Dinosaur footprints were
discovered on the wall of a limestone quarry near the town of Sucre.
(SFEC, 8/2/93, p.A18)
1997 Feb 10, It was reported
that heavy rains have destroyed the homes and crops of tens of
thousands of farmers. The rains were the heaviest in 3 decades.
(SFC, 2/10/97, p.A8)
1997 May 10, It was reported
that more than one-fifth of Bolivia’s population was infected with
Chagas disease. The ailment is transmitted by triatomine insects
that carry the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite. T. Cruzi can enter the
bloodstream through scratched skin and causes nerve damage and
swelling of the heart and colon that can lead to death after years
(SFC, 5/10/97, p.A10)
1997 Jun 1, The former
right-wing gen’l. and president, Hugo Banzer, won the popular vote
in elections with 25% [22%] but failed to get a majority. Former
Pres. Jaime Paz Zamora was 2nd with 17.5%. Congress chose from among
the 2 top contenders on Aug 4. Victor Paz Estenserro was elected by
(SFC, 6/2/97, p.A6)(WSJ, 6/19/98, p.A15)(SFC,
1997 Aug 5, In Bolivia the
Congress elected former dictator Hugo Banzer as president. He
pledged economic reforms and steps to cut poverty.
(WSJ, 8/6/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 24, The first
McDonald’s restaurant opened in La Paz.
1997 Dec 24, In Bolivia 2 17th
century colonial paintings, titled "Saint Rose of Viterbo" and
"Saint Augustin," were stolen from the Roman Catholic Church of San
Andres de Machaca. They were recovered in 2011 after a US art dealer
reported receiving the paintings on consignment from a collector.
1997 Bolivia’s per-capita
annual income was $1,024.
(SFC, 12/14/98, p.A12)
1997 Bolivia began registering
ships under the Bolivian flag with virtually no restrictions.
(WSJ, 10/23/02, p.A1)
1998 Mar 3, It was reported
that the US had slashed aid to fight drugs in Bolivia by 75% or some
$34 million. Aid in 1997 was $46 million. The allocation was partly
shifted to Columbia.
(SFC, 3/3/98, p.A9)
1998 Apr 1, The Bolivian
Workers’ Confederation called an open-ended strike for wage
increases and an end to the coca eradication program. Violent
clashes over 4 days had left 3 dead and dozens injured in Chapare.
Pres. Hugo Banzer said his government would continue to wipe out
cocaine trafficking during his 5-year term.
(SFC, 4/798, p.A12)
1998 May 22, Earthquakes
destroyed hundreds of homes in central remote mountain towns and at
least 60 people were killed.
(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A12)
1998 The Bolivian military
destroyed some 37,000 acres of coca fields.
(SFC, 11/20/99, p.C1)
1998 In Bolivia investment in
hydrocarbons exploration and production reached a peak of $605
(WSJ, 4/4/05, p.A12)
1999 Aug 23, In Bolivia fires
were reported to have destroyed 350,000 acres of farmland, at least
500 homes and much of the town of Ascencion de Guarayos. Thousands
of residents were left homeless.
(SFC, 8/24/99, p.A11)
1999 Nov 19, In Bolivia a 5-day
Conference of American Armies ended. Discussions centered on new
roles for the Latin armies such as defending democracy, fighting
poverty and eradicating drug smuggling.
(SFC, 11/20/99, p.C1)
1999 In Bolivia the Vinto
tin smelter was privatized in a $27 million purchase by the British
firm Allied Deals. The deal included the nearby Huamuni mine. In
2002 a liquidator sold Vinto for $6 million to a consortium headed
by Comsur, a mining company owned by Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada
(Goni), Bolivia’s former president (1993-1997). In 2005 Goni sold
Comsur’s Bolivian assets to Glencore, a mining company based in
Switzerland for some $220 million, of which $90 million was said to
be for the smelter.
(Econ, 2/17/07, p.40)
2000 Feb 2, An oil spill was
reported to have leaked some 5,000 barrels into the Desaguadero
River, which empties into Lake Titicaca. The spill was reported to
have reached Lake Poopo and Lake Uru Uru and was spreading to the
communities of the Aymara Indians.
(SFC, 2/5/00, p.A16)
2000 Apr 8, In Bolivia Pres.
Banzer declared a state of emergency following a week of protests. 3
protesters were reported killed in 3 separate clashes which began in
Cochabamba over a 20% increase in water rates.
2000 Apr 9, In Bolivia
thousands of Aymara Indian farmers clashed with soldiers in
Achacachi and Batallas. The clashes over economic problems left 3
soldiers and 2 farmers dead.
(SFC, 4/10/00, p.A16)
2000 Apr 11, In Bolivia some
anti-government protests continued but in Cochabamba tensions eased
after the government canceled a contract with Aguas del Tunari, a
Bechtel subsidiary, that threatened increased water prices. In 2002
Bechtel demanded $25 million for suspension of the 40-year lease.
The dispute was settled in 2006 with no compensations paid.
(SFC, 4/12/00, p.A17)(SFC, 2/2/02, p.A1)(WSJ,
2000 Apr 17, Coca leaf farmers
in the Yungas region scuffled with truckers in a protest against
government plans to destroy illegal coca plantations.
(SFC, 4/18/00, p.A10)
2000 May 11, It was reported
that long-standing ethnic rivalry between the Laime, Quaquachaca and
Jucumani tribes in the Andean highlands had left numerous people
(SFC, 5/11/00, p.A18)
2000 Sep-2000 Oct, Protests
against the coca eradication program took place and cut off the
capital of La Paz with roadblocks. 10 people were killed.
(SFC, 1/6/01, p.A7)
2000 Oct 6, Indian leaders and
government ministers agreed prop up corn prices, reverse a land
titling process and revert water rights back to Indian peasants.
This followed 3 weeks of road blocks that had paralyzed the economy.
(SFC, 10/7/00, p.A9)
2000 Felipe Quispe (El Mallku,
the Great Condor), peasant labor leader, founded the Pachakutik
(time will come full circle) Indigenous Movement.
(SFC, 4/5/01, p.A12)
2000 A new variety of the titi
monkey of the genus callicebus was discovered in Bolivia’s Madidi
National Park, a 7,300 square mile area.
(SFC, 6/8/04, p.A2)
2001 Feb 22, Walter Poirier, US
Peace Corps volunteer, was last seen in La Paz.
(SFC, 3/8/01, p.A16)
2001 Jun 7, Former Bolivian
president Victor Paz Estensorro, founder of the National
Revolutionary Movement, died at age 93.
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.D5)
2001 Jul 7, Bolivia’s Pres.
Banzer (75) was reported to be hospitalized in Washington DC with
cancer in his lung and liver.
(SFC, 7/7/01, p.B1)(SSFC, 7/8/01, p.A16)
2001 Jul 30, It was reported
that Pres. Banzer would step down Aug 6 due to his cancer diagnosis.
(WSJ, 7/30/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 6, Pres. Banzer
stepped down form office. Vice Pres. Jorge Quiroga (41) assumed the
(SFC, 8/7/01, p.A7)
2001 Sep 5, In Bolivia some
125,000 census takers began their count.
(SFC, 9/5/01, p.A9)
2001 Felipe Quispe (El Mallku,
the Great Condor), peasant labor leader, was reported to be a
contender for Bolivia’s 2002 presidential elections
(SFC, 4/5/01, p.A10)
2001 Foreign direct investment
in Bolivia reached $660 million.
(WSJ, 4/4/05, p.A12)
2002 Feb 19, In Bolivia a flash
flood in La Paz killed at least 22 people. The death toll later
climbed to 52.
(SFC, 2/20/02, p.A11)(SFC, 2/21/02, p.A13)
2002 May 5, Hugo Banzer
(b.1926), Bolivia’s former dictator (1971-1978) and president
(SFC, 5/6/02, p.B5)
2002 Jun 30, Bolivians voted
for president and Congress following a campaign in which some
candidates urged radically changing the political system and
overturning the free-market economy. The economy was sliding and
crime so rampant it had provoked lynchings. Many Bolivian voters
turned away from traditional candidates in elections for president
and Congress, picking a fragmented group that some analysts said
could leave the country more unstable. Evo Morales (42), a Aymara
Indian of the Movement Toward Socialism party, won 21% of the vote
and a seat in Congress. Voters elected 36 Indians to the lower house
of 130 seats and 10 Indians to the 27-seat Senate.
(AP, 6/30/02)(AP, 7/1/02)(SFC, 7/6/02, p.A8)(SFC,
2002 Jul 19, In Bolivia a
crowded bus plunged into a ravine in an Andean road near La Paz,
killing 19 and injuring 15.
2002 Aug 4, In Bolivia Gonzalo
Sanchez de Lozada (72), a wealthy businessman who grew up in the
United States and former president (1882-1997), was voted by
Congress (84-43) to the presidency.
2002 Sep 2, In Bolivia a bus
slid off a muddy shoulder on one the most dangerous highways and
plunged into a ravine, killing at least 20 people.
2002 Oct 31, The US enacted the
Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) as a
replacement for the similar Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA). It
granted duty-free access to a wide range of exports from Bolivia,
Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
2003 Jan 18, In Bolivia a bus
slammed into a mountainside outside Cochabamba, killing 28 people
and injuring at least 30.
2003 Feb 12, In Bolivia angry
civilians joined striking police officers in a protest that
degenerated into riots, leaving at least 17 people dead and Bolivian
government buildings in flames.
(AP, 2/13/03)(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A9)
2003 Feb 18, The
Bolivian Cabinet resigned after violent street protests left 29 dead
and the government of Pres. de Lozada near collapse.
2003 Feb 19, In Bolivia
Pres. de Lozada announced a new Cabinet, replacing eight ministers
and eliminating six ministries.
2003 Mar 29, The government of
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, Bolivia's president, was on the verge of
collapse. His ratings were the lowest of any South American leader,
and he admitted coups were brewing beneath him.
2003 Mar 31, In Bolivia rescue
officials struggled to reach victims buried by a landslide that
roared through Chima, a gold-mining town in Bolivia's tropical
lowlands, killing an estimated 300-400 people.
(AP, 4/1/03)(SFC, 4/1/03, p.A8)(AP, 4/2/03)
2003 May 13, It was reported
that coca production in Bolivia was on the rise due in part to a
failed US-supported crop-substitution program.
(WSJ, 5/13/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 1, In Bolivia
police seized 2 tons of cocaine and arrested 20 people in what
officials called the country's biggest drug bust in nearly a decade.
2003 Aug 2, Bolivian police
seized 3 more tons of cocaine meant for shipment to Spain in the
country's biggest drug bust ever.
2003 Sep 21, In Bolivia a rural
roadblock near Warista ended in a clash with police and soldiers
that left at least 4 people dead.
(SSFC, 9/28/03, p.C2)
2003 Oct 9, Miners angry about
a proposal to export oil through Chile clashed with riot troops near
the Bolivian capital. At least two people were killed and nine were
2003 Oct 11, Bolivia’s Pres.
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and two of his ministers, Carlos Sanchez
Berzain and Jorge Berindoague, signed Supreme Decree No. 27209
directing the military to break up demonstrations that blocked fuel
truck access to the city of La Paz.
2003 Oct 12, In Bolivia
violence erupted at El Alto when the military tried to break a
blockade against gas trucks bound for Chile. The death toll grew to
59 after 4 days of clashes at El Alto. Finance Ministry officials
began a 3-day withdrawal of 13.7 million bolivianos (US$1.8
million). In 2006 Marcela Nogales, the central bank manager, was
jailed for releasing the money, which facilitated a military
crackdown. In 2011 Bolivia's highest court convicted five former top
military commanders of genocide for an army crackdown on the riots
that killed at least 64 civilians. It gave them prison sentences
ranging from 10 to 15 years.
p.A11)(Econ, 10/18/03, p.38)(AP, 9/6/06)(AP, 8/30/11)
2003 Oct 13, Bolivia's Pres.
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada dropped plans to export natural gas in the
face of massive protests that left 18 dead.
(SFC, 10/14/03, p.A3)(WSJ, 10/14/03, p.A1)
2003 Oct 14, In Bolivia
demonstrations called for the resignation of Pres. Gonzalo Sanchez
de Lozada as 30,000 marched in La Paz. [see Oct 12]
(SFC, 10/15/03, p.A11)(Econ, 10/18/03, p.38)
2003 Oct 17, Bolivia's Pres.
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (“Goni") resigned in a letter to Congress.
VP Carlos Mesa, a moderate political unknown, took over the
presidency. As one of Bolivia's top journalists, Mesa wrote a
best-selling book, "Entre urnas y fusiles" (Between the Ballot Box
and the Rifle), about the many presidents in this country's often
2003 Oct 19, In Bolivia Pres.
Carlos Mesa swore in a new Cabinet with most ministers independent
of the political establishment.
(SFC, 10/20/03, p.A3)
2003 Nov 13, Cocaine was
reported to generate as much as $500 million of Bolivia's $8.5
billion economic output. Nearly 30,000 acres of coca production was
allowed for domestic use.
(WSJ, 11/13/03, p.A14)
2003 Nov 21, In Bolivia
assailants shot and killed Jessica Nicole Borda (22), the daughter
of an American consular official, during a carjacking attempt in the
eastern city of Santa Cruz.
2003 Dec 23, Flooding in
central Bolivia killed at least 19 people and left 40 missing, most
of them passengers on a bus that was swept away by a swollen river.
2003 Bolivia's former Pres.
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and Jose Sanchez Berzain, the former
defense minister, fled to the US. In 2007 a suit was filed against
both men for their October, 2003, crackdown on protestors that left
67 people dead. Sanchez Berzain was granted asylum in the US in
2004 Feb 11, In Bolivia 2
inmates were voluntarily nailed to crosses by their fellow prisoners
as part of a protest for better conditions and shorter sentences
that was broadcast on TV.
2004 Feb 27, In Bolivia a
prosecutor who handled drug cases was killed by a bomb that
demolished her car as she started the engine.
2004 Mar 30, In Bolivia an
angry miner with dynamite strapped to his chest blew himself up
inside Congress, also killing two police officers.
2004 May, Bolivian public
sector unions and many workers began a general strike to force the
resignation of Pres. Carlos Mesa due to spending cuts and new taxes.
(Econ, 5/8/04, p.37)
2004 Jun 1, In eastern Bolivia
army soldiers fought peasants blocking a highway in a clash that
killed one soldier and one civilian.
2004 Jun 21, In central Bolivia
a crowded bus plunged off an 800-foot precipice, killing as many as
2004 Jul 18, Bolivians voted in
favor of exporting the nation's vast natural gas reserves in a
referendum designed by the president to defuse social unrest. Voters
mandated higher taxes and greater government control over oil and
(AP, 7/19/04)(Econ, 7/24/04, p.36)(Econ, 4/23/05,
2004 Oct 18, In Bolivia
thousands of peasants and workers demonstrated in La Paz, demanding
that former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada be tried for the
deaths of more than 50 people in the suppression of protests that
toppled his government one year ago.
2004 Dec 5, In Bolivia Indian
and peasant organizations promising better access to health care and
education won every major city in local elections, trouncing
2004 Dec 30, Bolivia’s
government under Carlos Mesa announced a 23% increase in the cost of
diesel fuel and a 10% rise for petrol. Protests soon followed.
(Econ, 1/22/05, p.35)
2004 Foreign direct investment
in Bolivia fell to $416 million.
(WSJ, 4/4/05, p.A12)
2005 Jan 11, A strike by
workers and a demonstration that drew hundreds of thousands of
people paralyzed Santa Cruz as Bolivia's largest city joined an
anti-government protest that has elicited a pledge from the
president to resign if things turn violent. The protests forced the
government to cancel water concessions to a foreign firm.
(AP, 1/12/05)(WSJ, 1/12/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 28, Bolivia’s Pres.
Mesa agreed to allow Santa Cruz residents to elect their own local
leaders and hold a national referendum that could extend greater
autonomy to other provinces.
2005 Feb 3, Bolivia’s Pres.
Carlos Mesa shuffled his cabinet in the wake of street protests
calling for regional autonomy and objecting to a planned increase in
the price of fuel oil.
2005 Mar 6, In Bolivia
President Carlos Mesa said he would submit his resignation to
Congress after 17 months in office, warning that growing protests
against Bolivia's oil and gas laws could soon block the country's
highways and isolate its main cities. (AP, 3/7/05)
2005 Mar 8, Bolivian lawmakers
unanimously rejected a resignation offer by President Carlos Mesa,
granting crucial support to his government.
(AP, 3/9/05)(Econ, 3/12/05, p.39)
2005 Mar 15, Bolivia's
embattled President Carlos Mesa asked the country's legislature to
authorize an early presidential election this summer, saying he can
no longer govern among growing protests and road blockades.
2005 May 17, In Bolivia a
measure increasing taxes on foreign oil companies became law. It
slapped a 32% production tax on top of royalties of 18% paid by
producers of natural gas and oil. The president and thousands of
street protesters wanted the industry nationalized.
(AP, 5/18/05)(Econ, 5/21/05, p.42)
2005 May 24, In Bolivia
thousands of demonstrators blocked major roads in and around La Paz,
isolating the city in a protest demanding the nationalization of the
oil industry and opposing autonomy for an oil-producing region.
2005 May 31, In Bolivia
thousands of demonstrators prevented legislators from reaching the
congressional building Tuesday, forcing the suspension of their
first session after a weeklong recess caused by continued street
2005 Jun 3, Bolivia's Pres.
Carlos Mesa called a constitutional assembly and a referendum over
greater regional autonomies, meeting the key demands behind street
protests that have virtually paralyzed La Paz for more than two
2005 Jun 6, President Carlos
Mesa, his 19-month-old government unraveling amid swelling street
protests and a crippling blockade of the Bolivian capital, announced
his resignation in a nationally televised address.
2005 Jun 9, In Bolivia Vaca
Diez, president of the Senate, relinquished his claim to the
presidency, as did the president of the lower house. Eduardo
Rodriguez, the Supreme Court chief justice, automatically became
(AP, 6/10/05)(Econ, 6/18/05, p.34)
2005 Jun 14, A 7.9 earthquake
rattled cities in Bolivia and Peru and heavily damaged mountain
villages in northern Chile, killing at least 11 people including a
family of 6.
(WSJ, 6/14/05, p.A1)(AP, 6/15/05)
2005 Jun 14, A UN report showed
South America's cocaine output rose by 2 percent last year, bucking
a five year downward trend as increases in Peru and Bolivia outpaced
Colombia's clampdown on coca cultivation.
2005 Sep 9, The presidents of
Bolivia, Brazil and Peru inaugurated an $810 million highway project
to connect Brazil's Atlantic coast to Peru's Pacific ports before
the end of the decade.
2005 Sep 20, In Bolivia a fire
that has devoured more than 247,000 acres of Amazon forest burned
out of control near the Brazilian border.
2005 Sep 30, South American
presidents committed themselves to establishing a continental free
trade zone. The South American summit was attended by the presidents
of Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and
2005 Dec 18, Socialist Evo
Morales (46) waved coca branches as he headed to vote amid jubilant
townsfolk who hoped to see him become Bolivia's first Indian
president and end a U.S.-backed anti-drug campaign aimed at
eradicating their crops.
2005 Dec 19, In Bolivia Evo
Morales, candidate for the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), won the
presidential elections, a victory that would solidify the
continent's shift toward the political left.
(AP, 12/19/05)(Econ, 5/20/06, p.42)
2005 Dec 20, Evo Morales,
Bolivia's presidential front-runner said he would not allow
unlimited production of coca, the crop used to produce cocaine. He
said coca farmers should have a say in controlling the crop, but
left unclear how that could be accomplished. Morales also said that
the current foreign firm contracts for exploration and production of
natural gas were illegal and a re-negotiation would be necessary.
(AP, 12/21/05)(WSJ, 12/21/05, p.A14)
2005 Dec 27, A close aide said
Bolivia’s President-elect Evo Morales will reject US economic and
military aid if the US requires continued coca-eradication efforts
to get the money.
2005 Bolivia’s population was
about 8.5 million.
2006 Jan 3, Venezuela President
Hugo Chavez offered Bolivia's president-elect Evo Morales diesel
fuel, trade benefits and help in financing his social reforms as the
two leftists cemented ties, reasserting their opposition to US
policy in Latin America.
2006 Jan 9, Bolivian
President-elect Evo Morales met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in
Beijing and called China an "ideological ally," a day after he
invited the communist country to develop Bolivia's vast gas
2006 Jan 13, Bolivia's
president-elect ended an around-the-world tour with a promise to
respect foreign investments and vowed not to nationalize the
Bolivian operations of Brazil's state oil company Petrobras SA.
2006 Jan 17, Outgoing President
Eduardo Rodriguez fired Bolivia's army chief over his decision to
have 28 Chinese shoulder-launched missiles destroyed in the US.
2006 Jan 19, In Bolivia a
flatbed truck drove off the side of the mountainous road near
Tarija, killing at least 38 people.
2006 Jan 22, Evo Morales,
Bolivia's first Indian president, took office with a promise to lift
his nation's struggling indigenous majority out of centuries of
poverty and discrimination.
2006 Jan 23, In Bolivia Evo
Morales appointed a Marxist energy minister and a Cabinet of
Indians, intellectuals and union leaders, backing his promise to
establish a socialist shape.
2006 Jan 27, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales cut his salary by more than half and declared no Cabinet
minister can collect a higher wage than his own, with the savings to
be used to hire more public school teachers.
2006 Feb 7, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales asked the US to reconsider a proposed cut in anti-drug
aid, and called on the world to strengthen drug-fighting alliances.
2006 Feb 13, President Evo
Morales appealed to the Bush administration to extradite a former
President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who fled to the US amid an
uprising that left about 60 people dead after a military crackdown
2006 Mar 6, President Evo
Morales accused the US government of trying to intimidate Bolivia by
announcing it would cut some aid because of a disagreement over the
appointment of a military commander.
2006 Mar 9, An Argentine air
force plane providing aid for Bolivian flood victims crashed outside
of La Paz, killing all six people on board.
2006 Mar 22, In Bolivia bombs
exploded inside two low-budget hotels in La Paz overnight, killing
two people and wounding seven. Triston Jay Amero (24), an American
from Placerville, Ca., and Alda Ribeiro (45), of Uruguay, were
arrested in connection with the bombings. Amero had earlier
described himself as “the Superman of Loosers."
(AP, 3/22/06)(SFC, 3/24/06, p.B12)
2006 Mar 31, Military and
police forces took control of Bolivia's major airports, one day
after hundreds of striking airline workers blocked runways and
disrupted flights to three airports.
2006 Apr 29, Bolivia's new
left-leaning president, Evo Morales, signed a pact with Cuba and
Venezuela on rejecting US-backed free trade and promising a
socialist version of regional commerce and cooperation. Bolivia
became the 3rd member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
(AP, 4/29/06)(Econ, 5/6/06, p.38)
2006 May 1, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales ordered the oil and gas sector nationalized, threatening
to evict foreign companies unless they cede control over production
within six months. The biggest natural gas field was operated by
Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras.
(AP, 5/2/06)(SFC, 5/2/06, p.A3)(Econ, 5/6/06,
2006 May 2, Bolivia's leftist
government said it would extend control over mining, forestry and
other sectors of the economy. Foreign governments warned relations
could be damaged. Soldiers guarded natural gas fields and refineries
across Bolivia after President Evo Morales ordered the sector
nationalized, threatening to evict foreign companies unless they
cede control over production within six months.
2006 May 3, Bolivia's decision
to nationalize its natural gas industry drew challenges from Brazil
as top officials pledged to defend current gas contracts and suspend
investment in the Bolivian industry.
2006 May 4, Brazil’s President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met with Argentina’s Pres. Nestor
Kirchner, Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez and Bolivia’s Pres. Morales in
response to Bolivia’s decision to nationalize its oil and gas
industry. Morales offered to refrain from cutting off supplies and
to negotiate prices.
(Econ, 5/13/06, p.43)
2006 May 9, A plan by Bolivia's
leftist government to redistribute up to 54,000 square miles of land
to the poor generated protests by leaders in the wealthy province of
Santa Cruz, the stronghold of opposition to leftist President Evo
2006 May 11, The EU and Latin
America opened a three-day summit in Vienna with over 60 national
leaders attending, including Venezuela's fiery, often
anti-Washington President Hugo Chavez. Bolivian President Evo
Morales said that foreign oil companies would not be compensated for
oil and gas resources that have been nationalized, and European
Union president Austria called for explanations.
2006 May 12, Relations between
Brazil and Bolivia sank to their lowest point in a century, as the
two sparred over Bolivia's nationalization of its energy sector and
threats to seize Bolivian land held by Brazilian farmers.
2006 May 13, The presidents of
Brazil and Bolivia said they patched things up after days of
accusations and threats.
2006 May 16, Bolivia's leftist
government outlined its plan to redistribute idle land to poor
peasants, ruling out mass expropriations and proposing instead the
distribution of state-owned property.
2006 May 26, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez moved to expand his oil-rich country's
influence in Bolivia with a set of accords to secure Venezuela's
role in the impoverished Andean nation's recently nationalized
2006 Jun 1, Bolivian doctors
staged a 1-day strike to protest the presence of 600 Cuban
physicians providing free care as Pres. Morales cultivates links to
(WSJ, 6/2/06, p.A1)
2006 Jun 3, Bolivia’s leftist
President Evo Morales launched a sweeping land reform plan by
handing over roughly 9,600 square miles of state-owned land to poor
Indians. The ceremony came after talks broke down between Morales
and agribusiness leaders on land reforms that involve handing out
77,000 square miles of government land, an area twice the size of
Portugal, over the next five years.
2006 Jun 14, Four Andean
nations (Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru) agreed to chart new
trade plans with the United States without Venezuela.
2006 Jun 16, Bolivian President
Evo Morales' leftist government says it will fight poverty, hunger
and homelessness in South America's poorest nation by investing $6.8
billion through 2010, much of it with ambitious public works
2006 Jun 23, Bolivia’s energy
minister said that he's seeking criminal charges against
ex-President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and others for allegedly
cheating the state in a gas pipeline investment deal.
2006 Jun 28, About 150,000
people demanded autonomy for Bolivia's wealthiest state in one of
the nation's largest demonstrations ever just four days before a
national referendum on the issue.
2006 Jun 29, Argentina’s
President Nestor Kirchner met Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales and
agreed to a 47% price hike for the Bolivian natural gas Argentina
needs to fuel South America's second-largest economy.
2006 Jul 2, Bolivians voted for
a national assembly that will rewrite the constitution. They voted
"yes" or "no" on a ballot question on whether to offer the country's
nine states greater autonomy in political and financial affairs.
President Morales' supporters failed to win control of an assembly
that will rewrite Bolivia's constitution, leaving him no choice but
to compromise over his ambitious plans to empower the indigenous
majority and boost state control over the economy. Morales allies
won 132 seats in the 255-person body. Voters in four of Bolivia's
nine states overwhelmingly chose greater political and economic
autonomy for their states.
(AP, 6/29/06)(AP, 7/3/06)
2006 Jul 10, Bolivia's
education minister called for an end to religious education in the
country's schools, drawing criticism from the Roman Catholic Church
which could see its schools affected by the proposed change.
2006 Aug 6, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales officially opened a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the
2006 Sep 8, Opponents of
President Evo Morales stayed home from work and blocked key streets
in four cities to protest the governing party's handling of an
assembly that is rewriting the Bolivian constitution.
2006 Sep 29, In Bolivia police
killed two coca farmers and injured a third in the first violent
confrontation over coca eradication since President Evo Morales,
himself a former coca grower, was elected last year. An estimate 200
coca growers in the Chapare region ambushed a team of police sent to
destroy their crop, planted illegally inside the borders of a
national park 220 southeast of the capital of La Paz.
2006 Sep 23, In Bolivia 90% of
the country’s productive land was still owned by just 50,000
families. Four-fifths of the rural population remained poor.
(Econ, 9/23/06, p.41)
2006 Oct 5, In Bolivia rival
miners' groups agreed to a truce after a day of clashes over access
to one of South America's richest tin mines left at least 9 people
dead and 40 injured.
2006 Oct 6, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales fired two top mining officials after a clash between
rival bands of miners over access to the country's richest tin
deposit left at least 16 dead and more at least 80 injured. The
2-day clash at the Huanuni tin mine caused an estimated $2 million
in damage and production losses of $200,000 per day.
(AP, 10/7/06)(Econ, 10/14/06, p.40)
2006 Oct 10, In Bolivia strikes
and demonstrations brought La Paz to a standstill. The independent
mining cooperatives said they were breaking their alliance with
(Econ, 10/14/06, p.40)
2006 Oct 21, In central Bolivia
a bus plunged off a mountain road, killing 29 people and injuring
2006 Oct 28, In Bolivia 10
energy companies signed up to new terms just before a deadline set
by Pres. Morales on May 1.
(Econ, 11/4/06, p.46)
2006 Oct 29, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales completed his oil and gas nationalization plan
with the last-minute signing of contracts allowing several
international companies to continue operating under state control.
2006 Oct 31, President Evo
Morales backed off his plan to nationalize Bolivia's mining
industry, saying that his government can't afford it for now but he
still wants to eventually recover control of the nation's mineral
2006 Nov 17, In Bolivia the tin
mine at Possokoni Hill in Huanumi reopened after 43 days after the
government decreed all miners there must work for Comibol, a
state-owned company. In October 6,000 miners had gone on a rampage
leaving 16 people dead and over 60 injured in a fight against
(SFC, 12/8/06, p.A27)
2006 Nov 19, In Bolivia 6
governors of 9 departments announced a break with central
government. The 2 main opposition parties walked out of the Senate,
leaving it inquorate. The governors opposed moves by Pres. Morales
to centralize power, a bill to scrutinize governors’ accounts, and
details of voting power of a new Constituent Assembly.
(Econ, 11/25/06, p.38)
2006 Nov 28, Bolivia's leftist
president won passage of an ambitious land redistribution bill and
signed it into law to the cheers of impoverished Indian supporters,
who stand to benefit from what eventually could be the confiscation
of private holdings the size of Nebraska. In the same session
Bolivia's Senate approved nationalization contracts with foreign oil
2006 Dec 1, Opposition leaders
led a work stoppage in four Bolivian state capitals to protest
President Evo Morales' control of an assembly called to rewrite
Bolivia's constitution. They opposed the 50% approval for each of
the constitution articles as favored by the Morales government.
(AP, 12/1/06)(Econ, 12/16/06, p.35)
2006 Dec 3, Bolivia’s Pres. Evo
Morales signed contracts giving the government control over foreign
energy companies’ operations.
(SFC, 12/4/06, p.A11)
2006 Dec 9, In Bolivia South
American leaders called for greater continental unity as they opened
a two-day summit that drew the region's new wave of leftist leaders.
They agreed to create a high-level commission to study the idea of
forming a continent-wide community similar to the European Union.
2006 Dec 28, A delegation of
six US senators led by incoming Majority Leader Harry Reid met with
Bolivian President Evo Morales, seeking to smooth relations with the
South American country's left-leaning government.
2006 Bolivia’s population was
about 9 million.
(Econ, 12/16/06, p.35)
2007 Jan 1, The government of
President Evo Morales approved a decree requiring US citizens to
obtain visas to enter Bolivia. Morales said the decree was "a matter
of reciprocity." The US government requires Bolivians to obtain
visas to enter the United States.
2007 Jan 8, Backers of leftist
Bolivian President Evo Morales set fire to the Cochabamba state
capitol in a protest to demand the resignation of state Gov. Manfred
Reyes Villa, who is allied with the conservative opposition.
2007 Jan 10, Bolivian President
Evo Morales renewed his pledge to nationalize his country's mining
industry, saying he would complete the task this year.
2007 Jan 11, Protesters seeking
the ouster of a Bolivian state governor for his opposition to
leftist President Evo Morales battled with the governor's supporters
in clashes that left two dead and more than 60 injured.
2007 Jan 12, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales proposed a new law to allow recall votes
against elected officials, a move that would give protesters
demanding the resignation of an opposition-aligned state governor a
way to remove him from office.
2007 Jan 13, A Bolivian air
force plane crashed in a southern state, killing all eight people on
2007 Feb 2, In Bolivia a high
court ruled in favor of a Amauris Sanmartino, a Cuban dissident who
was recently deported from Bolivia for criticizing President Evo
Morales, saying a law prohibiting foreigners from involvement in the
Andean country's politics is unconstitutional. Sanmartino went to
Colombia and planned to relocate to Norway.
(AP, 2/2/07)(AP, 2/28/07)
2007 Feb 6, More than 20,000
miners from across Bolivia marched into the capital, tossing sticks
of dynamite that sent booming explosions echoing through the streets
in a protest of President Evo Morales' plans for a steep hike in
2007 Feb 7, Officials in
Venezuela confirmed that Venezuela will buy whatever legal products
Bolivia can make from coca leaf as part of an effort to wean farmers
from the cocaine industry.
(SFC, 2/8/07, p.A2)
2007 Feb 9, Bolivia’s Pres. Evo
Morales declared the Vinto tin smelter to be nationalized.
(Econ, 2/17/07, p.40)
2007 Feb 10, It was reported
that researchers in Bolivia had found that the more education a
Tsimane villager had, the longer he was willing to delay
gratification in return for a bigger reward.
(Econ, 2/10/07, p.86)
2007 Feb 14, Brazil’s President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Bolivian President Evo Morales reached
a deal late on how much Brazil will pay for Bolivian natural gas,
apparently resolving an issue that has deeply divided the
neighboring nations for a year.
2007 Feb 16, The ritual
sacrifice of a snow-white llama symbolically marked President Evo
Morales' nationalization of Bolivia's lone operating tin smelter.
2007 Feb 26, In Bolivia police
said the body of Simon Matthew Boily (23), a Canadian cyclist, has
been found in a mountain ravine more than a month after he set out
on the "Highway of Death" from the La Paz on Jan 21.
2007 Feb 28, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales officially declared months of deadly flooding
a national disaster, committing some $50 million to the crisis that
killed 35 people and affected some 72,000 families.
2007 Mar 10, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez visited flood-ravaged Bolivia to show off the
fact that his country has pledged 10 times more aid than the Bush
administration. But local leaders gave him a cool reception,
accusing him of meddling in Bolivian politics.
2007 Mar 11, In Bolivia
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez called for a socialist
counterattack against the American "empire," taking his campaign to
upstage President Bush's Latin American tour to a packed gymnasium
in a poor, indigenous Bolivian city.
2007 Mar 16, The Inter-American
Development Bank announced it would forgive $4.4 billion in debt
owed by five of the poorest countries in Latin America and the
Caribbean. The bank excused the foreign debts of Bolivia, Honduras,
Nicaragua, Haiti and Guyana in an announcement ahead of its annual
2007 Mar 21, Sonia Falcone,
former Miss Bolivia (1988), was ordered to leave the United States
after pleading guilty to employing four illegal immigrants as
household servants at her $10.5 million mansion in Paradise Valley,
2007 Mar 27, Roxana Arias
Becerra (32), a former Miss Bolivia (1993), was arrested on charges
of carrying 1.8 pounds of cocaine while boarding a flight to the
2007 Apr 10, Bolivia opened a
new front in its fight to reduce illegal coca production, sending
US-backed eradication teams into a traditional coca-growing region
in the Andean foothills long avoided by previous governments.
2007 Apr 20, Bolivia’s military
retook control of a natural gas pipeline to Argentina after days of
violent protests at gas installations in southern Bolivia. More than
1,000 protesters had seized the Yacuiba pipeline station run by
Transredes, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. The disturbances
killed at least one person and wounded dozens more.
2007 Apr 28, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela is ready to become the sole energy
supplier to Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Haiti, presenting the
countries with his most generous offer yet of oil-funded diplomacy
in the region.
2007 Apr, Bolivia became the
32nd nation to ban or restrict used clothing imports in an attempt
to protect native clothing industries.
2007 May 12, In Bolivia
President Evo Morales vowed to move forward with his campaign to
nationalize Bolivia's oil and gas industry while presiding over
ceremonies marking the transfer of two Brazilian-owned oil
refineries to state hands.
2007 May 28, Police found a
cocaine laboratory in the southern Bolivian jungle capable of
producing 245 pounds of the drug daily, one of the largest drug labs
ever discovered there. Satellite photos taken by the US Drug
Enforcement Agency revealed the location of the lab.
2007 Jun 5, In Bolivia the
judiciary stage a one-day strike to counter a presidential assault
on its independence.
(Econ, 6/9/07, p.41)
2007 Jun 6, President Hugo
Chavez called for the creation of a common defense pact between
Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia. The leftist Latin American
bloc announced the creation of a development bank to finance joint
2007 Jun 28, The Bolivian
government began legal proceedings to seize the vast landholdings of
a prominent opposition leader, saying the property was fraudulently
obtained and should be given to a local Indian tribe. Soybean oil
magnate Branko Marinkovic, an outspoken critic of President Evo
Morales, said the 64,250 acres targeted by the government were
obtained legally and are being used productively.
2007 Jun 28, In central Bolivia
3 Bolivian soldiers and a Venezuelan sergeant died when an air force
2007 Jul 20, Hundreds of
thousands of people packed the streets of La Paz to protest efforts
to relocate Bolivia's capital in one of the largest demonstrations
in the history of the Andean country. La Paz backers said switching
the capital from Bolivia's largest city, with a metropolitan
population of 1.7 million, to Sucre, population 250,000, would be
expensive and divisive.
2007 Aug 3, It was reported
that Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca is being strangled by city-fed
pollution that is driving away local people who draw sustenance from
its mythical waters.
2007 Sep 27, Iran’s President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled stopped in Bolivia, where he pledged $1
billion in investment. He pledged investment over the next five
years to help the poor Andean nation tap its vast natural gas
reserves, extract minerals, generate more electricity and fund
agricultural and construction projects. He then visited Venezuela to
meet President Hugo Chavez. Chavez embraced the Iranian leader,
calling him "one of the greatest anti-imperialist fighters" and "one
of the great fighters for true peace."
2007 Oct 19,
Armed with clubs and waving provincial flags, thousands of
residents of Bolivia's wealthiest province seized control of Santa
Cruz’s Viru Viru airport from troops sent in by President Evo
Morales. The previous day Morales had ordered 220 troops to take
control of the airport after workers threatened to block flights
that did not pay landing fees to local officials rather than the
national airport authority. Television footage showed a Venezuelan
air force plane and uniformed personnel at the site.
(AP, 10/19/07)(Econ, 8/1/09, p.32)
2007 Nov 24, In Bolivia
soldiers clashed with students protesting a constitutional assembly
in a second day of unrest against the pending legal overhaul. 2
people died in the violence.
(AP, 11/25/07)(WSJ, 11/26/07, p.A1)
2007 Nov 28, Across Bolivia
banks, shops, schools and public transportation were shuttered in
cities, as demonstrators protested a new law tapping regional
budgets for a fund for the elderly.
2007 Dec 5, Bolivian President
Evo Morales announced he would ask for a referendum on whether he
should remain president, and challenged opposition governors to do
2007 Dec 9, Bolivia’s
constitutional assembly approved a new charter that would empower
Pres. Evo Morales to run for re-election indefinitely. The new
constitution required approval by Bolivians in a national referendum
expected in 2008.
(SFC, 12/10/07, p.A16)
2008 Jan 26, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez and allies Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba,
members of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA),
launched a regional development bank intended to strengthen their
alliance and promote independence from US-backed lenders like the
World Bank as Chavez hosted a summit with ALBA leaders.
2008 Feb 7, Bolivia's foreign
minister said that the world has an obligation to send aid to
flood-ravaged areas, linking a disaster that has killed 49 people to
global climate change.
2008 Feb 11, President Evo
Morales declared a US Embassy security officer to be an "undesirable
person" after reports that the officer asked an American scholar and
30 Peace Corps volunteers to pass along information about Cubans and
Venezuelans working in Bolivia.
2008 Feb 23, The presidents of
Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia gathered in Buenos Aires to try to
agree on how to divide scarce supplies of Bolivian natural gas.
(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 28, A bitterly divided
Bolivian Congress approved a national vote on President Evo Morales'
proposed constitution, which would grant greater political power to
Bolivia's long-oppressed indigenous groups.
2008 Apr 1, Bolivian officials
said Tristan Jay Amero (26), a California man convicted of hotel
bombings that killed two people in Bolivia's capital, had died in
prison. He was serving a 30-year sentence.
2008 Apr 18, In Bolivia
American rancher Ronald Larsen, who has extensive land holdings
there, and his son Duston were named in a criminal complaint for
"sedition, robbery, and other crimes." Ronald Larsen, of Montana,
was accused of firing on the vehicle Alejandro Almaraz, the Deputy
Minister of Land. and holding the minister hostage as he tried to
carry out a government inspection of Larsen's ranch in southern
Bolivia on February 29. Larson said Almaraz was drunk and had showed
up at the ranch at three in the morning.
2008 Apr 24, In Bolivia a
packed SUV collided with a group of cyclists on Bolivia's "Highway
of Death," killing 9 people, including a British man who was the
second foreign tourist to die this week along the notorious road.
2008 May 1, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales celebrated May Day by announcing the nationalization of
Entel, the country’s leading telecommunications company, and
returning four foreign-owned natural gas companies to state control.
Bolivia privatized the struggling Entel in 1995, handing 50 percent
of the company to Stet International in exchange for the Italian
company's promise to invest $608 million to modernize its services.
Stet later merged with Telecom Italia. The Bolivian government said
Telecom Italia fell short on promised investment and owes some $25
million in taxes.
2008 May 4, Residents of
Bolivia voted on an autonomy referendum whose likely passage is seen
as a rebuke to the country's leftist president. Exit polls showed
the Santa Cruz referendum would pass in a landslide. Pres. Morales
denounced the vote but quickly invited state governors for further
(AP, 5/4/08)(AP, 5/5/08)
2008 May 8, President Evo
Morales agreed to stand for election in a nationwide recall vote,
gambling that Bolivians will re-elect him after just two years in
office and shore up support for his pending reforms.
2008 May 23, In Brazil 12 South
American leaders gathered in Brasilia to set up the Union of South
American Nations. UNASUR was expected to replace the South American
Community, declared in 2004, and unite the Mercosur and Andean
Community free trade areas. Members included Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname,
Uruguay and Venezuela.
2008 Jun 1, Bolivians in two
opposition-controlled states voted overwhelmingly for autonomy
measures that aim to shield the country's remote Amazon basin from
President Evo Morales' leftist reforms.
2008 Jun 2, In Bolivia Pres.
Morales ordered the nationalization of a natural gas pipeline
operator half-owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC and a US investment
(WSJ, 6/3/08, p.A15)
2008 Jun 9, Thousands of
demonstrators marched on the US Embassy to demand that Washington
extradite Carlos Sanchez Berzain, a former Bolivian defense
minister, who directed a military crackdown on riots that killed at
least 60 people in 2003.
2008 Jun 22, Natural gas-rich
Tarija became the fourth Bolivian state to declare autonomy from the
government of leftist President Evo Morales as voters backed greater
independence in a referendum.
2008 Jun, Inflation in Bolivia
reached an annual rate of 17%.
(Econ, 8/2/08, p.39)
2008 Jul 3, Top Bolivian and US
officials sought to heal their nations' strained relations in their
first meeting since a raucous protest outside the American embassy
sent the US ambassador back to Washington for security
2008 Jul 20, In central Bolivia
a Venezuelan military helicopter often used to transport Bolivian
President Evo Morales crashed. Four Venezuelan military personnel
and a Bolivian officer were reported killed.
2008 Aug 8, Bolivia said it has
reached an agreement in principle to purchase the local operations
of energy company Royal Dutch Shell PLC as part of President Evo
Morales' nationalization push.
2008 Aug 10, Voters in Bolivia
vigorously endorsed President Evo Morales in a recall referendum he
devised to try to break a political stalemate and revive his leftist
crusade, partial unofficial results showed. More than 62 percent of
voters ratified the mandate.
2008 Aug 13, Bolivia and Libya
agreed to establish diplomatic relations and join efforts to develop
the nations' energy resources.
2008 Aug 19, In Bolivia leaders
in 5 opposition controlled states proclaimed a general strike. They
sought greater autonomy and a larger share of royalties from local
oil and gas.
(SFC, 8/20/08, p.A14)
2008 Aug 24, In Bolivia a truck
plunged off a cliff high in the Andes killing 21 people with 53 left
2008 Sep 2, Bolivia and Iran
pledged cooperation and signed energy pacts, rebuffing US concerns
over improved ties.
(WSJ, 9/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Sep 5, In Bolivia
protesters stormed a small airport and blocked major highways across
eastern Bolivia in a standoff over central government reforms
designed to empower the nation’s indigenous majority.
2008 Sep 10, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales said that he is expelling the US ambassador
for allegedly inciting violent opposition protests.
2008 Sep 11, In Bolivia’s Pando
state anti-government protesters fought backers of President Evo
Morales in the pro-autonomy east with clubs, machetes and guns,
killing at least eight people and injuring 20. Seven more bodies
were recovered the next day farther from the highway. The bodies of
three more marchers were later discovered, raising the death toll to
18. Lowland opposition leaders, guarding their region's frontier
capitalism and more Euro-centric heritage, said they lost two of
their own in the pitched battle. Protesters near Yacuiba closed gas
valves, resulting in a gas leak and explosion that interrupted gas
exports at a cost of $8-10 million a day.
(AP, 9/12/08)(AP, 9/28/08)(Econ, 9/20/08, p.51)
2008 Sep 11, The US expelled
Bolivia’s ambassador following Bolivia’s expulsion of the American
ambassador for allegedly aiding the opposition. The Peace Corps
pulled all 113 of its volunteers out of Bolivia for alleged security
(WSJ, 9/12/08, p.A1)(AP, 10/11/08)
2008 Sep 12, Bolivian President
Evo Morales decreed a state of siege and sent troops to the eastern
province of Pando where at least 16 people were killed in street
battles between pro- and anti-government activists. Another 2 people
were killed at Pando's main airfield as government troops took
control, opening fire to disperse protesters.
(AP, 9/12/08)(AP, 9/14/08)
2008 Sep 15, South American
presidents agreed to work urgently to prevent a political collapse
in Bolivia, where the government said it would charge a rebellious
governor with genocide for allegedly ordering the machine-gunning of
2008 Sep 16, In Bolivia
government soldiers arrested Pando state Gov. Leopoldo Fernandez on
suspicion of directing the recent massacre of government supporters.
(SFC, 9/17/08, p.A8)
2008 Sep 16, The US declared
Bolivia to be “non-compliant" in the war on drugs, a step that
implicated an end of American aid.
(Econ, 9/20/08, p.52)
2008 Oct 2, Bolivian state
media reported that President Evo Morales has rejected a request
from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to fly anti-narcotics
missions over the South American nation's territory.
2008 Oct 20, President Evo
Morales agreed to seek only one more five-year term, a key
concession that all but ended a standoff in Congress over a new
constitution to empower Bolivia's long-oppressed indigenous
2008 Oct 21, Bolivia’s Congress
ratified Pres. Morales’ draft constitution, designed to empower the
(WSJ, 10/22/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 23, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said the US is suspending a trade deal with
Bolivia. She called it unfortunate but necessary because Bolivian
President Evo Morales has failed to improve anti-drug efforts.
2008 Nov 1, Bolivian President
Evo Morales suspended US anti-drug operations as Washington's
relations with his leftist government spiraled downward.
2008 Nov 11, Bolivian officials
said they have formally asked the US to extradite former President
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who ordered a military crackdown on 2003
riots in which at least 60 people died.
2008 Nov 17, Bolivian President
Evo Morales expressed hope for improved relations with the United
States under Barack Obama's presidency, but said he will never allow
the US anti-drug agency to resume operating in his country.
2008 Dec, Bolivia banned
imports of 2nd-hand cars over 5-years old. In 2011 the government
provided a 25-day amnesty for owners to register illegal imports and
pay a fine.
2008 Jacob Ostreicher, owner of
a Brooklyn flooring company, and Swiss investors, including
principal Andre Zolty, began investing $25 million in a rice
growing operation in Bolivia. Claudia Liliana Rodriguez, the woman
they entrusted to manage the investment, turned out to be a
Colombian con artist. In 2011 Ostreicher was imprisoned in Bolivia
and the state agency in charge of seized drug assets called
transport companies to pick up operation’s rice.
2009 Jan 14, Venezuela and
Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel to protest its
military offensive in Gaza.
2009 Jan 22, In Bolivia the
government of President Evo Morales began publishing its own
newspaper "Cambio" (Change). Morales grew so irked at the local
press last month that he said he would no longer hold press
conferences for local reporters and said that only 10 percent of
journalists are "honorable."
2009 Jan 23, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales seized control of Pan-American Energy’s local natural
gas producer and warned other privately owned companies they would
face similar fates if they do not comply with Bolivian laws.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 25, Bolivians easily
approved a new constitution aimed at increasing their strength while
allowing leftist President Evo Morales a shot at staying in power
through 2014. The proposed document grants new rights to more than 5
million indigenous inhabitants of 35 distinct “nations." It would
create a new Congress with seats reserved for Bolivia's smaller
indigenous groups and eliminates any mention of the Roman Catholic
Church, instead recognizing and honoring the Pachamama, an Andean
(AP, 1/25/09)(SSFC, 1/25/09, p.A6)(AP, 1/26/09)
2009 Jan 29, In Bolivia the
last US drug enforcement agents left the country, ordered out by
Pres. Morales, even as police reported that coca cultivation and
cocaine processing were on the rise.
(SFC, 1/30/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 7, In Bolivia
President Evo Morales and thousands of supporters celebrated the new
constitution as it took effect, saying the new document will
enshrine indigenous rights and end centuries of oppression. It
renamed the former republic the “Plurinational State of Bolivia,"
effective as of Jan 22, 2010.
(AP, 2/7/09)(SSFC, 1/20/13, p.P3)
2009 Feb 7, A Bolivian woman
died from an injection of urine allegedly administered by her friend
as a form of health therapy. Investigating prosecutor Oscar Flores
later said that Gabriela Ascarrunz (35) died of an "infection caused
by urine that was injected by fashion designer Monica Schultz."
2009 Feb 11, Santos Ramirez,
president of YPFB, Bolivia’s state-owned oil and gas company, was
arrested and accused of orchestrating kickbacks of over $3 million
from a company contract.
2009 Feb 16, Russia Pres.
Medvedev said Bolivia will receive helicopters from Russia to help
fight drugs as well as assistance to develop energy resources.
2009 Mar 9, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales ordered a US diplomat to leave his country for allegedly
conspiring with opposition groups, further straining tense relations
six months after he expelled the American ambassador.
2009 Mar 14, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales asked large landowners to voluntarily
relinquish some of their holdings to poor Indians during a ceremony
on property confiscated from Ronald Larsen, a US rancher for,
2009 Mar 27, Bolivia's Interior
Minister Alfredo Rada said police have uncovered one of the
country's biggest known cocaine processing factories. Two Colombians
and a Bolivian were arrested at the nearly 1,000-acre (400 hectare)
site in the dense, southeastern jungles.
2009 Mar 30, Argentina’s health
minister acknowledged that the country was in the middle of a dengue
fever epidemic with nearly 8,000 people infected. Neighboring
Bolivia had about 51,000 cases reported, while Brazil counted some
2009 Apr 14, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales ended a 5-day hunger strike after Bolivia’s Congress
broke a political deadlock and approved a law letting him run for
re-election in December.
(SFC, 4/15/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 15, Bolivian police
foiled an alleged plot to assassinate President Evo Morales, killing
three men at the Hotel Las Americas in a 30-minute gunbattle with a
mysterious group that included suspects from Hungary, Ireland and
possibly Croatia. The 3 men were killed in their beds and 2 others
were arrested. The dead included: Eduardo Rozsa Flores (49), the son
of a Hungarian father and Bolivian mother, Arpad Magyarosi, a
Romanian-born Hungarian, and Irishman Michael Martin Dwyer. Mr.
Rozsa Flores was known as an activist for the autonomy of Bolivia’s
department of Santa Cruz. The 3 men were involved in a conspiracy to
create a separatist right-wing militia in the eastern,
opposition-dominated state of Santa Cruz.
(AP, 4/16/09)(WSJ, 4/18/09, p.A5)(Econ, 7/18/09,
2009 Apr 19, Bolivia's leftist
president was headed to the airport when Barack Obama gave him what
he requested the day before: public repudiation of an alleged
attempt on his life.
2009 May 2, In Bolivia former
US Pres. Jimmy Carter met with Pres. Evo Morales and discussed
bettering relations with the new US government.
(SSFC, 5/3/09, p.A6)
2009 May 11, Bolivia demanded
that Peru hand over three former government ministers charged with
genocide in the 2003 killing of dozens of protesters. President Evo
Morales called asylum an "open provocation of the Bolivian people."
2009 May 12, Peruvian Foreign
Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said former Bolivian ministers
Mirtha Quevedo and Javier Torres Goitia requested and have received
refugee status, a legal measure that, unlike asylum, does not denote
political persecution. They are among the former ministers of former
Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez Lozada, charged with genocide for
sending soldiers who killed 63 people in 2003 while quelling
anti-government protests in the city of El Alto.
2009 May 21, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales called for an about-face in relations with
Washington, saying past diplomatic spats can be overcome if the new
US government refrains from meddling in Bolivian affairs.
2009 May 25, It was reported
that a secret Israeli government report said Venezuela and Bolivia
are supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear program.
2009 Jun 19, The UN said
Colombia's coca crop shrank by nearly a fifth last year while
cultivation of the bush that is the basis of cocaine rose for a
third straight year in Peru and Bolivia, the world's two other
2009 Jun 22, In eastern Bolivia
8 men from a Mennonite farming community were arrested following
accusations of raping dozens of females at the settlement. 60 women,
from 11 to 47 years old, have accused the men of rape.
2009 Jul 1, Bolivia enacted
what animal rights defenders called the world's first law that
prohibits the use of animals in circuses. A handful of other
countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses, but the
Bolivian ban includes domestic animals as well. The law would become
effective on July 1, 2010.
(AP, 7/30/09)(AP, 4/16/10)
2009 Jul 10, Millions of
Argentines stayed home from work, churches in Bolivia canceled Mass
and Ecuador announced its first fatalities from swine flu, as the
virus continued its spread during the South American winter season.
2009 Jul 29, Iran's top
diplomat in Bolivia said the Islamic republic has approved a $280
million low-interest loan for President Evo Morales' government to
use as it sees fit. Gas and oil exploration are possibilities.
2009 Aug 12, In La Paz,
Bolivia, exploding envelopes wounded 7 people, 3 of them severely.
2009 Sep 9, In Mexico a
Bolivian-born man, clutching a Bible and claiming a divine mission,
hijacked a plane with more than 100 people aboard after takeoff from
Cancun. The incident ended quickly and without bloodshed when police
arrested Jose Flores (44) in Mexico City. Police in Morelia said
that they had seized eight counterfeit police and rescue vehicles
including an intensive care ambulance with official-looking logos
and paint jobs. The vehicles belonged to gang members who planned to
use them to conduct illegal activities. In 2011 Josmar Flores was
sentenced to seven years, seven months and 15 days in prison.
(Reuters, 9/10/09)(AP, 9/10/09)(AP, 5/19/11)
2009 Sep 12, President Evo
Morales said Bolivia has decided to buy a presidential plane from
Russia after Moscow offered to set up an aircraft maintenance center
in the South American nation. Defense Minister Walker San Miguel
announced in early August that Bolivia had agreed to purchase an
Antonov presidential plane with satellite phone, Internet links and
a meeting room from Russia for $30 million.
2009 Sep 13, Bolivia's Pres.
Evo Morales began a visit to Spain. His plans to nationalize
Bolivia’s electricity sector and how this might affect Spanish
companies will be among the top items on his agenda.
2009 Oct 20, Bolivia's National
Electoral Court announced that former Pando state Gov. Leopoldo
Fernandez can campaign from a La Paz jail because he is detained as
a precautionary measure, over killings under his watch in Sept,
2008, and has not been charged.
2009 Nov 12, In Bolivia
authorities said that evaporation blamed on global warming has
reduced Lake Titicaca, one of the world's highest navigable lakes,
to its lowest level since 1949.
2009 Nov 19, Bolivian police
busted five cocaine labs and arrested two people in a remote Indian
village after a confrontation in which an officer was shot.
2009 Dec 6, Bolivia held
elections. President Evo Morales, a coca-grower at odds with
Washington but hugely popular at home for empowering the
long-suppressed indigenous majority, easily won re-election.
(AP, 12/6/09)(AP, 12/7/09)
2009 Dec 9, Bolivia seized a
12,500-hectare (48-square-mile) ranch in the eastern lowlands from a
soybean magnate who is among the chief political rivals of just
re-elected President Evo Morales. The next day deputy land minister
said the Yasminka ranch taken from Branko Marinkovic will be given
to the Guarayo Indians. The Marinkovic family, which immigrated from
Croatia in the 1950s, is fighting in court to keep a slightly bigger
ranch, Laguna Corazon, from the same fate.
2009 Dec 14, In Bolivia’s
presidential runner-up Manfred Reyes Villa crossed over the Peruvian
border and then flew to the US the following day to escape
2009 Dec 17, Bolivia's leftist
government was reported to have seized another big ranch from a top
opposition figure. It said the 2,500-hectare (10-square-mile) spread
will go to landless Indians. President Morales' government also
confiscated a 500-hectare parcel from Osvaldo Monasterio, a banker
and agribusinessman who owns the Unitel TV network.
2009 Dec 26, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales said that he plans to make it legal for
Bolivia's farmers to grow small parcels of coca plants.
2010 Jan 5, Bolivian President
Evo Morales said he's inviting activists, scientists and government
officials from around the world to an alternative climate conference
following the failure of a summit in Copenhagen to produce binding
2010 Feb 10, Bolivia said it
has created a space agency to build and launch the country’s first
satellite. The government will initially invest $1 million in the
Bolivian Space Agency.
(SFC, 2/11/10, p.A2)
2010 Mar 16, Bolivian officials
said they have fired prison director Col. Gilmar Oblitas for
allowing imprisoned former Gen. Luis Garcia Meza (b.1932) turn cells
into a luxury apartment.
(SFC, 3/17/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 4, In Bolivia allies
of leftist President Evo Morales made modest advances in state and
local elections, according to independent exit polls.
2010 Apr 8, Uruguay's La
Republica newspaper reported that a Catholic priest who fled home to
Uruguay and was defrocked after a nun accused him of raping three
children in Bolivia has been living with his family for more than a
year, with the full knowledge of Uruguayan church officials, despite
an Interpol warrant for his arrest. Juan Jose Santana has been a
fugitive from justice since being charged in May 2008 with raping
three children ages 12 to 17.
2010 Apr 10, Bolivian delegate
Pablo Solon confirmed that the US reduced aid after Bolivia opposed
the adoption of the Copenhagen Accord brokered at the UN climate
summit last December in the Danish capital. The Washington Post
reported on April 9 that the US is cutting $3 million to Bolivia and
$2.5 million to Ecuador from its Global Climate Change initiative.
2010 Apr 20, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales said that men should stay away from eating chicken if
they want to maintain their hair and virility. He said chicken
producers inject the birds with female hormones. Producers in the
US, EU and other countries abandoned the use of hormones in poultry
several decades ago.
(SFC, 4/21/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 23, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales said he is creating a "Mother Earth Ministry"
to promote the planet's rights and says that he would like to
establish an international court with the power to punish nations
that fail to obey emissions-reduction agreements. Morales revealed
the plans as he launched a campaign to plant 10 million trees, equal
to Bolivia's population, by April 22, 2011.
2010 May 1, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales nationalized 4 electricity generators, 2 of which had
European owners or partners. He skipped the May Day parade as some
marchers carried signs denouncing his purchase of a new French
(Econ, 5/8/10, p.40)
2010 May 21, In Bolivia retired
Gen. Gary Prado, famous for capturing Ernesto "Che" Guevara, was
ordered held under house arrest in connection with an alleged plot
against President Evo Morales. Prosecutors alleged that Prado had
exchanged "ultrasecret" encrypted e-mail with Eduardo Rozsa, a
Bolivian-born Hungarian who was slain in an April 2009 raid by an
elite police unit.
2010 Jul 27, Bolivian
authorities arrested Valentin Mejillones (55), an Aymara priest who
inaugurated President Evo Morales, in a bust that netted 530 pounds
(240 kg) of liquid cocaine.
2010 Aug 2, Bolivia’s deputy
land minister Juan Manuel Pinto said that a local court has upheld a
government decision to seize a ranch from US cattleman Ronal Larsen
(65) and his family on the grounds they treated workers as virtual
slaves. Larsen has owned the 58-square-mile (15,000-hectare) ranch
nearly four decades. Pinto said the ranch and an adjacent
15-square-mile (3,790-hectare) spread owned by an unrelated family,
the Chavezes, would be cleared by authorities and divided among
2,000 Guarani families.
2010 Aug 5, Bolivia's leftist
government said it has begun military training for civilians at army
barracks in what the opposition called a first step toward creating
2010 Aug 16, In Bolivia
protesters suspended road blockades and hunger strikes, saying
government officials agreed to address their grievances after 19
days of demonstrations that paralyzed Bolivia's southern Potosi
region. The government agreed to build a new airport and cement
factory in the area to end the 3-weeks of roadblocks.
(AP, 8/16/10)(SSFC, 8/22/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 26, Bolivia’s
government said it has confiscated 280,000 more acres of allegedly
fallow or ill-gotten land. The seizure included 51,000 acres from
the ranching company of prominent opposition figure Osvaldo
(SFC, 8/27/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 28, In Bolivia a
touring French couple Fanny Blancho (23) and her partner Jeremy
Bellanger (25) were last seen in the small city of Guayaramerin on
the border with Brazil.
2010 Oct 3, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales kneed an opposing player in the groin during a soccer
match against a team of political rivals after an apparent hard foul
by the opponent. Images of the altercation were broadcast and posted
2010 Oct 8, Bolivia’s Pres. Evo
Morales enacted an anti-racism bill opposed by most of the nation’s
newspapers, which said it limited free speech.
(SFC, 10/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 19, Bolivia and Peru
signed an agreement giving Bolivia a dock, a free-trade zone and the
right to run some naval vessels.
(SFC, 10/20/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 25, Bolivian President
Evo Morales was in Tehran on a 3-day visit aimed at securing Iranian
investment in the South American country.
2010 Oct 30, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales confirmed that his country plans to build a
nuclear plant with Iran's help, stressing the facility would be for
2010 Dec 10, Bolivia enacted a
law lowering the country’s retirement age to 58. The current
retirement age was 65 for men and 60 for women.
(SFC, 12/11/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 16, In Bolivia
lawmakers in a natural gas-rich eastern province removed Tarija Gov.
Mario Cossio, a key opponent of leftist President Evo Morales, after
he was charged with dereliction of duty and causing economic damage.
His unseating by a legislature dominated by Morales supporters left
opposition governors in control of just two of Bolivia's nine
2010 Dec 22, Bolivia sent a
letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declaring its
recognition of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine.
2010 Dec 26, In Bolivia the
government under Evo Morales announced an end to subsidies on many
fuels. The measure involved a 73% increase in the price of petrol.
(Econ, 1/8/11, p.36)
2010 Dec 30, In Bolivia
protests against sharp increases in gas prices turned violent as
thousands demanded that Pres. Morales’ government repeal the hike.
(SFC, 12/31/10, p.A2)
2011 Jan 18, Paraguay granted
political refugee status to Mario Cossio, a key opponent of
Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales, sheltering him from
corruption charges across the border. Cossio fled Bolivia last month
after provincial lawmakers allied with Morales ousted him as
governor of the natural gas-rich state of Tarija due to charges of
dereliction of duty and causing economic damage.
2011 Jan 19, The US filed an
formal objection to Bolivia’s proposal to end a ban on coca-leaf
chewing. Jan 31 marked a deadline for formal objections to Bolivia’s
proposed amendment to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotics
Drugs to remove language that prohibits the chewing of coca leaves.
(SFC, 1/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 26, In Bolivia
thousands of people took to the streets to chew coca leaf in support
of the country's bid to remove an international prohibition on the
2011 Jan 28, In Bolivia the
raging Molle Punku River swept at least 34 people to their deaths
after swamping a bus and a truck that tried to cross.
2011 Feb 6, In Senegal the 11th
anti-capitalist gathering known as the World Social Forum kicked off
in with a march attended by Bolivian President Evo Morales.
2011 Feb 24, In Panama Rene
Sanabria, a retired Bolivian police Gen., was arrested at
Washington's request and extradited to the US. He had an initial
federal court appearance in Miami the next day on charges he ran a
cocaine trafficking ring. Sanabria headed the FELCN counternarcotics
police in 2007-2008. Other alleged members of the trafficking
organization were identified by Bolivian authorities as Col. Milton
Sanchez Pantoja, Maj. Edwin Raul Ona Moncada and Capt. Franz
Hernando Siles Rios. On Sep 23 Sanabria was sentenced to 14 years in
(AP, 2/27/11)(SFC, 9/24/11, p.A4)
2011 Feb, In Bolivia landslides
destroyed 1700 houses and killed at least 50 people.
2011 Mar 16, Bolivian
authorities arrested police Col. Robert Miguel Valdez outside the
eastern city of Santa Cruz after agents found traces of cocaine in
2011 May 5, In Bolivia a plane
monitoring the cultivation of coca went missing. Wreckage of the
plane and the bodies of the two crew members and four UN workers was
found on May 7.
2011 May 9, Lidia Gueiler
(b.1921), former Bolivian president and the second woman to lead a
Latin American nation, died. She served as president of Bolivia when
she held the post for about eight months in 1979-80 between coup
2011 Jun 26, In Bolivia a bus
ran off a foggy mountain road, killing at least 28 people.
2011 Jun 30, Bolivia's
government said it has informed the United Nations it is renouncing
the world body's 1961 anti-drug convention because it classifies
coca leaf as an illegal drug.
2011 Jul 29, Bolivia’s Congress
passed a law mandating that privately owned radio and TV stations
only receive 33% of available licenses. 33% would be government
controlled with the rest divided among social and indigenous groups.
(SFC, 7/30/11, p.A2)
2011 Sep 6, In Bolivia a small
plane disappeared in the country's Amazon region. The wreckage was
found 2 days later. All 9 people aboard, including 2 Colombians and
7 Bolivians were aboard, were killed.
2011 Sep 15, In Bolivia Esther
Rodriguez Roy (30) of Spain died when seven of 97 capsules filled
with drugs burst inside her.
2011 Sep 23, A Bolivian judge
ordered the release on bond of New York businessmen Jacob Ostreicher
(52). He had been held in a prison without charge for three months
in a money laundering investigation. The judge ordered Ostreicher to
pay $14,500 bond, but prohibited him from leaving Bolivia until the
2011 Sep 25, Bolivian police
used tear gas and truncheons to break up a march by hundreds of
indigenous activists protesting plans to build a highway they say
will despoil a vast Amazon nature preserve.
2011 Sep 26, Bolivia's defense
minister, Celicia Chacon, resigned in protest over a crackdown in
Indians protesting an Amazon highway they say will cause damage to
their lands. President Evo Morales says the 190-mile (300-km)
highway is essential for Bolivia's economy. It is to connect Brazil
with Pacific ports in Chile and Peru. President Evo Morale late in
the day suspended construction of the planned Amazon highway.
2011 Sep 28, In Bolivia tens of
thousands took to the streets in major cities to heap reproach on
Pres. Morales over a police crackdown on indigenous protesters
marching against a proposed highway through their Amazon reserve.
(SFC, 9/29/11, p.A2)
2011 Oct 10, It was reported
that Bolivia's government is giving school teachers free laptops
with a stenciled image of a smiling President Evo Morales on the
back of each computer. The government is handing out 130,000 Lenovo
laptops worth more than $50 million.
2011 Oct 16, Bolivians voted
for 56 judgeships on the top 4 tribunals, including the supreme and
constitutional courts. Unofficial partial results indicated that
most Bolivians cast invalid ballots in what would be a stinging
rebuke for President Evo Morales. Only 40.5% of the judicial votes
were valid; 41% were spoiled and 18.5% were blank.
(AP, 10/17/11)(Econ, 1/7/12, p.31)
2011 Oct 21, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales said he is abandoning plans to build a highway through a
lowlands indigenous reserve after clamor of opposition.
(SFC, 10/22/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 18, In Bolivia
suspects, Carlos Uriona and Adelaida Marca allegedly drowned their
sister (18) during a bathtub exorcism in Cochabamba. Both were
arrested after police found the victim's body inside a store owned
by the pastor.
2012 Jan 20, Bolivia joined
Brazil and the United States in signing an accord to cooperate in
the control of coca plant cultivation. The agreement creates a coca
cultivation tracking system, with the US providing GPS equipment and
Brazil capturing satellite images.
2012 Jan 26, In Bolivia Santos
Ramirez, a former close ally of President Evo Morales, was convicted
of corruption for taking bribes while running the state-run YPFB oil
company and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Argentine businessman
Agustin Tomas Melano was convicted in absentia of paying the bribes.
The scandal broke in January 2009 when Jorge O'Connor Darlach,
Melano's chief partner in the Bolivian-Argentine consortium, was
shot in the face during an armed robbery of $450,000 in cash.
2012 Feb 7, Bolivian officials
threatened to prosecute leaders of coca growers who used whips a day
earlier to drive away 4 unarmed members of a government coca
2012 Feb 8, Bolivian
authorities seized 17 properties from a provincial clan ostensibly
in the gravel business that it suspects of laundering drug money
through real estate. Cochabamba police were unable to capture any of
the seven wanted brothers of the Cossio Rojas family when they
raided the properties.
2012 Feb 14, Bolivian police
arrested Julio Edwin Valdez (33), the leader of a gang in El Alto
believed to have killed 69 people, whose bodies have been found over
the last 13 months. Police arrested 8 members of the band and seized
four 14-seat minibuses used to gather victims in early morning
(SFC, 2/22/12, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/7jz2fgf)
2012 Mar 1, In Bolivia at least
30 people were injured following two day of fighting between two
communities over land for growing quinoa, the Andean "supergrain"
whose popularity with worldwide foodies has caused its price to
soar. The combatants in Oruro state reportedly used rocks and
dynamite against each other.
2012 May 1, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales announced that his government is completing the
nationalization of the electricity sector by seizing control of
Transportadora de Electricidad from a subsidiary of Spain’s Red
Electrica Corporacion S.A. Morales said only $81 million had been
invested in the grid after it was privatized in 1997.
2012 May, Roger Pinto, a
Bolivian opposition senator, took refuge in Brazil’s embassy in La
Paz after accusing Bolivian ministers of drug trafficking. On
Aug 23, 2013, Pinto was escorted by Brazilian marines to Brazil.
(Econ, 8/31/13, p.30)
2012 Jun 5, Bolivia, Ecuador,
Nicaragua and Venezuela said they were pulling out of the
Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (IACHR) on the 2nd
day of the 2-day annual meeting of the Organization of American
States (OAS) in Bolivia.
(SFC, 6/6/12, p.A2)(Econ, 6/9/12, p.41)
2012 Jun 19, Iran's President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stopped in Bolivia en route to a summit in
Brazil, to court support from another leftist Latin American nation
which has tense ties with the United States.
2012 Jun 21, In Bolivia about
30 members of an elite police commando unit mutinied in La Paz,
expelling their commanders and seizing their barracks along with
their wives to demand higher wages. President Evo Morales was out of
the country in Brazil for the Rio+20 environmental summit.
2012 Jun 22, In Bolivia a
mutiny by rank-and-file police demanding higher wages spread across
the nation, with an estimated 4,000 officers occupying barracks.
Bolivia's 28,000 rank-and-file police officers earn an average of
$194 a month, a third less than a sergeant in the armed forces. The
police force was widely seen as the country's most corrupt
2012 Jul 17, India's Jindal
Steel and Power scrapped plans to invest $2.1 billion in a Bolivian
mining project and blamed the South American nation's "non-friendly
business attitude" for the deal's collapse.
2012 Sep 7, Bolivian President
Evo Morales said he has received word that Washington will not
extradite ex-President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, wanted in
connection with the deaths of 63 protesters in his home country in
2012 Sep 11, In Bolivia
hundreds of miners were blocking 3 principal highways leading to La
Paz demanding that authorities grant them control over the lucrative
Colquira tin mine, rather than to a group working for a state-owned
(SFC, 9/12/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 30, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales asked Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn to defend the
chewing of coca leaf before the United Nations, lobby Chile to
restore Bolivia's long-lost access to the Pacific Ocean and help
persuade the United States to extradite a former Bolivian president.
Penn, already a goodwill ambassador for Haiti, has won respect for
his post-earthquake charity work.
2012 Nov 27, Bolivia’s Interior
Minister Carlos Romero said authorities have arrested 7 government
officials suspected of involvement in a scheme to rob and extort New
York businessman Jacob Ostreicher. They included the judge who first
ordered Ostreicher seized in 2011 and officials in a state agency
that seized 18,000 metric tons of rice from him. Ostreicher was
granted house arrest on Dec 18. In 2013 two members of the alleged
extortion ring pleaded guilty.
(SFC, 11/28/12, p.A2)(SFC, 12/19/12, p.A5)(SFC,
2012 Dec 19, Bolivian
authorities ordered the arrest of magistrate Ariel Rocha in a
widening scandal triggered by American Jacob Ostreicher’s report of
being fleeced and extorted by corrupt prosecutors.
(SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 29, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales nationalized the electricity distribution
subsidiaries of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola in a public
ceremony. Morales also announced the expropriation of an investment
management company and a service provider belonging to the Spanish
2012 Bolivia passed a law
making harassment of politicians a crime.
(Econ, 5/23/15, p.28)
2013 Jan 11, Bolivia became the
first country to negotiate a partial opt out from the 1961 UN Single
Convention on Narcotics Drugs.
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.59)
2013 Feb 1, Bolivia’s mining
town of Oruro formally dedicated its Virgin of Socavon, a new statue
of the Virgin Mary that's a little taller than Rio's famed Christ
the Redeemer, as it kicked off its Carnival celebrations.
2013 May 1, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales said he is expelling the US Agency for International
Development for allegedly seeking to undermine his leftist
government. Morales did not specify what USAID had done that merited
2013 Jun 4, Brazilian police
said they have dismantled an international drug trafficking ring
that for almost two years sent cocaine from Colombia and Bolivia to
Portugal hidden in crates containing frozen fish.
2013 Jun 6, Bolivian officials
said Quachua villagers in the southern highlands buried alive Santos
Ramos (17) in the grave of Leandra Arias Janco (35), for her rape
and murder on June 2.
(SFC, 6/8/13, p.A2)
2013 Aug 23, In Bolivia 30
people were killed, many burned to death, in a battle among rival
gangs for control of part of the overcrowded, maximum-security
Palmasola prison outside the city of Santa Cruz. Another inmate died
the next day raising the toll to 31.
(AP, 8/24/13)(SSFC, 8/25/13, p.A5)
2013 Aug 26, Bolivia’s cultural
patrimony chief, Lupe Meneses, said local churches have been robbed
38 times of 447 objects since 2009 — of highly stylized decorative
silverwork, canvases, polished gold and silver altar pieces and
2013 Oct 11, In Brazil an
official report disclosed that the powerful PCC prison gang runs a
nationwide criminal business worth $60 million a year with
operations extending into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay.
2013 Oct 20, In Bolivia 8
soldiers were taken hostage by suspected coca growers after a
firefight that left two security officers dead and 17 wounded.
2013 Nov 3, A Bolivian plane
carrying 18 people crashed while trying to land during bad weather
in Riberalta, killing 8 passengers and injuring the others on board.
2013 Dec 15, Jacob Ostreicher,
a New York businessman, snuck across the Peruvian border and flew to
the United States from Lima. He had been under house arrest for
alleged money laundering and connections to drug traffickers related
to his purchase of a rice farm in 2008.
2013 Dec 18, Bolivia accused
the United States of helping Jacob Ostreicher (54), a New York
businessman, escape from the South American country where he had
spent 18 months in prison and was under house arrest for alleged
money laundering. Washington denied having a hand in Ostreicher's
2013 Dec 20, Bolivia launched
its first telecom satellite.
(SFC, 12/21/13, p.A2)
2014 Jan 28, Bolivia's
government declared a national emergency to deal with flooding that
has claimed at least 30 lives and forced some 21,000 families from
their homes over the past two months.
2014 Feb 6, Bolivia’s
government said rains and floods have left 38 people dead as
forecasters predicted more rain.
(SFC, 2/7/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 2, In Bolivia 4 people
were killed and over 60 injured when a metal footbridge collapsed
onto a group of musicians marching in the opening parade of Carnival
(SSFC, 3/2/14, p.A4)
2014 Apr 24, Bolivia's army,
navy and air force announced the expulsion of 702 enlisted men for
sedition, rebellion and attacking the "honor of the Armed Forces."
An unprecedented military protest began April 21 with 500 soldiers
but expanded to about 1,000 today. Soldiers vowed to keep up
protests to demand the option of rising to the rank of officer.
2014 May, Bolivia’s Pres. Evo
Morales inaugurated the first segment of the world’s highest cable
car line, which carries passengers from La Paz to El Alto at more
than 13,000 feet above sea level.
(SSFC, 6/8/14, p.A6)
2014 Jul 2, Bolivia's Congress
passed legislation to allow children as young age 10 to work as long
as it does not interfere with their education and is done
independently to help the child's family make ends meet. VP Alvaro
Garcia signed it into law on July 17, as Pres. Morales was
(AP, 7/4/14)(SFC, 7/18/14, p.A5)
2014 Jul 7, Chile’s Pres.
Michelle Bachelet announced that her government objects to the
Int’l. Court of Justice’s jurisdiction to hear Bolivia’s suit over a
land dispute that goes back to the 1879-1884 War of the Pacific.
(SSFC, 7/13/14, p.A4)
2014 Jul 26, A researcher in
Bolivia said construction workers have stumbled upon a mass grave in
the "El Minero" district of Potosi, with the remains of hundreds of
likely indigenous miners during the Spanish colonial era.
2014 Oct 12, Bolivians voted in
a presidential election. President Evo Morales coasted to victory,
winning an unprecedented third term with 61 percent of the vote.
(Reuters, 10/12/14)(AP, 10/13/14)(AFP, 10/18/14)
2015 Jan 22, In Bolivia Evo
Morales (55) was sworn in for a third term as president at a
ceremony in the country's national assembly as thousands of
supporters cheered outside.
2015 Mar 4, In Bolivia a judge
ordered jail for retired police Gen. Oscar Nina, who reorganized
Bolivia's counter-narcotics force after President Evo Morales
expelled US drug agents. He and a former personal assistant and his
son were ordered held at Palmasola prison.
2015 Jul 8, Pope Francis flew
to Bolivia after drawing about 1.5 million people to Masses in
Ecuador on the first leg of a "homecoming" tour.
2015 Jul 9, In Bolivia Pope
Francis rallied tens of thousands of flag-waving Bolivians during
his first public Mass.
2015 Jul 10, In Bolivia Pope
Francis arrived at the notorious Palmasola prison, greeting some by
hand ahead of a message that focused on encouragement. The prison
built for 800 inmates has more than 5,000.
2015 Sep 3, Bolivian
authorities working on a corruption case arrested Adolfo Chavez, a
top indigenous leader, who has been critical of President Evo
Morales' push to drill for oil and develop mining on traditional
native lands in the eastern lowlands. On Sep 5 Chavez was released
from detention by a judge who threw out the corruption case.
(AP, 9/4/15)(AP, 9/6/15)
2015 Sep 4, Bolivia said an air
force captain was detained as he tried to take off from near the
Peru border with 362 kg (796 pounds) of cocaine in his plane.
2015 Sep 24, The United
Nations' highest court ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear a case
focusing on Bolivia’s access to the Pacific Ocean. Bolivia asked the
International Court of Justice in 2013 to order Chile to negotiate
over Bolivia's claim to at least part of the 240-mile (400-km) strip
of the Pacific coast.
2015 Sep 26, Bolivia's Congress
voted to amend the country’s constitution to let President Evo
Morales run for re-election again in five years, and potentially
extend his presidency to 2025. The changes must be ratified by a
national referendum set for February 21, 2016.