Republic of Bolivia
Republica de Bolivia
Joined United Nations:  14 November 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
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Updated 09 September 2012
La Paz (administrative capital)
Sucre (constitutional capital)
10,290,003 (July 2012 est.)
Juan Evo Morales Ayma
President since 22 January 2006
President and vice president elected on the same ticket by
popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 6
December 2009

Next scheduled election: 2014
Alvaro Garcia Linera
Vice President since 22 January 2006
The president is both chief of state and head of government
Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%
Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist) 5%
Republic comprised of 9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); ; Legal system is based on Spanish
law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executive: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term;
election last held 6 December 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
Legislative: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de
Senadores (27 seats; members are elected by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year terms)
and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; 69 are directly elected from their districts and 61 are
elected by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held on 6 December 2009 (next to be held in 2015)
Judicial: Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges appointed for 10-year terms by National Congress); District
Courts (one in each department); provincial and local courts (to try minor cases)
Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6% (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2%
(2001 census)
Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America. Following a disastrous economic crisis
during the early 1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates in the
1990s. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against
plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large Northern
Hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly
higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to
the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee. The global recession slowed growth, but
Bolivia recorded the highest growth rate in South America during 2009. During 2010-11 increases in world
commodity prices resulted in large trade surpluses. However, a lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of
mining and hydrocarbons and higher food prices pose challenges for the Bolivian economy.
CIA World Factbook (select Bolivia)
Bolivia's current constitution was adopted via referendum in 2009, providing for a unitary secular state.

A group of MEPs acting as election observers oversaw a constitutional referendum in Bolivia that gave more power
to indigenous peoples 25 January 2009. The tightly fought referendum laid out a number of key reforms such as
allowing President Evo Morales to stand for re-election, state control over natural gas and limits on the size of land
people can own.

The governing Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS) is a Left-wing, Socialist political party led
by Evo Morales, founded in 1997. It has governed the country since 2006, following the first ever majority victory
by a single party in the December 2005 elections. MAS evolved out of the movement to defend the interests of coca
growers. Currently, the MAS stands as a party committed to equality, indigenous rights, agrarian land reform,
Constitutional reform as well as nationalization of key industries with an aim to redistribute the returns through
increased social spending. Among the poor, rural and indigenous population the MAS enjoys nearly unanimous

The right-of-center opposition includes a variety of political parties. During the 2005-09 political cycle the largest of
these was PODEMOS, a successor to Nationalist Democratic Action. In the 2009 elections, several parties and
politicians united to form Plan Progreso para Bolivia – Convergencia Nacional, whose presidential candidate,
Manfred Reyes Villa and parliamentary slate came in second in the 2009 elections.
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Chile and Peru rebuff Bolivia's reactivated claim to restore the Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, but Chile
offers instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile for Bolivian natural gas and other
commodities; an accord placed the long-disputed Isla Suarez/Ilha de Guajara-Mirim, a fluvial island on the Rio
Mamora, under Bolivian administration in 1958, but sovereignty remains in dispute
U.S. State Department
United Nations Human
Rights Council
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Freedom House
None reported.
World's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Colombia and Peru) with an estimated 29,500 hectares under
cultivation in 2007, increased slightly when compared to 2006; third largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 120
metric tons potential pure cocaine in 2007; transit country for Peruvian and Colombian cocaine destined for Brazil,
Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Europe; cultivation generally increasing since 2000, despite eradication and
alternative crop programs; weak border controls; some money-laundering activity related to narcotics trade; major
cocaine consumption (2008)
Centro De Estudios
2011 Human Rights Report: Bolivia
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
11 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
24, 2012

Bolivia is a constitutional, multiparty republic. In December 2009, in a process deemed free and fair by international observers,
citizens reelected Evo Morales Ayma, leader of the Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party, as president. Security forces
reported to civilian authorities.

The principal human rights problems reported were arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life, arbitrary arrest or detention, and denial
of fair public trial.

Other human rights problems included harsh prison conditions, official corruption, lack of government transparency, violence and
discrimination against women, and trafficking in persons.

The government took steps in some cases to prosecute officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or
elsewhere in the government.
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Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
78th session
February 14 to March 11, 2011
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties
in accordance with Article 9 of the Convention
Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination
Concluding Observations: The Plurinational State of Bolivia

10 March 2011

A. Introduction
2. The Committee welcomes the periodic reports submitted by the State party and welcomes the high-level delegation. The
Committee welcomes the information
updated that provided orally by the delegation, and replied to questions and comments raised
by the Committee members.
3. The Committee noted with interest the process of legal reforms, political and institutional
it goes across the State party. Also
considers it an opportunity to
ensure the collective construction of a pluralistic and inclusive society in the face of existing
challenges for the elimination of discrimination and exclusion of
indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups.

B. Positives
5. The Committee welcomes the recent ratification by the State party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
and its Optional Protocol (2009) and
the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Disappearance.
6. The Committee notes with satisfaction that the State party has introduced
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples in the
internal legal order by the Law No. 3760.

C. Concerns and recommendations
11. The Committee, while noting the progress made in the State party against racial discrimination and effort in the process of
developing a National Plan
Action against Racism and Discrimination, is concerned about the lack of practical application of the
principle of non-discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices
in society and persistent tensions in the State party, same as constitute
an impediment for the intercultural and the construction of a
inclusive and pluralistic society (arts. 2 and 7).
The Committee encourages the State party to intensify campaigns
awareness against racial discrimination and to combat
stereotypes and all
form of discrimination. Also recommends actively pursue programs that promote intercultural dialogue,
tolerance and understanding
mutual respect for the diversity of the people and nations of the State party. The Committee
encourages the State party to the effective implementation of the Convention through a national action plan against racism and
discrimination, which in the process of discussion and development, and must place special emphasis on the fight against
discrimination, prejudice and racism throughout the country, including through allocation of adequate human resources and
financial compliance.

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Bolivian journalist sentenced to prison
Mar 20 2012 - 6:00pm

Freedom House condemns a Bolivian court decision on March 16 to uphold the two-and-a-half year prison sentence against
journalist Rogelio Peláez, director of Larga Vista, on charges of criminal libel for accusing a local lawyer of embezzlement. The
High Court should repeal his sentence. Peláez was sentenced to prison after publishing stories in 2009 and 2010 denouncing
corruption – he accused a local lawyer, Waldo Molina, of embezzling funds while representing a government agency. Peláez alleged
that Molina improperly collected nearly half a million dollars in government funds for representing plaintiffs in a corruption case
involving a state social security fund, according to news reports. This is the first criminal sentence against a journalist for
defamation since 1997.

Bolivia is ranked Partly Free in the Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and
Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2011. Threats and attacks against the news media have occurred with increasing regularity in
the last two years.
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8 August 2012
Governments must stop imposing development projects on
Indigenous peoples’ territories

Governments across the Americas continue to discriminate against Indigenous peoples by denying their right to have a say on
decisions which may have devastating
consequences for their cultural survival. Motorways, pipelines, hydroelectric dams and
open-cast mines are some of the development projects which governments continue to
carry out on or near Indigenous territories
without obtaining their free, prior and
informed consent.

The right to consultation, as established in various international human rights standards, is key for Indigenous peoples. They have a
special relationship with their
territory and environment and their cultural survival depends on it. As Eriberto Gualinga from the
Sarayaku Indigenous community in Ecuador has put it “for us, the rainforest is
life. It gives us our identity as an Indigenous people.
Our life as a people depends on
our natural environment.” The following is a summary of some of the serious challenges that
Indigenous peoples face on a daily basis as they claim the right to consultation and
free, prior and informed consent.

Consultation should take place before decisions are made
States have an obligation to engage with Indigenous peoples at the earliest stage of any decision-making processes affecting them.
However, governments often launch consultation processes after important decisions have been taken. This prevents Indigenous
people from having a real chance to affect the outcome of the decisionmaking process. It also creates a climate of bad faith,
distrust and polarisation which can lead to social unrest.

A case in point is that of the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro
Sécure, TIPNIS) in Bolivia. Since 2003 the authorities have adopted key decisions on the construction of a motorway across the
TIPNIS, including a call for tender and the allocation of the project to a company. However, many communities from the TIPNIS
have argued lack of prior consultation and, in August 2011, marched to La Paz to express their concerns. The result was a law
that cancelled the construction of the road. Some other communities of the TIPNIS, who are in favour of the road, took to the
streets in December 2011 and, as a result of the pressure, the government passed another law to implement a consultation process.
This brought about another march in April 2012 by those arguing that the consultation was untimely, lacking good faith and that the
government was bypassing legitimate community authorities in order to win the support of some communities. The government
has already cancelled the contract for the construction of the road and the consultation was due to start at the end of July 2012.
There was no clarity on how many communities would actually engage with it. It appears that much of the social unrest of
the last couple of years could have been avoided if the government had refrained from making decisions before consulting with
those who will be affected.

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Word Report 2012: Bolivia
Events of 2011
anuary 22, 2012

Bolivian courts made some progress in clarifying responsibilities for human rights abuses in 2011, including convicting seven high-
ranking military officers and politicians for deaths in the 2003 street protests. However, lack of accountability remains a serious
problem. The fate of scores who "disappeared" before democracy was re-established in 1982 has still not been clarified, and trials
of those responsible for killings during marches and demonstrations in recent years have been subject to long delays. The insistence
of military courts on trying military accused of abuses continues to be an obstacle.

Laws passed in 2010 and 2011 posed risks to the media’s ability to freely criticize the government. However, in 2011 President Evo
Morales took some steps to address objections from media groups by amending some disputed laws.

Accountability for Past Human Rights Abuses
In August 2011 a Supreme Court panel sentenced five generals to 10 to 15 years imprisonment for killing at least 60 people during
anti-government protests in September and October 2003, when the army used lethal force to quell violent demonstrations in the
highland city of El Alto (an event known as Black October). Two members of former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Losada’s
cabinet received three-year suspended sentences. Sánchez de Losada and other accused senior government members left the
country immediately after the events.

The trial, which began in May 2009, followed an impeachment procedure known as a “trial of responsibilities.” The law, which
dates from 2003 and was rewritten in 2010, requires that trials of heads of state and ministers must first be authorized by the vote
of two-thirds of Congress, after which the Supreme Court’s criminal bench must approve the charges. The full Supreme Court
then conducts the trial without the criminal bench. All members of the six-person panel that heard the case were appointed by pre-
established and lawful procedures, without credible evidence of government interference.

Trial Delays in Political Violence Cases
Trials of opposition leaders, local government officials, and others accused of killings during violent clashes between supporters
and opponents of President Morales have been subject to long delays. In September 2011 a La Paz court was still hearing evidence
against 26 defendants in connection with a massacre in Porvenir, Pando department, on September 11, 2008, in which at least nine
pro-Morales demonstrators were killed. The former prefect of Pando department, Leopoldo Fernández, who was indicted in
October 2009 on charges of homicide, terrorism, and conspiracy, had been held for three years in a maximum security prison in La
Paz, the capital.
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Morales condemns rejection of extradition of Goni and believes that America becomes a haven for criminals
La Paz, Sep 7, 2012

(Prensa Palace.) - President Evo Morales on Friday flatly rejected the government's refusal to extradite U.S. former president Gonzalo
Sanchez de Lozada (2002 -03), to respond to genocide trial next in Bolivia, and found the north country becomes "haven for criminals
and paradise of impunity".

Morales visibly upset at the closing ceremony for ladies Condor II officers and sergeants and first volunteer in Sanandita, Tarija,
confirmed receipt of a note from the government of Democrat Barack Obama in justifying its refusal because "civil society not may
be responsible for military action. "

"I reject absolutely not agree with the term and try that excuse how America is becoming a haven for criminals, that America is the
paradise of impunity," the Head of State refuted.

Morales added that in this short while directing the destinies of the country (2006) could see that the armed forces when they are
given the mission of serving the people "serve the people".

Therefore concluded that previous efforts were "a misuse of the Armed Forces."

Sanchez de Lozada, after resigning the presidency of Bolivia on October 17, 2003 fled to the United States, since it has the protection
of that government.

Bolivian Justice accuses him of ordering police to suppress the insurgent masses in the cities of La Paz and El Alto, against his
decision to export gas and Chile.

The president said it is "easy" to realize that a country that never respected the dignity and sovereignty of Latin America could
extradite Bolivia who were hurt and he said that those who generate opinion to that effect "are wrong."

"They believe that America will return to these criminals who committed crimes against humanity, impossible, but perhaps we should
ask the U.S. government has ratified human rights treaty, never, never," he said.
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Home - Issue No. 4 of Bolivia Plurinational "Indigenous March VIII"
Bulletin No. 4 of Bolivia Plurinational "Indigenous March VIII"

01 March 2012

We present the fourth issue of the Bulletin Bolivia Plurinational which addresses the "indigenous march VIII: THE DEFENSE OF
ANY BOLIVIA JOINED TIPNIS". This publication, prepared by the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB) in
coordination with the Center for Legal Studies and Social Research (CEJIS), contains a summary of the demands and achievements
of each of the eight indigenous marches that have been made since 1990, plus interviews with key players in the process people
and their development.

On the other hand, has captured a chronology of the indigenous march VIII "for the defense of indigenous territory Isiboro Secure
TIPNIS, territories, LIFE, DIGNITY AND RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES" which tells in brief the important and decisive
moments that marked this mobilization that was in suspense to the Bolivian population as a whole.

The bulletin displays also the political background, geopolitical and legal background to the Eighth Indigenous March, closing with
the testimonies of indigenous leaders who suffered police repression of Chaparina the September 25, 2011, images of the Eighth
Indigenous March and the law N º 180 TIPNIS protection.
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August 24, 2012
Chuquisaca: Advocacy Agency Committee coordinates actions to combat trafficking and human trafficking
by: Ombudsman. National Office

It outlined IADC activities to combat trafficking and human trafficking, aimed at raising awareness and prevention At its third

IADC TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS AND TRAFFIC PLAN outlined activities focused on awareness and prevention

In order to help combat the trafficking of people promoting prevention and protection mechanisms, the Interagency Committee
raised several care activities, prosecution and punishment of this crime in the framework of its powers. This activity was socialized
in a press conference on Friday 10 August in the hall of mirrors of the Interior.

On behalf of the Inter-combat trafficking and smuggling, Ms. Juana Maturano said the plan of activities prioritized by the
Committee and develop in the coming months include: Strengthen and improve systems and checkpoints responsible for granting
permits to minors regarding hours and equipment, Enable a toll-free hotline to receive complaints as well as information inherent to
the subject, making surprise checks by migration and IADC and other night spots where they usually concentrate minors,
development of educational booklets to the topic of preventing trafficking and trafficking.

He emphasized fostering a cycle of videos with the same content, generated in educational units Sucre secondary level training and
awareness workshops on human rights also trafficked, likewise effectuate training workshops throughout the district directors
department in an effort to raise awareness about the risks of this problem.

Boosting the first Departmental on trafficking scheduled for September in order to socialize the topic and collect proposals and / or
suggestions for the national meeting. Making education fairs in different districts and later in the 4 regions of Chuquisaca in which
distributed and exposed cases of trafficking. Finally, open spaces in mass media to raise awareness and sensitize the population as
well as discuss and interact on this topic.

The Departmental Committee to Combat Human Trafficking Trafficking is made by the Ombudsman's Office, Government of
Chuquisaca, Sucre Municipal Government, Public Prosecutor, Defender of Children and Adolescents, Special Force to Fight Crime
(FELCC), Board Parent, Departmental Federation of Neighborhood Councils (FEDJUVE), Departmental and District Education,
Association of Municipalities of Chuquisaca (AMDECH), Departmental Office 'Migration, Regional Labour Office, Permanent
Assembly for Human Rights (APDH) among others.
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The Bolivian highlands, permanently settled for at least 21,000 years, were part of the culture of Andean South
America before the arrival of the Spaniards. The records are fragmentary but suggest that agriculture started about
3000 BC. and that the production of metal, especially copper, began 1,500 years later. The Andean region probably
has been inhabited for some 20,000 years. Beginning about the second century BC, the Tiwanakan culture
developed at the southern end of Lake Titicaca.  The collapse of Tiwanakan influence resulted in the rise of seven
regional kingdoms of the Aymara, the most powerful states located in the densely populated area around Lake
Titicaca. The Aymara, however, were not able to contain the expansion of the Quechua, the third major ethnic
group. After the collapse of the Tiahuanacan Empire, a Quechua-speaking state emerged in the area around Cuzco
became known as the Incas when they adopted the name of their rulers, were the most powerful group in the
northern highlands. Francisco Pizarro, Diego de Almagro, and Hernando de Luque led the Spanish discovery and
conquest of the Inca Empire. They first sailed south in 1524 along the Pacific coast from Panama to confirm the
legendary existence of a land of gold called "Biru" (later altered to Peru). Because the rapidly expanding Inca Empire
was internally weak, the conquest was remarkably easy. During most of the Spanish colonial period, this territory
was called "Upper Peru" or "Charcas" and was under the authority of the Viceroy of Lima. Local government came
from the Audiencia de Charcas located in Chuquisaca (La Plata — modern Sucre). Bolivian silver mines produced
much of the Spanish empire's wealth, and Potosí, site of the famed Cerro Rico — "Rich Mountain" — was, for many
years, the largest city in the Western Hemisphere. In the late 18th century, Spain undertook an administrative reform
to increase revenues of the crown and to eliminate a number of abuses. Increasing Indian discontent with colonial rule
sparked the great rebellion of Túpac Amaru II. Born José Gabriel Condorcanqui, this educated, Spanish-speaking
Native American took the name of his ancestor, Túpac Amaru. As Spanish royal authority weakened during the
Napoleonic wars, sentiment against colonial rule grew. Independence was proclaimed in 1809, but 16 years of
struggle followed before the establishment of the republic, named for Simón Bolívar, on August 6, 1825.  The
Constitution under which the republic is now governed dates from 28 October, 1880, and aims at a unitarian
republican polity." During the presidency of Mariscal Andres de Santa Cruz, Bolivia enjoyed the most glorious
period of her history with great social and economic advancement. Different wars against almost all its neighbors
were fought during this period with sound victories against its enemies but maybe the turning point took place on the
fields of Paucarpata where the Confederacion Peru-Boliviana lead by the Mariscal Santa Cruz forced the Chilean
and Peruvian rebel armies to sign the peace treaty know as the Paucarpata Treaty which included their unconditional
surrender; later this treaty was discarded by the Chilean parliament. Living conditions of the indigenous peoples, who
constitute more than half of the population, remained deplorable. Forced to work under primitive conditions in the
mines and in nearly feudal status on large estates, they were denied access to education, economic opportunity, or
political participation. Bolivia's defeat by Paraguay in the Chaco War (1932-1935) marked a turning point. Great
loss of life and territory discredited the traditional ruling classes, while service in the army produced stirrings of
political awareness among the indigenous people. In 1936 the Standard Oil was nationalized and the state-owned
firm Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) created. From the end of the Chaco War until the 1952
revolution, the emergence of contending ideologies and the demands of new groups convulsed Bolivian politics.
Standing alongside the Mexican Revolution, the Bolivian National Revolution is one of the most significant socio-
political events to occur in Latin America during the 20th century. The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR)
emerged from the ashes of the Chaco War in 1941 as a middle-class political coalition eschewing marxism for a
vague nationalist ideology better suited to Bolivia's social reality. Twelve more tumultuous years of national reform
left the country bitterly divided and in 1964, a military junta overthrew President Paz Estenssoro at the outset of his
third term; an event that many assert brought an end to the National Revolution and marked the beginning of nearly
20 years of military rule in Bolivia. After a military rebellion forced out García Meza in 1981, three other military
governments in 14 months struggled with Bolivia's growing problems. Hyperinflation had reached an annual rate of
24,000%. Social unrest, chronic strikes, and unchecked drug trafficking were widespread. The 1993 elections
continued the tradition of open, honest elections and peaceful democratic transitions of power. Between January and
April 2000, a series of anti-privatization protests took place in Cochabamba against the privatization of the municipal
water supply that was being pushed through on the recommendation of the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund. The Bolivian government declared martial law, killing several people, arresting protest leaders and
shutting down radio stations, but after continued disturbances and civic pressure, the government finally rolled back
the privatization on April 10. Several days before Bolivians went to the voting booths, the U.S. ambassador, Manuel
Rocha, warned the Bolivian electorate that, if they voted for Morales, the US would cut off foreign aid and close its
markets to the country. Morales nonetheless received nearly 21% of the vote, putting him only a couple points
behind Sánchez de Lozada. In recent years, an increasingly divisive conflict has been the Bolivian Gas War; a dispute
over the exploitation of Bolivia's large natural gas reserves in the south of the country. The deterioration of the
political system contributed towards the rise of a loose confederation of indigenous social movements (MAS) with
Evo Morales as leader. In the elections of December 2005 Evo Morales and MAS obtained a comfortable victory
reaching 54% of the electorate's votes, becoming the first Native Bolivian president in history.
On 1 May 2006, Evo
Morales delivered on his promises to nationalize most of Bolivia's natural gas fields, which many indigenous Bolivians
had demanded for years.In late August 2007, the MAS purged the Constitutional Tribunal of magistrates that voted
earlier in the year against Morales' move to fill Supreme Court vacancies while Congress was in recess. On 4 May
2008, autonomy referendums were held in four eastern departments, in which they declared themselves autonomous
from the central government. All four referendums passed. Evo Morales deemed this referendum illegal. Turnout was
as low as 70%. In February 2009 a new constitution was enacted by Evo Morales. This gave Bolivians of
indigenous descent more economic and political rights. On December 2012, the Government of Bolivia will move the
government from Western-style capitalism to a system of communitarianism.

Sources:  Wikipedia: History of Bolivia
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None reported.