18. Bolivia (1917-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (May 6, 1917-July 10, 1920): José Gutiérrez Guerra of the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal – PL) was elected president on May 6, 1917. Government troops and demonstrators clashed in La Paz on December 5, 1917, resulting in the deaths of several individuals.  Legislative elections were held in May 1918, and the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal – PL) won 51 out of 70 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Republican Party (Partido Republicano – PR) won 19 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Legislative elections were held in May 1920.

Crisis Phase (July 11, 1920-March 5, 1931): President José Gutiérrez Guerra was overthrown in a military rebellion on July 11-12, 1920, and a military junta headed by Juan Bautista Saavedra of the Republican Party (Partido Republicano – PR) took control of the government on July 13, 1920. The U.S. government imposed diplomatic sanctions (diplomatic non-recognition) against the government of Juan Bautista Saavedra on July 20, 1920.  Legislative elections were held on November 14, 1920, and the PR won 60 out of 63 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Two individuals were killed in election-related violence in Cliza, and one individual was killed in election-related violence in Trinidad. Juan Bautista Saavedra of the PR was elected president by the National Congress on January 24, 1921, and he was inaugurated as president on January 28, 1921.  The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the U.S. provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of President Juan Bautista Saavedra on February 9, 1921. Government troops suppressed a rebellion in the Jesus de Machaca district in March 1921, resulting in the deaths of several hundred individuals.  Legislative elections were held in May 1923, and the PR won 70 out of 70 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Government troops fired on demonstrators in the Uncia region on June 4, 1923, resulting in the deaths of several dozen individuals. Government troops suppressed a military rebellion in Yacuiba in February 1924.  Government troops suppressed a rebellion in Santa Cruz in July 1924.  Legislative elections were held on May 2, 1925, and the PR won 70 out of 70 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Jose Cabino Villanueva was elected president on May 2, 1925, but the National Congress annulled the election on September 1, 1925.  President Juan Bautista Saavedra resigned, and Felipe Segundo Guzmán was sworn in as interim president on September 3, 1925.  Hernando Siles Reyes of the Socialist Republican Party (Partido Republicano Socialista – PRS) was elected president with 97 percent of the vote on December 1, 1925, and he was sworn in as president on January 10, 1926.  The Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista – PN) headed by Rafael Taborga was established in January 1927.  Legislative elections were held on May 1, 1927, and the PN won 22 out of 72 seats in the National Congress.  The Genuine Republican Party (Partido Republicano Genuino – PRG) won 17 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The government declared a state-of-siege after violent demonstrations on May 4, 1927.  Legislative elections were held on May 1, 1928, and the PRS won 39 out of 78 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The PN won 32 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  President Siles seized control of the government in January 1929.  President Hernando Siles Reyes resigned on May 28, 1930, and a council of ministers took control of the government on May 29, 1930. Government troops suppressed student demonstrations in La Paz on June 12-22, 1930, resulting in the deaths of several individuals. General Carlos Blanco Galindo led a military rebellion against the government beginning on June 17, 1930, and a six-member provisional military junta headed by General Blanco Galindo took control of the government on June 27, 1930. The U.S. government imposed diplomatic sanctions (diplomatic non-recognition) against the government of General Galindo on June 30, 1930. The U.S. government lifted diplomatic sanctions against the government of General Galindo on September 17, 1930.  Legislative elections were held on January 4, 1931, and the PRG won 28 out of 78 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Liberal Party (Partido Liberal – PL) won 26 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Daniel Domingo Salamanca of the PRG was elected president on January 4, 1931, and he was inaugurated as president on March 5, 1931.  More than 1,000 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (March 6, 1931-November 23, 1934):  Legislative elections were held on January 4, 1931, and the Genuine Republican Party (Partido Republicano Genuino – PRG) won 28 out of 78 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Liberal Party (Partido Liberal – PL) won 26 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Legislative elections were held in May 1933, and the PRG won 39 out of 73 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The PL won 22 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Legislative elections were held on November 11, 1934, but the results were nullified.  Franz Tamayo Solares of the PRG was elected president with 59 percent of the vote on November 11, 1934, but the results were also nullified.

Crisis Phase (November 24, 1934-August 25, 1949):  President Daniel Salamanca was deposed in a military coup on November 24, 1934, and Vice President Jose Luis Tejada Sorzano of the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal – PL) assumed the presidency on November 25, 1934.  President Tejada Sorzano resigned after several days of unrest on May 17, 1936, and Colonel David Toro Ruilova was appointed as provisional president and head of a military junta on May 20, 1936.  The government announced the confiscation of the property of the Standard Oil Company in Bolivia on March 13, 1937.  President Toro Ruilova was deposed in a military coup led by Colonel Germán Busch on July 13, 1937, and Colonel Germán Busch was appointed provisional president.  Legislative elections were held on March 13, 1938, and the United Socialist Front (Frente Unión Socialista – FUS) won 96 out of 103 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Independents won the remaining seven seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The government banned the Communist Party of Bolivia (Partido Communista de Bolivia – PCB) in April 1938.  The government declared martial law on November 25, 1938.  President Germán Busch suspended the constitution and established a dictatorship on April 24, 1939.  President Germán Busch committed suicide on August 23, 1939. General Carlos Quintanilla assumed the presidency and restored the 1938 constitution.  Legislative elections were held on March 10, 1940, and the right-wing alliance (including the Liberal Party or Partido Liberal – PL) won 61 out of 109 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The left-wing alliance (including the United Socialist Party or Partido Socialista Unificado – PSU) won 48 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Enrique Peñaranda of the right-wing alliance was elected president on March 10, 1940, and he was inaugurated as president on April 15, 1940.  Legislative elections were held in March 1942, and the PL won 25 out of 110 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The PSU won 22 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Some 7,000 mine workers went on strike on December 15-20, 1942.  Government troops clashed with striking mine workers in Catavi on December 21, 1942, resulting in the deaths of at least 19 individuals.  President Enrique Peñaranda was deposed in a military coup led by Major Gualberto Villarroel of the National Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) on December 20, 1943.  The U.S. government imposed diplomatic sanctions (diplomatic non-recognition) against the government of Major Gualberto Villarroel on January 25, 1944.  Legislative elections were held on July 2, 1944, and the MNR won 56 out of 137 seats in the Constituent Assembly.  The Independent Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Independiente – PSI) won 16 seats, and the PL won 14 seats in the Constituent Assembly.  Government troops suppressed a military rebellion in Oruro on November 18, 1944, and four individuals were executed for their involvement in the military rebellion on November 19, 1944.  Five individuals, including General Demetrio Ramos, were executed by government soldiers near La Paz on November 20, 1944.  President Gualberto Villarroel declared a state-of-siege after several weeks of civil unrest on May 30, 1946.  Government troops suppressed a military rebellion in La Paz on June 13, 1946, resulting in the deaths of five individuals.  President Gualberto Villarroel was killed during a rebellion led by the the Popular Revolutionary Movement (PRM) on July 18-21, 1946, resulting in the deaths of 260 individuals.  Nestor Gullen was appointed as provisional president of a revolutionary junta on July 22, 1946.  The government of Chile provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of President Gullen on August 6, 1946.  The governments of Argentina, Guatemala, Paraguay, and the U.S. provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of President Gullen on August 12, 1946.  The governments of Britain and Nicaragua provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of President Nestor Gullen on August 13, 1946.  Legislative elections were held on January 5, 1947, and the Socialist Republican Union Party (Partido Union Republicana Socialista – PURS) won 45 out of 111 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Revolutionary Left Party (Partido de la Izquierda Revolucionaria – PIR) won 36 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Enrique Hertzog of the PURS was elected president with 47 percent of the vote on January 5, 1947.  The National Congress voted to approve the election of Enrique Hertzog as president on March 9, 1947, and Enrique Hertzog was inaugurated as president on March 10, 1947.  Legislative elections were held on May 1, 1949, and the PURS won 28 out of 56 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The National Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) won 9 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Ten individuals were killed in election-related violence.  President Enrique Hertzog temporarily turned over power to Vice-President Mamerto Urriolagoita on May 7, 1949.  Acting President Mamerto Urriolagoita ordered the detention and exile of more than 200 labor leaders and other MNR supporters on May 27, 1949.

Conflict Phase (August 26, 1949-September 16, 1949): The National Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) led a military rebellion against the government in southern Bolivia beginning on August 26, 1949.  MNR rebels captured Santa Cruz and Camiri on August 27, 1949.  Acting President Mamerto Urriolagoita requested U.S. military assistance (transport aircraft, fighter aircraft, and bombers), by the U.S. government rejected the request for military assistance.  The U.S. government maintained a policy of neutrality in the conflict.  The government of Argentina announced a policy of “absolute non-intervention” in the rebellion on September 2, 1949. Government troops commanded by General Ovidio Quiroga suppressed the MNR rebellion on September 16, 1949. Some 600 individuals were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (September 17, 1949-March 22, 1967):  President Enrique Hertzog resigned due to ill health on October 22, 1949, and Vice-President Mamerto Urriolagoita was sworn in as president on October 24, 1949. The government proclaimed a state-of-siege after discovering a plot by the National Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) to overthrow the government on January 14, 1950. The government suppressed a rebellion led by Guillermo Alborta of the MNR on March 17, 1950. The government suppressed communist rebellions on February 4 and March 26, 1950. The government banned the Communist Party of Bolivia (Partido Communista de Bolivia – PCB) on April 11, 1950. The government declared a state-of-emergency on May 15, 1950. Government troops and striking workers clashed in La Paz on May 18-19, 1950, resulting in the deaths of 38 individuals. The government suppressed several rebellions between July 6-22, 1950.  Legislative elections were held on May 6, 1951, but the results were later annulled.  Victor Paz Estenssoro of the MNR won 45 percent of the vote in a presidential election held on May 6, 1951, but President Urriolagoita placed the government under the control of a military junta headed by General Huga Ballivian on May 16, 1951.  The governments of Brazil, Peru, and Spain provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the military junta on May 19, 1951.  The governments of Chile and Colombia provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the military junta on May 26, 1951.  The government of Argentina provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the military junta on June 5, 1951. The U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the military junta on June 7, 1951. The military junta was overthrown during a MNR rebellion on April 9-11, 1952.   Victor Paz Estenssoro returned from exile on April 15, 1952, and he was inaugurated as president on April 16, 1952.

Post-Crisis Phase (April 17, 1952-September 22, 1956):  The U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of President Paz Estenssoro on June 2, 1952. The government seized tin mines in Patino, Aramayo, and Hochschild on October 7, 1952, and nationalized the tin mines on October 31, 1952. The government suppressed a rebellion on January 6, 1953.  The government suppressed a rebellion by the Bolivian Socialist Falange Party (Partido Falange Socialista Boliviana – PFSB) headed by Oscar Unzaga de la Vega on November 9, 1953, resulting in the deaths of 23 individuals.  The U.S. government provided economic assistance ($12 million in food assistance) to the Bolivian government in 1953.  Legislative elections were held on June 17, 1956, and the National Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) won 61 out of 68 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The PFSB won seven seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Hernan Siles Zuazo of the MNR was elected president with 82 percent of the vote on June 17, 1956, and he was inaugurated as president on August 5, 1956.

Crisis Phase (September 23, 1956-March 22, 1967):  On September 23, 1956, President Siles Zuazo declared a state-of-siege after five individuals were killed during rioting in La Paz on September 22-23, 1956. The government suspended the state-of-siege on September 20, 1957. The Bolivian government suppressed a military rebellion led by Colonel Windsor Lopez Videla near La Paz on October 4, 1957. The U.S. government agreed to provide military assistance to the government beginning on April 22, 1958. The Bolivian government declared a state-of-siege after a rebellion led by Colonel Jorge Barrenechea broke out in Santa Cruz province on May 14, 1958.  The Bolivian government lifted the state-of-siege in Santa Cruz province on June 21, 1958.  Legislative elections were held on July 20, 1958, and the National Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) won 65 out of 68 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Bolivian Socialist Falange Party (Partido Falange Socialista Boliviana – PFSB) won three seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Three individuals were killed in election-related violence in La Paz. The government suppressed a rebellion by the PFSB in La Paz on October 21, 1958, resulting in the deaths of three individuals. The government declared martial law on October 22, 1958. The government suppressed a rebellion by the PFSB in La Paz on April 19, 1959, resulting in the deaths of 22 individuals. The government suppressed a rebellion in Santa Cruz province on June 27, 1959, resulting in the death of one individual. The government suppressed a rebellion led by Colonel Hermogenes Rios Ledezma and Waldo Cerruto in La Paz on March 19, 1960, resulting in the deaths of 16 individuals. Twenty-five peasants were killed in political violence in the Vila Vila region of Cochabamba on June 4, 1960.  Victor Paz Estenssoro of the MNR was elected president with 75 percent of the vote on June 5, 1960, and he was inaugurated as president on August 6, 1960.  Five individuals were killed in political violence in the Oruru district on June 6, 1960. Government troops and peasants clashed in Cochabamba on November 14-17, 1960, resulting in the deaths of 100 individuals. President Paz Estenssoro declared a state-of-siege on November 18, 1960. President Paz Estenssoro declared a state-of-siege on February 21, 1961.  The U.S. government pledged economic assistance (loans and grants) to the Bolivian government on May 14, 1961.  President Paz Estenssoro declared a state-of-siege after government police suppressed a communist attempt to overthrow the government on June 7, 1961. The Congress approved a new constitution on July 31, 1961, and the constitution went into effect on August 5, 1961. The government suppressed a right-wing rebellion on October 18, 1961, and imposed a state-of-siege in La Paz on October 21, 1961. Eight individuals were killed in political violence in La Paz on October 23-24, 1961. Government police and demonstrators clashed in La Paz on April 17, 1962, resulting in the deaths of three individuals.  Legislative elections were held on June 4, 1962, and the MNR won 64 out of 72 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The PFSB won four seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The government declared a state-of-siege after discovering a right-wing plot to overthrow the government on September 29, 1962.  Legislative elections were held on May 31, 1964, and the MNR won 57 out of 73 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Revolutionary Party of the Nationalist Left (Partido Revolucionario de la Izquierda Nacionalista – PRIN) won nine seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  President Paz Estenssoro was re-elected without opposition on May 31, 1964.  Opposition political parties had boycotted the presidential election.  On September 20, 1964, the government declared a state-of-siege after discovering a plot to overthrow the government.  Government police and students clashed in Cochabamba on October 21, 1964, resulting in the death of one student.  Some 50 individuals were killed during political violence in La Paz and several other cities on October 26-30, 1964.  President Victor Paz Estenssoro was deposed in a military coup led by General Rene Barrientos Ortuno and General Alfredo Ovando Candia on November 3-4, 1964, resulting in the deaths of 15 individuals.  A military junta headed by Lt. General René Barrientos took control of the government on November 5, 1964, and the military junta restored the 1947 constitution on November 6, 1964.  Some 40 individuals were killed during the military coup. Government troops and tin miners clashed in La Paz, Oruro, and Potosi provinces on May 15-24, 1965, resulting in the deaths of some 70 individuals.  The parties agreed to a ceasefire that went into effect on May 25, 1965.  General Alfredo Ovando Candia was appointed co-president with Lt. General René Barrientos on May 26, 1965.  Government troops and tin miners clashed in the Catavi-Siglo Veinte on September 18-21, 1965, resulting in the deaths of 35 individuals.  The government declared a nationwide state-of-siege on September 20, 1965.  Legislative elections were held on July 3, 1966, and the Revolutionary Front of Bolivia (Frente de la Revolucion Boliviana – FRB) won 82 out of 102 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Christian Democratic Community (Comunidad Democrática Cristiana – CDC) won 19 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  General René Barrientos of the FRB was elected president on July 3, 1966, and he was inaugurated as president on August 6, 1966.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 12 observers to monitor the presidential and legislative elections, and issued a report on July 5, 1966.  The National Liberation Army (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional – ELN) was established in opposition to the government in 1966.  Some 500 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Conflict Phase (March 23, 1967-November 15, 1967):  Ernesto “Che” Guevara and 50 members of the ELN rebelled against the government in southeast Bolivia beginning on March 23, 1967.  Government troops and ELN rebels clashed near Iripiti on April 10, 1967, resulting in the deaths of ten government soldiers and one rebel.  The U.S. government provided military assistance (20 military advisors) beginning on April 10, 1967.  The Bolivian government imposed martial law in southeastern Bolivia on April 11, 1967, and banned the Communist Party of Bolivia (Partido Communista de Bolivia – PCB) on April 12, 1967.  Ernest “Che” Guevara was captured and killed by Bolivian troops on October 8-9, 1967. Government troops suppressed the ELN rebellion on November 15, 1967. Some 40 rebels and 42 government soldiers were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (November 16, 1967-August 11, 1978):  President René Barrientos suspended constitutional rights and canceled planned elections following riots in July 1968.  President René Barrientos declared a state-of-siege on January 18, 1969.  President René Barrientos was killed in a helicopter crash on April 27, 1969, and he was succeeded by Vice President Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas.  President Siles Salinas was deposed in a military coup led by General Alfredo Ovando Candia on September 26, 1969.  The U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on October 10, 1969.  The government nationalized the US-owned Bolivian Oil Company on October 17, 1969.  ELN rebels kidnapped two West German citizens in Teoponte on July 19, 1970, but released the hostages after the government release 10 ELN rebels from prison on July 23, 1970.  General Ovando Candia declared a state-of-siege on July 21, 1970.  Anti-government demonstrations occurred on August 27, 1970.  Six individuals were killed in political violence in La Paz on September 16, 1970.  General Rogelio Miranda, commander-in-chief of the army, demanded the resignation of President Ovando Candia on October 4, 1970.  Mgr. Giovanni Gravelli, the Papal Nuncio, facilitated negotiations between President Ovando Candia and General Rogelio Miranda on October 5, 1970.  President Ovando Candia resigned on October 6, 1970, and General Juan Jose Torres Gonzales took control of the government on October 7, 1970.  Government troops and demonstrators clashed in Oruro on October 7, 1970, resulting in the deaths of six government soldiers and seven demonstrators.  The U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the Bolivian government on October 13, 1970, and the British government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the Bolivian government on October 14, 1970. President Torres Gonzales declared a state-of-emergency on June 22, 1971. President Torres Gonzales was deposed in a right-wing military rebellion led by Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez on August 19-23, 1971, resulting in the deaths of some 120 individuals. President Torres Gonzales was deposed in a military coup on August 22, 1971, and Colonel Banzer Suarez toon control of the government on August 23, 1971.  The Bolivian government proclaimed a state-of-siege on November 23, 1972. Government troops clashed with peasants near Tolata on January 25-30, 1974, resulting in the deaths of some 100 peasants. Government troops suppressed a military rebellion in La Paz on June 4, 1974. Government troops suppressed a military rebellion led by General Julio Prado Montano and General Orlando Alvarez in Santa Cruz on November 7-9, 1974, and the Bolivian government declared a state-of-emergency on November 7, 1974. The government declared a state-of-siege on June 9, 1976. The Bolivian government lifted the state of siege on July 29, 1976.  Legislative elections were held on July 9, 1978, but the results were later nullified.  General Juan Pereda Asbun of the People’s Nationalist Union (Union Nacionalista del Puelblo – UNP) was elected president with 51 percent of the vote on July 9, 1978, but opposition political parties claimed election fraud.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent three observers to monitor the elections, and the observation mission issued a report on July 19, 1978.  President Banzer Suarez resigned on July 21, 1978.  General Pereda Asbun took control of the government, and declared a state-of-emergency on July 21, 1978.  The U.S. government imposed military sanctions (suspension of military assistance) against the government on July 21, 1978.  Government police and peasants clashed in the Coritapa region on July 25, 1978, resulting in the deaths of eleven individuals.  The U.S. government provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of President Pereda Asbun on August 4, 1978.  The government lifted the state-of-emergency on August 11, 1978.  Some 250 individuals were killed in political violence between November 1967 and August 1978.

Post-Crisis Phase (August 12, 1978-November 23, 1978): The U.S. government lifted military sanctions against the Bolivian government on August 15, 1978.

Crisis Phase (November 24, 1978-October 10, 1982): President Pereda Asbun was deposed in a military coup led by General David Padilla Arancibia on November 24, 1978.  Legislative elections were held on July 1, 1979, and the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement-Alliance (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario-Alianza – MNRA) won 48 out of 117 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Democratic and Popular Union (Unidad Democrática y Popular – UDP) won 38 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Presidential elections were held on July 1, 1979, but no candidate won a majority of the vote.  The National Congress appointed Wálter Guevara as interim president on August 6, 1979.  President Wálter Guevara was deposed in a military coup led by Colonel Alberto Natusch Busch on November 1, 1979.  The U.S. government condemned the military coup on November 2, 1979.  The U.S. government imposed military sanctions (suspension of military assistance) and economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) against the Bolivian government on November 2, 1979.  Some 300 individuals were killed during the political violence on November 1-7, 1979.  Lydia Gueiler Tejada, president of the Chamber of Deputies, was appointed interim president on November 16, 1979.  The government suppressed rebellions on June 7-17, 1980.  Legislative elections were held on June 29, 1980, and the UDP won 47 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The MNRA won 34 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Presidential elections were held on June 29, 1980, but no candidate won a majority of the vote.  Twelve individuals were killed in election-related violence.  President Gueiler Tejada was deposed in a military coup led by General Luis Garcia Meza on July 17, 1980, resulting in the deaths of some 300 individuals. General Garcia Meza was inaugurated as president on July 18, 1980. The U.S. government imposed diplomatic sanctions (diplomatic non-recognition) and military sanctions (suspension of military assistance) against the government of General Garcia Meza on July 18, 1980. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela referred the matter to the Organization of American States (OAS) Council on July 18, 1980, and the OAS Council condemned the military coup on July 25, 1980.  The government of Argentina provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of General Garcia Meza on July 28, 1980, and offered economic assistance to the government on August 6, 1980.  The government of Brazil provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government on July 30, 1980.  General Lucio Anez Rivero led a military rebellion against the government in Santa Cruz on August 3, 1980, and President Garcia Meza resigned on August 4, 1980.  The Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) assisted some 1,600 Bolivians obtain asylum abroad between July 1980 and July 1981.  General Celso Torrelio Villa was inaugurated as president on September 4, 1981.  General Guido Vildoso Calderon took control of the government on July 21, 1982.  Some 50,000 individuals demonstrated against the government on September 7, 1982, and General Vildoso Calderon relinquished control of the government to the Congress on September 17, 1982. Hernan Siles Zuazo was elected president by the Congress on October 5, 1982, and he was inaugurated as president on October 10, 1982. Some 650 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (October 11, 1982-September 17, 1985): President Siles Zuazo was kidnapped during a military rebellion on June 30, 1984, and he was released on July 10, 1984.  Legislative elections were held on July 14, 1985, and the faction of the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) headed by Victor Paz Estenssoro won 43 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Nationalist Democratic Action (Acción Democrática Nacionalista – ADN) won 41 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Victor Paz Estenssoro of the MNR was elected president on July 17, 1985, and he was inaugurated on August 6, 1985.

Crisis Phase (September 18, 1985-October 16, 1995): On September 18, 1985, President Paz Estenssoro declared a state-of-siege after ten days of a nationwide labor strike.  The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) and the right-wing Nationalist Democratic Action (Accion Democratica Nacionalista – ADN) signed a “Pact for Democracy” (Pacto por la Democracia) on October 16, 1985.  President Paz Estenssoro lifted the state-of-siege on December 19, 1985.  President Paz Estenssoro declared a 90-day state-of-siege on August 27, 1986, and the state-of-siege was lifted on November 27, 1986.  Legislative elections were held on May 7, 1989, and the MNR won 40 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The ADN won 38 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent two observers to monitor the elections.  Jaime Paz Zamora of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (Movimiento de la Izquierda Revolucionaria – MIR) was elected president by the National Congress, and he was inaugurated as president on August 6, 1989.  President Jaime Paz Zamora declared a 90-day state of siege on November 15, 1989, and the state-of-siege was lifted on February 15, 1990.  Legislative elections were held on June 6, 1993, and the MNR won 52 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Patriotic Accord (PA) won 35 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada of the MNR was elected president with 34 percent of the vote on June 6, 1993, and he was inaugurated as president on August 6, 1993.  The government imposed a state-of-siege on April 18, 1995, and extended the state-of-siege for 90 days on July 18, 1995.  The government lifted the state-of-siege on October 16, 1995.

Post-Crisis Phase (October 17, 1995-April 7, 2000):  Legislative elections were held on June 1, 1997, and the Nationalist Democratic Action (Accion Democratica Nacionalista – ADN) won 32 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) won 26 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Hugo Banzer of the AND won a plurality of 22.3 percent of the vote in the presidential election on June 1, 1997. The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 19 observers to monitor the presidential elections from April 24 to June 10, 1997. Hugo Banzer was confirmed as president by the National Congress on August 5, 1997, and he was inaugurated as president on August 6, 1997.

Crisis Phase (April 8, 2000-June 9, 2005): President Hugo Banzer declared a state-of-emergency after the deaths of eight individuals during demonstrations in Patacamaaya, Lahuachaca, and Cochabamba on April 8-9, 2000.  President Hugo Banzer resigned due to illness on August 6, 2001, and Vice President Jose Fernando Quiroga Ramirez was sworn in as president on August 7, 2001.  Legislative elections were held on June 30, 2002, and the alliance led by the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario – MNR) won 36 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo – MS) won 27 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada of the MNR won a plurality of 22 percent of the vote in presidential elections on June 30, 2002.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 54 observers headed by Elizabeth Spehar to monitor the presidential elections beginning on June 15, 2002.  The OAS mission reported to the OAS Permanent Council on July 11, 2002.  Since no candidate won 50 percent of the vote in the June presidential election, the National Congress elected Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada as president on August 4, 2002.  Some thirty individuals were killed in political violence in La Paz on February 12-13, 2003.  The government imposed martial law in El Alto on October 12, 2003.  Some 80 individuals were killed in political violence from mid-September to October 17, 2003.  President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada resigned, and Vice-President Carlos Mesa was sworn in as president on October 17, 2003.  A referendum regarding the country’s natural gas reserves was held on July 18, 2004.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 22 observers to monitor the referendum.  President Carlos Mesa offered to resigned on March 7, 2005, but Congress voted unanimously to reject the offer of resignation on March 8, 2005.  President Mesa offered his resignation on June 6, 2005, and Edward Rodriguez was appointed as interim president by the National Congress on June 9, 2005.  Some 125 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (June 10, 2005-August 18, 2008):  Legislative elections were held on December 18, 2005, and the Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo – MS) won 72 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Social and Democratic Power (Poder Democratico y Social – PDS) won 43 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  Juan Evo Morales of the MS was elected president with 53.7 percent of the vote on December 18, 2005, and he was inaugurated as president on January 22, 2006.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 150 observers from 14 countries to monitor the presidential and legislative elections from November 7 to December 19, 2005.  On May 1, 2006, President Morales signed a decree nationalizing natural gas reserves in the country.  Constituent Assembly elections were held on July 2, 2006.  The OAS sent 30 observers from 14 countries headed by Horacio Serpa of Colombia to monitor the constituent assembly elections from June 22 to July 3, 2006.  The European Union (EU) sent nine electoral experts, 26 long-term observers, and 71 short-term observers headed by Monica Frassoni of Italy to monitor the constituent assembly elections from May 24 to July 4, 2006.  The Constituent Assembly convened on August 6, 2006.  Pro-government supporters clashed with anti-government protests in Santa Cruz on December 15, 2006, resulting in injuries to at least 20 individuals.  Pro-government supporters clashed with anti-government protesters in Cochabamba on January 12, 2007, resulting in the deaths of at least two individuals.  Three individuals were killed in clashes in Sucre on November 26, 2007.  The Constituent Assembly approved a new constitution on December 9, 2007.  The provinces of Santa Cruz, Beni, and Pando declared their autonomy from the central government on December 15, 2007.  On January 9, 2008, President Evo Morales and the governors of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, and Tarija agreed to negotiate a pact of national unity.  The province of Santa Cruz held an autonomy vote on May 5, 2008.  The province of Tarija held an autonomy vote on June 23, 2008.  Some 67 of Bolivian voters supported President Evo Morales in a recall referendum held on August 10, 2008.  The Organization of American States (OAS), European Parliament (EP), and Southern Common Market (Mercado Común del Sur – MERCOSUR) sent observers to monitor the referendum.

Crisis Phase (August 19, 2008-October 20, 2008):  The departments (provinces) of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija, and Chuquisaca in eastern Bolivia called for protests that central government.  Protesters bombed a natural gas pipeline on September 10, 2008.  Government troops clashed with protesters in the town of El Porvenir in Pando department on September 11, 2008, resulting in the deaths of some 20 individuals.  The government of Brazil condemned the violence.  The secretary-general of the Andean Community of Nations (ACN) condemned the violence and appealed for negotiations between the parties.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for negotiations.  The European Union (EU) appealed for negotiations and offered to mediate negotiations between the parties.  The Union of South American Nations (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas – UNASUR) expressed support for the Bolivian government on September 15, 2008.  The Bolivian government declared a state of emergency in Pando department on September 12, 2008.  Government troops arrested Leopoldo Fernández, governor of Pando department, on September 16, 2008.  Rear Admiral Landelino Bandeiras was appointed as governor of Pando department on September 20, 2008.  On September 24, 2008, UNASUR agreed to send a 12-member special commission to investigate the violence in Pando department.  On October 20, 2008, the government and opposition agreed to hold a constitutional referendum in January 2009.

Post-Crisis Phase (October 21, 2008-present):  The UNASUR special commission issued its report on the El Porvenir massacre on December 3, 2008.  A constitutional referendum was held on January 25, 2009, and 61 percent of the voters approved the new constitution.  The European Union (EU) sent six election experts, 22 long-term observers, and 36 short-term observers from 19 countries led by Renate Weber of Romania to monitor the referendum from December 14, 2008 to February 6, 2009.  The Carter Center (CC) sent observers to monitor the referendum.  Evo Morales of the Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo – MS) was re-elected as president with 64 percent of the vote on December 6, 2009.  Legislative elections were held on December 6, 2009, and the MS won 88 out of 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Plan Progress for Bolivia – National Convergence (Plan Progreso para Bolivia–Convergencia Nacional – PPB-CN) won 37 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent observers to monitor the presidential and legislative elections.  The Carter Center (CC) sent six long-term observers to monitor the voter registration process from August 19 to December 15, 2009.  The European Union (EU) sent more than 100 observers led by Renate Weber of Romania to monitor the presidential and legislative elections from November 10 to December 7, 2009.  One individual was killed in clashes between protesters and government police in Caranavi on May 7, 2010.  Members of an indigenous community killed four government policemen in the province of Potosi on May 23, 2010.  On December 18, 2010, the government charged 39 individuals, including 22 individuals currently in police custody, with plotting to assassinate President Evo Morales.  Anti-government demonstrations took place throughout the country beginning on April 7, 2011.  Government policemen went on strike to protest low wages beginning on June 21, 2012.  The police strike ended following the signing of an agreement on June 27, 2012.  On April 30, 2013, the Bolivian Constitutional Court ruled that President Evo Morales was permitted to run for a third-term as president.

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Selected Bibliography

Alexander, Robert J. 1958. The Bolivian National Revolution. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Barr, Robert R. 2005. “Bolivia: Another Uncompleted Revolution,” Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 47 (3), pp. 69-90.

“Bolivia’s Revolutionary Regime: Political and Economic Developments,” The World Today, vol. 11 (4), pp. 173-184.

Brill, William H. 1967. Military Intervention in Bolivia: The Overthrow of Paz Estenssoro and the MNR. Washington DC: Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems.

Klein, Herbert S. 1965. “David Toro and the Establishment of ‘Military Socialism’ in Bolivia,” The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 45 (1), pp. 25-52.

Klein, Herbert S. 1967. “German Busch and the Era of ‘Military Socialism’ in Bolivia,” The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 47 (2), pp. 166-184.

Klein, Herbert S. 1969. Parties and Political Change in Bolivia, 1880-1952. London: Cambridge University Press.

Ostria Gutierrez, Alberto. 1958. The Tragedy of Bolivia: A People Crucified. New York: The Devin-Adair Company.

Queiser Morales, Waltraud. 1992. Bolivia: Land of Struggle. Boulder, CO, San Francisco, and Oxford: Westview Press.

Stokes, William S. 1962. “The Foreign Aid Program in Bolivia,” The Western Political Quarterly, vol. 15 (3), pp, 28-30.

“The Nationalist Revolution in Bolivia,” The World Today, vol. 8 (11), pp. 480-490.