History of Bolivia: Wars and overthrow of the 20th century.History of Bolivia: Wars and overthrow of the 20th century.

History of Bolivia: Wars and overthrow of the 20th century.

A series of wars for territories follows.

The country loses its access to the sea and areas that were rich in copper and nitrates during the war called the Pacific War against Chile between 1879 and 1884. Part of Amazon, rich in rubber, is annexed by force by Brazil in 1903.

The Chaco’s War against Paraguay blows in 1932 and Bolivia loses oil fields and an entire part of its male youth.

Bloodless, the country tries to get economically well during all this period and decides to open itself to overseas investors. Its economic history is cadenced by the evolution of ore prices, especially tin, nicknamed “Metal of Devil”. Regular Indian rebellions lead to the assumption of power of military governments.

In 1952, the Bolivian Revolution starts. The minors’ and industrial workers’ upheaval reverses the government, mines are nationalized, education is declared free and suffrage is universal.

In 1953, farmers hold the lands and an agricultural reform starts. But the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (RDM), a ruling party during 12 years after those revolutions, becomes more and more authoritarian, and social troubles accrue.

Power falls in the hands of the army in 1964. Overthrows take turns. In 1967, Ernesto Che Guevara enters illegally in Bolivia and creates the National Liberation Army (NLA), but his efforts to contact the local population are in vain, so much the people is muzzled by the military dictatorship. He is quickly betrayed by the Bolivian communist party, captured and executed in October 1967.

This is a very complicated period for Bolivia, between military dictatorships, rigged elections, massive violation of Human rights, unchecked inflation, corruption above all kind of limit and drug trafficker in government….

Democracy starts very shyly in 1982, under international pressure and population’s pressure who didn’t have nothing more to lose.

But this democratic breakthrough arrives during the economic crisis that drowns all the Latin American continent (next to the Mexican crisis), with tax adjustment plans and privatizations that lead to important dismissals, 30 000 minors are unemployed over a night. Inflation reaches 23 000 % in 1985, recession is serious.

Thanks to the drug economy, the country will keep its head out of water. The neoliberal model that is proposed in order to save Bolivia comes to be a bitter failure.

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