Geographic and Governmental Profile of Bolivia

Background
Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's traditional political class and empower the nation's poor, indigenous majority. However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the Amerindian populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous communities of the eastern lowlands. In December 2009, President MORALES easily won reelection, and his party took control of the legislative branch of the government, which will allow him to continue his process of change. In October 2011, the country held its first judicial elections to appoint judges to the four highest courts.
Location
Central South America, southwest of Brazil
Geographic coordinates
17 00 S, 65 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
South America
Area
total:
1,098,581 sq km
rank:
28
land:
1,083,301 sq km
water:
15,280 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly less than three times the size of Montana
Land boundaries
total:
6,940 km
border countries:
Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,423 km, Chile 860 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 1,075 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid
Terrain
rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Rio Paraguay 90 m
highest point:
Nevado Sajama 6,542 m
Natural resources
tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower
Land use
arable land:
2.78%
permanent crops:
0.19%
other:
97.03% (2005)
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Irrigated land
1,500 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
622.5 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
1.44 cu km/yr (13%/7%/81%)
per capita:
157 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
flooding in the northeast (March to April)
volcanism:
volcanic activity in Andes Mountains on the border with Chile; historically active volcanoes in this region are Irruputuncu (elev. 5,163 m), which last erupted in 1995 and Olca-Paruma
Environment - current issues
the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru
Country name
conventional long form:
Plurinational State of Bolivia
conventional short form:
Bolivia
local long form:
Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
local short form:
Bolivia
Government type
republic; note - the new constitution defines Bolivia as a "Social Unitarian State"
Capital
name:
La Paz (administrative capital)
geographic coordinates:
16 30 S, 68 09 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Sucre (constitutional capital)
Administrative divisions
9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija
Independence
6 August 1825 (from Spain)
Constitution
7 February 2009
Legal system
civil law system with influences from Roman, Spanish, canon (religious), French, and indigenous law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age, universal and compulsory
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president
elections:
president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term and are eligible for re-election once; election last held on 6 December 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
Juan Evo MORALES Ayma reelected president; percent of vote - Juan Evo MORALES Ayma 64%; Manfred REYES VILLA 26%; Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana 6%; Rene JOAQUINO 2%; other 2%
Legislative branch
bicameral Plurinational Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (36 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 total; 70 uninominal deputies directly elected from a single district, 7 "special" indigenous deputies directly elected from non-contiguous indigenous districts, and 53 plurinominal deputies elected by proportional representation from party lists; all deputies serve five-year terms)
elections:
Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held on 6 December 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 26, PPB-CN 10; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 89, PPB-CN 36, UN 3, AS 2; note - as of 19 January 2012, the current composition of the Chamber of Deputies is: MAS 86, PPB-CN 36, UN 3, BI 3, AS 2
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (judges elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Assembly for six-year terms); Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (seven primary or titulares and seven alternate or suplente magistrates elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Assembly for six-year terms; to rule on constitutional issues (at least two candidates must be indigenous)); Agro-Environmental Court (judges elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Assembly for six-year terms; to run on agro-environmental issues); Council of the Judiciary (five judges elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Assembly for six-year terms; to rule on ethical and administrative issues in the judiciary); Plurinational Electoral Organ (seven members elected by the Assembly and the president-one member must be of indigenous origin-to six-year terms); provincial and local courts (to try minor cases); District Courts (one in each department)
Political parties and leaders
Bacada Indigena or BI; Bolivia-National Convergence or PPB-CN [Manfred REYES VILLA]; Fearless Movement or MSM [Juan DE GRANADO Cosio]; Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Juan Evo MORALES Ayma]; National Unity or UN [Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana]; People or Gente [Roman LOAYZA]; Social Alliance or AS [Rene JOAQUINO]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Bolivian Workers Central or COB; Federation of Neighborhood Councils of El Alto or FEJUVE; Landless Movement or MST; National Coordinator for Change or CONALCAM; Sole Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia or CSUTCB
other:
Cocalero groups; indigenous organizations (including Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Eastern Bolivia or CIDOB and National Council of Ayullus and Markas of Quollasuyu or CONAMAQ); Interculturales union or CSCIB; labor unions (including the Central Bolivian Workers' Union or COB and Cooperative Miners Federation or FENCOMIN)
International organization participation
CAN, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Freddy BERSATTI Tudela
chancery:
3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 483-4410
FAX:
[1] (202) 328-3712
consulate(s) general:
Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
as of September 2008, the US has expelled the Bolivian ambassador to the US
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires John CREAMER
embassy:
Avenida Arce 2780, Casilla 425, La Paz
mailing address:
P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032
telephone:
[591] (2) 216-8000
FAX:
[591] (2) 216-8111
in September 2008, the Bolivian Government expelled the US Ambassador to Bolivia, and the countries have yet to reinstate ambassadors
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; red stands for bravery and the blood of national heroes, yellow for the nation's mineral resources, and green for the fertility of the land
similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; in 2009, a presidential decree made it mandatory for a so-called wiphala - a square, multi-colored flag representing the country's indigenous peoples - to be used alongside the traditional flag
National symbol(s)
llama; Andean condor
National anthem
name:
"Cancion Patriotica" (Patriotic Song)
lyrics/music:
Jose Ignacio de SANJINES/Leopoldo Benedetto VINCENTI
adopted 1852
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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