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Physical map of Bolivia
Bolivia's location

Bolivia, officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the west. The seat of government and administrative capital is La Paz, which contains the executive, legislative, and electoral branches of government, while the constitutional capital is Sucre, the seat of the judiciary. The largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales (tropical lowlands), a mostly flat region in the east of the country.

The sovereign state of Bolivia is a constitutionally unitary state, divided into nine departments. Its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon basin. One-third of the country is within the Andean mountain range. With 1,098,581 km2 (424,164 sq mi) of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, after Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia (and alongside Paraguay, one of the only two landlocked countries in the Americas), the 27th largest in the world, the largest landlocked country in the Southern Hemisphere, and the world's seventh largest landlocked country, after Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Chad, Niger, Mali, and Ethiopia.

Bolivia experienced a succession of military and civilian governments until 1971, when Hugo Banzer led a CIA-supported coup d'état that replaced the socialist government of Juan José Torres with a military dictatorship. Banzer's regime cracked down on left-wing and socialist opposition and other forms of dissent, resulting in the torture and deaths of a number of Bolivian citizens. Banzer was ousted in 1978 and later returned as the democratically elected president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001. Under the 2006–2019 presidency of Evo Morales the country saw significant economic growth and political stability. (Full article...)

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A political crisis occurred in Bolivia on 10 November 2019, after 21 days of civil protests following the disputed 2019 Bolivian general election in which incumbent President Evo Morales was initially declared the winner. The elections took place after a referendum to amend the Bolivian constitution, which limits the number of terms to two, was rejected in 2016. In 2017 under political pressure and a legal demand from the Morales government, the Constitutional Tribunal (TCP) ruled that all public offices would have no term limits despite what was established in the constitution and allowing Evo Morales to run for a fourth term.

The TCP's basis for this anti Constitutional decision was the Pact of San Jose regarding human rights and Article 411 giving international treaties preeminence over the Constitution text itself. Challenges to this 2017 decision made by Bolivian citizens and constitutional experts were subsequently denied by the TCP, and at the time of the 2019 election a query to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) was pending. In 2021, the CIDH set the matter to rest in a consultative opinion requested by Colombia, which states that re-election is not a human right. Rather, the decision states that breaking a Constitutional mandate of term limits to allow indefinite re-election attacks the human rights of citizens. According to Articles 13 and 411 of the Bolivian Constitution, this CIDH decision overrides any contrary ruling by the TCP or Legislative Assembly. The Constitution of Bolivia grants the TCP authority to interpret, but not to modify the Constitution. (Full article...)
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Lake Titicaca on the Andes from Bolivia
Lake Titicaca on the Andes from Bolivia
Credit: Skykid 123ve
Lake Titicaca

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Largest populated areas

Largest cities or towns in Bolivia
Census 2012, INE
Rank Name Department Pop. Rank Name Department Pop.
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
El Alto
El Alto
1 Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz 1,453,549 11 Montero Santa Cruz 109,518 La Paz
La Paz
2 El Alto La Paz 848,840 12 Trinidad Beni 106,422
3 La Paz La Paz 764,617 13 Warnes Santa Cruz 96,406
4 Cochabamba Cochabamba 630,587 14 Yacuíba Tarija 91,998
5 Oruro Oruro 264,683 15 La Guardia Santa Cruz 89,080
6 Sucre Chuquisaca 259,388 16 Riberalta Beni 89,003
7 Tarija Tarija 205,346 17 Viacha La Paz 80,388
8 Potosí Potosí 189,652 18 Villa Tunari Cochabamba 72,623
9 Sacaba Cochabamba 169,494 19 Cobija Pando 55,692
10 Quillacollo Cochabamba 137,029 20 Tiquipaya Cochabamba 53,062

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