Potosí (Spanish pronunciation: [potoˈsi]; Aymara: Putusi; Quechua: P'utuqsi) is a department in southwestern Bolivia. It comprises 118,218 km2 with 823,517 inhabitants (2012 census). The capital is the city of Potosí. It is mostly a barren, mountainous region with one large plateau to the west, where the largest salt flat in the world, Salar de Uyuni, is located.

Departamento de Potosí (Spanish)
P'utuqsi Suyu (Southern Quechua)
Cerro Lipez, a stratovolcano
Cerro Lipez, a stratovolcano
Flag of Potosí
Coat of arms of Potosí
Location within Bolivia
Location within Bolivia
Coordinates: 20°40′0″S 66°40′0″W / 20.66667°S 66.66667°W / -20.66667; -66.66667
Country Bolivia
 • BodyDepartmental Legislative Assembly of Potosí
 • GovernorJhonny Mamani (MAS-IPSP)
 • Total118,218 km2 (45,644 sq mi)
 • Total901,600
 • Density7.6/km2 (20/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (BOT)
HDI (2019)0.631[1]
medium · 9th of 9
GDP (2023)in constant values of 2015[2]
 - TotalUS$ 1.8 billion
Int$ 4.2 billion (PPP)
 - Per capitaUS$ 1,900
Int$ 4,400 (PPP)

Cerro Potosí was the richest province in the Spanish empire, providing a great percentage of the silver that was shipped to Europe.

Potosi is also the location of the San Cristóbal silver, zinc and lead mines, developed by the US-company Apex Silver Mines Limited of Colorado and in November 2008 sold to the Japanese Sumitomo Corporation.

Laguna Colorada with flamingos in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve.

History edit

In March 2023, social organisations in four regions of Potosí, with the support of regional MAS-IPSP lawmakers, called for a strike spanning over 72 hours, to force the government to raise infrastructure investments in the department and to receive an increased amount of the profits generated through lithium mining in the region.[3] Shortly after the strike an agreement with the central government could be reached, stipulating the construction of motorways and a cement plant and further discussions about mining conditions.[3]

Government edit

Executive offices edit

The chief executive office of Bolivia departments (since May 2010) is the governor; until then, the office was called the prefect, and until 2006 the prefect was appointed by the President of Bolivia. The current governor, Jhonny Mamani of the Movement for Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples was elected on 7 March 2021.[4]

Took office Office expired Prefect/Governor Party Notes
23 Jan 2006 30 May 2010 Mario Virreira Iporre MAS-IPSP First elected prefect. Elected in Bolivian general election, December 2005
30 May 2010 31 May 2015 Félix Gonzáles MAS-IPSP Elected in regional election on 4 April 2010 with 63.1% of the vote; first governor.
31 May 2015 15 Nov 2019 Juan Carlos Cejas MAS-IPSP Elected in regional election on 29 March 2015.
15 Nov 2019 3 May 2021 Omar Veliz Ramos MAS-IPSP
3 May 2021 Jhonny Mamani MAS-IPSP Elected in regional election on 7 March 2021.[4]

Legislative Assembly edit

Under the 2009 Constitution, each Bolivian department has an elected Departmental Legislative Assembly. The first elections were held 4 April 2010.

The current executive committee consists of Jacinto Sunagua Dorado as president, Raimunda Cordero Caba as vice-president and Alberto Quispe Mamani as secretary and Blanca Celia Burgos Quispe and Leon Jancko Condori as first and second committee member, respectively.[5]

Demographics edit

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1976 657,743—    
1992 645,889−0.11%
2001 709,013+1.04%
2012 828,093+1.42%
2020 901,600+1.07%
Source: Citypopulation[6]

Provinces of Potosi Department edit

The department is divided into 16 provinces which are further subdivided into 40 municipalities[7] (municipios) and 219 cantons (cantones).

Province Capital Area km2 Population
(2012 census)
Map Number
Alonso de Ibáñez Sacaca 2.170 29.821 1
Antonio Quijarro Uyuni 14,890 54,947 12
Bernardino Bilbao Arampampa 640 10,224 2
Charcas San Pedro de Buena Vista 2,964 41,214 3
Chayanta Colquechaca 7,026 97,251 5
Cornelio Saavedra Betanzos 2,375 55,100 7
Daniel Campos Llica 12,106 5,850 13
Enrique Baldivieso San Agustín 2,254 1,684 15
José María Linares Puna 5,136 49,619 8
Modesto Omiste Villazón 2,260 44,645 11
Nor Chichas Cotagaita 8,979 42,248 9
Nor Lípez Colcha K 20,892 14,057 14
Rafael Bustillo Uncía 2,235 86,947 4
Sud Chichas Tupiza 8,516 55,879 10
Sud Lípez San Pablo de Lípez 22,355 6,835 16
Tomás Frías Potosí 3,420 229,047 6

Economy edit

Mining edit

Languages edit

Language Department Bolivia
Quechua 514,421 2,281,198
Aymara 57,738 1,525,321
Guaraní 374 62,575
Another native 356 49,432
Spanish 438,204 6,821,626
Foreign 3,771 250,754
Only native 226,967 960,491
Native and Spanish 301,280 2,739,407
Spanish and foreign 136,980 4,115,751

The languages spoken in the department are mainly Quechua, Spanish and Aymara. The following table shows the number of those belonging to the recognized group of speakers.[8]

Places of interest edit

Notable people edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ "TelluBase—BoliviaFact Sheet (Tellusant Public Service Series)" (PDF). Tellusant. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  3. ^ a b Kandt, Lia Helguero (20 March 2023). "Konflikt in Bolivien um Lithiumproduktion vorerst beigelegt". amerika21 (in German). Mondial21 e. V. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Gobernador de Potosí, Jhonny Mamani". eabolivia.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Directiva de la Asamblea Legislativa Departamental de Potosí". asambleadepotosi.gob.bo (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Bolivia: Provinces".
  7. ^ www.bolivia.com (English)
  8. ^ obd.descentralizacion.gov.bo Archived 2009-02-18 at the Wayback Machine (Spanish)

External links edit

20°40′S 66°40′W / 20.667°S 66.667°W / -20.667; -66.667