Bolivia in the western part of South America's
inland extends from the Andes in the west to lowland
forests to the east. Mining, especially the extraction
of silver and tin, has dominated the country's economy
for centuries. About half of the inhabitants belong to
indigenous people. A new constitution, adopted in 2009,
strengthens their rights and gives the state control
over the important natural gas reserves.
Brief profiles of Bolivia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Bolivia is more than twice as large as Sweden
and is located in South America's inland. In the
mountain range of Andes in the west, there is the second
largest high plateau in the world, after Tibet. To the
east and north, the country slopes down towards the
Amazon rainforest and to the southeast, the Gran Chaco
The Andes extend all over South America but are the
widest in Bolivia and divide here into two chains, the
Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Oriental (or
the Western and Eastern mountain ranges). Both have
peaks over 6,000 meters above sea level. Between them,
the high plateau, altiplano, spreads out. Here at the 3
6 50 meters above sea level, La Paz called the world's
highest capital (government and parliament sits in La
Paz but formal capital is Sucre).
In the high-altitude area is also Latin America's
largest lake, Lake Titicaca, which is one and a half
times larger than Lake Vänern.
S island derut is the salty poopó lake, a foundation
lake with no outlet. Its propagation range is much of
the seasons and the lake has dried up on several
occasions. Even further south on the high plateau is
also the world's largest salt desert, Salar de Uyuni.
Salar de Uyuni is quite flat and huge to the surface
(like twice Lake Vänern) with thick salt layers (see
also Natural Resources, Energy and Environment).
Cordillera Oriental's eastern slope is pierced by
narrow valleys in a fertile but largely uninhabited
forest belt, Yungas.
Thereafter, the extensive lowland, Oriente, covers
two-thirds of the country's surface. In the northeast
towards the long border with Brazil, Oriente is
dominated by rainforests and swamps. In the southeast,
the terrain consists more of bushlands in the drier Gran
Chaco, which extends into Argentina and Paraguay.
Bolivia is located in the tropical area south of the
equator, but the climate varies greatly due to the
elevation differences. On the almost desert high
altiplano plateau, where it only rains during the high
summer of January-February, there is a harsh climate
with cold nights.
In Oriente in eastern and northeastern Bolivia, it is
warm and humid, especially in the northern part which is
reached by winds from the Amazon. The annual rainfall
varies widely in the country, from a few hundred
millimeters in parts of altiplano to up to 2,000
millimeters in northern Oriente.
Temperature and weather changes in Bolivia are often
as violent as the landscape's shift from one region to
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
1,098,581 km2 (2018)
Swedish - 5 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile
Capital with number of inhabitants
La Paz (administrative capital) 765,000, Sucre
(formal capital) 259,000 (census 2012)
Other major cities
Santa Cruz 1,454,000, El Alto 849,000, Cochabamba
630,000, Oruro 265,000 (Census 2012)
Sajama (6,554 m asl)
Average Precipitation / month
La Paz 140 mm (Jan), 8 mm (June)
Average / day
La Paz 8 °C (Nov), 5 °C (July)
A referendum shall determine re-election
The Legislative Assembly decides that a referendum
will be held in February 2016, to decide whether Evo
Morales should be allowed to stand for a fourth term.
Big block in Potosí
Protesters are blocking roads to the city of Potosí,
due to a conflict with the state over infrastructure
investment. After eleven days, it is reported that food,
fuel and money in the city are getting scarce.
Mutually-accused football chairman is arrested
The Bolivian Football Association President Carlos
Chávez is arrested as part of the international
investigation into corruption within the International
Football Association (FIFA). Earlier, Secretary-General
Alberto Lozada has also been arrested.
Pope Francis arrives in La Paz where he is greeted by
President Morales who supplies him with a bag of cookie
sheets. The pope talks about the need to protect the
most vulnerable in society from the effects of
capitalism. He praises Bolivia for encouraging the poor
to be active citizens. From La Paz, Francis goes on to
Bakers goes on strike
Bakers embark on a two-day strike set in protest
against a government decision to abolish subsidies on
wheat flour. Soldiers are then deployed to bake bread.
Morales kicks Defense Minister
Defense Minister Jorge Ledezma travels to Chile in
one of the Air Force's plans to deliver drinking water
to a flood-affected area. He is dressed in a vest with
the text "The sea belongs to Bolivia" (see also Foreign
Policy and Defense). It triggers criticism from the
Chilean government - and results in Morales firing
Ledezma. New Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira.
National police chief grips
Former National Police Chief Oscar Nina, who was also
responsible for the fight against drugs, is arrested on
suspicion of conspiring with drug dealers. His wife, son
and daughter are also arrested, suspected of having
enriched themselves illegally. Nina was dismissed as
police chief just two weeks after the arrest of René
Sanabria (see September 2011) but it is
unclear if there is any connection.