The World Factbook (1982)/Bolivia

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency


World Factbook (1982) Bolivia.jpg
(See reference map IV)


1,098,160 km2; 2% cultivated and fallow, 11% pasture and meadow, 45% urban, desert, waste, or other, 40% forest, 2% inland water

Land boundaries: 6,083 km


Population: 5,633,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.6%

Nationality: noun—Bolivian(s); adjective—Bolivian

Ethnic divisions: 50%-75% Indian, 20%-35% mestizo, 5%-15% white

Religion: predominantly Roman Catholic; active Protestant minority, especially Methodist

Language: Spanish, Aymara, Quechua

Literacy: 35%-40%

Labor force: 2.8 million (1977); 70% agriculture, 3% mining, 10% services and utilities, 7% manufacturing, 10% other

Organized labor: 150,000-200,000, concentrated in mining, industry, construction, and transportation


Official name: Republic of Bolivia

Type: republic; military dictatorship since 17 July 1980

Capital: La Paz (seat of government); Sucre (legal capital and seat of judiciary)

Political subdivisions: nine departments with limited autonomy

Legal system: based on Spanish law and Code Napoleon; constitution adopted 1967; constitution in force except where contrary to dispositions dictated by governments since 1969; legal education at University of San Andres and several others; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 August

Branches: executive; congress of two chambers—Senate and Chamber of Deputies—has not met since the 17 July 1980 coup; judiciary

Government leaders: Maj. Gen. Celso TORRELIO Villa (since 4 September 1981)

Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18 if married, 21 if single

Elections: presidential and congressional elections held on 1 July 1979; since no presidential candidate won required simple majority, the contest was decided in the Congress where a compromise candidate, Senate President Walter Guevara Arce, was elected interim president; Guevara was overthrown on 1 November 1979 by a military coup led by Col. Alberto Natusch Busch; popular repudiation of Natusch forced his resignation after 16 days in power and Congress chose Chamber of Deputies President Lidia Gueiler de Moller as interim president; Gueiler presided over new elections on 29 June 1980, which were won by the UDP coalition candidate, Hernan Siles Zuazo; however, before the planned August inauguration, the government was overthrown when a military coup led by Gen. Luis Garcia Meza occurred on 17 July 1980; Garcia Meza was replaced in August 1981 by a ruling junta of service commanders, which in turn was replaced on 4 September 1981 by Maj. Gen. Celso Torrelio Villa

Political parties and leaders: ban on political parties was lifted in December 1977; however, all political party activity banned since the 17 July 1980 coup; the two traditional political parties in Bolivia are the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR) and the Bolivian Socialist Phalange (FSB), both are seriously factionalized; Bolivian Socialist Falange (Mario Gutierrez); Nationalist Revolutionary Movement of the People (Jaime Arellano); Nationalist Revolutionary Movement of Left (MNRI; Hernan Siles Zuazo); Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR; Jaime Paz Zamora); Authentic Revolutionary Party (Walter Guevara Arce); Christian Democratic Party (Benjamin Miguel); Nationalist Revolutionary Party of Left (Juan Lechin Oquendo); Paz Estenssorista MNR (Leonidas Sanchez); Nationalist Democratic Action Party (ADN; Hugo Banzer)

Voting strength (1980 elections): UDP—Democratic Popular Unity Front, a coalition of the MNRI, MIR and several smaller groups 38.5%; MNR 20.5%; ADN 16.8%

Communists: three parties; PCB/Soviet led by Jorge Kolle Cueto, about 300 members; PCB/Chinese led by Oscar Zamora, 150 (including 100 in exile); POR (Trotskyist), about 50 members divided between three factions led by Hugo Gonzalez Moscoso, Guillermo Lora Escobar, and Amadeo Arze

Member of: FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IATP, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, ISO, ITC, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, LAFTA and Andean Sub-Regional Group (created in May 1969 within LAFTA), NAM, OAS, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPO, WHO, WMO, WTO


GNP: $6 billion (1980), $1,050 per capita; 75% private consumption, 15% public consumption, 12% gross domestic investment, —2.0% net foreign balance (1980); 1980 growth, 1%

Agriculture: main crops—potatoes, corn, rice, sugarcane, yucca, bananas; imports significant quantities of wheat; caloric intake, 83% of requirements (1978)

Major industries: mining, smelting, petroleum refining, food processing, textiles, and clothing

Electric power: 460,000 kW capacity (1981); 1.6 billion kWh produced (1981), 273 kWh per capita

Exports: $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1980 est.); tin, petroleum, lead, zinc, silver, tungsten, antimony, bismuth, gold, coffee, sugar, cotton, natural gas

Imports: $1.2 billion (f.o.b., 1980 est.); foodstuffs, chemicals, capital goods, pharmaceuticals, transportation

Major trade partners: exports—Western Europe, 19% (of which UK is largest market); Latin America, 38%; US, 30%; Japan, 3.9%; imports— US, 24%; Western Europe, 15.4% (of which West Germany is largest supplier); Japan, 15.7%; Latin America, 33.6% (1975)

Budget: $470 million revenues, $780 million expenditures (1980 est.)

Monetary conversion rate: 24.75 pesos=US$1 (October 1981)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 3,651 km total; 3,514 km meter gauge (1.000 m) and 32 km 0.760-meter gauge, all government owned, single track; 105 km meter gauge (1.000 m) privately owned

Highways: 39,650 km total; 1,400 km paved, 7,880 km gravel, 6,800 km improved earth, 23,650 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: officially estimated to be 10,000 km of commercially navigable waterways

Pipelines: crude oil, 1,670 km; refined products, 1,495 km; natural gas, 580 km

Ports: none (Bolivian cargo moved through Arica and Antofagasta, Chile, and Matarani, Peru)

Civil air: 57 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 583 total, 535 usable; 6 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,659 m, 7 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 127 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: radio-relay system from La Paz to Santa Cruz; improved international services; 125,300 telephones (2.0 per 100 popl.); 135 AM, 19 FM, and 32 TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,241,000; 812,000 fit for military service; 56,000 reach military age (19) annually

Military budget: proposed for fiscal year ending 31 December 1981, $177.7 million; 15.9% of central government budget