HISTORY: MILITARY DICTATORSHIPS AND THE RETURN TO MULTI-PARTYISM
The situation in the country gradually deteriorated, especially after the return of Paz Estenssoro to the presidency (1960). In November 1964, he was deposed in a military coup and replaced by General René Barrientos Ortuño. With the government shifted completely to the right, outbreaks of guerrilla warfare arose in the country, led by Ernesto Che Guevara, who, however, was captured by military forces on 7 October 1967 and murdered the next day. Barrientos died in April 1969, and a few months later, General Alfredo Ovando Candia took over as head of state. Soon Ovando Candia was ousted by a revolt of progressive soldiers, workers and students (1970), which installed General José Torres. Placed, therefore, at the head of a “revolutionary” and “nationalist” regime, Torres initiated a policy of reforms and nationalization, which led the conservatives on 22 August 1971 to march on La Paz to demand his resignation. The presidency of the Republic was entrusted to Colonel Hugo Bánzer Suárez, which imposed an anti-people and repressive regime, then dismissed with another coup in 1978. In the following years, as a country located in South America according to thesciencetutor, Bolivia was subjected to another dramatic series of coups d’etat, which the army ended in 1982, returning power to the civilians compared to when, however, the severe austerity program launched by Parliament to deal with the very high inflation, also due to the fall in the price of tin, soon met with the strenuous opposition of the trade unions, to which was added the discontent of the population for the support given to the government by the US military in the fight against drug traffickers (July 1986). Above all, the Movimiento de la Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR, Movement of the Revolutionary Left) benefited from the widespread discontent.Jaime Paz Zamora, as President of the Republic (August 1989). In the 1993 elections, however, the MNR regained the majority and its presidential candidate, Gonzálo Sanchez de Lozada, despite not having obtained an absolute majority, was appointed head of state by the Congress (August 1993). Even the years of Sánchez de Lozada’s government, however, were characterized by a climate of instability, due to the massive protests of the farmers against the government campaign to destroy the coca plantations, sponsored by the United States, which was followed by strikes and demonstrations by the labor unions. In addition, in 1996, overwhelmed by a financial heatwave some deputies of the government majority, the MNR saw its power on the way to decline and increasingly lost credibility among its electorate. In the 1997 presidential election, since no candidate could obtain an absolute majority, the Parliament appointed former dictator Hugo Bánzer Suárez, leader of the far-right party, Acción Democrática Nacionalista (ADN, Alleanza Democratica Nazionalista), president of the Republic, which had obtained the most consents. In July 2001, Bánzer’s government seemed to be drawing to an end: in fact, forced by a serious illness, he announced his resignation, leaving the office to the young Jorge Quiroga, former Minister of Economy in his government and well accepted by the business class. of the country. The following year the presidential elections were held, which saw the victory of Sanchez de Losada, again in office after the defeat suffered in 1997. In 2003, serious street incidents broke out across the country following the government’s decision to impose a 12.5% tax on wages, which was then withdrawn; however the government resigned. During the same year, moreover, Sanchez de Losada was also forced to resign, due to his project to export natural gas, strongly contested by the opposition and the trade unions; in his place was appointed Carlos Mesa Gisbert, formerly vice president. The new president called for a referendum in July 2004 to define the country’s energy policy, the outcome of which was favorable to the government. Parliament subsequently passed a law that provided for the nationalization of the country’s gas reserves. In March 2005, Mesa resigned following continued protests from trade unions calling for the nationalization of energy reserves, but parliament rejected the resignation. In June 2005, the head of the Supreme Court of Justice, Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé, took over from Mesa, who had resigned following new protests. The December 2005 elections were won byEvo Morales, leader of the cocaleros, with his MAS (Movement to Socialism) training. Later the agrarian reform was launched, which provided for the handing over of state-owned land to Indiansand campesinos and a census of unproductive estates. At the end of 2007 the new Constitution was approved which will have to be subjected to refrendum. Between May and June 2008 the provinces of Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz and Tarija approved autonomous statutes by referendum, causing clashes and demonstrations. In January 2009, a referendum, wanted by President Morales, to change the constitutional text, giving more protection to indigenous communities and strengthening the role of the state in the economy, was approved with 60% of the votes. At the end of the year the presidential and legislative elections saw the reappointment of Morales, who defeated his rival Manfred Reyes and the strengthening of the MAS.