- Hugh Barringer
- Juan Leal-Mendoza (He/Him/His)
The history of Bolivia is one that can more or less be described as one of trial and error. Freed from Spanish rule by Simon Bolivar (and its present namesake) in 1825, she had a tumultuous immediate independence period, filled with coups, counter-coups and even a failed Peru-Bolivia Confederation with her northern neighbor. Wars with Brazil, Chile and Paraguay cost her Acre, the coastal province of Antofagasta, and Chaco Boreal, respectively. The populist Nationalist Revolutionary movement led by Víctor Paz Estenssoro led to some stability and much needed economic reforms in the 1950s and 60s, however inflation and military discontent would end this brief democratic period, leading to another series of dictatorships and coups starting in 1964, culminating with the start of the brutal dictatorship of Hugo Banzer in 1971.
Yet, none of this changes the fact that Bolivia is a rich country culturally, socially and “minerally” speaking. From the fact that more than 60% of the people in the country consider themselves part of a native group, to the fact that the country was the main producer of silver in Spain’s silver-powered colonial empire, or that there are more than 30 recognized native languages in the country, shows us the abundance and complications of the history of this country. With the recent removal of Hugo Banzer in a coup led by general Juan Pereda, after the former attempted to nullify the results of a controversial (and rigged) presidential election, there is a unique window of opportunity present for the nation: a window to create a country that represents the unique richness of Bolivia.
Delegates will work to write a new constitution that will hopefully bring newfound stability to the republic in the first two sessions. Once our Constitution is ratified, the committee will have to face challenges that come with any reform in the following three sessions. Our constitution will be continuously tried, as delegates work to find solutions against new and old, internal and external, and more problems. Will Bolivia heed the call of its national motto, “Unity Through Strength,” or will it be condemned to decades more of instability? Our committee will decide.