Bolivia. After five years of investigations, a ruling
came in the International Court of Justice in The Hague
(ICJ) on October 1, which meant a severe defeat for Bolivia
in the country's quest to gain access to the Pacific Ocean
by leaving Chile part of its territory. The conflict between
the two countries dates back to the Pacific War 1879–83 when
Chile occupied Bolivia's coastal strip, and over the years
has been loaded with nationalist sentiments on both sides.
The Court's ruling was not about Bolivia's right as such but
about Chile's obligation to negotiate the case, which the
Court rejected. According to
Countryaah.com, Chile's president Sebastián Piñera saw the
outcome as a victory but at the same time declared himself
willing to talk, while Bolivia's president Evo Morales
insisted on moving on.
The biggest defeat for Morales, who put much of his
personal prestige into the matter, was on the domestic
political plane and related to his plans to be re-elected in
2019. Opinion polls showed a declining support for him and
his party MAS (the Movement for Socialism). In September,
only 29% of those surveyed said they would vote for him,
which is comparable to the 61% of the votes he got in the
At the end of August, the government-controlled Congress
approved a new electoral law stipulating that all parties
must elect their president and vice presidential candidates
through primary elections and that the funding of party
activities should be made more transparent. The opposition,
with former president Carlos Mesa (2003–05) at the
forefront, argued that the law was an invention of MAS to
secure Morale's victory in 2019.
Morales also ended up in conflict with his own political
base, the coca farmers, where he has his political origin.
In late August, Franklin Gutiérrez, leader of a cocoa
growers organization, was arrested and in May he announced
his plans for his own political project ahead of the 2019
elections. The arrest was triggered by violent unrest in a
village near the capital La Paz, which had its roots partly
in competition between cocoa growers in different regions,
especially Yungas and Chapare where Morales has its roots,
and partly in their overall opposition to the government's
measures against illegal cocoa cultivation. A UN study
published in August showed that in 2017, coca cultivation in
Bolivia increased by 1,400 hectares.
Sucre, (after AJ de Sucre), city of southern Bolivia; 194,000 residents
(2001). Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, though almost all of the
capital's functions have been transferred to La Paz, located 400 km towards NV;
only the supreme court of the country is in Sucre. The city is 2800 meters above
sea level in the Central Cordillas and has a pleasant climate.
Sucre is an important educational city and has many colonial churches;
together with the well-preserved center, it makes the city, also known as the
"White City", one of the most beautiful in the country.
The town was founded in 1538 and was known in the following centuries as both
Chuquisaca, Charcas and La Plata; its present name was given it in 1826 by the
establishment of the Chuquisaca department.
The city became the seat of the colonial administration in Upper Peru
(Bolivia) in 1559 and the archbishop's seat in 1609; the University of 1624 was
a center of philosophical thinking in Latin America in the late 1700's.
In 1809 a revolutionary government junta was formed in the city. However, the
rebellion against Spain's colonial rule, one of the first in Latin America, was
quickly defeated. Sucre became capital in 1839; the Liberals' attempts to let La
Paz take over the role triggered in the 1898 civil war, and since then Sucre's
status as capital has been more formal than real.