The new republic had a senate and a house of representatives. First, it was famous for its silver mines in the city of Potosí.The mines provided great riches for Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.Gas is the lifeblood of the Bolivian economy and the source of much of government revenue.

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The Oriente, a lowland region ranging from rain forests to grasslands, comprises the northern and eastern two-thirds of the country.

Lake Titicaca, at an altitude of 12,507 ft (3,812 m), is the highest commercially navigable body of water in the world. Famous since Spanish colonial days for its mineral wealth, modern Bolivia was once a part of the ancient Inca empire.

Bolivia is important to the US in the war against drugs as it grows coca, the extracts of which are used to produce cocaine.

Mr Morales, a former coca farmer, has legalised to a limited extent the production of coca, which is chewed by the majority indigenous population to fight altitude sickness in the mountain nation and to boost energy.

At the end of a three-week truce, Estigarribia renewed his drive (Jan.

When the Spanish first encountered Tiahuanaco in the sixteenth century, they went to great efforts to destroy it.Brazil forms its eastern border; its other neighbors are Peru and Chile on the west and Argentina and Paraguay on the south.The western part, enclosed by two chains of the Andes, is a great plateau—the Altiplano, with an average altitude of 12,000 ft (3,658 m).Thereafter, Bolivia attempted to break out of its landlocked situation through the Río de La Plata system to the Atlantic coast; athwart that route lay the Gran Chaco, which the Bolivians thought had large reserves.Bolivia seemed to enjoy overwhelming advantages over Paraguay: it had thrice the latter’s population, an army well-trained by the German general Hans von Kundt, and an ample supply of arms purchased by loans from American banks.Almost half the population lives on the plateau, which contains Oruro, Potosí, and La Paz.