Skip to main content
Flag of Bolivia


Plurinational State of Bolivia South America La Paz 10,631,486 inhabitants 1,098,581 sq km 9.68 inhabitants/sq km bolivianos (BOB) population evolution

Famous people from Bolivia

Here is a list of famous people from Bolivia. Curious if anybody from Bolivia made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

Evo Morales


Juan Evo Morales Ayma, popularly known as Evo, is a Bolivian politician and activist, serving as President of Bolivia since 2006. Morales began his political career as a Cocalero trade union organizer. His administration has focused on the implementation of leftist policies, poverty reduction and combating the influence of the United States and transnational corporations in Bolivia. Born to an Aymara family of subsistence farmers in Isallawi, Orinoca Canton, Evo undertook a basic education before mandatory military service, in 1978 moving to Chapare Province. Growing coca, he joined the cocalero trade union, rising to prominence in the campesino union, campaigning against the United States and Bolivian government's attempts to eradicate coca as a part of the War on Drugs. Entering electoral politics in 1995, he became the leader of the Movement for Socialism, focusing on issues affecting indigenous and poor communities, advocating land reform and redistribution of gas wealth. Gaining increasing visibility through the gas conflict and the Cochabamba protests of 2000, in 2002 he was expelled from Congress, though he came second in that year's presidential election.

Marcelo Martins Moreno


Marcelo Martins Moreno, is a Bolivian footballer. He currently plays for Flamengo, on loan from Grêmio, as well as the Bolivian national team. Although he is known as Marcelo Martins, he is called by his last name, Marcelo Moreno, in Brazil.

Andrés de Santa Cruz


Andrés de Santa Cruz y Calahumana was President of Peru and Bolivia. He also served as Supreme Protector of the short-lived Peru-Bolivian Confederation, a political entity created mainly by his personal endeavors.

Jaime Moreno


Jaime Moreno Morales is a former Bolivian footballer now serving as Youth Academy Technical Training Coach for D.C. United in Major League Soccer, and as the head coach of D.C. United's U-23 side. Moreno was the all-time leading scorer in Major League Soccer at the time of his retirement. On 22 August 2007, in a match against the New York Red Bulls, he scored his 109th MLS goal, surpassing the previous league record set by former Dallas Burn and Real Salt Lake forward Jason Kreis. On 17 April 2009, Moreno became the first MLS player ever to reach the mark of 100 goals and 100 assists when he assisted on a Ben Olsen stoppage time goal.

Cornelio Saavedra


Cornelio Judas Tadeo de Saavedra y Rodríguez was a military officer and statesman from the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. He was instrumental in the May Revolution, the first step of Argentina's independence from Spain, and was appointed president of the Primera Junta. Saavedra was the first commanding officer of the Regiment of Patricians created after the ill-fated British invasions of the Río de la Plata. The increased militarization of the city and the relaxation of the system of castas allowed him, as other criollo peoples, to become a prominent figure in local politics. His intervention was decisive to thwart the Mutiny of Álzaga and allow Viceroy Santiago de Liniers to stay in power. Although he supported the establishment of a government Junta, as others created in Spain during the contemporary Peninsular War, he desired that criollos had an important role in it. He advised against rushed actions as well, and as his Regiment was crucial in any action against the viceroy, he denied his help until it was a good strategic moment to do so. The opportunity came in May, 1810, and the May Revolution successfully ousted the viceroy.

Verona Pooth


Verona Pooth is a German television personality, beauty pageant winner, and an occasional actress. In 1993, she was Miss Germany and Miss Intercontinental and represented Germany at the Miss Universe contest. She received the German "Bambi" media prize in 2004 and 2006. In 2004 she married Franjo Pooth, a German entrepreneur. They have two sons, San Diego and Rocco Ernesto.

Marco Etcheverry

Soccer Midfielder

Marco Antonio Etcheverry Vargas is a retired Bolivian footballer, considered one of the greatest Bolivian players of all time.

Víctor Paz Estenssoro


Ángel Víctor Paz Estenssoro was a politician and president of Bolivia. He ran for president 8 times, winning in 1951, 1960, 1964, and 1985.

Juana Azurduy de Padilla

Military Person

Juana Azurduy Bermudez was a Latin American guerilla military leader. She was born on July 12, 1780 or 1781 in the town of Chuquisaca, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. She was Mestizo by ethnicity meaning she was half European and half indigenous. “Her mother married into a family of property” meaning she married into a more wealth family. Her father however was killed by Spaniards, and the killer apparently got away without any repercussions. She grew up in Chuquisaca and at the age of 12 joined a convent to become a nun. She was eventually expelled at the age of 17 because she rebelled far too often. She married Manuel Ascencio Padilla in 1805, a man who shared her love of the indigenous populations in Bolivia. She spoke the indigenous languages Quechua and Aymara.

Túpac Katari

Deceased Person

Túpac Katari or Catari, born Julián Apasa Nina, was a leader in the rebellions of indigenous people of Bolivia against the Spanish Empire in the early 1780s. A member of the Aymara, Apasa took the name "Tupac Katari" to honor two rebel leaders: Tomás Katari, and Túpac Amaru II. He raised an army of some 40,000 and laid siege to the city of La Paz in 1781. Katari and his wife, Bartolina Sisa set up court in El Alto and maintained the siege for 184 days, from March to June and from August to October. Sisa was a commander of the siege, and played the crucial role following Katari's capture in April. The siege was broken by colonial troops who advanced from Lima and Buenos Aires. Katari laid siege again later in the year, this time joined by Andrés Túpac Amaru, nephew of Túpac Amaru II. But Katari was again unsuccessful. Despite his subsequent betrayal, defeat, torture, and execution, Túpac Katari is remembered as a hero by modern indigenous movements in Bolivia, who call themselves Katarismo. A Bolivian guerrilla group, the Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army, also bears his name.

Ximena Herrera

TV Actor

Ximena Herrera is a Bolivian-born Mexican actress. She has participated in telenovelas such as La madrastra and Corazones al límite. She is married to Alex Sirvent.

Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada


Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada y Sánchez de Bustamante, familiarly known as "Goni", is a Bolivian politician, businessman, and former President of Bolivia. A lifelong member of the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario, he is credited for using "shock therapy", the economic theory championed by then Harvard University economist Jeffrey Sachs. This measure was used by Bolivia in 1985 to cut hyperinflation from an estimated 25,000% to a single digit within a period of 6 weeks. More broadly, he is credited with having engineered the restructuring of the Bolivian state and the dismantling the state-capitalist model that had prevailed in the country since the 1952 Revolution. Sánchez de Lozada was twice elected President of Bolivia, both times on the MNR ticket. During his first term, he initiated a series of landmark social, economic and constitutional reforms. Elected to a second term in 2002, he resigned and went into exile in the United States of America in October 2003 after violent protests related to the Bolivian gas conflict in which some 60 protesters, soldiers and policemen died. In March 2006, he resigned the leadership of the MNR. Bolivia has unsuccessfully been seeking his extradition from the US to stand trial for the events of 2003.

Jaime Escalante


Jaime Alfonso Escalante Gutierrez was a Bolivian educator well known for teaching students calculus from 1974 to 1991 at Garfield High School, East Los Angeles, California. Escalante was the subject of the 1988 film Stand and Deliver, in which he is portrayed by Edward James Olmos.

Álvaro García Linera


Álvaro Marcelo García Linera is a Bolivian politician who has been Vice President of Bolivia since 2006.

Carlos Mesa


Carlos Diego Mesa Gisbert is a historian and former Vice President of Bolivia August 2002 to October 2003 President of Bolivia, holding office from October 17, 2003 until his resignation on June 6, 2005. Mesa was previously a popular television journalist and personality, known by many for his rectitude and impartiality. His widespread recognition prompted the MNR candidate Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada to pick him as running mate in the 2002 Bolivian presidential elections. The winning ticket of Sánchez-Mesa took possession on August 6, 2002. As Vice-President, Mesa was quickly caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, as a wave of protests and strikes shut down Bolivia in a bitter dispute known as the Bolivian Gas War. The demonstrations eventually forced Sánchez de Lozada to resign and leaving Mesa as President of the Republic.

Jaime Laredo


Jaime Laredo is a violinist and conductor. Currently the conductor and Music Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, he began his musical career when he was five years old. In 1948 he came to North America and took lessons from Antonio DeGrass. He also studied with Frank Houser before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, to study under Josef Gingold in 1953. He studied with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music until his graduation. From 1960 to 1974 he was married to the pianist Ruth Laredo. Laredo is currently a professor at the renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He served as artistic advisor for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra and guest conducted the orchestra on April 18, 2009, in a program featuring his wife, the cellist Sharon Robinson. He was scheduled to again conduct the orchestra for two programs during the 2009-10 season. Laredo and Robinson were also featured soloists in a special concert conducted by Andrew Constantine, who became the Philharmonic's music director in July 2009. His Carnegie Hall recital in October 1960 was much praised, and helped to launch his career. The next year, he played at Royal Albert Hall in London. Afterwards, he has played with many major European and American orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, The Children's Orchestra Society and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.

Eduardo Rodríguez


Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé is a former president of Bolivia; prior to that appointment he was the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

René Barrientos


René Barrientos Ortuño was a Bolivian military officer and politician who served as his country's Vice President in 1964 and as its President from 1964 to 1969. General Barrientos came to power in the aftermath of the overthrow of the government of Paz Estenssoro in a CIA-backed coup. During his five-year rule, Barrientos and the army suppressed all opposition to his conservative regime, including a guerrilla group lead by Che Guevara in 1967.

Alejandro Chumacero

Soccer Midfielder

Alejandro Saúl Chumacero Bracamonte is a Bolivian international footballer, who plays for Brazilian club Sport Recife as a central midfielder. He began his football career at his country's powerhouse club The Strongest when he was a very young age. He was promoted to the first adult team for the 2007 season, aged 15, in where debuted scoring a goal against Universitario de Sucre in a 2–1 home victory, scoring the first of the game. Chumacero has represented in two times to the Bolivian national football team, being his first call-up, when he only was 17 years old for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Brazil and Peru, however he failed to play in those qualifier games. In January 2011, he was called up for play in the 2011 South American Youth Championship held in Peru, in where he played all games of Bolivia, because his national team was eliminated in the first stage.

María Fernanda Álvarez Terán

Tennis Player

María Fernanda Álvarez Terán is a professional tennis player from Bolivia. Álvarez was ranked 15 in International Tennis Federation junior rankings in 2007. She has won tournaments including doubles at the Copa Gatorade, Copa Milo in singles, Mediterranee Avenir in doubles Raquette D'Or, Riad 21, both in singles, and 21st Copa Gerdau and Condor de Plata, both in doubles. She is ranked 94th in the ITF juniors rankings.

Jhasmani Campos

Soccer Midfielder

Jhasmani Campos Dávalos is a Bolivian football midfielder who is currently plays for Muaither SC for the Qatar Stars League. Campos is known for his long distance shots, playmaking and technique.

Luis García Meza Tejada


Luis García Meza Tejada is a former Bolivian dictator. A native of La Paz, he was a career military officer who rose to the rank of general during the reign of dictator Hugo Banzer. García Meza became dictator in 1980.

Joaquín Botero

Soccer Forward

Joaquín Botero Vaca is a Bolivian football striker. He was the top goalscorer in world football in the 2002 season, with 49 goals scored for Club Bolívar. He currently plays for Sport Boys in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano.

Ronald Raldes


Ronald Raldes Balcázar is a Bolivian football defender. He currently plays for Colón de Santa Fe in the Argentine Primera.

Hernán Siles Zuazo


Hernán Siles Zuazo was a politician from Bolivia. He served as his country's constitutionally elected president twice, from 1956 to 1960 and again from 1982 to 1985.

Germán Efromovich

Organization founder

Germán Efromovich is a Bolivian-born entrepreneur with multiple citizenship: Brazilian, Colombian, and, since 2012, Polish. He was born into a family of Polish Jews.

Ricardo Pedriel


Ricardo Pedriel Suárez is a Bolivian football striker who currently is free agent.

Mariano Melgarejo


Manuel Mariano Melgarejo Valencia was the 18th President of Bolivia, from December 28, 1864, to January 15, 1871.

Jorge Quiroga


Jorge Fernando "Tuto" Quiroga Ramírez was President of Bolivia from August 7, 2001 to August 6, 2002. He is Bolivian of Spanish descent.

Julio César Baldivieso

Soccer Midfielder

Julio César Baldivieso Rico is a former Bolivian association football midfielder who played for the Bolivian national team in the 1994 World Cup and several Copa Américas. He is currently a football manager.

Lidia Gueiler Tejada


Lidia Gueiler Tejada was the first female President of Bolivia, serving in an interim capacity from 1979 to 1980. She was Bolivia's first female Head of State, and the second in Latin American history.

Joselito Vaca

Soccer Midfielder

Joselito Vaca Velasco is a Bolivian footballer. He currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Blooming in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano.

Juan Carlos Arce

Soccer Midfielder

Juan Carlos Arce Justiniano is a Bolivian professional footballer who plays for Club Bolívar.

Gualberto Mojica

Soccer Midfielder

Gualberto Mojica Olmos is a Bolivian footballer that currently plays for China League One side Chongqing Lifan as an attacking midfielder.

José Alfredo Castillo

Soccer Forward

José Alfredo Castillo Parada, nicknamed "El Pícaro" is a Bolivian football striker who is currently playing for Oriente Petrolero in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano on a loan from Mexican club Estudiantes Tecos.

Diego Cabrera


Diego Aroldo Cabrera Flores is a Bolivian football striker. He currently plays for Itagüí in the Categoría Primera A. He played at club level for Oriente Petrolero, Blooming, Bolívar, The Strongest and Aurora in Bolivia, as well as Cerro Porteño from Paraguay. He also spent a couple of years in the Colombian Professional League with Cúcuta Deportivo, Independiente Medellín, Deportivo Pasto and Deportes Tolima. In 2007 Cabrera was elected as the "Football Player of the Year" by the Bolivian sports media, thanks to the impressive displays he had while playing for Cúcuta Deportivo. In 2009 he was loaned to Independiente Medellín. During the first semester Cabrera had great performances in both, the domestic tournament and Copa Libertadores. However, due to some differences with his coach, he decided to leave the club. In early 2012 Cabrera joined Bogota's Independiente Santa Fe. In July of the year he helped the club win the Apertura Tournament, the first in 34 years for Santa Fe. In January 2013, Cabrera made his return to the Bolivian league after joining San José.

Erwin Sánchez

Soccer Midfielder

Erwin Sánchez Freking is a retired Bolivian footballer. Dubbed Platini, he played as an attacking midfielder, with scoring range. Most of his professional career was spent in Portugal, after which he became a coach. From 2006–09, Sánchez managed the Bolivian national team, after having appeared as a player in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the country's third participation.

Juan José Torres


Juan José Torres González was a Bolivian socialist politician and military leader. He served as President of Bolivia from October 7, 1970 to August 21, 1971. He was popularly known as "J.J.". Juan José Torres was murdered in 1976 in Buenos Aires, in the frame of Operation Condor.

Eduardo Rózsa-Flores


Eduardo Rózsa-Flores was a Bolivian-Hungarian-Croatian mercenary, journalist, actor, and secret agent. Born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, he was known in Hungary as Rózsa-Flores Eduardo or Rózsa György Eduardo. His wartime nickname in the Croatian War of Independence was "Chico", which is also the title of a feature film based on his life, in which he starred.

Jaime Paz Zamora


Jaime Paz Zamora was President of Bolivia from August 6, 1989 to August 6, 1993. He also served as Vice-President between 1982 and 1984.

Rudy Cardozo

Soccer Midfielder

Rudy Alejandro Cardozo Fernandez is a Bolivian footballer who plays for Bolívar in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano and the Bolivian national team.

Germán Busch


Germán Busch Becerra was a former Bolivian military officer, hero of the Chaco War, and president of Bolivia between 1937 and 1939. Germán Busch birthplace is still under dispute,some historians points to San Javier, in central Bolivia's hot, fertile, coffee-growing region, others to El Carmen de Itenez, northern in a cattle growing region, son of a physician, a German immigrant and a mother of Italian descent. At some point in Busch's childhood, his father went to Germany, while sending the young boy and his mother to live in Trinidad. He attended provincial school there and entered military college at the age of 18. Known for his torrid, fearless, and reckless temperament, he seemed to dominate the Bolivian army by force of his personality alone, despite his relatively lower rank. In the first stages of the Chaco War, he saved an entire division from certain destruction during the battle of Gondra, as well as a part of his own cavalry regiment -fighting on foot- which he drove out from the Campo Vía pocket. As a Major, he took part, and carried the bulk of the action, in the highly controversial coup d'état that overthrew of the Constitutional President Daniel Salamanca in November 1934, right in the middle of the war and in the very theater of operations. The reason for this was the constant butting of heads of the Bolivian High Command with Salamanca over the conduct of the war and the issuing of military appointments and promotions. Busch again conspired in 1936, this time overthrowing Salamanca's successor and former vice-president, José Luis Tejada, and installing his higher-ranked friend and comrade David Toro as de facto President. Toro presided over a reformist experiment called Military Socialism for a bit over a year, before Busch himself overthrew Toro and installed himself in the Palacio Quemado on July 1937, alleging that Toro's controversial past made him a liability to the regime and he was better off leading it.

Alcides Arguedas

Deceased Person

Alcides Arguedas was a Bolivian writer and historian.

Hilarión Daza


Hilarión Daza Groselle was President of Bolivia from 1876 to 1879.

Mauricio Baldivieso

Soccer Midfielder

Mauricio Baldivieso Ferrufino is a Bolivian footballer who plays as a midfielder and is currently playing for Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano side Nacional Potosí. The Telegraph claimed that he is the youngest player to ever play professional football

José Ballivián


José Ballivián was a Bolivian general during the Peruvian-Bolivian War and the 11th president of Bolivia from September 27, 1841 to December 23, 1847.

Luzmila Carpio


Luzmila Carpio is a Bolivian singer, who has performed in Spanish and Quechua, and Bolivia's ambassador to France from 2006.

Vicente Arze

Soccer Midfielder

Vicente Arze is a Bolivian footballer who currently plays for Charleroi in Belgian Pro League.

Samuel Galindo

Soccer Midfielder

Samuel Galindo Suheiro is a Bolivian footballer who plays for Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League. He is a midfielder.

Sergio Galarza


Sergio Daniel Galarza Soliz is a Bolivian football goalkeeper who currently plays for Sport Boys Warnes. His former clubs include Real Santa Cruz, Blooming, Bolivar, Wilstermann, Oriente Petrolero and Guabirá. He has been capped for the Bolivian national team 26 times since 2000. He was the starting goalkeeper for Bolivia in the first two games during Copa América 2007. He is the oldest son of football manager and former goalkeeper from the 1970s, 80's and early 90's, Luis Esteban Galarza, who was the starting goalkeeper for Bolivia national football team during Copa America 1989.

Daniel Salamanca Urey


Daniel Domingo Salamanca Urey was President of Bolivia from March 5, 1931 until he was overthrown in a coup d'état on November 27, 1934, during the country's disastrous Chaco War with Paraguay.

Oscar Ichazo

Organization founder

Oscar Ichazo is the Bolivian-born founder of the Arica School, which he established in 1968.

Manuel Isidoro Belzu


Manuel Isidoro Belzu Humerez was president of Bolivia from 1848 to 1855.

Adela Zamudio

Deceased Person

Paz Juana Plácida Adela Rafaela Zamudio Rivero, or more popularly known as Adela Zamudio was a Bolivian poet, feminist, and educator. She is considered the most famous Bolivian poet, and is credited as founding the country's feminist movement. In her writing, she also used the pen-name Soledad.

Carlos Saucedo


Carlos Saucedo is a Bolivian soccer player.

José Milton Melgar

Soccer Midfielder

José Milton Melgar Soruco is a retired Bolivian football midfielder. In 2006, he was appointed by the Bolivian Government under President Evo Morales as Minister of Sports, but he resigned a year later. He currently runs his own youth football academy in his hometown.

Gualberto Villarroel


Gualberto Villarroel López was the head of state of Bolivia from December 20, 1943 to July 21, 1946. A reformist, sometimes compared with Argentina's Juan Domingo Perón, he is nonetheless remembered for his alleged fascist sympathies. Above all, he is remembered for his violent demise, which occurred on the day when he was overthrown. Villarroel was born in Villa Rivero, Cochabamba, on December 15, 1908. He participated in the Chaco War against Paraguay. In the aftermath of Bolivia's disastrous defeat in that conflict, he became convinced that Bolivia needed profound structural changes and supported the progressive Military-Socialist dictatorships of David Toro Ruilova and Germán Busch. Following Colonel Busch's suicide in August 1939, conservative forces reasserted themselves, took power, and propitiated the 1940 elections in which the traditional parties linked to the country's big mining interests triumphed at the polls with General Enrique Peñaranda. Villarroel was part of the younger, more idealistic military officer corps that had supported Toro and Busch. In December 1943, a coup d'état crystallized against President Peñaranda, and Major Gualberto Villarroel became de facto President of Bolivia. He formed a coalition with the main reformist party of the time, the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, as well as with a hitherto-secret military faction known as Radepa inspired on the ideals of former president Busch Becerra.

Ronald García

Soccer Midfielder

Ronald Lázaro García Justiniano, nicknamed "Nacho" is a Bolivian footballer. He currently plays as a defensive midfielder for Oriente Petrolero in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano. He is considered as a fan favourite. He "graduated" from Bolivia's famous football academy called Tahuichi Aguilera located in Santa Cruz, which produced some popular Bolivian football stars, including Erwin "Platiní" Sanchez, Marco Antonio "El Diablo" Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno.

Jessica Jordan


Jessica Anne Jordan Burton is a politician and a former model. Jessica is the only child of an English father and Bolivian mother, Aida Burton. Her father, Andrew Keith Jordan is a petroleum engineer. In addition to Bolivia, Jessica has also lived in England, Scotland, the USA and Brazil. In her youth Jessica was very interested in sport and travelling and her mother worried that she was a bit too ‘tomboyish’ and not ‘girly’ enough. At about 16 years of age her mother enrolled her into modelling classes, which Jessica found she enjoyed. As a result, Jessica went on to participate in numerous fashion competitions in Europe the USA and Mexico as well as having succeeded in many beauty competitions. These include Miss Mundo Latina, which she won in Miami in 2003. Jessica Jordan succeeded Desiree Durán who won the Miss Bolivia title in 2005, and Miss Bolivia Universe in 2006. In addition, she was crowned Reina Internacional del Café 2008. Jessica had acquired an interest in politics from her mother and states that she always wanted to help her country. Her beauty title gave her the opportunity to meet people of influence, which culminated in her meeting the country’s president, Evo Morales. President Morales invited Jessica to stand for Governor in the very marginal constituency of Beni, in which the president’s party Movimiento Al Socialismo had previously lost by 25,000 votes. Jessica did not win, losing by 2,900 votes. She nonetheless obtained 40% of the votes.

José Manuel Pando


José Manuel Inocencio Pando Solares was President of Bolivia between October 1899 and August 1904. Born in Luribay, he studied medicine, joined the army during the War of the Pacific against Chile, and later dedicated himself to exploring his country's vast and thinly populated lowland forests. In the 1880s he joined the Liberal Party of Eliodoro Camacho, becoming its leader in 1894. Pando served as Congressional Representative from Chuquisaca during the administration of Severo Fernández and was the nucleus around which coalesced the increasingly more vocal and seditious efforts of the Liberal Party to topple the Conservatives from power. Civil War finally erupted in 1899, under the guise of a regional dispute regarding whether Sucre should continue to be the capital of the country or the latter should be moved to La Paz. At this point, Pando's Liberals rallied around the movement to declare La Paz the capital and gathered considerable popular support behind the idea of turning hitherto unitary Bolivia into a federal republic. An undeniable fatigue of the populace against the Conservatives, who had monopolized power since 1884, was also probably a deciding factor in the upcoming denouement. After routing the Conservatives at the Battle of the Second Crucero, fought in Oruro province and quaintly pitting forces led directly by Pando against President Fernández, Pando became President. He did so first as member of a transitional Liberal Junta and then as sole leader when a hastily convened Congress named him Constitutional President with a full 4-year term. This kicked-off a period of 20-plus years of Liberal domination in Bolivian politics.

Alfredo Ovando Candía


Alfredo Ovando Candía was a Bolivian president and dictator, general and political figure.

Roberto Suárez Goméz


Roberto Suárez Gómez, nicknamed "king of cocaine" was a Bolivian drug trafficker who played a major role in the expansion of cocaine trafficking in Bolivia. He was descendent of the Suárez brothers "rubber barons", who had been responsible for the extermination of the Caripuña people on the Madeira River in Bolivia. In the mid-1970s he began to conduct business with the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and after that he started to recruit Bolivian coca producers into his company "La Corporación". He financed the military coup that installed a dictatorship in 1980, in which Luis García Meza would be president and Suarez's cousin Luis Arce Gómez was Minister of the Interior, and so he received political protection for his enterprise. Arce Gómez ordered the killings of many Bolivians, including union leaders and intellectuals such as Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz. According to some sources, the CIA knew about the coup in advance. In a letter to Ronald Reagan in 1983 he offered to pay Bolivia's foreign debt of more than $3 billion if he and his son got amnesty. He was also under protection of the DEA through most of the eighties until his activities were too notorious. In 1988 he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in the San Pedro prison for drug crimes, but he was released in 1996 during the government of Sánchez de Lozada. Four years later he died of a heart attack.

José Miguel de Velasco Franco


José Miguel de Velasco Franco served as President of Bolivia four times more times than anyone else other than Víctor Paz Estenssoro. During the third, and longest, of these temporary periods in office he approved a new constitution for Bolivia.

Ramiro Castillo

Soccer Midfielder

Ramiro Castillo Salinas was a football midfielder who was capped 52 times and scored 5 international goals for Bolivia between 1989 and 1997. He made one substitute appearance at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Castillo was born in Coripata, a small town in the sub-tropical Yungas region. His first professional team was The Strongest, club with which he always identified. From there he went to play successfully in the Argentine football, defending the colors of Instituto de Córdoba, Argentinos Juniors, River Plate, Rosario Central and Platense. He set a record for the most appearances in the Argentine league by a Bolivian player with 152 games, he scored 10 goals in Argentina too. Later in his career he returned to Bolivia where he played for The Strongest and Club Bolívar. Castillo's nickname was "Chocolatín" by the colour of his skin. He played at the Copa América 1997, where Bolivia were runners-up, losing the final to Brazil. Despite being the tournament’s MVP, Castillo missed the final game due to the sudden death of his infant son. Castillo never recovered from this and committed suicide in October of that year. He was 31 years old.

José Luis Chávez

Soccer Midfielder

José Luis Chávez Sánchez is a Bolivian football midfielder who currently plays for Liga MX club Atlas de Guadalajara on loan from Blooming. His former clubs also include Destroyers and Universitario de Sucre.

Jaime Saenz

Spanish Speaker

Jaime Sáenz Guzmán was a Bolivian poet, novelist, and short story writer. Born in the city of La Paz, he lived his entire life there, and the rough topography and harsh climate of this Andean city had a powerful effect on much of his work. His poetry, though individual to the point of being difficult to classify, bears some similarities with surrealist literature. Throughout his life, Sáenz struggled with alcoholism, a struggle about which he frequently wrote in his poems. Accordingly, he is often viewed as a sort of poète maudit, or "cursed poet". Sáenz was openly, "unashamedly", bisexual.

Carla Ortiz


Carla Ortiz Oporto is a Bolivian actress. In the 1990s, she moved to Mexico City and she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Luis Alberto Gutiérrez


Luis Alberto Gutiérrez Herrera is a Bolivian football defender. He currently plays for Club Bolivar in Bolivia.

Limberg Gutiérrez

Soccer Midfielder

Limberg Gutiérrez Mariscal is a Bolivian football player who is an attacking midfielder. He is currently a free agent, lastly playing for Blooming in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano. Gutiérrez was a member of the Bolivian national football team in Copa América 2004. He also has participated in FIFA World Cup qualifiers for 1998, 2002 and 2006. His former clubs professionally include Blooming, Bolívar, The Strongest and Oriente Petrolero in Bolivia, and Nacional in Uruguay.

David Toro


José David Toro Ruilova was a colonel in the Bolivian army and member of the High Command during the Chaco War. Of controversial participation in the conflict, he became de facto President of the Republic in May 1936 as a result of a military uprising headed by his friend and comrade, Major Germán Busch. Installed in the Palacio Quemado, Toro immediately faced a number of pressing crises, not least of which were a massive federal deficit stemming from the war and continued economic dislocation associated with the ongoing Great Depression. More narrowly, he tackled a dispute with the Standard Oil Corporation, which had been at least not supportive enough of Bolivia during the war and at most, downright duplicitous and disloyal to the country. Apparently, a number of grave irregularities had been committed, including alleged smuggling of Bolivian oil to Argentina, Paraguay's most steadfast supporter. In March 1937, the Toro government nationalized all Standard Oil holdings in Bolivia to the rejoicing of much of the population. This nationalization would prove to be the first step toward the statism that would characterize Bolivian politics in subsequent decades.

Wálter Guevara


Wálter Guevara Arze was a Bolivian statesman, cabinet minister, writer, diplomat, and president.

Ben Mikaelsen


Ben Mikaelsen is a writer of children's literature. Mikaelsen is Bolivian of Danish descent. Born in Bolivia, he wasn't sent to school until the fourth grade where he was heavily bullied for his race. Some years later, Mikaelsen moved with his family to the United States where he entered the seventh grade. He began writing full-time in 1984, and has won many awards, including the International Reading Association Award and the Western Writers' Golden Spur award. He has also gained many state Readers Choice Awards. He is a sky diving champion, can fly a plane, taught himself to swim and dive, and has written many novels such as Tree Girl, Touching Spirit Bear, Ghost of Spirit Bear and Petey. Mikaelsen owned a male American Black Bear named Buffy for 26 years until his death on September 1, 2010. Mikaelsen considered Buffy a "750-pound member of my family." Today, Mikaelsen lives outside Bozeman, Montana with his wife and kids. He has been writing books for 26 years.

Olivia Pinheiro


María Olivia Pinheiro Menacho is a Bolivian beauty pageant titleholder and model who was crowned Miss Bolivia 2010, and would have represented her country in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant. Pinheiro declined to participate in the international competition after rumors about her real age were revealed to the press.

Christian Vargas


Christian Israel Vargas Claros is a Bolivian football right defender who currently plays for San José in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano. His former clubs include Wilstermann, The Strongest and Blooming. Vargas has earned 4 caps with the Bolivian national team. He was a member of the squad that participated in the 2011 Copa América.

Eduardo Wilde


Eduardo Wilde was an Argentine physician, politician, and writer, and among the most prominent intellectual figures of the modernizing Generation of '80 in Argentina.

Pedro Domingo Murillo


Pedro Domingo Murillo was a patriot of Upper Peru who played a key role in Bolivia's independence.

Enrique Parada

Soccer Midfielder

Enrique Parada Salvatierra is a Bolivian football midfielder. He currently plays for The Strongest and the Bolivia national football team.

José Carlos Fernández González


José Carlos Fernández González is a former Bolivian football goalkeeper that played 25 times for his national team. He is currently active as director of football of Bolivian club Bolívar.

Jorge Sanjinés

Film Director

Jorge Sanjinés is a Bolivian film director and screenwriter. He founded the production group Groupo Ukamau. He won the ALBA Prize for Arts in 2009.

Juan Lechín Oquendo


Juan Lechín Oquendo was a labor-union leader and head of the Federation of Bolivian Mine Workers from 1944 to 1987 and the Bolivian Workers' Union from 1952 to 1987. He also served as Vice President of Bolivia between 1960 and 1964. Lechín was born to a Lebanese immigrant father and a Bolivian mother in Corocoro, a city in the Department of La Paz. He worked in the Catavi and Siglo XX tin mines, both of which were owned by the mining tycoon Simón Iturri Patiño. While working as a machinist in the mines, he was made aware of the desperate conditions of the vast majority of the highland workers. In the 1940s he became involved in the nascent labor movement and joined the Revolutionary Workers' Party, a Trotskyist political party. In 1944, Lechín led a congress of miners in Huanuni, Oruro, that led to the formation of the FSTMB. Lechín was elected the union's Executive Secretary. At this point, he became affiliated with the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, though he maintained good relations with the Trotskyist POR. Following the 1952 Bolivian National Revolution, Lechín was chosen as Minister of Mines and Petroleum. He also led the founding congress of the Central Obrera Boliviana, an umbrella federation of labor unions, and was elected its Executive Secretary. Since he had played a vital role in the Revolution, and had advocated the permanent extension of weapons to the workers' militias to guarantee regime stability against the possibility of an oligarchic/military backlash, he became extremely popular with the poorer sectors of society. Indeed, he was the most charismatic and popular MNR leader other than Paz Estenssoro. In addition, he was of far more radical political persuasion than the rest of the government leadership. This inevitably led to growing intra-party tensions and disagreements over labor issues and personal ambitions.

Eugen Gomringer


Eugen Gomringer is often called the father of concrete poetry. Gomringer lives in the region of Bamberg in Germany. 1977-1990 he was a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the Arts Academy of the city of Düsseldorf. He writes in German, Spanish, French and English.

Mauricio Saucedo

Soccer Midfielder

Mauricio Saucedo Guardia is a Bolivian football midfielder who plays for Universitario de Sucre. He is a member of the Bolivian national team. Saucedo developed his skills at Tahuichi Academy. In 2003, at age 18 he reached professional football when he signed for Bolívar, although he made his official debut in the Bolivian league with Iberoamericana later that year. In 2004, he joined La Paz F.C. but his appearances were sporadic, mainly coming off the bench. The following year he transferred to San José, and his career finally began to sprout. In short time, Saucedo became one of the most valuable young prospects in the country and helped the club in obtaining the 2007 Clausura title. In January 2009, he was signed by Universitario de Sucre along with other important players to fortify the squad before facing Copa Libertadores. In February 2010, he travelled to Ukraine and signed for first division club FC Chornomorets Odesa. By August of that year, Saucedo returned to Bolivia and joined hometown club Oriente Petrolero. In July 2011, he was signed by Portuguese club Vitória S.C.. After making only one appearance since the beginning of the season, he criticized manager Rui Vitória for not giving him enough playing time which led to the club releasing the player on the December 16, 2011.

Simón Iturri Patiño


Simón Iturri Patiño was a Bolivian industrialist who was among the world's wealthiest people at the time of his death. With a fortune built from ownership of a majority of the tin industry in Bolivia, Patiño was nicknamed "The Andean Rockefeller". During World War II, Patiño was believed to be one of the five wealthiest men in the world.

Julio Terrazas Sandoval


Julio Terrazas Sandoval is a Cardinal Priest and Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in the Roman Catholic Church. Born in Vallegrande, Bolivia, Terrazas Sandoval was ordained a priest in 1962. He earned a degree in social ministry in France. In Bolivia, he was superior of the Vallegrande Redemptorist community before being appointed Auxiliary of La Paz in 1978. He was later transferred to Oruro in 1982. He chaired the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, Youth and Vocations, has been a member of CELAM's Commission on the Laity, and has been elected President of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference on several occasions. Appointed Archbishop of Santa Cruz in 1991, Terrazas Sandoval was proclaimed Cardinal by Pope John Paul II on 21 February 2001. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI, and also one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis. Pope Francis accepted his resignation, in accord with Canon 401.1 of the Latin-rite Code of Canon Law, on Saturday, May 25, 2013. He was immediately succeeded as Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra by his Coadjutor Archbishop, Sergio Alfredo Gualberti Calandrina.

Lorgio Álvarez

Soccer Midfielder

Lorgio Álvarez Roca is a Bolivian footballer. He currently plays for Bolivar in the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano. His previous clubs include Blooming and Oriente Petrolero in Bolivia, Club Atlético Independiente in Argentina, as well as Cerro Porteño and Libertad in Paraguay.

Adolfo Costa du Rels


Adolfo Costa du Rels was a Bolivian writer and diplomat who became the last President of the Council of the League of Nations. He was the author of many plays, novels and other writings, mostly in French, and received several literary awards.

Alberto Figueroa de Acha

Soccer Defender

Alberto Figueroa de Achá is a Bolivian football defender who played for Bolivia in the 1950 FIFA World Cup. He also played for The Strongest.

Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas


Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas was the Constitutional President of Bolivia for a period of five months between April and September 1969.

Carlos Quintanilla


General Carlos Quintanilla Quiroga served as the de facto President of Bolivia from August 1939 until April 1940. Quintanilla saw action during the Chaco War of 1932-35, and managed to ascend the echelon of the Bolivian armed forces until he became Commander of the Army during the administration of Germán Busch. When President Busch committed suicide on August 23, 1939, the Bolivian military entrusted Quintanilla with the role of assuming power and calling elections.

Manfred Reyes Villa


Manfred Reyes Villa is a Bolivian politician, who was mayor of Cochabamba four times in a row and ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2002 and 2009 against Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and Evo Morales Ayma. He founded and led the Nueva Fuerza Republicana political party. He was also elected as the Governor of Cochabamba, Bolivia, and served from 2006 until his 2008 revocation referendum which was unconstitutional. He is currently living in the United States.

Hernando Siles Reyes


Hernando Siles Reyes was the 31st President of Bolivia, serving from 1926-1930. Founder of the Nationalist Party, he soon gravitated toward the Saavedrista faction of the Republican Party, which had come to power in 1920. Chosen by President Saavedra to be his successor in 1926, Siles ran on a ticket that included the latter's brother, Abdon Saavedra, as his Vice-Presidential running mate. This formula won the elections, and Siles Reyes was sworn in August, 1926. Soon, he came to be regarded as one of the most charismatic Bolivian politicians in recent memory, especially when he broke openly with the domineering ex-President Bautista Saavedra, and exiled him along with his brother. Despite all this, the Siles government soon ran into economic and political difficulties associated with the far-reaching effects of the "crash" of 1929. Moreover, his term was marked by rising diplomatic tensions with neighboring Paraguay which would later lead to the Chaco War. Many more opponents were exiled, giving Siles some breathing room, but matters reached a breaking point when, in 1930, the President attempted to unilaterally increase his term in office, ostensibly to deal with the mounting economic and international crisis. This was all his opponents needed, and with a coup d'état clearly in the offing, Siles resigned on May 28, 1930, leaving his cabinet in charge. The latter was overthrown by General Carlos Blanco, who in 1931 called elections which were won by Daniel Salamanca of the Partido Republicano-Genuino. Siles lived the rest of his life in exile, dying in Lima in 1942 at the age of 60.

Pato Hoffmann


Pato Hoffmann is a Bolivian actor and theater director who has performed in such films as Geronimo: An American Legend, Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, Cheyenne Warrior and The Last Winter. The nickname "Pato" was given to him as a child. Hoffmann was named the 1999 Indian Celebrity of the Year. He was born in La Paz, Bolivia, to Bolivian parents of Aymara, Quechua, Spanish, and German heritage. Hoffmann's family moved to New York City when he was four years old. He thereafter spent the formative years of his childhood and youth alternating between the United States and Bolivia, and more briefly in Mexico.

José María Pérez de Urdininea


José María Pérez de Urdininea was the third President of Bolivia and the first to be born in Bolivia itself. He fought with the patriots against the Argentines in Peru. Despite being President for only three months, Pérez held a number of important positions in the Bolivian government including Minister of War between 1841 and 1847.

Óscar Carmelo Sánchez

Soccer Defender

Óscar Carmelo Sánchez was a Bolivian sweeper who played for the Bolivia national football team in the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States. Born in Cochabamba, he was capped 78 times by Bolivia and scored 6 goals, between 1994 and 2007. He was the captain of the national team several times. He made his debut for the national side on April 20, 1994 in a friendly match in Bucharest against Romania. At club level he began his professional career with The Strongest in 1991. After five seasons with the atigrados, he was transferred to Argentine club Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy, where he built a solid reputation as a temperamental and tough defender with scoring ability. His impressive displays rewarded him with a transfer to giant club Independiente in the winter of 1998. On his return to Bolivia in 2000, he would spend two more periods with The Strongest, and one with Bolívar. In 2007 he had one of his kidneys removed due to the discovery of a tumour, which proved to be malignant. After the operation he continued playing, but was forced to retire soon thereafter. He was offered the manager position of The Strongest, with which he attained an impressive undefeated streak. In October 2007, his weak health forced him to quit that position too. Sánchez died on November 23, 2007.

José María Achá


José María de Achá Valiente was a military general and president of Bolivia. He served in the battles of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation and conspired against longtime dictator Manuel Belzu. Later, he was appointed Minister of war in the cabinet of another dictator, José María Linares. In that capacity, he led the 1861 coup d'état that toppled Linares. Originally he governed as head of Junta, and then as sole leader of the revolutionary government. At first, Achá was quite popular by virtue of having ended the hated Linares' tyrannical rule. He extended a political amnesty, and legitimized his rule by winning the 1862 elections. Soon, however, he was plagued by rebellions, the bane of any Bolivian president during this chaotic period. At that point, Achá invoked a state of emergency and began to suppress civil liberties. In particular, he become unpopular as a result of the 1862 "Matanzas de Yáñez", when the Achá supporter and military governor of La Paz Province, Plácido Yáñez, massacred dozens of opposition figures, many of them from the pro-Belzu camp. Among those murdered was former president Jorge Córdova. Eventually, discontent became widespread, and Achá found it difficult to govern at all. Indeed, parts of the party were controlled by different caudillos and military warlords. The president was finally overthrown in an 1864 coup d'état led by General Mariano Melgarejo, who would go on to become the most ruthless and brutal dictator of 19th century Bolivia.

Kori Udovički


Kori Udovički, Ph.D. is a former Serbian politician. She was an Assistant Secretary-General of United Nations, Assistant Administrator of UNDP and Director of the Regional Bureau of UNDP for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States from 2007 to 2012. Previously she was the founder and the President of the Center for Advanced Economic Studies, a Belgrade NGO that works for the advancement of economic research and education in South East Europe. She was also President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Advancement of Economics. CEVES's main publication is Quarterly Monitor of Economic Trends and Policies in Serbia, a publication that systematically monitors macroeconomic, corporate and financial trends and policies in Serbia. It comes out in Serbian and English and is also posted on the CEVES and FREN websites. Kori Udovički was the Editor in Chief until February 2007.

Jorge Córdova


Jorge Córdova was a military officer and constitutional president of Bolivia. A general, Córdova was longtime dictator Manuel Isidoro Belzu's son-in-law. As such, he was the main support to his despotic regime. When in 1855 Belzu decided to call elections and "retire" from politics in the face of repeated rebellions against his rule, he sponsored Córdova's candidacy. The latter was elected president and proceeded to be sworn-in on August 15, 1855, at age thirty-three. Not surprisingly, Córdova was widely seen as ex-president Belzu's proxy, and merely an instrument of his power. Belzu remained the proverbial "power behind the throne," and this fact only spurred the opposition to continue to conspire against the hated Belzu-Córdova regime, which had run Bolivian politics since 1847. Eventually, the forces arrayed against the president coalesced around the forceful civilian Constitutionalist José María Linares, who in October 1857 at long last succeeded in toppling Córdova from power. Fleeing the country, he eventually returned to Bolivia, eager as always to support his father-in-law's ambitions to return to the Bolivian Government Palace.