Bolivia, South American state, lies astride the Andes.
History: Originally part of the ancient Inca Empire, Bolivia became independent in 1825. It has been named after Simon Bolivar, the famous South American fighter for freedom. Bolivia, like most Latin American states, has had a number of coups and counter-coups. It restored civilian rule in 1982 after nearly 18 years of military regimes.
Titicaca Lake: Lake Titicaca on the Peru-Bolivian border is the highest lake in the world (3812 m).
Agriculture: Agriculture, the mainstay of the country, engages 70 per cent of the people. Chief Crops: Potatoes, sugar, coffee, corn. Tin mining was the most important industry, until 1985 when international tin market collapsed. Zinc, lead, antimony and tungsten are the important minerals. Mining accounts for about 70% of foreign exchange earnings.
Industries: Textile, food processing, refined petroleum. A privatisation programme affecting some 60 state -owned enterprises was launched in 1992. On August 5, 2002 Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, a millionaire businessman, was again elected to lead the nation for the next five years.