Bolivia has lost 1.7 million hectares to fire: government

Wildfires raging in Bolivia's forests and grasslands since May have destroyed 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres), officials said Wednesday, amid an $11 million effort by the government to contain them.

Disappearance of Bolivia's No. 2 lake a harbinger

Overturned fishing skiffs lie abandoned on the shores of what was Bolivia's second-largest lake. Beetles dine on bird carcasses and gulls fight for scraps under a glaring sun in what marshes remain.

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Bolivia

Coordinates: 16°42′43″S 64°39′58″W / 16.712°S 64.666°W / -16.712; -64.666 Bolivia (i/bəˈlɪviə/, Spanish: [boliˈβja]) officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia (Spanish: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, Quechua: Bulivya Mamallaqta, Aymara: Wuliwya Suyu), is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile by the south west, and Peru by the west. Prior to European colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire – the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. During most of the Spanish colonial period, this territory was called Upper Peru and was under the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of Spain's South American colonies. After declaring independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar, on 6 August 1825. Bolivia has struggled through periods of political instability, dictatorships and economic woes.

Bolivia is a democratic republic that is divided into nine departments. Its geography is varied from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country, with a Medium Human Development Index score, and a poverty level around 60%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods such as textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum. Bolivia is very wealthy in minerals, especially tin.

The Bolivian population, estimated at 10 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, and Africans. The main language spoken is Spanish, although the Aymara and Quechua languages are also common and all three, as well as 34 other indigenous languages, are official. The large number of different cultures within Bolivia has contributed greatly to a wide diversity in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

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