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Bolivia (/bəˈlɪviə/ (About this soundlisten); Spanish: [boˈliβja]; Guarani: Mborivia Guaraní pronunciation: [ᵐboˈɾiʋja]; Quechua: Puliwya Quechua pronunciation: [pʊlɪwja]; Aymara: Wuliwya IPA: [wʊlɪwja]), officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia (Spanish: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia), is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre while the seat of government and financial center is located in La Paz. The largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales (tropical lowlands) a mostly flat region in the east of Bolivia.

The sovereign state of Bolivia is a constitutionally unitary state, divided into nine departments. Its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the southeast by Paraguay, to the south by Argentina, to the southwest by Chile, and to the northwest by Peru. One-third of the country is within the Andean mountain range. With 1,098,581 km2 (424,164 sq mi) of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America and the 27th largest in the world.

The country's population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians and Africans. The racial and social segregation that arose from Spanish colonialism has continued to the modern era. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36 indigenous languages also have official status, of which the most commonly spoken are Guarani, Aymara and Quechua languages.


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San Pedro prison or El penal de San Pedro is the largest prison in La Paz, Bolivia renowned for being a society within itself. Significantly different from most correctional facilities, inmates at San Pedro have jobs inside the community, buy or rent their accommodation, and often live with their families. The sale of cocaine base to visiting tourists gives those inside a significant income and an unusual amount of freedom within the prison walls. Elected leaders enforce the laws of the community, with stabbings being commonplace. The prison is home to approximately 1,500 inmates, with additional guests staying in the prison hotel.

The book Marching Powder, written by Rusty Young and published in 2003, describes the experiences of the British inmate Thomas McFadden who became known for offering prison tours to tourists.


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In the news

Wikinews Bolivia portal
  • September 21: Bolivian president announces legal action over Obama's 'crimes against humanity'
  • May 10: Four U.N. staff dead after plane crash in Bolivia
  • April 7: ACLU, EFF challenging US 'secret' court orders seeking Twitter data
  • December 7: Reports say Bolivian president reelected
  • December 4: American botanist Lou Jost discovers world's smallest orchid
  • April 4: Interview with US political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky
  • January 26: Bolivia's Evo Morales wins referendum on a new leftist constitution
  • July 9: Bolivia road crash leaves at least 47 dead
  • February 2: No fatalities as Boeing 727 crash lands in Bolivia
  • January 9: Canupa Gluha Mani speaks about Lakota Oyate, Lakota freedom
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