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Bolivia Army / Ejército de Bolivia

The Mission of the army is to maintain and defend the honour, unity and independence of the fatherland, the integrity of thethe exercise of sovereignty, national security, constitutional order and territorial space and contribute to the development and integration of the motherland. The FF.AA. continued to be incapable of adequately defending the country's extensive borders with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay. If attacked, Bolivia would have to seek assistance from friendly states. It was a member of the Inter-American Defense Board and a signatory of the Inter-American Treaty for Reciprocal Assistance of 1947 (also known as the Rio Treaty). Although no major border conflict had occurred since the Chaco War, Conase was concerned that all of Bolivia's contiguous neighbors had geopolitical objectives that threatened Bolivia's territorial integrity. The intentions of Brazil and Chile were particularly worrisome.

Bolivia Map - Army Divisions The army had a reported 20,200 members in 1989, including some 15,000 conscripts. Its equipment consisted mainly of light tanks, armored personnel carriers, towed artillery, and recoilless rifles. The army was organized into ten divisions consisting of eight cavalry groups: five horse units, two motorized units, and one assault group; one motorized infantry regiment with two battalions; twenty-two infantry battalions, including five infantry assault battalions; three artillery "regiments" (battalions); five artillery groups, including the Artillery and Antiair Defense Group (Grupo de Artillería y Defensa Antiaérea-- GADA); one paratroop "regiment" (battalion); and six engineer battalions. These units included two armed battalions, one mechanized cavalry regiment, and one Presidential Guard (Colorado) infantry regiment under direct control of the army headquarters in the Miraflores district of La Paz.

Division headquarters were located in Cochabamba (the largest), Camiri (Santa Cruz Department), Oruro, Potosí, Riberalta (Beni Department), Roboré (Santa Cruz Department), Santa Cruz, Trinidad, Viacha (La Paz Department), and Villamontes (Tarija Department). In 1987, however, the Ninth Division was established in Rurrenabaque in Ballivián Province of Beni Department. Each of the divisions, with the exception of Viacha, occupied a region generally corresponding to the administrative departments, with some overlapping.

The town of Riberalta had three military bases. Two new bases were under construction in 1989 at Puerto Rico, near Riberalta, and at Porvenir, near the Brazilian border. Others, including those in Riberalta and at the departmental capital of Trinidad, were being modernized.

The army as an integral part of the armed forces of the nation, constitutes the permanent expression of the land and conforms the following specific missions.

  • defending the sovereignty and integrity of the national territory.
  • ensure land security and assist in e maintenance of public order, of agreement. the directives of the command in Chief.
  • participate in the structuring of the national territory through the construction and opening of roads, highways and other routes.
  • deal with, protect and support the development of national borders.(e) protected areas and vital centers of the country.
  • executing specific missions with the support of the air force or the Navy.
  • actively participate in the integral development of the nation, according to the directives of the command in Chief.
  • contribute to the empowerment of the country in coordination with other forces, encouraging, promoting and protecting the national development.
  • lift and edit the geographic and political letters of the national territory.
  • to protect the sources of production and services legally constituted, as well as natural resources and ecological preservation within the national territory.
In the processes of colonization, the Bolivian army played a fundamental role, becausea large majority of populations settled around barracks located in different parts of the territory, as centers of the economic and social activity. The development regions, particularly in the border areas, has benefited with the presence and location of military units. Conventions have been able to achieve with local authorities, different development plans for socio-economic and care of the health for the population. This participation is in a broad incases of natural disasters, authorizing participation staff military for raising crops, natural disasters and others.

The Supreme Decree of 18 September 1936 provisionally divided the territory of the Republic in 18 regions military. In 1939 the Republic was divided into 7 military regions, each divided into the necessary number of military districts for the normal development of their work and also a district directly dependent on the command in Chief of the army. The official General or senior officer who exercises the control of the Region is called the Commander of military Region. Each military Region Commander is concurrently Commander of the Division or the units and divisions that lie within their jurisdiction, provided that they are not put under the direct orders of the command in Chief of the army.

In 1989 there were six military regions (regiones militares--RMs) in the army. RM 1, headquartered in La Paz, encompassed most of La Paz Department. RM 2, headquartered in Sucre, included Cochabanba Department and most of Chuquisaca Department. RM 3, based in Tarija, consisted of Tarija Department and eastern Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz departments. RM 4, headquartered in Potosí, covered Oruro and Potosí departments. RM 5, based in Trinidad, contained most of Santa Cruz and Beni departments. RM 6, based in Cobija, encompassed Pando Department and parts of La Paz and Beni departments. As of 2008 there were eight Military Regions, to include Nº 2 ORURO, Nº 3 TARIJA, Nº 4 CHUQUISACA, Nº 5 PANDO, Nº 6 BENI, Nº 7 COCHABAMBA, Nº 8 SANTA CRUZ and Nº 10 POTOSÍ.

Military regions receive the policy and according to draw up a report which details the projects corresponding to its territorial jurisdiction, in which detailed aspects of military mobilization, annexes and supplementary documentation (geostrategic studies, monographs and manuals of General Intelligence and technique) and send to the address Territorial military, for its review and approval. Based on the hypothesis they develop military mobilization Plan with all its annexes and appendices and send this information in a report to the Deputy Minister of defence and cooperation for Integral Development, through the Central Office of correspondence.

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Page last modified: 20-12-2012 17:58:40 ZULU