Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire, becoming independent from Spain in 1825 and loosing later a large amount of territory for three neighboring nations; the exit to the Pacific by Chile (1879); the rubber rich province of Acre In 1903 and a few acres to Paraguay in 1938. In 1952, Bolivia held the first revolution in South America. In 1965 Ernesto "Che" Guevara led a guerrilla, but Bolivia's army captured and killed Che Guevara in October 8th, 1967. A string of military coups lasted 12 years and the country returned to democracy in 1982 with Hernan Siles Suazo. In 1993, the defender of free-market, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada was elected President, being succeeded by the former dictator Hugo Banzer. While Bolivia has the second largest natural gas reservoir in South America, and with considerable oil reserves, the country has remained one of the poorest in the continent. In August 2002, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada again became president of Bolivia. In February 2003, he faced big riots and protests. In October, Sanchez de Lozada was forced to resign after two months of unrest and strikes after a popular rebellion.
The Vice President, Carlos Mesa took over and in July 2004, held a referendum on the future of large reserves of natural gas from Bolivia. The referendum would sidestep the issue of nationalization of the gas companies and government control of foreign oil investment, called by the left and social organizations of Bolivia. Carlos Mesa thought he has satisfied the strong anti-privatization sentiment of Bolivians without shutting the door to some form of privatization in the future. After massive protests, he has to resign and according to the Political Constitution of Bolivia, the President of the Supreme Court Eduardo Rodriguez became President. In December 2006, the Bolivian Indigenous Evo Morales Ayma won the presidential election with 54% of the votes. His two main initiatives were nationalizing the natural gas industry and to rewrite the Bolivian Constitution, for what he called for national elections and the Constituents ensured more rights for the indigenous people of Bolivia. On May 1, 2006, Morales announced the nationalization of the country's energy industry. On August 10, 2008, Evo Morales won a recall referendum with the 67%, a majority which endorsed the President and Vice President as the highest authorities of the country. This support will allow unprecedented Evo Morales reforms in favor of the majority, after the New Constitution was approved in January 2009.
On July 19th, 2010, President Evo Morales promulgated the Law of Autonomy and Decentralization, (LAD) one of the five structural laws mandated by the Constitution and the most important, as it will outline the new structure of the now called "Plurinational State", regulating the Autonomic regime and the State bases of the territorial organization of the autonomous territorial entities. It also regulates the coordination between central and decentralized and autonomous local authorities and the transfer and delegation of powers. The central national level has the three powers of the State and the four autonomous regional government levels are: Departmental, Municipal, Regional and Indigenous, with legislative and executive power. The LAD also sets out the competences of each level of autonomy.▲