Bolivia | Freedom House

Freedom in the World

Freedom in the World 2017



Freedom Status: 
Partly Free

Freedom in the World Scores

(1=Most Free, 7=Least Free)

Quick Facts

Press Freedom Status: 
Partly Free

Bolivia is a democracy where credible elections are held regularly. However, respect for freedom of expression and the rights of indigenous peoples and women remain issues, as does corruption, particularly within the judicial system.

Key Developments: 
  • In February, voters rejected a referendum that would have permitted President Evo Morales to run for a fourth term.
  • Despite the referendum’s defeat, Morales’s Movement for Socialism (MAS) voted in December to approve him as its candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
  • In August, Vice Minister of Interior Rodolfo Illanes was kidnapped and murdered by protesting miners.
Executive Summary: 

In February 2016, voters rejected a referendum that would have permitted Morales to run for a fourth term, in what was seen as a major defeat for the president. Nevertheless, in December, the MAS voted to approve Morales as its candidate for the presidential election set for 2019, and signaled that it might undertake legal reforms order to permit him to do so.

Bolivia has a vibrant civil society, but occasional outbursts of violence at demonstrations remain a concern. In August 2016, Vice Minister of the Interior Rodolfo Illanes was abducted while traveling to speak with a group of miners who were protesting environmental and labor regulations. The government announced later that he had been killed.

Aggregate Score: 
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Political Rights: 
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