Text of Political Constitution of Plurinational State of Bolivia

The Political Constitution of Plurinational State of Bolivia came into effect on February 7, 2009, when it was promulgated by Bolivian Constitutional President Dn. Juan Evo Morales Ayma after being approved in a referendum with 90.24% participation. The referendum was held on January 25, 2009, and the constitution was approved by 61.43% of voters.

Text of Political Constitution of Plurinational State of Bolivia

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The Political Constitution of Plurinational State of Bolivia characterizes Bolivia as a unitary plurinational, and secular (rather than a Catholic, as before) state, formally known as the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

This Constitution determines a mixed economy: State, private, cooperative and communal ownership, but restricts private land ownership to a maximum of 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres).

The Political Constitution of 2009 recognizes two more kinds of autonomies: Indians and regional to adjoin to local and departmental autonomies, making four kinds of autonomies.

It makes of electoral authorities the fourth constitutional organ of public power; introduces recall elections for all elected officials.

The judiciary is reformed, and judges are elected and no longer appointed by the Plurinational Assembly.

It declares natural resources to be the exclusive dominion of the Bolivian people, administered by the state.

Sucre city is acknowledged as Bolivia's capital, but the institutions will remain where they are now (executive, legislative and electoral organs of public power are in La Paz, judiciary in Sucre). The electoral authorities will be situated in Sucre in an uncertain future.

Text of Political Constitution of Bolivia


February 7, 2009


n immemorial times mountains were raised,moved rivers, lakes were formed. Our Amazon, our flatlands, our highlands and our plains and valleys were covered with flowers and greeneries. We populate this sacred Mother Earth with different faces, since then we understood the existing plurality of all things and our diversity as beings and cultures. So we formed our peoples, and never understood racism until we suffer from the fateful days of the colony.

The Bolivian people, of plural composition, from the depth of the story, inspired by the struggles of the past, in the indigenous anti-colonial uprising, in independence, in the popular struggles of liberation, in indigenous, social and Trade Union marches, and wars of water in October, in the struggles for land and territory, and with the memory of our martyrs, We build a new State.

A State based on respect and egalitarianism between all, with principles of sovereignty, dignity, complementarity, solidarity, harmony and equality in the distribution and redistribution of the social product, where dominate the search for well-living; with respect to the economic, social, legal, political and cultural plurality of the inhabitants of this land; in collective living with access to water, work, education, health and housing for all.

We leave in the past colonial [1], Republican and neo-liberal State. We assume the historic challenge to collectively build the Social Unitary State of Communitary Plurinational Law, which integrates and articulates the purposes of moving towards a democratic and productive Bolivia, carrier and inspiring peace, compromised with the integral development and the self-determination of peoples.

Us, women and men, through the Constituent Assembly and with people’s original power, express our commitment with the unity and integrity of the country.

Fulfilling the mandate of our peoples, with strength of our Pachamama and thank God we re-found Bolivia.

Honour and glory to the martyrs of the liberating and constituent feat, who have made possible this new history.









ARTICLE 1º. — Bolivia is constituted in a Social Unitary State of Communitary Plurinational Law, free, independent, sovereign, democratic, intercultural, and decentralized with autonomies. Bolivia is based in the plurality and in the political, economic, juridical, cultural, and linguistic pluralism, in an integrative process of the country.

ARTICLE 2º. — Given the pre-colonial existence of Nations and native peasant indigenous peoples and their ancestral dominion over their territories, it is guaranteed their self-determination within the framework of the unity of the State, which consists of their right to autonomy, self-government, their culture, recognition of their institutions and the consolidation of their territorial entities, in accordance with this Constitution and the Act.

ARTICLE 3º. — The Bolivian nation consists of all the Bolivian-men and Bolivian-women, Nations and indigenous native peasant peoples, and intercultural communities and Afro-Bolivians which together constitute the Bolivian people.

ARTICLE 4º. — The State respects and guarantees freedom of religion and spiritual beliefs, according to their worldviews. The State is independent of religion.

ACCORD: Art. 21 parentheses 3: Bolivians have the right to the religion freedom. Art. 86: Educational units won't impose a religious option. Art. 104: State guarantees the access to the sport without religion distinction. Art. 30 number II parentheses 2, 13, 14: Nations and indigenous native peasant peoples enjoy the right to their own worldviews. Art. 98 number II: State assumes as strength the worldviews. Art. 100 number I: A worldview is a patrimony.


I. Official languages of the State are Spanish and all languages of the Nations and indigenous native peasant peoples, like aymara, araona, baure, bésiro, canichana, cavineño, cayubaba, chácobo, chimán, ese ejja, guaraní, guarasu’we, guarayu, itonama, leco, machajuyaikallawaya, machineri, maropa, mojeño-trinitario, mojeño-ignaciano, moré, mosetén, movima, pacawara, puquina, quechua, sirionó, tacana, tapiete, toromona, uru-chipaya, weenhayek, yaminawa, yuki, yuracaré y zamuco.

II. The plurinational Government and the departmental governments must use at least two official languages. One of them must be Spanish, and the other will be decided taking into account the use, convenience, circumstances, needs, and preferences of the population as a whole or the territory in question. Other autonomous governments must use the languages of its territory, and one of them must be Spanish.

ACCORD: Art. 30 number II parentheses 9: The nations and indigenous native peasant peoples enjoy the right to their languages. Their languages must be valued, respected, and promoted. Art. 234 parentheses 7: State officials should speak two official languages of the country at least. Art. 14 number II: The State sanctions all kind of discrimination founded in language reason. Art. 30 number I: Is considered as a nation whole human collective that shares language and whose existence is previous to the Spanish colonial conquest. Art. 104: Any person has the right to sport and the State guarantees the access to it without language distinction. Art. 120 number II: If someone is accused the process must be carried in her or his own language. Art. 95 number II: Universities should recover and preserve languages of the nations.


I. Sucre is the Capital of Bolivia.

II. Symbols of the State are the tricolour red, yellow, and green flag; the Bolivian anthem; the coat of arms; the wiphala flag; the tricolour Rosette; the kantuta flower and the flower of the patujú.

ACCORD: Art. 108 parentheses 13: Bolivians duties are: Respect their symbols and values.



ARTICLE 7º. — The sovereignty resides in the Bolivian people; it is exercised directly, or in a delegated form. From sovereignty emanates, by delegation, functions, and entitlements of the organs of public power; it is inalienable and it not prescribes.

ACCORD: Art. 108 parentheses 13: One of the Bolivians duty is to defend the sovereignty. Art. 244: The armed forces have for fundamental mission to defend and to conserve sovereignty of the country. Art. 10 number I: Bolivia promotes cooperation among countries with full respect to the sovereignty of them. Art. 255: International treaties respond to the objectives of the State in function of the sovereignty and the interests of the country.


I. The State assumes and it promotes as ethical-moral principles of the plural society: ama qhilla, ama llulla, ama suwa (do not be lazy, liar nor a thief), suma qamaña (well-living), ñandereko (harmonious life), teko kavi (good life), ivi maraei (land without evil) y qhapaj ñan (path to or noble life).

II. The State is based on the values of unity, equality, inclusion, dignity, freedom, solidarity, reciprocity, respect, complementarity, harmony, transparency, balance, equal opportunities, social and equity of gender participation, common welfare, responsibility, social justice, distribution and redistribution of goods and social goods, to live well.

ACCORD: Art. 9: State should guarantee the execution of the principles. Art. 108 parenthesis 3: Bolivians duties are: To promote the practice of the values and principles. Art. 307: The State will recognize, respect, protect, and promote the economic organization on indigenous nations founded in principles and vision of they own. Art. 403 number I: State recognizes the right of indigenous nations to carry out an harmonic coexistence with the nature.

ARTICLE 9º. — They are essential objectives and functions of the State, in addition to which establishes the Constitution and the law:

1. Constitute a fair and harmonious society grounded in decolonization, without discrimination or exploitation, with full social justice, to consolidate plurinational identities.

2. Guarantee welfare, development, security and protection and equal dignity of persons, Nations, peoples and communities, and foster mutual respect and intracultural and intercultural dialogue and multilingual.

3 Reaffirm and consolidate the unity of the country, and preserve as historical and human heritage the plurinational diversity.

4. Guarantee compliance with the principles, values, rights and duties recognized and enshrined in this Constitution.

5. Guarantee the access of persons to education, health and work.

6. Promote and guarantee planned and responsible use of natural resources, and promote their industrialization, through the development and strengthening of the productive base in its different dimensions and levels, as well as the conservation of the environment, for the well-being of present and future generations.

ARTICLE 10º. —

I. Bolivia is a pacifist state that promotes the culture of peace and the right to peace, as well as cooperation among the peoples of the region and the world, in order to contribute to mutual understanding, equitable development, and the promotion of interculturalism, with full respect for the sovereignty.

II. Bolivia rejects any war of aggression as an instrument of solution to disputes and conflicts between States and reserves the right to self-defence in the event of aggression involving the independence and integrity of the State.

III. It is prohibited the installation of foreign military bases in Bolivian territory.



ARTICLE 11º. —

I. Republic of Bolivia adopts for its Government the participative, representative, and communitarian democracy forms, with equivalence of conditions between men and women.

II. Democracy is exercised in the following ways that will be developed by law:

1. Direct and participatory through the referendum, the citizen legislative initiative, the recall, the Assembly, town council and prior consultation. Assemblies and councils will have deliberative character in accordance with law.

2. Representative, through the election of congressmen by, universal, direct, and secret ballot in accordance with law.

3. Communitarian democracy, through the election, appointment, or nomination of authorities and representatives by rules and procedures of the Indian Nations, among others, in accordance with law.

ARTICLE 12º. —

I. State organized and structured their public power through Legislative, Executive, Judicial, and Electoral Organs. The Organization of the State is based on independence, separation, coordination, and cooperation of those Organs.

II. Are State functions control, defence of the society and defence of the State.

III. Functions of public organs can not be collected in a single organ or delegated those between them.



ARTICLE 13º. —

I. The rights recognized by this Constitution are inviolable, universal, interdependent, indivisible and progressive. The State has the duty to promote, protect and respect them.

II. The rights proclaimed by this Constitution shall not be construed as a denial of rights not set forth.

III. The classification of the rights established in this Constitution does not determine a hierarchy or superiority of some rights over others.

IV. The treaties and conventions ratified by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, which recognize human rights and prohibit their limitation in states of emergency will prevail in the domestic order. The rights and duties enshrined in this Constitution shall be construed in accordance with international human rights treaties ratified by Bolivia.

ARTICLE 14º .—

I. Everyone has legal personality and capacity in accordance with the laws and enjoy the rights recognized by this Constitution, without distinction.

II. The State prohibits and punishes all forms of discrimination based on sex, color, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, origin, culture, nationality, citizenship, language, religion, ideology, political or philosophical affiliation, marital status, economic or social, occupation, education level, disability, pregnancy, or that have the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on equal rights of all people.

III. The State guarantees all persons and communities without any discrimination, free and effective exercise of the rights established in this Constitution, laws and international human rights treaties.

IV. In the exercise of rights nobody shall be compelled to do what the Constitution and laws do not require, or to forgo what they do not prohibit.

V. Bolivian law apply to all persons, natural or juridical, Bolivian or foreign, in the Bolivian territory.

VI. Foreign women and foreigners in the Bolivian territory have the rights and must fulfill the duties established in the Constitution, subject to the restrictions contained therein.
[1] Colony. — Country or an area that is governed by people from another, more powerful, country. Former Spanish colonies like Alto Peru.

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