Vision for a new Bolivia

For a United, Plurinational, Communitarian State and the self-determination of the originaria nations, indigenous peoples and campesinos


Movement Towards Socialism, June 5, 2007-05-08


Vision of the Country commission majority report




The Bolivian people, with its plural composition, expressed in the entirety of Bolivians, pertaining to urban communities made up of different social classes and the indigenous peoples, originario nations, campesino, and intercultural and Afro-Bolivian peoples, have manifested their will to reconstruct the identities of the indigenous nations and peoples whose historic and cultural pre-existence has suffered from a permanent exclusion during colonial and republican life, having had ignored their rights to ancestral territories, institutions, judicial systems, politics, languages and culture.


On the other side, the economic and social inequalities have deepened the differences and social injustices, institutionalising a political and judicial system which has excluded the great majority.


Because of this, the valiant Bolivian people have conformed a Constituent Assembly to which it has given the mandate to “refound Bolivia” and construct a state based on the principals of sovereignty, dignity, complementarity, solidarity, harmony and equality in distribution and redistribution of the social product, where the common good predominates in the search to “live well; of respect for economic, social, judicial, political and cultural diversity of all its inhabitants; generating collective well being, with healthcare, work, education and housing for all.


A plurinational, communitarian state which integrates and articulates itself within the objective of constructing a Great Latin American Community and which is a spokesperson and inspirator for peace and integral, harmonic development and the self-determination of our peoples.


Therefore, the Constituent Assembly declares and approves the Bolivian Political Constitution of the Plurinational, Communitarian State:


Political Constitution of the Bolivian State


Chapter 1 – Fundamental basis of the state


Article 1 (the state)


i. Bolivia is a united, plurinational, communitarian state, which is free, independent, sovereign, democratic, social, decentralised and with territorial autonomies, based on plurality and political, economic, judicial, cultural and linguistic pluralism.


ii. Is sustained on the values of unity, solidarity, reciprocity, complementarity, harmony, equilibrium, social and gender equality in participation, distribution and redistribution of products and social goods in order to “live well”.


Article 2 (Pre-colonial existence)


Given the pre-colonial existence of the indigenous peoples and originario nations and their ancestral dominion over their territories, this constitution guarantees their free self-determination which is expressed in the will to conform, and being part of, a united, plurinational, communitarian state, and in the right to self-government, their culture and reconstitution of their territorial entities within the framework of the constitution.


Article 3 (Bolivian people)


The Bolivian people are made up of Bolivians, pertaining to urban communities made up of different social classes and the indigenous peoples, originario nations, campesinos and Afro-Bolivians.


Article 4 (Sovereignty)


Sovereignty resides in the entirety of the Bolivian people, is inalienable, indivisible and imprescriptible, and from which emanates the functions and attributions of public power; it is exercised in a direct way and by means of their representatives in the terms that this constitution establishes. The functions of the executive, legislative, judicial and social plurinational organs cannot be concentrated in any of these.


Article 5 (Principals and supreme values)


i. The state assumes and promotes as ethical-moral principals of a plural society: ama sua, ama llulla, ama qhella, nitaq sapa (don’t be a thief, liar, lazy or individualist), Sumaj Qamaña (live well), ñandereko (harmonious life), Teko Kavi (good life), Ivi Maraei (dreaming society) y qhapaj ñan (noble path or life).


ii. This constitution establishes as supreme values: liberty, equality, transparency, human dignity, justice and social peace.


Article 6 (Function and aims of the state)


The state has as its aims and essential functions:


a) the construction of a just and harmonious society, founded on decolonialisation, with full social justice, without exploited or exploiters, and the consolidation of plurinational identities.


b) guaranteeing the well being, development, security and protection, and equal dignity of individuals, nations, peoples and communities, fomenting mutual respect and intercultural dialogue.


c) reaffirming and consolidating the unity of the country, preserving as historic and human patrimony the plurinational diversity which exists within it.


d) repairing and compensating the indigenous peoples, originario nations and campesinos for damages and historic injustices, guaranteeing their participation in the construction of the institutionality of the new state.


e) guaranteeing the compliment of principals, values, rights and responsibilities recognised and consecrated in this constitution.


f) assuring Bolivians access to education, healthcare and work.


Article 7 (Form of government)


i. The united plurinational, communitarian state adopts a participatory, representative and communitarian democracy as its form of government.


ii. Political organisation is based on the principal of the participation of the Bolivian people in the making of decisions, via their own mechanisms and those established in this constitution; the individual and social responsibility of the mandate; the revocability and alternation of positions at all levels of the state.


iii. Sovereignty is exercised via the following mechanisms of democracy:


a) participatory via assemblies and open town meetings, prior consultation, referendum, plebiscites, citizen’s legislative initiatives and revocation of mandates.


b) representative via the election of representatives by universal and secret vote, guaranteeing parity and alternation between men and women.


c) communitarian via election, designation or nomination of representatives via traditional norms.


Article 8 (Constitutional primacy)


This constitution guarantees the applicability of the principals of constitutional primacy, regulatory hierarchy, legality, efficacy, citizen participation and social control of the plurinational public power.


Article 9 (Religion)


Bolivia is a secular state that respects and guarantees religious pluralism, freedom of religion and the exercising of the spiritual practices sustained in the diversity of cosmos visions.


Article 10 (Languages)


The official languages of the united, plurinational, communitarian state are Spanish and all the languages of the indigenous people and originario nations: Aymara, Araona, Zamuco (Ayoreo), Baure, Bésiro, Canichana, Cavineño, Cayubaba, Chácobo, Chimán, Ese ejja, Guaraní, Guarasu’we (Pauserna), Guarayu, Itonama, Leco, Machineri, Mojeño-trinitario, Mojeño-ignaciano, Moré, Mosetén, Movima, Pacawara, Quechua, Maropa (Reyesano), Sirionó, Tacana, Tapieté, Toromona, Puquina (Uru-chipaya), Weenhayek, Yaminawa, Yuki, Yuracaré.


The state guarantees, protects and foments their development in each of the regions where they are spoken.


Article 11 (Symbols)


The symbols of the united, plurinational, communitarian state are: the red, yellow and green flag; the whipala; the national anthem; the coat of arms; the insignia; the flower of the kantuta and the flower of the patujú.


Foundations of the Proposal


We, the indigenous peoples, originario nations and campesinos, today have the challenge of participating in the refoundation of Bolivia, constructing a new country based on the peoples as collective subjects, towards the construction of a plurinational state, which transcends the liberal and mono-cultural state model founded on the individual citizen.


Bolivia, like the rest of the states of Latin America, has constructed a liberal model characterised by the imposition of western culture, which has marginalised and weakened our originaria cultures and our political and judicial systems. The politico-administrative division has imposed borders that have broken traditional territorial units, fracturing autonomy and control over land and natural resources. A uniform judicial system and foreign models of government and administration has been imposed, which favour the interests of the market and deprive the peoples of their means of subsistence, and therefore deteriorates the quality of our lives. But despite centuries of imposition, we have resisted and maintained our identities, that is why today, different nations, peoples and cultures inhabit Bolivia, with the right to a solidarity-based and peaceful co-existence: that is why we propose founding a united, plurinational state.


We understand that the plurinational state is a model of political organisation for the decolonisation of our nations and peoples, reaffirming, recuperating and strengthening our territorial autonomy, in order to reach a full life, to live well, with a solidarity-based vision, and in this way be the motors of unity and social well being for all Bolivians, guaranteeing the full exercise of all rights.


Fundamental to the construction and consolidation of the plurinational state are the principals of judicial pluralism, unity, complementarity, reciprocity, equality, solidarity and the moral and ethic principal necessary to end all types of corruption.


Our decision to construct a plurinational state based on indigenous, originaria and campesino autonomies, should be understood as a path towards our self-determination as nations and peoples, to define our own communitarian policies, and social, economic, political and judicial systems and, within this framework, reaffirm our structures of government, election of authorities and administration of justice, respect other ways of life which differ in their use of space and territory.


Juridically, our proposal is based on the collective rights consecrated in international human rights treaties, such as Convention

169 of the International Labour Organisation. Our right to land and natural resources is especially important: we are looking to put an end to large land estates and the concentration of land in a few hands, and the monopoly over natural resources for the benefit of private interests.


The structure of the new plurinational state model implies that within the public powers there is a direct representation of indigenous peoples, originario nations and campesinos, according to their customs and traditions, and citizens via universal vote. At the same time, it is necessary to determine the form in which to articulate the distinct levels of the public administration and territorial autonomies.


It is a united state because it:


1) preserves the territorial integrity of the country.


2) is not a federal state.


3) is indivisible and inviolable.


4) preserves unity between Bolivians.


5) respects economic, political, social and cultural diversity.


It is a plurinational state because:


1) the national is diverse and not mono-cultural.


2) its economic, social, judicial and political organisations recognise and articulate all the indigenous peoples, originario nations, campesinos, and intercultural population of the countryside and city.


3) it respects, guarantees and promotes the identity, government, judicial pluralism and intercultural integration of each of the nations and people of the countryside and city.


4) it respects the diversity of forms of political representation.


It is a communitarian state because


1) the Bolivian community is economically, politically, socially and culturally diverse.


2) it promotes communitarian, cooperative and associative forms and strategies of organisation of society under the principals of solidarity, reciprocity, democracy, complementarity and equitable distribution of the social product in order to “live well”.


3) it is comprised of various forms of communitarian existence in the countryside and cities. These communities are also regional and local.


If the state is united, plurinational, and communitarian, then…..


1) it recognises freedom of religion and the exercising of spiritual beliefs and practises of the nations.


2) its official languages are the languages of the indigenous people, originario nations and campesinos and Spanish.


3) the plurinational symbols are: the red, yellow and green flag, the whipala, the national hymn, the coat of arms, the insignia, the flower of the kantuta and the flower of the patujú.


4) its international relations are based on principals of equality and self-determination of the people, solidarity, economic integration and complementarity between states and nations, mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-aggression, and non-intervention of a country in the internal affairs of another.


5) it searches for a social, communitarian economy for the “well being” of all the population, communities and individuals.


6) the economic system respects and protects private initiative and just retribution for invested capital.


7) the economic is based on the principals of: efficiency, productive complementarity and equal distribution, avoiding the concentration of wealth.


8) all forms of private monopoly or oligopoly as well as anti-micro-enterprise collusive practices are prohibited.


9) it guarantees food sovereignty.


10) it generates policies against inequality and other forms of social and economic exclusion, promoting the eradication of poverty, dignified work, just retribution and prices for products.


11) the state respects, protects and foments forms of reciprocity, redistribution, complementarity, solidarity, interchange or barter as actual institutions of the communitarian economy.


12) it recognises, protects and promotes all communitarian and collective forms of economic organisation


13) recognises and respects private initiative, as along as it contributes to the social-economic development of the country, and does not put at risk the economic independence of the state.


14) the private economy should be environmentally sustainable, a source of dignified work, and should not aggravate inequality or increase poverty.


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