Indigenous peoples in Bolivia

According to preliminary data from the most recent national census (2012), published in 2013, 2.8 million people over the age of 15 – or 41% of the total population above 15 years of age – are of indigenous origin.

There are 36 recognised indigenous peoples, the largest being the Quechua and the Aymara, who live in the western Andes. The 34 indigenous peoples who live in the eastern lowlands of the country include the Chiquitano, Guaraní and Mojeño peoples.

To date, the indigenous peoples have consolidated almost 20 million hectares of land as collective property under the status of Native Community Lands (Tierras Comunitarias de Origen / TCO) – approximately 20 % of the total land area. With the approval of Decree Number 727/10, the TCOs took the constitutional name of Peasant Native Indigenous Territory (Territorio Indígena Originario Campesino - TIOC).

Bolivia has been a party to ILO Convention 169 since 1991 and has ratified CEDAW, ICERD, CRC, ICESCR and ICCPR. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was approved by means of Law No. 3760, on 7 November 2007. In 2014, Bolivia is due to discuss eight laws of relevance to indigenous peoples. 

Yearly update

Read the 2012 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Bolivia to learn about major developments and events during 2011 (internal link)