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Ovaherero Genocide Foundation

2003 Bolivia

Bolivian Gas War

In October 2003 Sanchez de Lozada, the President of Bolivia, announced his plans to export Bolivia’s gas and oil for low prices through Chile to the United States. This caused mass demonstrations against the plan. He had already imposed a new direct income tax earlier that year which led to protests that left over 30 people dead, so his response with the new protests were more severe. He sent military forces out to the protests and they killed around 60-80 people and injured 400 who were primarily from the Ayrama indigenous community. This became known as the “Bolivian Gas War”. President Sanchez de Lozada removed the proposal afterwards and then resigned from presidency, fleeing to exile in the United States.