ABSTRACT

Bolivia’s National Revolution, which began on 9 April 1952, has been described as ‘the most profound movement of social change in America since the beginning of the Mexican Revolution of 1910’. Despite Flores’ strongly held views about the ‘bad economics’ and ‘inadvisability’ of ‘opening public domain lands before industrial development gets under way’, colonization was presented as an inevitable and integral component of Bolivia’s agrarian policy. Few agrarian reform laws have been drafted in auspicious circumstances. The government’s rationale for the implementation of a comprehensive programme of agrarian reform was set out in the preamble to the Agrarian Reform Law. The basic objective of agrarian reform was to ‘transform the feudal land tenure system by promoting a more equitable distribution of land, raising production, and integrating the rural population into the national economy and society’. The Agrarian Reform Law’s approach to the conservation of the country’s natural resources was enlightened for the early 1950s.