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August 19, 2008


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Is there any resentment in Bolivia about the Brazilian annexation of Acre, and if so, does it influence modern Bolivian attituddes towards Brazil and brazilian companies? I ask this mainly because of what seems to be Bolivia's permanently hostile attitude twoards Chile more than a century later.

I've never heard it mentioned.

History may provide an explanation.

Acre was claimed by Bolivia in 1867, but was then almost entirely populated by Brazilian settlers. (23,000 to 2,000 in 1900.)

Acre then achieved "independence" twice after revolts that /Brazilian/ troops put down on Bolivia's behalf. The final "fighting" didn't involve the armies of both countries (although Brazil moved troops into Acre for what today would be called peacekeeping), but between Bolivia and a private guerrilla force.

The issue was finally resolved by negotiations that netted Bolivia £2,000,000 and big chunks of the Mato Grosso.

Nothing really like the humiliating punch-in-the-face and territorial seizure that was the War of the Pacific. There, Bolivia didn't agree to a cease-fire until the fighting had been effectively over for three years, or a peace treaty until twenty more had passed.

Besides which, the littoral was an integral part of the country, nothing like a sparse frontier that most Bolivians cared about as much as Americans cared about the Philippines.

Bolivians are concerned with Brazilian landownership in the east, but the truth is that those issues are a subset of the Bolivian drive for land reform in general --- it isn't aimed at the Brazilians, but at all the big estate owners.

Does that answer the question?

Pretty much. Thanks!

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