Paz Estenssoro, Victor

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Paz Estenssoro, Victor

(vēktōr` päs āstānsō`rō), 1907–2001, president of Bolivia (1952–56, 1960–64, 1985–89). An attorney and economist born into a land-owning family, he was a founder (1941) of the moderate leftist National Revolutionary Movement (MNR). He helped lead the revolt that brought the party into power in 1943, but he was forced to flee to Argentina in 1946. While in exile he was elected (1951) president of Bolivia. The army annulled the election, provoking a bloody but successful MNR revolt (Apr., 1952), which gave Paz the presidency.

Upon taking office, Paz immediately launched a program of revolutionary measures. He expropriated the largest tin mines and improved the lot of the Bolivians of indigenous descent by granting them suffrage and instituting land, educational, and welfare reforms. Prohibited a second consecutive term by the constitution, he was succeeded (1956) by his vice president, Hernán Siles ZuazoSiles Zuazo, Hernán
, 1914–96, president of Bolivia (1956–60, 1982–85). The illegitimate son of Hernando Siles Reyes (president of Bolivia, 1926–30) and an attorney, he was founder of the pro-miner National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) and a leader
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Paz was reelected president in 1960, at which time he was faced with a deteriorating economy and a growing rift within the MNR. He aroused considerable opposition by amending the constitution to permit his reelection in 1964, and although he was reelected, both the right and the left factions bolted his party. In Nov., 1964, Paz was ousted by a military coup. He later settled in Peru, returning to Bolivia in 1971. At the age of 77 he was again elected (1985) president. In his last term he instituted a sweeping conservative austerity program, reducing the government's role in the economy and controlling inflation, but with enormous social costs.

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Paz Estenssoro, Victor


Born Oct. 2, 1907, in Tarija. Bolivian statesman and politician.

A lawyer by education, Paz Estenssoro founded the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement, a bourgeois nationalist party, in 1941 and became its leader. He served as vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies in 1940 and 1941, minister of the economy in 1941 and 1942, and minister of finance in 1943 and 1944. President of Bolivia from 1952 to 1956 and from 1960 to 1964, Paz Estenssoro was overthrown in November 1964. He served as ambassador to Great Britain from 1956 to 1959. In August 1971, Paz Estenssoro and a group of reactionary military officers overthrew the progressive government of General J. Torres.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.