Ministry of Defense (Bolivia)
Origins of the Ministry of War
When the Republic of Bolivia was created, in 1825, the Liberator Simón Bolívar only had as an immediate collaborator a Secretary General, who was Felipe Santiago Estenos. With the promulgation of the First Political Constitution of the State, in 1826, three Ministries were created: Interior and External Relations, Treasury and War and Navy. The first Minister of this last portfolio, was Colonel Agustín Geraldino, who was Secretary and Field Assistant of Marshal Antonio José de Sucre and was responsible for attending the first administrative tasks of the period of organization of the Republic, at this historical moment, was instituted the Army and ordered the execution of a first Organic Statute and the first laws and regulations on its organization, instruction, uniforms and the preparation of the first war budget. Creating also the first Military College.
After this, it was called " Ministry of War ", a high-ranking political-military character that performed the administrative and technical functions of the National Army. In this way after a brief period of convulsion and uncertainty, Mcal assumed the presidency. Andrés de Santa Cruz, General José Miguel de Velasco, who ruled the modernization of the militia, held the portfolio, created a military tribunal and installed a Military College for the second time. During the administration of Gen. José Ballivián, his Minister of War Gen. José María Pérez de Urdininea, created a Military College for the third time, reformulated the laws and ordinances related to the uniforms, salaries and instruction of the troops.
In the following years, the Bolivian State entered a period of assonance and military uprisings, dissolving and raising new armies, during the Government of Dr. José María Linares, its War Ministers: Gregorio Pérez, José María Achá and Lorenzo Velasco Flor, They made an important effort to educate and dignify the army by raising it to a high moral and intellectual level by creating schools and academies for officers and classes. Gradually a stronger institutionality was established, establishing the formal power of the State in succession of a personal form of power.
During the administration of General José María Achá, his Minister of War, General Sebastián Agreda, organized the first Zapadores Battalion. In the government of General Mariano Melgarejo, the Martial Court was installed in the city of Sucre. But it was in the administration of Tte. Cnel Adolfo Ballivián, that the organization of the defense took a new institutional turn promoted by its Minister Mariano Ballivián, who tried to provide the country with warships for the defense of the Coastal coast.
The Ministry of War during the Pacific War
During the government of General Hilarión Daza, General Carlos de Villegas, Manuel Othón Jofré, Claudio Acosta and Casto Arguedas, were his ministers who sent the Army to the theater of operations on the Pacific coast, in a disorganized and deficient manner. But they acquired a variety of weapons used by the troops (Peabody, Remington, Spencer, Martinié and Chassepot) and 25 guns that barely had a range of 2,000 meters. Which fought in Pisagua, the withdrawal of Camarones, San Francisco, the triumph of Tarapacá and the battle of the Alto de Alianza. In the administration of Gen. Narciso Campero, his minister Dr. Nataniel Aguirre, reorganized the Army.
The Ministry of War during the late 19th century and the Acre War
In the presidency of Dr. Aniceto Arce, the Ministry of War Dr. Severo Fernández Alonso, definitively founded the Military College. During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, the organization and expansion of the State took a new direction and the Defense portfolio was called " Ministry of War and Colonization ", this was due to the sponsorship of military explorations in the Bolivian lowlands.
In this historical period at the end of the 19th century, Bolivia lost a large part of the Acre, not because its forces had been defeated in combat, they actually won a large part of them, such as Riosinho, Puerto Alonso and Puerto Rico. Outstanding public men serve in the War portfolio, with success, efficiency and courage, among them are Jenaro Sanjinés and Joaquín Eusebio Herrero, Ismael Montes, Andrés S. Muñoz and Fermín Prudencio.
At the beginning of the 20th century the army was reformed, the project to militarize the nation was part of the military program, that is, to expand recruitment to the peasantry and transform the army into a professional organization, using foreign training missions, such as the French mission , which adopted the conscription law of 1907, implemented a new system of ranks, stipulated age limits and reinforced the teaching programs at the War School, Military College and School of Classes. After a period of relative calm in 1910, the foundations of the modern reorganization of the Army were laid, the General Staff, the War Administration was definitively organized, the Compulsory Military Service was established, the first forts were founded in the Chaco and many provisions and regulations were issued,
During the administration of Dr. Eliodoro Villazón, his Ministers of War Gra. Julio la Faye, Dr. Andrés S Muñoz and Dr. José Santos Quinteros, promoted a new course of modernization of the Army, hired a German Military Mission (1911), which adopted modern Instruction procedures, new types of weapons were acquired, He adopted the German team and uniform, and the indigenous was added to the Compulsory Military Service.
For the second decade of the 20th century, this portfolio promoted the foundation of several regiments in the Chaco region and also promoted the use of aviation by founding the first Military Air School. However, in 1928 the Army is mobilized and the Government of Dr. Hernando Siles, promoted military modernization and acquires new armaments at the Vickers House in London.
The Headquarters of the Ministry of War or Defense
From the creation of the Ministry of War, until the 1880s, the headquarters of its functions was itinerant, then it was the capital of the Republic, Sucre. In 1900, after the Federal War, the Ministry of War, together with the Central Government, moved the headquarters of its functions to the city of La Paz. I still start occupying part of the offices of the Government Palace in Plaza Murillo.
Later part of its dependencies were in the Legislative Palace, Great Barracks of Miraflores and the Municipality, which was located in the Prado de La Paz.
Although during the Chaco War, their offices were centralized in the Great Barracks General of Miraflores.
During the Presidency of General Enrique Peñaranda, the need to improve performance and greater efficiency in the administration of the Armed Forces, was arranged in 1942, the construction of the building located at the corner of the streets of October 20 and Pedro Salazar, where currently resides.See more