(or you can just view the highlights)
1952 - Peasants and miners overthrow military regime; Victor Paz Estenssoro returns from exile to become president and introduces social and economic reforms, including universal suffrage, nationalization of tin mines and land redistribution, and improves education and the status of indigenous peoples.
1964 - Vice-President Rene Barrientos stages military coup.
1967 - US helps suppress peasant uprising led by Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who is killed after being betrayed by peasants.
1969 - Vice-President Siles Salinas replaces Barrientos who is killed in plane crash, but Salinas is himself deposed by the army, which rules with increased severity.
1971 - Col Hugo Banzer Suarez comes to power after staging military coup.
1974 - Banzer postpones elections and bans political and trade union activity in the wake of an attempted coup.
1980 - General Luis Garcia stages coup after inconclusive elections; US and European countries suspend aid in view of allegations of corruption and drug trafficking.
1981 - General Celso Torrelio Villa replaces Garcia, who is forced to resign.
1982 - Torrelio resigns as the economy worsens; military junta hands over power to civilian administration led by Siles Zuazo, who heads a leftist government.
1983 - US and European countries resume aid following the introduction of austerity measures.
Democracy and economic collapse
1985 - Siles resigns in the wake of a general strike and an attempted coup; elections held but are inconclusive; parliament chooses Paz Estenssoro as president.
1986 - Twenty-one thousand miners lose their jobs following the collapse of the tin market.
1989 - Leftist Jaime Paz Zamora becomes president and enters power-sharing pact with former dictator Hugo Banzer.
1990 - Some 4 million acres of rainforest allocated to indigenous peoples.
1993 - Banzer withdraws from the presidential race, which is won by Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.
1997 - Banzer elected president.
1998 - Banzer tells the United Nations that he is committed to freeing Bolivia from drugs before the end of his term in 2002.
1999 - Encouraged by moves to prosecute former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, opposition demands inquiry into Banzer's role during the repression of the 1970s.
2000 - Banzer announces the almost total eradication of the coca plant in the Chapare jungle region.
2001 January - Government declares almost half of Bolivia a natural disaster area following heavy rains.
2001 8 August - Vice-President Jorge Quiroga sworn in as president, replacing Hugo Banzer who is suffering from cancer. He dies in May 2002.
2001 December - Bolivian farmers reject a government offer of $900 each a year in exchange for the eradication of the coca crop used to produce cocaine.
2002 July - Closely-run presidential elections; former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada faces a run-off against Indian leader and coca-farming advocate Evo Morales.
2002 August - Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada wins a clear victory in a National Congress run-off vote and becomes president for a second time. Coca growers' representative Evo Morales leads a strengthened opposition.
2003 February - More than 30 people are killed in violent protests against a proposed income tax. President Sanchez de Lozada withdraws the proposal.
2003 September-October - Dozens of people are killed in demonstrations fuelled by government plans to export gas to the US. President Sanchez de Lozada resigns under pressure of the protests and is succeeded by Carlos Mesa.
Top of page Home