It’s been an eventful last few months for Bolivia, especially since October, when then-President Evo Morales, the country’s leader for more than 13 years, was forced from his position on the back of a disputed election. One of the most economically successful of Latin America’s new crop of leftist leaders who emerged in the new millennium, Morales, a member of the Aymara indigenous group, presided over more than a decade of robust economic growth.
Landlocked Bolivia is viewed as South America’s poorest country, but its fortunes may be turning for the better. The government plans to nearly double its coca production but also further develop what is purported to be the earth’s single-largest reserve of lithium, a light metal used in batteries, which is experiencing skyrocketing demand. Bolivia could be on the cusp of a rags-to-riches rebirth.