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aplicar en los juicios leyes pos- plicable to any case if not enacted teriores al hecho que los motiva. before the date of the facts out Todos los juicios criminales or- of which the

All dinarios que no se deriven del criminal cases arising out of crimes derecho de acusación concedido á or offenses which the Chamber of la Cámara de Diputados, se termi- Deputies has no authority to prosenarán por jurados luego que se cute shall be tried by juries, as soon establezca en la República esta ins- as this institution is established in titución. Las demás atribuciones the Republic. All the other pow del Poder Judicial serán deter- ers and duties of the judicial auminadas por las leyes.

thorities shall be specified by law. ART. 119. La traición contra la ART. 119. Treason against the Nación consistirá únicamente en nation shall consist only in taking tomar las armas contra ella ó en arms against it, or in joining its unirse á sus enemigos, prestándoles enemies and giving them assistance ayuda y socorro. El Congreso and support. Congress shallfix by fijará por una ley especial la pena a special law the punishment to be del delito; pero ella no pasará de inflicted for this crime, but this la persona del delincuente, ni la punishment shall not go beyond infamia del reo se trasmitirá á sus the person of the guilty party, nor parientes de cualquier grado. shall the infamy of the convicted

traitor be transmitted to his rela

tions in any degree. ART. 120. Los miembros del Su- ART. 120. The justices of the perior Tribunal de Justicia pres- superior court shall promise under tarán juramento en manos del oath, to be administered by the Presidente de la República de President of the Republic, to faithdesempeñar fielmente sus obliga- fully fulfill their duties and adminciones, administrando justicia bien ister justice lawfully and well and y legalmente y de conformidad á in conformity with the Constitulo que prescribe la Constitución. tion. In the future the oath shall En lo sucesivo lo prestarán ante el be taken before the tribunal itself. mismo Tribunal.

ART. 121. El Superior Tribunal ART. 121. The superior court dictará su reglamento interior y shall make rules and regulations económico, nombrará y removerá for its interior government, and á todos los empleados subalternos. appoint and remove all its subor

dinate employees.



De la reforma de la Constitución. Amendments to the Constitution. ART. 122. Ninguna reforma po

ART. 122. No amendment shall drá hacerse á esta Constitución, be made to the present Constitutotal ni parcialmente, hasta pasados tion, in whole or in part, during the cinco años de su promulgación. first five years immediately follow

ing its promulgation. ART. 123. Declarada por el Con- ART. 123. The necessity of the greso y con dos tercios de votos amendment baving been declared del total de sus miembros la nece- by Congress by a vote of two-thirds sidad de la reforma, se convocará of the total number of its memuna convención de ciudadanos, á bers, a call for a convention, conquienes compete exclusivamente sisting of citizens, equal in numla facultad de hacer reformas en ber to the total number of depula Constitución, y elegidos directa- ties and senators, directly elected mente por el pueblo, igual al by the people, shall be issued. número de Diputados y Senadores. The power of making the amend

ment shall be exclusively vested

in this body. ART. 124. Para ser convencional ART. 124. No one shall be a memse requiere tener veintiseis años ber of this convention who is not de edad, ser ciudadano natural, over twenty-six years of age

and a exceptuando los Ministros, los Di- native citizen. “But members of putados y Senadores.

the cabinet, deputies, and senators

are disqualified. ART. 125. La Convención no po- ART. 125. The convention shall drá reformar más que los puntos have power to amend only those señalados por el Congreso, si la provisions of the Constitution exreforma no ha sido declarada en pressly set forth by Congress in su totalidad.

the call, if the latter does not state that the Constitution is to be amended in its entirety.



ART. 126. La casa de Gobierno ART. 126. The Executive manno podrá ser habitación particular sion can not be used as the private del Presidente ni de ningún em- residence of the President or of pleado público.

any other public functionary. ART. 127. Aprobada y promul

ART. 127. After the approval gada esta Constitución, la Conven- and promulgation of this Constición presente se constituirá en tution, the present convention shall cuerpo electoral para el fin de resolve itself into an electoral colnombrar el primer Presidente lege, in order to elect the first conconstitucional.

stitutional President. ART. 128. La Convención Cons- ART. 128. The present conventituyente se declara en Congreso tion shall become a legislative Conlegislativo, cuyo carácter asumirá gress as soon as the constitutional inmediatamente después del nom- Government is inaugurated. It bramiento del Gobierno constitu- shall remain in session in this cacional, por el término de quince pacity for fifteen days, at the exdías, debiendo dejar al concluir piration of which it shall adjourn, este período una Comisión perma- leaving in its place a permanent nente con atribuciones que el mis- committee to which it shall grant mo Cuerpo legislativo le demar- such faculties as may be deemed ca rá.

proper. ART. 129. La Convención Cons- ART. 129. The convention shall tituyente señalará al Gobierno appoint the day on which the proprovisorio el día en que debe ha- visional Government shall cause cerse la jura de esta Constitución. this Constitution to be sworn to.

Dado en la sala de sesiones de la Given at the hall of sessions of Convención Constituyente, en la the Constitutional Convention in ciudad de la Asunción, á los 24 the city of Asuncion, on the 24th días del mes de noviembre del año day of November, in the year of del Señor de 1870.

our Lord 1870.



On the 6th of August, 1825, the Provinces comprised in the territory which the Spaniards called Alto Perú (Upper Peru), belonging until 1776 to the viceroyalty of Peru, and divided thereafter between the same viceroyalty and that of Buenos Ayres, declared their independence from Spain and decided to form a separate Republic under the name of Bolivia.

This name was chosen in honor of Simon BOLIVAR, the liberator of South America, in recognition of his services to the cause of liberty and as a symbol of admiration for his virtues and for his genius.

In addition to this compliment, the Bolivian people bestowed upon the illustrious leader the marked distinction of calling him, first of all, to occupy the Presidential chair of their Nation, and of entrusting to him the preparation of the political Constitution under which they were going to live.

Early in 1826 the necessities of the times caused the liberator to leave Bolivia and go to Peru, and his place was then filled by MarSHALL SUCRE, the hero of Ayacucho, whose wise administration terminated in 1828.

On the 25th of May, 1826, BOLIVAR sent from Lima to the constitutional convention, which met at Chuquisaca on the same day, the draft of the Constitution he had been requested to prepare. "This draft was accompanied by a message in which he stated the sentiments of profound gratitude that he, "a simple soldier, born among slaves, who had never seen more than captives in chains and companions in arms to break those chains," was bound to feel for the extreme kindness and generosity shown to him by the Bolivian people. This expression was accompanied by an explanation of the reasons why he omitted from his draft certain provisions not unusual in instruments of this nature and inserted others in their stead.

The constitutional convention considered at once the liberator's draft and adopted it with very few amendments. The most important of the latter consisted in the insertion of an article, which BOLIVAR had omitted on purpose, relating to religion. BOLIVAR's idea was that nothing on this subject should be contained in the Constitution. But the convention ruled that the Roman Catholic religion should be made the religion of the Republic, and this was done. The Constitution, as amended, was promulgated on the 19th of November, 1826, and remained in existence as the fundamental law of the Republic until 1831, wben it was repealed.

The most essential features of this remarkable instrument, the text of which as framed by BOLIVAR will be found, together with Bolivar's message of transmittal, in Appendix 12, can be briefly summarized as follows: The sovereign power originally vested in the people was manifested or exercised through four different channels, called respectively, electoral, legislative, executive, and judicial.

All the electoral powers granted by the Constitution were vested in the citizens, but no one was a citizen of the Bolivian Republic who, in addition to his Bolivian nationality by birth or naturalization, did not know how to read and write, and was not engaged in some useful occupation, industrial business, or the practice of some art or profession. Those depending upon others in the capacity of domestic servants were not considered citizens. The right to vote was limited to the choice of “electors” (one for every ten voters) in each Province, who were to serve for four years. This provincial“ electoral body” should meet at the chief town of the Province.

The legislative powers granted by the Constitution were vested in three chambers, to be named, respectively, the Chamber of Tribunes, the Chamber of Senators, and the Chamber of Censors. Each chamber consisted of thirty members. The functions of the tribunes were practically the same as generally belong in other Congresses to the members of the House of Representatives. Their term of office was four years. The Senators served for eight years, and did more, or less, the same work as all the Senators in the countries constitutionally governed. The Censors served for life, and were entrusted primarily with the duty to watch over the faithful compliance by the Government with the Constitution, the laws, and the public treaties. The power of impeachment belonged to them.

The executive power was vested in the President of the Republic, who served for life, and was assisted by the Vice-President in the capacity of President of the Cabinet, and by three secretaries of state-one for foreign relations and bome government, another for financial matters, and another for war and navy.

The judicial power was vested in a supreme court of justice, and in various circuit and district courts. Justices of the peace were to be established in every town, and it was their chief duty to secure

conciliation," if possible, between the conflicting claims and interests of the parties to a suit, and prevent litigation.

This Constitution was superseded by another promulgated in 1831, and amended three years thereafter. Both of them provided that the legislative body should consist of not more than two chambers.

On the 28th of October, 1836, another Constitution was promulgated.

It has been followed by the Constitutions of 1843, 1851, 1861, 1868, 1871, 1878, and 1880. The latter is still in force.



AROSEMENA, JUSTO. Estudios constitucionales sobre los Gobiernos de la América

latina. Paris, 1878. CORTÉS, M. J. Ensayo sobre la Historia de Bolivia. Sucre, 1861. SANJINÉS, JENARO. Las Constituciones políticas de Bolivia. Estudio histórico y comparativo. La Paz, 1906.


(October 17, 1880.)

En el nombre de Dios.

In the name of God: El pueblo boliviano, represen

The Bolivian people, representtado por la Convención nacional de ed by the national convention of mil ochocientos ochenta, sanciona eighteen hundred and eighty, do y proclama la Constitución de mil hereby sanction and proclaim the ochocientos setenta y ocho, con las Constitution of eighteen hundred modificaciones acordadas, en la and seventy-eight, as amended in forma siguiente:

the following way:



De la Nación.

The Nation.

ARTÍCULO 1. Bolivia libre é in- ARTICLE 1. Bolivia, a free and dependiente, constituida en Repú- independent nation, constituted as blica unitaria, adopta para su a unitary Republic, adopts for its Gobierno la forma democrática government the democratic reprerepresentativa.

sentative form. (ART. 2.4 El Estado reconoce y (ART. 2.a The State recognizes sostiene la religión Católica Apos- and supports the Roman Catholic tólica Romana; prohibiendo el Apostolic religion, and prohibits ejercicio público de todo otro culto, the public exercise of any other excepto en las colonias, donde form of worship, except in the habrá tolerancia.)

colonial territories, where there shall be toleration.)



De los derechos y garantías.

Individual rights and guaranties.

ART. 3. La esclavitud no existe ART. 3. Slavery does not exist en Bolivia.

in Bolivia. Todo esclavo que pise el terri- Every slave is free from the motorio boliviano es libre.

ment in which he sets his foot on

Bolivian soil. ART. 4. Todo hombre tiene el

Art. 4. Every man has the right derecho de entrar en el territorio to enter the territory of the Repubde la República, permanecer, lic, remain therein, travel through transitar y salir de él, sin otras res- it, leave it, without any other retricciones que las establecidas por strictions than those established by el Derecho internacional; de traba- international Jaw; to work and en

a Amended September 14, 1905. See page 449.

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