Brazilians in Bolivia

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Brazilians in Bolivia
Total population
Regions with significant populations
La Paz · Cochabamba · Pando · Santa Cruz
Portuguese · Spanish
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Brazilian diaspora

Brazilians in Bolivia consists of Bolivian people of Brazilian descent as well as immigrants and expatriates from Brazil. As of May 2006, an estimated 18,600 Brazilians live in Bolivia, more than a third illegally, according to the Brazilian Foreign Ministry records for 2005. About 13,000 of them live in the lowland region that borders Brazil.[1]

Migration History[edit]

In the late 1980s, farmers from Brazil became attracted to Bolivia's undeveloped flat land, which has fertile soil, plentiful water and a tropical climate which is perfect for crops such as soy, corn, sunflowers, rice and wheat.[2] Many of them settled in the Bolivian department of Pando which is just across the border from the Brazilian Amazon states of Acre and Rondônia. There are also Brazilian farmers in the Bolivian department of Santa Cruz and they owned farmlands there as well.

Many Brazilian students have been coming to Bolivia to study medicine.[3] There are about 3,000 Brazilian students in the country, most of them enrolled in a medical course, the first Brazilian students arrived in Bolivia in the 1980s. They were attracted by the medical courses at low cost and without the requirement for college.


Thousands of Brazilians who live on Bolivian territory near the border with Brazil are suffering the threat of banishment because Bolivian President Evo Morales, under the claim of guaranteeing his country sovereignty, wants to settle four thousand peasant families from La Paz and Cochabamba, onto 200 thousand hectares located in the bordering region.[4]

In 2009, the Bolivian government had banished about four thousand Brazilian rural workers, rubber tappers and farmers from the Pando department, the first people who have been expelled from the Pando department were poor Brazilian settlers' families. Some settlers have been forced to leave their homes and land, whereas others have been threatened to set fire to their possessions before handing them over to the Bolivians.

There is also discrimination against Brazilian students by the authorities and the population of Bolivia with claims of bias, demands for HIV tests and charging excessive fees and paperwork.[3] Representatives of the Bolivian government said the presence of young Brazilians significantly affected the culture of the cities where they stayed mainly Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, for many Bolivians, Brazilians promote more parties than usual and have a bohemian behavior.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bolivia's Nationalism Threatens Property of Brazilian Settlers. Bloomberg. Retrieved on 2006-05-12.
  2. ^ Brazilian Farmers in Bolivia Fear Reforms Archived January 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 2006-05-12.
  3. ^ a b Brazilian medical students complain of prejudice in Bolivia. Retrieved on 2010-01-25.
  4. ^ Brazil: Bolivia expels Brazilian citizens.Global Voices. Retrieved on 2009-08-10.