We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Bolivia: Military Justice
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Manpower and Training > Military Justice


As revised by the Banzer government, the 1978 Penal Code defined and established military jurisdiction over actions against the security of the state and against military personnel and property. It also established the military court system. The members of the FF.AA. are subject to certain military laws and regulations, which include the special Military Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Military Procedure. The Military Criminal Code establishes the death penalty for treason in its various forms, including disloyalty and espionage. FF.AA. members who commit criminal acts in the exercise of their specific functions are subject, depending on the nature of the offense, to military tribunals, which include disciplinary tribunals and courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and courts of nullity, without the intervention of the Supreme Tribunal of Military Justice.

Military justice matters are adjudicated by the Permanent Tribunal of Military Justice and, in the highest instance, by the Supreme Tribunal of Military Justice, both of which were headed by generals in the late 1980s. Some military cases may be adjudicated by civilian courts once the defendants have been expelled from the FF.AA. For example, a group of five army officers, headed by the commander of the Seventh Division in Cochabamba, was dishonorably discharged from the army in October 1988 after being caught protecting drug traffickers. Their case was turned over to civilian authorities three months later. In wartime, however, the military court has jurisdiction over the entire territory of the republic. Even in times of peace, territories declared to be military zones fall under military jurisdiction, although in practice the standards of military criminal justice generally have not been applied in trying civilians.

Data as of December 1989

Last Updated: December 1989

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Bolivia was first published in 1989. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Bolivia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 145 of 171


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

($b) Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map