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City & Municipality
"City of Eternal Spring"
"The Garden City"
|Founded||August 15, 1571|
|• Type||Municipal Autonomous Government|
|• Mayor||José María Leyes|
|• City & Municipality||170 km2 (70 sq mi)|
|• Land||169 km2 (65 sq mi)|
|• Water||1 km2 (0.4 sq mi)|
|• Urban||111 km2 (43 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,558 m (8,392 ft)|
| • ||630,587|
| • ||1,938,401|
It is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" or "The Garden City" because of its spring-like temperatures all year round. It is also known as "La Llajta," which means "town" in Quechua.
The Cochabamba valley has been inhabited for thousands of years due to its fertile productive
The area got its name, from
The first Spanish inhabitant of the valley was Garci Ruiz de Orellana in 1542. He purchased the majority of the land from local tribal chiefs Achata and Consavana through a title registered in 1552 at the Imperial City of
The city, called Villa de Oropesa, was founded on 2 August 1571 by order of
In 1786, King
In 1812, Cochabamba was the site of a riot against the Spanish Army. On May 27, thousands of women took up arms against the Spanish. According to historian Nathaniel Aguirre: "From Cochabamba, many men have fled. Not one woman. On the hillside, a great clamor. Cochabamba's plebeian women, at bay, fight from the center of a circle of fire. Surrounded by five thousand Spaniards, they resist with battered tin guns and a few arquebuses; and they fight to the last yell, whose echoes will resound throughout the long war for independence. Whenever his army weakens, General Manuel Belgrano will shout those words which never fail to restore courage and spark anger. The general will ask his vacillating soldiers: 'Are the women of Cochabamba present?"
To celebrate their bravery, Bolivia now marks May 27 as Mother's Day.
In 1900, the population was 21,886.
Besides a number of schools and charitable institutions, the diocese has 55 parishes, 80 churches and chapels, and 160 priests.[
In 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to give Bolivia a loan of $138 million to control inflation and promote economic growth. However, it only agreed to do so on the condition that Bolivia sell "all remaining public enterprises," including its national oil refineries and the local water company, SEMAPA. In 1999, a group of private investors, specifically the Bechtel Corporation, came together under the name of Aguas del Tunari and bought the rights for the privatization of the city's water. In that same year, the World Bank (WB) refused to subsidize the water to help lower the cost for the people. Then in 2000, the people of Cochabamba began to protest as water priced hiked to a 50% increase that the majority could not afford. The Coalition for the Defense of Water and Life, and its leader Oscar Olivera, started a demonstration in La Plaza 14 de Septiembre also known as La Plaza Principal. The march was meant to be peaceful, but after two days the police used tear gas against the protestors and injured about 175 people and blinded two. Soon after, news reports were made about the protests and the violence. The Defense of Water and Life held an unofficial referendum and 96% of 50,000 people want Aguas del Tunari's contract to terminate, but the government refused. The protests only grew and the entire world began to watch forcing Bechtel to leave its contract and return SEMAPA to the public. Bechtel as well tried to sue the Bolivian government for $50 million but it withdrew its claim shortly after. This event was soon labeled the Water Wars and became a driving force for anti-globalization projects such as the UN's decision to make water sanitation a human right and privatization of water as unethical in 2010. Additionally, the Water Wars would help spark the next revolt against the privatization of natural gases in 2003 to 2005 that would lead to the removal of two presidents and the rise of President Evo Morales in 2006.
In January 2007 city dwellers clashed with mostly rural protestors, leaving four dead and over 130 injured. The first democratically elected Prefect of Cochabamba,
In July 2007, a monument erected by veterans of January's protest movement in honor of those killed and injured by government supporters was destroyed in the middle of the night, reigniting racial conflicts in the city.
In August 2008, a nationwide referendum was held. The prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, was not confirmed by the voters of the department. The mayor of Cochabamba in 2018 Karen.