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Chaco War

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A conflict between Paraguay and Bolivia. The Gran Chaco, an extensive lowland plain, had been an object of dispute between the two countries since the early 19th century, but Bolivia's final loss of its Pacific coast in 1929 (the Tacna–Arica settlement) prompted it to push its claims to the Chaco. Border clashes in the late 1920s led to outright war in 1932. Bolivia had the larger army and superior military equipment, but the Aymará and Quechua Indian conscripts from the Andean highlands did not fare well in the low, humid Chaco. The Paraguayan colonel José Félix Estigarribia drove the Bolivians west across the Chaco and forced his enemies to sue for peace in 1935. Paraguay gained most of the disputed territory, but the price was immense for both countries. More than 50,000 Bolivians and 35,000 Paraguayans had lost their lives. Economic stagnation was to plague both combatants for years to come.

Subjects: History

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