Bolivia Appoints First Woman Defense Minister
April 7, 2011 -

La Paz -  Bolivia has a new defense minister, Maria Cecilia Chacon, the first woman to hold that office in this Andean nation.

During Chacon's swearing-in on Wednesday, President Evo Morales expressed his confidence in her, noting that she has proven her abilities in diverse issues and negotiations.

The previous defense minister, Ruben Saavedra, was appointed by Morales to head the Strategic Maritime Department, to lead actions in demanding a sovereign outlet to the Pacific Ocean.

Bolivia lost its 400-km coastline on the Pacific and some 120,000 square kilometers of territory in the War of the Pacific in 1879.