Pilar García Jordán's book, focused on the province of Guarayos in Santa Cruz department, explores the Bolivian state's attempts to consolidate its presence in the vast lowlands in the first half of the twentieth century. Having most of the country's population and economic engine concentrated in the Andes, Bolivian governments in the nineteenth century largely delegated rule of lowland indigenous groups to Jesuit and Franciscan missions. García Jordán's previous book “Yo soy libre y no indio: Soy guarayo” studied the missionaries' roles as administrators and mediators between the indigenous population and the state in Guarayos. The book here under review continues exploring the history of this province by focusing on the process of secularization and its catastrophic consequences for the indigenous population.

In the late 1930s, the country shattered by the loss of territory against Paraguay in the Chaco War (1932–1935), military...

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