Gran Chaco

views updated May 17 2018

Gran Chaco Lowland plain of central South America, stretching across the borders of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Arid and largely unpopulated, the region is famous for its quebracho trees, a major source of tannin. The discovery of oil in the Chaco Borea, and Bolivia's subsequent need for a route to the sea, led to the Chaco War (1932–35) between Bolivia and Paraguay. The war killed more than 100,000 soldiers before an agreement gave 75% of Gran Chaco to Paraguay, and allowed Bolivia use of the Paraguay River.