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safety should require the suspension of any of the formalities prescribed in this chapter, the chambers shall be empowered to decree such suspension. And if the chambers should happen not to be assembled, and sitting at the time, then may the executive provisionally discharge these functions, rendering an account of the same at the next meeting of the chambers, and remaining in the mean time responsible for the abuses that may have been committed.
TITLE VII.-OF THE INTERIOR GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC.
124. The superior political government of every department is vested in a prefect.
125. That of every province in a governor.
126. That of the cantons in a corregidor.
127. In every town, whose population is not below one hundred souls, in itself, or within its boundary, there shall be a justice of peace.
128. Where the population of such town, or its territory, exceeds one thousand souls, it shall have (in addition to a justice of peace for every two hundred souls), an alcalde; and where the number of souls exceeds a thousand, there shall be a justice of peace for every five hundred, and an alcalde for every two thousand.
129. The offices of the alcaldes and justices of peace are obligatory; and no citizen can, without just cause, claim an exemption from discharging those offices.
130. The prefects, governors, and corregidors, are to continue in the discharge of their functions for four years, but may be reelected after the expiration of that term.
131. The alcaldes and justices of peace are to be relieved every two years, but may be re-elected.
132. The duties of prefects, governors, corregidors, and alcaldes, are to be defined by law, for the maintenance of public order and security, with gradual subordination to the supreme government.
133. They are prohibited from taking any judicial cognizance; but should the public safety require the apprehension of any individual, and circumstances not allow him to be denounced before the respective judge, they may forthwith order his apprehension, and give notice to the corresponding court of justice within eightand-forty hours. Any abuse committed by these magistrates, with respect to personal or domestic security, will be ground of action at common law.
TITLE VIII.-OF THE ARMED FORCE.
134. There is to be in the republic a permanent armed force. 135. The armed force is to consist of the army of the line, and of a naval squadron.
136. There are to be in every province bodies of national militia, composed of the inhabitants of each province.
137. There is to be likewise a military preventive service, principally intended to impede all clandestine trade, or smuggling. The particular organization and composition of this corps is to be detailed in a special regulation.
Chapter 1.-Reform of the Constitution.
138. If, after the lapse of years from the time when the oaths of allegiance to the constitution were taken, it shall be perceived that its articles require to be reformed, a written proposition to that effect shall be made, and signed by at the least ten members of the chamber of tribunes, which must have the support of two-thirds of the members present in the chamber.
139. This proposition is to be read three times, at an interval of six days between each of the readings; and after the third reading, the chamber of tribunes is to deliberate whether such proposition is to be debated or not: in all other respects, the foregoing regulations for the enactment of laws shall be observed.
140. The discussion being allowed, and the chamber being convinced of the necessity of reforming the constitution, a law is to be enacted, commanding the electoral bodies to confer on the deputies of the three chambers special powers for altering or re
forming the constitution, stating the basis on which such reform is to be founded.
141. In the first sessions of the legislature, following that in which the motion for altering or reforming the constitution was first submitted, shall the matter be proposed and discussed; and that which the chambers resolve upon shall take effect, the executive power having been consulted on the expediency of the reform.
Chapter 2-Presentation and Responsibility of Functionaries.
142. When candidates for official situations are to be proposed, three persons shall be put in nomination, and submitted to the executive power; who will select one, and return him for confirmation to the corresponding chamber. Should the chamber not approve him, a second is to be presented; and if the second be likewise rejected, a third is to be presented; and should the chamber again withhold its approbation, it shall then peremptorily admit one of the three proposed by the executive.
143. The holders of public offices and trusts are held strictly responsible for the abuses they may commit in the performance and discharge of their functions.
TITLE IX.-OF GUARANTEES.
144. The constitution guarantees to the citizens civil liberty, security of persons and property, and equality in the eye of the law.
145. All citizens may communicate their thoughts either verbally or in writing, and publish the same by means of the press, without the previous intervention of censorship; but under such responsibility as the law may determine.
146. Every Bolivian may remain within the territory of the republic, or leave it, as it suits him best, and carry his property away with him; subject, however, to the regulations of the police, and without prejudice to the rights of a third party.
147. Every Bolivian's house is an inviolable asylum. No person can enter it by night without his consent; and even in the
daytime it may only be entered in the cases and in the manner pointed out by the law.
148. The taxes and contributions are to be proportionally raised and levied without any exemption or privilege whatever.
149. All hereditary employments, privileges, and entails, are abolished; and all property, though belonging to pious works and religious institutions, or other objects, is alienable.
150. No species or description of work, industry, or trade, can be prohibited, provided they be not repugnant to the public usages, or to the safety and good health of the Bolivians.
151. Every inventor is to be secured in the full property of his discovery and its products. The law shall ensure him an exclusive privilege or patent for a certain time, or a compensation for the loss he may incur by making it public.
152. The constitutional powers cannot suspend the constitution nor the rights belonging to Bolivians, except in the cases and under the circumstances expressed in the same constitution, when the term of such suspension must be indispensably mentioned.
Head-quarters, Caracas, February 6, 1827. "To His Excellency the President of the Honourable Chamber of the Senate.
"Most Excellent Sir,
"Under no circumstances has the august authority of congress been so necessary to the republic as at this period, when internal disagreement has divided their minds, and excited commotions throughout the whole nation. Called by your excellency to take the oath of office, as president of the republic, I came to the capital, whence I was obliged to set out for the department of ancient Venezuela. On my way from Bogota to this city, I issued some important decrees, which were called for by urgent necessity. Your excellency will have the goodness to direct the attention of
congress to them, and beseech it, in my name, to take them into serious consideration. If I have exceeded my powers, let me bear the blame; I am willing to sacrifice even my innocence to the salvation of my country. That sacrifice only was wanting, and I glory in not having shunned it. When I learned in Peru, by an official notice, my appointment to the presidency of the republic, which the people had conferred on me, my answer to the executive government was a refusal to accept of the first magistracy of the nation. I have been for fourteen years supreme chief and president of the republic; I have been forced by the perils of the times to fill that office; but those perils no longer exist, and I may retire to the enjoyment of private life. I beg of the congress to recollect the situation of Colombia, of America, of the whole world. Every thing conspires to flatter us. There is not a Spaniard on the American continent. Domestic peace has reigned in Colombia since the commencement of this year. Many powerful nations recognize our political existence, and some of them are our allies. A large portion of the American states are confederated with Colombia, and Great Britain menaces Spain. What mighty hopes are ours! The immensity of the gifts which Providence has prepared for us are contained in the hidden abyss of time. Providence alone is our guardian. As to myself the suspicions of a tyrannic usurpation disturb my mind, and weaken the confidence of the Colombians. The zealous republicans cannot look on me without a secret fear, inasmuch as history has told them that all, in similar circumstances, have been ambitious. In vain I seek to defend myself by the example of WASHINGTON; and, in truth, one, or even many exceptions, can effect nothing against the experience of a whole world, ever oppressed by the powerful. I am grieved between the troubles of my fellow-citizens and the sentence which I expect from posterity. I do not feel myself innocent of ambition, and for my own sake I wish to snatch myself from the grasp of this fury; to free my fellow-citizens from uneasiness; and to secure after my death a remembrance worthy of liberty. With such sentiments I renounce for ever (mil y millones de veces) the presidentship. The congress and the people may look upon this renunciation as irrevocable. No
thing shall have the power to prevail on me to continue in the