Trinicenter.comInternational Opinions

Bolivia Still Teetering

by Robert Plummer
October 20, 2003, BBC

Bolivia's hastily-appointed new president, Carlos Mesa, has told his cabinet that any mistakes they make could consign the country to the abyss.

The remarks - just days after his predecessor Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada resigned in the face of violent protests that brought the country to a standstill - show Mr Mesa is acutely aware of the scale of the continuing crisis.

The swift handover of power may have bought time and temporarily defused the anger of Bolivia's impoverished indigenous Indian majority, despite the deaths of more than 60 people in the protests.

Mr Mesa was certainly quick to acknowledge the extent of the social and economic exclusion faced by indigenous Indians in Bolivia - and to state explicitly in his acceptance speech that "Bolivia is not yet a country of equals".

But Mr Mesa is likely to be just a transitional figure, without sufficient authority to play a meaningful role in shaping Bolivia's future. Full Article

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