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Indian protests in Bolivia prompt resignation offer

The embattled president of Bolivia offered to resign on Monday, citing protests led by Indian and rural activists.

President Carlos Mesa said he cannot continue to function with widespread blockades throughout the country. Indian activists have challenged his policies, including a planned hike in gas prices.

Evo Morales, the leader of the most powerful indigenous political party, called Mesa's resignation a calculated ploy rather than an offer for reform. Morales's Movement to Socialism swept the county's elections last year.

Mesa created a cabinet position for Indian affairs, made an agreement with Morales and met with Native groups after rising to power in 2003. His predecessor was driven from office by Indian activists.

Another political party of Aymara Indians in rural Bolivia is also staging protests.

Get the Story:
Bolivian Chief, Angling for Support, Offers Resignation (The New York Times 3/8)
Bolivia Leaders Debate the Fate of the President (The Los Angeles Times 3/8)

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