LA PAZ – Former President Carlos Mesa, a historian and journalist, argues in his latest book, “Bolivia 1982-2006: Democracia” that Bolivia enjoyed its first real period of democracy during the years covered by his work.
The 150-page book examines the start of democracy following the brutal and corrupt dictatorships of Gen. Hugo Banzer, who governed the Andean nation from 1971 to 1978, and Luis Garcia Meza, in office from 1980 to 1981.
The 63-year-old Mesa, who served as Bolivia’s president from 2003 to 2005, also looks at the efforts by current President Evol Morales to stay in power despite the term limits imposed by the constitution.
“Today, we have to fight a battle for history,” Mesa said, adding that his praise for the 1982-2006 period was “an affirmation of the times without seeking to negate the one who comes after.”
Mesa, who has neither declared himself a candidate nor ruled out a run for the presidency, appears in most polls as the opposition member in the best position to take on Morales in the race to be Bolivia’s next head of state.