Oct 18, 2003
Chronology of Events Leading to the Bolivian President's Resignation
The Associated Press
Major events in the Bolivian crisis over the government's gas export plan, which led to President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada's resignation Friday:
- 2002: Bolivian government reaches agreement with international consortium Pacific LNG to export natural gas to the United States and Mexico. Project calls for $6 billion investment, would earn $4 billion a year.
-Aug. 6, 2002: Wealthy mining businessman Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada is sworn in as Bolivia's president for a five-year term following a tight election victory that required congressional ratification. He calls the gas reserves and the export project "a gift from God" to South America's poorest nation.
-Feb. 12-13, 2003: Bloody riots shake the country as Bolivians protest tax hikes. Violence includes clashes between mutinous police officers and army soldiers. Thirty-one people are killed.
-Sept. 15, 2003: Peasants demonstrate and block roads to protest the gas export plan, saying gas must be processed in Bolivia for the benefit of Bolivians.
-Sept. 19, 2003: Miners, workers and other Bolivians join the protests in the so-called "gas war," holding marches and demonstrations in several cities.
-Sept. 20, 2003: Seven people are killed in a clash between peasants and soldiers in the town of Warisata, 45 miles from La Paz near Titicaca Lake.
-Sept. 25, 2003: The Bolivian Workers Central, the country's largest labor federation, joins the protests and adds a crucial demand - that Sanchez de Lozada must resign.
-Sept. 29, 2003: A nationwide protest starts, with demonstrators demanding the president's resignation.
-Oct. 9-12: Violent protests in El Alto, a city of 750,000 people, near La Paz.
-Oct. 13-14, 2003: Clashes spread to La Paz. Death toll since protests began jumps to more than 60, according to human rights groups. The government does not confirm the figures.
-Oct. 13: Sanchez de Lozada says he will freeze the gas export plan and offers Bolivians a referendum. The opposition refuses to accept his offer, and protests seeking his ouster continue.
-Oct. 17: 2003: Sanchez de Lozada resigns. Vice President Carlos Mesa is quickly sworn in by Congress to replace him.
This story can be found at: http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGARILYCXLD.html