Carlos Mesa served as President of the Republic of Bolivia from 2003 to 2005, after having been elected Vice-president to Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in 2002, in a government led by MNR – Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario. Trained in history and journalism, Mesa is one of the most prestigious intellectuals of his generation, having worked in the press, radio, television and the film industry before joining Lozada’s electoral campaign in 2002.
After mass protests led to Lozada’s resignation, Mesa took on the responsibility to lead the country in a particularly troubled period of Bolivia’s history. During his term in office, Mesa sought to tackle corruption, to fight for the recognition of the indigenous population, introduced an critical constitutional reform, and conducted a referendum on the country’s energetic and gas exportation policies that allowed Bolivia to regain control over its natural gas reserves. After resigning from office in 2005, he remained one of the most vocal campaigners in favour of negotiating access to the Pacific Ocean with Chile. Mesa is currently running for the upcoming 2019 presidential elections with the support of FRI – Frente Revolucionario de Izquierda party.
A member of Academia Boliviana de la Historia and Sociedad Boliviana de Historia, Mesa was also the founder and president of Fundación Comunidad from 2007 to 2014. He authored and co-authored several books, such as Manual de Historia de Bolivia published in 1983, De Cerca Una Década de Conversaciones en Democracia in 1993, El Vicepresidente ¿La Sombra del Poder? In 2003, and Breve Historia de las Políticas Públicas en Bolivia in 2014.