Bolivian President Carlos Mesa has announced he is resigning from office, amid threats of widespread protests against corporate and government abuse of Bolivia’s natural resources. Mesa has only been in office some 17 months after his predecessor Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada fled the country following large scale protests in October 2003. Mesa himself has faced hundreds of protests over his government’s policies on water, natural gas and other resources. In the days preceding Mesa’s announcement, a nationwide mobilization was underway for large-scale protests aimed at forcing changes in rules governing Bolivia’s vast natural gas resources. Mesa said the protests would force the country to its knees. Already there are blockades in various areas of the country and there have been clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators.