A 40-part serial recounting the life of Bolivian President Evo Morales began airing this week in the indigenous Aymara language.

Putting the project together took 18 months, series creator Emiliana Rojas told Efe.

"I said: Before I die I must at least do the radio series, because I know Evo Morales from youth, when I was a reporter," the 75-year-old journalist and radio performer said.

While she acknowledges her admiration for Bolivia's first indigenous president, Rojas insists the series is a "true and historical" account of Morales' "difficult life."

The future head of state, a member of the Aymara ethnic group, was born into dire poverty and entered public life as the leader of displaced peasants who grow coca to survive.

Bolivia, like neighboring Peru, allows cultivation of coca - the raw material of cocaine - in limited quantities for use in folk remedies and Andean religious rites.

As president, Morales has cracked down on the drug trade and achieved a gradual reduction of coca cultivation while promoting use of the leaf in beverages and industrial applications.

Rojas' production features 42 different actors.

The series about Morales will eventually be offered in Spanish and in Bolivia's other major indigenous languages, Quechua and Guarani, according to the government. EFE