In his first book translated to English, veteran Uruguayan journalist and scholar Raúl Zibechi draws on the Aymara city of El Alto in Bolivia as source of inspiration and possibility, a unique example among the many important popular and Indigenous struggles unfolding throughout Latin America. He offers an in-depth exploration and analysis of the many possibilities of movement building that exist outside of leftist organizing oriented towards taking state power.
The smell of fried food and sausage sandwiches filled the Montevideo air as José “Pepe” Mujica assumed the presidency of Uruguay on Monday, March 1st. Street vendors lined the inauguration parade route selling Uruguayan flags to a boisterous crowd which cheered, “Olé, olé, olé, Pepe, Pepe.”
Torrential rain didn’t keep voters away from the polls on Sunday, November 29th when José "Pepe" Mujica was elected president with 52% of the vote. The 74-year-old Agricultural Minister spent 14 years in jail for his participation in the Tupamaro guerilla movement, and has pledged to continue the policies of his predecessor, current left-leaning president Tabaré Vásquez. Mujica also promised that while president, he would return to his farm outside the capital city at least 5 hours a week to tend his flowers and vegetables. […]
"Democracy doesn’t exist without truth and justice. We have the right to know where our dead are and we have the right to demand that these people, although they are old, pay for the crimes they committed," said Graciela Pintado Nuñez, as their bus reached the outskirts of Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo. On Friday, October 23rd, two days before Uruguay’s Presidential elections, Nuñez and a group of nearly fifty Uruguayans made the overnight trip from their homes in Southern Brazil to their native country of Uruguay.
The streets of the Uruguayan capital are a blur of white, red and blue in the final stretch to Sunday’s elections, which the governing left-wing Broad Front (FA) coalition stands a good chance of winning. The big question now is whether the FA will win outright on Sunday, or will have to go to a runoff in November. Opinion polls indicate that the left-wing coalition’s candidate, former guerrilla fighter José Mujica, will not take the 50 percent plus one vote needed on Sunday to avoid a second round. […]
Sixth months before Uruguay heads to the election polls, the signatures of over 340,000 Uruguayans suggest that the country will not only be electing a new President in late October. Pending the certification of the Uruguayan election court, Uruguayan citizens will also be determining the future of a law that many human rights activists have vigorously worked to undo for over two decades. […]
In just one week in late February, Uruguay’s president and parliament both publicly proclaimed that three key articles of the controversial “Ley de Caducidad” [Expiration Law] are inconsistent with the Uruguayan constitution. The two-decade old impunity law has sheltered military officials from investigation for crimes committed during the Uruguayan dictatorship, but the national debate is not over yet.
The popular campaign to annul an impunity law that has protected many Uruguayan officials from prosecution for human rights abuses committed over two decades ago continues even as a hotly contested presidential election has begun to dominate political discussion in the small Southern Cone country. […]
With electoral campaigning ahead of the October 2009 elections kicking into high gear, the two presidential frontrunners for the “broad front” coalition—a former professor and the ex-Minister of Economy, Danilo Astori, and the ex-Minister of Agriculture and one-time guerrilla, José “el Pepe” Mujica—are living reminders of the road the Uruguayan left has traveled and the unique path on which it hopes to continue governing. […]