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Jose Mujica

AKA José Alberto Mujica Cordano

Born: 20-May-1934
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay

Gender: Male
Religion: See Note [1]
Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State
Party Affiliation: See Note [2]

Nationality: Uruguay
Executive summary: President of Uruguay

Jose Mujica was a leader of the Tupamaros National Liberation Movement, a revolutionary group that, like Robin Hood, robbed from rich businesses and banks and gave the proceeds to the poor. During Uraguay's military dictatorship, the group became more violent, using bombings, kidnappings, assassination, and other guerrilla tactics against the "bourgeois state", and Mujica spent 14 years in prison for his association with Tupamaros. He was convicted of killing a policeman in 1971, but has always maintained his innocence. He is said to have escaped from prison at least twice, and spent two years in solitary confinement at the bottom of a well.

With the restoration of democracy in Uruguay in 1985, Mujica was released from prison and Tupamaros was reorganized as the Movimiento de Participación Popular (Popular Participation Movement) political party, which is now part of the ruling Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition. Popularly known as "Pepé", the reformed revolutionary served in the Senate and held a cabinet post during the 2000s, and was elected President of Uruguay in 2009.

His political opponents describe him as a radical socialist, but Mujica's positions are moderate and he says he is opposed to government intervention in the economy. In a newspaper interview after his election he said, “I'm more a libertarian than a man who thinks the state is the solution". His presidential platform called for incentives for small businesses and establishment of cooperatives, and support for manufacturing and exports. He counts former Uruguayan Presidents Julio María Sanguinetti and Tabaré Vázquez among his key advisors.

Since becoming President he has eschewed the state palace and continued living in his modest pre-Presidential rental home. He rarely wears formal suits and ties, and donates most of his Presidential salary to Frente Amplio and to a fund for sheltering homeless Uruguayans. His wife, Lucia Topolansky, is also a former rebel and currently sits in the Uruguayan Senate. They have been a couple since 1967, married in 2005, and have no children. In a required public statement of his finances in 2010, Mujica formally declared that his only asset is a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, worth about $1,900.


[1] Pan-theist.

[2] Movimiento de Participación Popular (Popular Participation Movement)

Wife: Lucia Topolansky (Uruguayan Senator, b. 25-Sep-1944, cohabited 1967-2005, m. 2005)

    President of Uruguay (1-Mar-2010 to present)
    Uruguay Senator (2008-10)
    Uruguay Official Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries (2005-08)
    Uruguay Senator (1999-2005)
    Venezuelan Order of the Liberator (2010)
    Imprisoned (1969-71)
    Escaped from Prison (1971)
    Insurrection
    Manslaughter (1971)
    Shot by Police twice, by some reports; up to six times according to other sources
    Imprisoned (1973-85)
    Risk Factors: Vegetarian


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