- Former guerrilla member and now Uruguay president José Mujica sets an example for world leaders. He leaves austerely in a modest house outside of Montevideo without any assisting personnel. Photo: AFP
Mujica only requires for his security a couple of policemen in casual dress who watch him from a car parked outside his home on a street that is not paved, according to daily La Nación.
- Mujica's 'fortune' when he took charge as president in 2010 was 1800 dollars which was the value of his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle. Photo: AFP
- Once in power, Mujica did not occupy the elegant presidential house of Suárez y Reyes with its 42 employees, and chose to continue living in his house with his wife, on a lot where they cultivate chrysanthemum flowers that are sold in the local market. according to the Uruguayan daily. Photo: AFP
- Whoever wants to go visit the president, they have to first cross a lemon plantation to arrive to O'Higgins street where Mujica's house is located. Photo: AFP
- Always dressed casually, he leaves the ties in the closet. Mujica donates 90% of his salary, most of that for housing programs for poor people. He only keeps 800 dollars from his salary. Photo: AFP
- During his goverment, Mujica has promoted very liberal porposals such as marihuana legalization or same sex marriage. Photo: AFP
- He was also able to approve one of the most radical abortion laws in South America. His administration has promoted the use of renewable energy such as wind energy and biomass energy. Photo: AFP
- José Mujica has admitted in several ocassions that his modest presidential lifestyle is unusual, but he made the decision as a way to avoid the entanglements of power and richness. Photo: AFP
- Before his quiet life as flowers grower, Mujica led the 'Tupamaros', an urban guerrilla inspired in the Cuban revolution, that perpetrated bank robberies and kidnappings in the streets of Montevideo. Photo: AFP
Police captured Mujica in 1972 and spent 14 years in jail, 10 of them in an isolated cell that it was just a hole on the floor, published La Nación.
- During his prison years, Mujica spent up to 12 months without taking a shower, and his cell mates were a little frog and the rats he shared the bread with, Mujica has mentioned. Photo: AFP
- Mujica did not surrender and in 2004 entered in politics in Uruguay. In 2004, after a left and center coalition 'Frente Amplio' won the elections, he was designated secretary of agriculture, livestock and fishing. Photo: AFP
- To explain his way of life, Mujica cites Roman Philosopher Seneca: "It is not the man who has too little, but the man who desires more, that is poor." Photo: AFP
- Mujica also reminds people a phrase of early XX century president José Battle y Ordóñez who presided social security and work policies in Uruguay: "The president is any son of a neighbor." Photo: AFP
Former guerrilla member and now Uruguay president José Mujica sets an example for world leaders. He leaves austerely in a modest house outside of Montevideo without any assisting personnel.