The soul of wit
19 January 2018 15:39 (South Africa)

‘Pepe’, the ex-Tupamaru, just shy of Uruguay presidency

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

mujica

Jose “Pepe” Mujica, a former Tupamaru guerrilla, has gained more than 47% of the votes in the first round of Uruguay’s presidential election. In response, his various conservative opponents have come together in the hope of beating him in the run-off on 29 November. Conservative ex-president Luis Alberto LaCalle polled 28.5% and Pedro Bordaberry of the Colorado Party 17%. Bordaberry immediately endorsed LaCalle, but Mujica said his leftist coalition should still win. LaCalle wants to turn Uruguay into a country like Finland with its diversified economy, well-paid jobs and social welfare system. LaCalle, meanwhile, wants to cut taxes and downsize government. Mujica helped lead the Tupamaru guerrillas in their campaign of kidnappings, bombings, robberies and other attacks on Uruguay’s rightist, but elected, governments in the 1960s. Mujica spent 15 years in prison for killing a policeman in 1971. Released, Mujica transformed his movement into a legitimate political force, became a top vote-getter in congress and served as agriculture minister under a socialist president five years ago. Read more: AP

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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