José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano, President of Uruguay

José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano, the President of Uruguay, was inaugurated on March 1, 2010.  The politician and former Tupamaro guerilla fighter spent 14 years in a military prison and was wounded by police (unlike North American politicians, who usually are imprisoned after their careers in politics).  A 2009 article by The Economist characterized him as “a roly-poly former guerrilla who grows flowers on a small farm and swears by vegetarianism.”  Mujica donates 87% of his state salary to charitable causes, and he and his wife, also a former guerilla, drive an old Volkswagon Beetle.  Uruguay is a small country on South America’s southeastern coast, with a population of 3.5 million. Uruguay is considered one of the most economically developed countries in South America.

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