After Mujica: Can Uruguay Maintain Its Progressive Model?

Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez at his inauguration, as outgoing President Jose Mujica looks on, Montevideo, Uruguay, March 1, 2015 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).
Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez at his inauguration, as outgoing President Jose Mujica looks on, Montevideo, Uruguay, March 1, 2015 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).
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In a region wracked by drug-related crimes, Uruguay stood out in 2013 when it became the first country in Latin America, and the world, to legalize the growth and sale of marijuana. Critics argued that the move would open the floodgates to increased consumption and abuse, but then-President Jose “Pepe” Mujica argued that the measure would quell drug trafficking in a country where one-third of prison inmates serve time on narcotics-related charges. The decision, while unprecedented, is consistent with Uruguay’s legacy of socially progressive policies; the country legalized abortion in 2012, was among the first in Latin America to establish […]

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