[Translations of three articles from Uruguay for September 9, from El País, El Espectador and Montevideo Portal respectively. See original articles here, here and here and related articles here and here. Uruguay’s participation in United Nations missions, which has been controversial from the outset, became particularly so when Uruguayan navy personnel were filmed allegedly raping a Haitian youth in Port Salut and another Uruguayan was accused of impregnating a 16-year-old Haitian girl. With a population of about 3.5 million, Uruguay has a military force of about 23,500, of whom about 2,500 are assigned to 12 different United Nations missions. The Uruguayan government is dominated by the Frente Amplio (FA), the Broad Front, a coalition of leftist and center-left parties. The president and the majorities of both chambers of the legislature are members of the FA. The president, 76-year-old José Mujica, is a former member of the Tupamaro guerrillas, as is Defense Minister Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro. Mujica spent 14 years in prison as a result of his Tupamaro activities. As president, his political outlook is closer to that of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva than to Hugo Chávez or Evo Morales.]
Mujica wants to keep troops in Haiti despite scandal over abuse
President José Mujica referred today to the rape of a youth by Uruguayan navy personnel in Haiti and described response to the event as “a hard road to travel” (“un viaje de arena gruesa”) for Uruguay.
The president said in a press conference that “this kind of thing has been happenings as long as the world has existed” and added that “among soldiers there is always a fringe of rowdy gangs, it is inevitable.” (more…)