Mr. Mujica is a 78-year-old Uruguayan man, living on a small farm in the outskirts of Montevideo, the capital of the South American country. he drives his 1987 VW Beetle, even if that only happens during the weekends, enjoys drinking mata, a traditional tea in his state, drives a tractor to find relaxation, takes care of his three-legged dog, Manuela, and sells beautiful chrysantemums for a living, alongside Lucia, his wife and owner of the house they live in.
nothing extremely peculiar so far, one would say, and I would undeniably agree. that is if Jose Mujica were not the president of Uruguay, having been in service since 2010.
because he considers that his wife, a senator of the same country, makes enough for them both to have the life they want to and even a little something to put in the bank for the future, he gives 90 percent of his salary to charity, "like a housing project for unmarried mothers". he does not call this a sacrifice, a means to gain trust or a way to be put in a good light in front of his fellow people, but his outmost duty. Mr. Mujica, as if the above mentioned were not enough to catch the international attention, caused a stir at the last UN general assembly denouncing excess and frivolity in today's 'modern' world and went on to have everyone's eyes and ears widely open when he decided to make Uruguay the first state in the world with a regulated consumption of marijuana, legalising the purchase of the famously banned narcotic in the rest of the world in his small Latin American state in an attempt to combat drug trafficking and addiction.
because, as we find out from his own words, every addiction in the world is bad, including here drugs, marijuana, cigarettes or alcohol. "The only good addiction that is good is love. Forget anything else."
even if he now describes himself as a man of the land and a true pacifist, there is no secret in the fact that he acted in the 70s as an urban guerrilla fighter against the then-in-place government, ending up shot many a time by the military forces he was protesting against, and being imprisoned, spending 11 years in solitary confinement.
since he became president, he has already legalised abortion and gay marriage and with a somehow shocking honesty, given the deeply religious country he governs, declares himself to be an atheist, yet stating that he has a great deal of respect for the new Pope, calling him to be "quite a character". he also calls for an immediate stop to the waste of resources and urges rich communities around the globe to start feeding the hungry and building houses, schools and hospitals for the ones in need, instead of yet another madly expensive sports car, but keeps in touch with the reality mentioning that people would most-certainly kill him if he made them live the way he decided to do.
they called him the world's poorest president. I think he is amongst the richest ones. because humanity, humbleness and love for people, freedom and truth are treasures no one could ever possibly take away from Mr. Mujica.
foto credit: oocupy.com