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Mujica Cordano, José Alberto

Mujica Cordano, José Alberto 1935–, Uruguayan political leader. Popularly known as Pepe, he had minimal formal education. During the 1960s, Mujica, a farmer and a socialist, was one of the founders of the Tupamaros , a violent guerrilla group that sought to foment social revolution. Captured several times, Mujica was sent (1974) to a military prison, where he served 14 years and was subjected to torture. After the restoration of democracy (1985), he was released and later helped turn the Tupamaros into a political party, which became part of the Broad Front coalition. He was elected as a representative in 1994 and a senator in 1999. Rumpled and plainspoken, he became a popular political figure; from 2005 to 2008 he served secretary of agriculture, thereafter returning to the senate. Running on a moderate socialist platform, he was elected president of Uruguay in 2009; he served a single term (2010–15). In 2005 he married Lucía Topolansky Saavedra, 1944–, a fellow former guerrilla and his long-time companion. She has served as a legislative representative (2000–2005) and senator (2010–), and in 2017 she became vice president of Uruguay after Raúl Fernando Sendic resigned.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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