Jose Mujica has come a long way – from solitary confinement in a deep well to having Uruguay’s highest office in his sights.
Partial election results put the former guerilla fighter ahead in the race to become the country’s next president. For the 74-year-old leftist Senator, who was jailed during Uruguay’s military dictatorship, it is an incredible turnaround. He spent 14 years in prison but says he has left his radical past behind. Looking forward to a second round of voting next month, he told supporters that 30 days of fighting but not of hatred lie ahead. While trailing at this stage, his main rival, centre-right former President Luis Lacalle has not given up hope of returning to the job. In a head to head second round, Lacalle could count on the support of voters who initially backed fellow centre-right candidate Pedro Bordaberry. As well as voting for a president, Uruguayans have also said no to repealing an amnesty law for military and police officers accused of human rights violations during the junta era.