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Uruguay

On Monday night, Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Rodolfo Nin Novoa announced that Uruguay will no longer offer asylum to additional Guantanamo prisoners, amid reports that one of the ex-prisoners currently living in Montevideo is threating to go on a hunger strike.

Only two countries in Latin America—Costa Rica and Uruguay—can be considered “full democracies,” according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study commissioned by BBC for Democracy Day on January 20.

For the third election in a row, Uruguayan voters flooded into the streets Sunday night to celebrate the win of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front—FA) party, a leftist coalition that has now extended its control of Uruguay’s parliament and presidential office to 15 years.

As Uruguayans go to the polls to elect a new leader, there’s already a sense of nostalgia for President Mujica, who has become a global symbol of modesty and tolerance—even if he is criticized at home for failing to reform a flagging education system, reverse the rise of petty crime, or invest in much-needed infrastructure projects such as harbors and roads.

I was taken aback by Luis Suárez' popularity and the unwavering conviction of Uruguayans to stand by their man—even after his bizarre behavior crippled the national team’s quest for the Cup.

In a presidential contest that may have seemed like déjà vu, Uruguay’s elections on Sunday produced some unexpected headlines.

This week’s likely top stories: Juan Carlos Varela will be Panama’s next president; talks between Haiti and the Dominican Republic are postponed; marijuana legalization goes into effect in Uruguay; a Colombian mine collapse kills at least 12 people; a Brazilian soccer fan is killed in Recife.

Uruguayan opposition lawmakers denounced what they called threats to ousted Venezuelan Congresswoman María Corina Machado’s “liberty and security” on Monday.

Last Tuesday, Uruguayan’s Senate approved a bill in which the State will regulate the production and sale of marijuana and allow citizens to grow the plant at home.

International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) condemned Uruguay’s vote to legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana for those over the age of 18 yesterday.

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