"Politics is a creative passion"
On 27 October 2015, former president of the Republic of Uruguay José Mujica Cordano was at Sciences Po for a colloquium organised by Sciences Po and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF). In an exclusive interview, the former president, who used to donate 90% of his income to charities, talks about his action to fight poverty and shares his conviction that politics is not a mere instrument of economic regulation.
José Mujica Cordano, affectionately known as “Pepe Mujica”, was born in Montevideo on 20 May 1935. He was the 40th President of the Republic of Uruguay (March 2010-March 2015).
Mujica fought with the Tupamaros urban guerrilla group in the 1960s and 1970s, and was imprisoned for 13 years during the military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s. A member of the Broad Front coalition of left-wing parties, he served as Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries from 2005 to 2008 before becoming a senator. He won the 2009 presidential election as the Broad Front candidate and took office as president on 1 March 2010.
His mandate as president of Uruguay was marked by his efforts to combat banking secrecy and tax evasion, and for poverty reduction, the legalisation of abortion, and the right for same-sex couples to marry. Pepe Mujica was also famous for his humble way of life, very far removed from the usual splendour of the presidential station.
On 27 October 2015, the third Europe Latin America Conference (FR) was held at Sciences Po. It was organised by CERI, the political observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC) (Fr), and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF).