Americas Why did Uruguay agree to take in Guantánamo Bay detainees?

President Mujica said he would give refuge to five detainees from the controversial US detention camp. Uruguay may have foreign policy interests in scoring points with the US.

By , Correspondent

Matilde Campodonico/AP

In recent years, small Uruguay has seized a large slice of the region’s attention. Foreign reporters clamor to interview President José Mujica at his austere farmhouse. International observers scrutinize his social reforms, including a ground-breaking marijuana legalization law. And now President Mujica, a former guerrilla, is turning heads by offering to take in Guantánamo Bay detainees.
 
Mujica has agreed to give refuge to five detainees, something that would make Uruguay the first country in South America to do so, should the United States accept the gesture.