Chile's President Michelle Bachelet looks on as her Uruguayan counterpart Jose Mujica answers questions from the media after signing bilateral agreements at the Uruguayan presidential house in Montevideo, during Bachelet's official visit to the country September 12, 2014. Reuters

José Mujica, President of Uruguay, is speaking out against Gitmo. Last week, the politician admitted that the Uruguayan government is continuing its work with the United States government. More specifically Mujica is working with the Obama administration in order to accept prisoners from the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo, which Mujica referred to as a “disgrace.” Huffington Post reports that Mujica was speaking at a joint press conference with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. According to a statement posted on the Uruguay presidential website, Mujica admitted that he would “take responsibility” for “dismantling a human disgrace,” referring to Guantánamo Bay.

Despite the comments being reported heavily by the Latin American media, the English-language press has not yet circulated the story. “A lot of people shouldn’t be locked up there,” Mujica said. “They made a business out of that prison.” These comments at the press conference come in the wake of tensions between Uruguay and the United States. In a New York Times article, it was reported that Uruguay had refused to accept a transfer of six detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo. Mujica reportedly had concerns that accepting them would undermine the leftwing Frente Amplio ahead of elections scheduled for October.

In addition to Mujica’s recent comments and previous interactions with the Obama administration, the First Lady of Uruguay, Sen. Lucía Topolansky has an even harsher opinion of Gitmo. In an interview with Uruguayan daily La República, Topolansky said, “I don’t call them prisoners, because they’ve been kidnapped. They don’t have trials. They don’t have lawsuits. They don’t have charges.” She added that when the jail is finally emptied, she hopes the United States will “return the territory to Cuba, which is who it should belong to.”

According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, out of the approximated 800 people imprisoned and detained at Guantánamo since 2002 only 8 have been convicted by U.S. military commissions as of 2013. More than half of the 149 prisoners who remain have been cleared for release.

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