Uruguay: Ex-dictator's son says quit Mercosur
U.S. Water News Online
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — A former dictator's son who's running for president suggested Uruguay should give up on the Mercosur trade bloc and follow the Chilean model of establishing bilateral trade deals with as many countries as it can.
Pedro Bordaberry, leading the Colorado Party into October’s elections, said Mercosur — which counts Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay as full members — “has not complied with its first article, which is the free movement of people and goods within its membership.”
He also referred to Argentine demonstrators’ three-year blockade of a river-border bridge in protest of potential pollution from a paper factory in Uruguay, saying the neighbors' relations “are at their worst since 1953, when (Argentine) Gen. Juan D. Peron closed the borders.”
Polls put the Colorado Party third behind the ruling Broad Front coalition of about 20 leftist parties and the second-place centrist National Party. But if Bordaberry does well in the first round of voting, his party could be key to getting anything done in the legislature.
Bordaberry, a 48-year-old lawyer, is the son of president-turned-dictator Juan M. Bordaberry, who led a coup in 1973 and in turn was ousted by the military three years later. The dictatorship lasted until 1985. The elder Bordaberry is now under house arrest on charges that include the alleged assassinations of 14 political opponents.
The son said he favors efforts to investigate human rights abuses during the dictatorship era, but he charged that the country's leftist government has made a mess of the process. He accused President Tabare Vazquez of setting back the cause of human rights by going public too quickly with allegations of “dirty war” abuses.
Bordaberry said the peace commission formed by his own Colorado Party immediately after the dictatorship “got better results in silence.” He said it went public with evidence of rights violations only if a victim's family wanted that.
“This government announces things that aren't proven, and this creates an adverse climate,” Bordaberry told a gathering of international journalists.