I turned off onto a long dirt road about 15 miles outside of Montevideo, Uruguay and drove towards a wooden guard shack that stood across from a small farmhouse hidden by a long row of trees. Usually, if you want to meet a country’s president – or even ex-president – you have to fight through layers of bureaucracy, confirm that you are not a threat and have a very good rationale for being considered worthy to talk to. But in the case of Uruguay’s former head of state, José “Pepe” Mujica, you simply find your way to his home – something that apparently 30 or 40 people do every day.
Interview translated from the Spanish by Celia Brugman. Video camera by Jose Maria Ciganda.
Some come to ask for help – after serving four years as president of his country, Mujica is still a powerful member of the Uruguayan senate – some to offer advice,