Guantánamo

Ex-Uruguayan president Mujica: Ex-Guantánamo detainees behaving badly

Three freed Guantánamo Bay detainees, who were resettled in Uruguay, pray during their protest outside the U.S. embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, Friday, April 24, 2015.
Three freed Guantánamo Bay detainees, who were resettled in Uruguay, pray during their protest outside the U.S. embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, Friday, April 24, 2015. ASSOCAITED PRESS

Uruguay’s former president says the conduct of six former Guantánamo Bay detainees resettled in the South American nation has been “abysmal” and has hurt efforts to resettle others.

Former President Jose Mujica, who oversaw the resettlement in late 2014, made the comments Tuesday to La Republica newspaper.

Mujica, now a senator, says the men’s behavior discouraged other Latin American countries that were considering taking in former detainees. He didn’t provide details. “Who did the men hurt? Other Guantánamo prisoners.”

The six men, four from Syria, one Tunisian and one Palestinian, arrived with great fanfare. But they have frequently complained about not getting enough state help while refusing to work. Two of the men married local women only to quickly separate amid domestic abuse allegations. Before that they staged a prolonged protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo.

Mujica, a former long-held political prisoner in his own country, has been described as the Nelson Mandela of Latin America, a rebel-turned-peacemaker.

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