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President of Uruguay lives in poverty, and likes it

A colleague sent the following note:

Dear FCPA Blog — Have you seen this? It may be worth a mention. Seems Uruguay’s president is the antithesis of the sort of foreign official we usually cover. 🙂

How right he was.

As reported by the BBC News Magazine, the president of Uruguay lives in a falling-down farmhouse, has two guards and a three-legged dog, gives away 90% of his salary, and drives a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.

Jose Mujica, pictured, a former leftist guerrilla, was shot six times and spent 14 years in jail. He was freed in 1985 and elected president in 2009.

‘I’m called “the poorest president,” he told the BBC, ‘but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more.’

Mujica said, ‘I’ve lived like this most of my life. I can live well with what I have.’

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