Uruguay (/ˈjʊərəɡwaɪ/ (listen); Spanish pronunciation: [uɾuˈɣwai]), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Spanish: República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata (River of Silver) to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname.
Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for approximately 4,000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento in 1680; Uruguay was colonized by Europeans relatively late compared with neighboring countries. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain, Portugal, and later Argentina and Brazil. It remained subject to foreign influence and intervention throughout the 19th century, with the military playing a recurring role in domestic politics.
A series of economic crises put an end to a democratic period that had begun in the early 20th century, culminating in a 1973 coup, which established a civic-military dictatorship. The military government persecuted leftists, socialists, and political opponents, resulting in several deaths and numerous instances of torture by the military; the military relinquished power to a civilian government in 1985. Uruguay is today a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government.
Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, e-government, and is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. On a per-capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country. It tops the rank of absence of terrorism, a unique position within South America. It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth, innovation and infrastructure. It is regarded as a high-income country by the UN. Uruguay was also ranked the third-best in the world in e-Participation in 2014. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, rice, soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk. Nearly 95% of Uruguay's electricity comes from renewable energy, mostly hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay is a founding member of the United Nations, OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR and NAM.
Uruguay is regarded as one of the most socially advanced countries in Latin America. It ranks high on global measures of personal rights, tolerance, and inclusion issues. The Economist named Uruguay "country of the year" in 2013, acknowledging the policy of legalizing the production, sale and consumption of cannabis.
Oriental Republic of Uruguay
República Oriental del Uruguay
Motto: "Libertad o Muerte" (Spanish)
(English: "Freedom or Death")
Anthem: "Himno Nacional de Uruguay"
(English: "National Anthem of Uruguay")
Location of Uruguay (dark green)
in South America (grey)
and largest city
|Regional language||Uruguayan Portuguese|
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|Chamber of Representatives|
from the Empire of Brazil
|25 August 1825|
|27 August 1828|
|18 July 1830|
|18 December 1945|
|176,215 km2 (68,037 sq mi) (89th)|
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
• 2011 census
|19.8/km2 (51.3/sq mi) (99th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
|$85.977 billion (48th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
|$62.893 billion (28th)|
• Per capita
|Gini (2016)|| 39.7|
|HDI (2017)|| 0.804|
very high · 55th
|Currency||Uruguayan peso (UYU)|
|Time zone||UTC−3 (UYT)|
|ISO 3166 code||UY|
The name of the namesake river comes from the Spanish pronunciation of the regional Guarani word for it. There are several interpretations, including "bird-river" ("the river of the urú", via Charruan, urú being a common noun of any wild fowl). The name could also refer to a river snail called uruguá (Pomella megastoma) that was plentiful in the water.
In Spanish colonial times, and for some time thereafter, Uruguay and some neighbouring territories were called the Cisplatina and Banda Oriental [del Uruguay] ("East Bank [of the Uruguay River]"), then for a few years the "Eastern Province". Since its independence, the country has been known as la República Oriental del Uruguay, which literally means "the eastern republic of the Uruguay [River]". However, it is commonly translated either as the "Oriental Republic of Uruguay" or the "Eastern Republic of Uruguay".
The documented inhabitants of Uruguay before European colonization of the area were the Charrúa, a small tribe driven south by the Guarani of Paraguay. It is estimated that there were about 9,000 Charrúa and 6,000 Chaná and Guaraní at the time of contact with Europeans in the 1500s. Fructuoso Rivera - Uruguay's first president – organized the Charruas' genocide.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter the region of present-day Uruguay in 1512. The Spanish arrived in present-day Uruguay in 1516. The indigenous peoples' fierce resistance to conquest, combined with the absence of gold and silver, limited their settlement in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. Uruguay then became a zone of contention between the Spanish and Portuguese empires. In 1603, the Spanish began to introduce cattle, which became a source of wealth in the region. The first permanent Spanish settlement was founded in 1624 at Soriano on the Río Negro. In 1669–71, the Portuguese built a fort at Colonia del Sacramento.
Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold in the country. Its natural harbor soon developed into a commercial area competing with Río de la Plata's capital, Buenos Aires. Uruguay's early 19th century history was shaped by ongoing fights for dominance in the Platine region, between British, Spanish, Portuguese and other colonial forces. In 1806 and 1807, the British army attempted to seize Buenos Aires and Montevideo as part of the Napoleonic Wars. Montevideo was occupied by a British force from February to September 1807.
In 1813, the new government in Buenos Aires convened a constituent assembly where Artigas emerged as a champion of federalism, demanding political and economic autonomy for each area, and for the Banda Oriental in particular. The assembly refused to seat the delegates from the Banda Oriental, however, and Buenos Aires pursued a system based on unitary centralism.
As a result, Artigas broke with Buenos Aires and besieged Montevideo, taking the city in early 1815. Once the troops from Buenos Aires had withdrawn, the Banda Oriental appointed its first autonomous government. Artigas organized the Federal League under his protection, consisting of six provinces, four of which later became part of Argentina.
In 1816, a force of 10,000 Portuguese troops invaded the Banda Oriental from Brazil; they took Montevideo in January 1817. After nearly four more years of struggle, the Portuguese Kingdom of Brazil annexed the Banda Oriental as a province under the name of "Cisplatina". The Brazilian Empire became independent of Portugal in 1822. In response to the annexation, the Thirty-Three Orientals, led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja, declared independence on 25 August 1825 supported by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (present-day Argentina). This led to the 500-day-long Cisplatine War. Neither side gained the upper hand and in 1828 the Treaty of Montevideo, fostered by the United Kingdom through the diplomatic efforts of Viscount John Ponsonby, gave birth to Uruguay as an independent state. 25 August is celebrated as Independence Day, a national holiday. The nation's first constitution was adopted on 18 July 1830.
At the time of independence, Uruguay had an estimated population of just under 75,000. The era from independence until 1904 was marked by regular military conflicts and civil wars between the Blanco and Colorado Parties. The political scene in Uruguay became split between two parties: the conservative Blancos (Whites) headed by the second President Manuel Oribe, representing the agricultural interests of the countryside; and the liberal Colorados (Reds) led by the first President Fructuoso Rivera, representing the business interests of Montevideo. The Uruguayan parties received support from warring political factions in neighbouring Argentina, which became involved in Uruguayan affairs.
The Colorados favored the exiled Argentine liberal Unitarios, many of whom had taken refuge in Montevideo while the Blanco president Manuel Oribe was a close friend of the Argentine ruler Manuel de Rosas. On 15 June 1838, an army led by the Colorado leader Rivera overthrew President Oribe, who fled to Argentina. Rivera declared war on Rosas in 1839. The conflict would last 13 years and become known as the Guerra Grande (the Great War).
In 1843, an Argentine army overran Uruguay on Oribe's behalf but failed to take the capital. The siege of Montevideo, which began in February 1843, would last nine years. The besieged Uruguayans called on resident foreigners for help, which led to a French and an Italian legion being formed, the latter led by the exiled Giuseppe Garibaldi.
In 1845, Britain and France intervened against Rosas to restore commerce to normal levels in the region. Their efforts proved ineffective and, by 1849, tired of the war, both withdrew after signing a treaty favorable to Rosas. It appeared that Montevideo would finally fall when an uprising against Rosas, led by Justo José de Urquiza, governor of Argentina's Entre Ríos Province, began. The Brazilian intervention in May 1851 on behalf of the Colorados, combined with the uprising, changed the situation and Oribe was defeated. The siege of Montevideo was lifted and the Guerra Grande finally came to an end. Montevideo rewarded Brazil's support by signing treaties that confirmed Brazil's right to intervene in Uruguay's internal affairs.
In accordance with the 1851 treaties, Brazil intervened militarily in Uruguay as often as it deemed necessary. In 1865, the Triple Alliance was formed by the emperor of Brazil, the president of Argentina, and the Colorado general Venancio Flores, the Uruguayan head of government whom they both had helped to gain power. The Triple Alliance declared war on the Paraguayan leader Francisco Solano López and the resulting Paraguayan War ended with the invasion of Paraguay and its defeat by the armies of the three countries. Montevideo, which was used as a supply station by the Brazilian navy, experienced a period of prosperity and relative calm during the war.
The constitutional government of General Lorenzo Batlle y Grau (1868–72) suppressed the Revolution of the Lances by the Blancos. After two years of struggle, a peace agreement was signed in 1872 that gave the Blancos a share in the emoluments and functions of government, through control of four of the departments of Uruguay.
This establishment of the policy of co-participation represented the search for a new formula of compromise, based on the coexistence of the party in power and the party in opposition.
Despite this agreement, Colorado rule was threatened by the failed Tricolor Revolution in 1875 and Revolution of the Quebracho in 1886.
The Colorado effort to reduce Blancos to only three departments caused a Blanco uprising of 1897, which ended with the creation of 16 departments, of which the Blancos now had control over six. Blancos were given ⅓ of seats in Congress. This division of power lasted until the President Jose Batlle y Ordonez instituted his political reforms which caused the last uprising by Blancos in 1904 that ended with the Battle of Masoller and the death of Blanco leader Aparicio Saravia.
Between 1875 and 1890, the military became the center of power. During this authoritarian period, the government took steps toward the organization of the country as a modern state, encouraging its economic and social transformation. Pressure groups (consisting mainly of businessmen, hacendados, and industrialists) were organized and had a strong influence on government. A transition period (1886–90) followed, during which politicians began recovering lost ground and some civilian participation in government occurred.
After the Guerra Grande, there was a sharp rise in the number of immigrants, primarily from Italy and Spain. By 1879, the total population of the country was over 438,500. The economy reflected a steep upswing (if demonstrated graphically, above all other related economic determinants), in livestock raising and exports. Montevideo became a major economic center of the region and an entrepôt for goods from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
The Colorado leader José Batlle y Ordóñez was elected president in 1903. The following year, the Blancos led a rural revolt and eight bloody months of fighting ensued before their leader, Aparicio Saravia, was killed in battle. Government forces emerged victorious, leading to the end of the co-participation politics that had begun in 1872. Batlle had two terms (1903–07 and 1911–15) during which, taking advantage of the nation's stability and growing economic prosperity, he instituted major reforms, such as a welfare program, government participation in many facets of the economy, and a plural executive.
Gabriel Terra became president in March 1931. His inauguration coincided with the effects of the Great Depression, and the social climate became tense as a result of the lack of jobs. There were confrontations in which police and leftists died. In 1933, Terra organized a coup d'état, dissolving the General Assembly and governing by decree. A new constitution was promulgated in 1934, transferring powers to the president. In general, the Terra government weakened or neutralized economic nationalism and social reform.
In 1938, general elections were held and Terra's brother-in-law, General Alfredo Baldomir, was elected president. Under pressure from organized labor and the National Party, Baldomir advocated free elections, freedom of the press, and a new constitution. Although Baldomir declared Uruguay neutral in 1939, British warships and the German ship Admiral Graf Spee fought a battle not far off Uruguay's coast. The Admiral Graf Spee took refuge in Montevideo, claiming sanctuary in a neutral port, but was later ordered out.
In the late 1950s, partly because of a worldwide decrease in demand for Uruguyan agricultural products, Uruguayans suffered from a steep drop in their standard of living, which led to student militancy and labor unrest. An armed group, known as the Tupamaros emerged in the 1960s, engaging in activities such as bank robbery, kidnapping and assassination, in addition to attempting an overthrow of the government.
President Jorge Pacheco declared a state of emergency in 1968, followed by a further suspension of civil liberties in 1972. In 1973, amid increasing economic and political turmoil, the armed forces, asked by the President Juan María Bordaberry, closed the Congress and established a civilian-military regime. Uruguay actively participated in Operation Condor. Around 200 Uruguayans are known to have been killed and disappeared, with hundreds more illegally detained and tortured during the 12-year civil-military rule of 1973 to 1985. Most were killed in Argentina and other neighboring countries, with 36 of them having been killed in Uruguay.
A new constitution, drafted by the military, was rejected in a November 1980 referendum. Following the referendum, the armed forces announced a plan for the return to civilian rule, and national elections were held in 1984. Colorado Party leader Julio María Sanguinetti won the presidency and served from 1985 to 1990. The first Sanguinetti administration implemented economic reforms and consolidated democracy following the country's years under military rule.
The National Party's Luis Alberto Lacalle won the 1989 presidential election and amnesty for human rights abusers was endorsed by referendum. Sanguinetti was then re-elected in 1994. Both presidents continued the economic structural reforms initiated after the reinstatement of democracy and other important reforms were aimed at improving the electoral system, social security, education, and public safety.
The 1999 national elections were held under a new electoral system established by a 1996 constitutional amendment. Colorado Party candidate Jorge Batlle, aided by the support of the National Party, defeated Broad Front candidate Tabaré Vázquez. The formal coalition ended in November 2002, when the Blancos withdrew their ministers from the cabinet, although the Blancos continued to support the Colorados on most issues. Low commodity prices and economic difficulties in Uruguay's main export markets (starting in Brazil with the devaluation of the real, then in Argentina in 2002), caused a severe recession; the economy contracted by 11%, unemployment climbed to 21%, and the percentage of Uruguayans in poverty rose to over 30%.
In 2004, Uruguayans elected Tabaré Vázquez as president, while giving the Broad Front a majority in both houses of Parliament. Vázquez stuck to economic orthodoxy. As commodity prices soared and the economy recovered from the recession, he tripled foreign investment, cut poverty and unemployment, cut public debt from 79% of GDP to 60%, and kept inflation steady.
In 2009, José Mujica, a former left-wing guerrilla leader (Tupamaros) who spent almost 15 years in prison during the country's military rule, emerged as the new President as the Broad Front won the election for a second time. Abortion was legalized in 2012, followed by same-sex marriage and cannabis in the following year.
In 2014, Tabaré Vázquez was elected to a non-consecutive second presidential term, which began on 1 March 2015.
With 176,214 km2 (68,037 sq mi) of continental land and 142,199 km2 (54,903 sq mi) of jurisdictional water and small river islands, Uruguay is the second smallest sovereign nation in South America (after Suriname) and the third smallest territory (French Guiana is the smallest). The landscape features mostly rolling plains and low hill ranges (cuchillas) with a fertile coastal lowland. Uruguay has 660 km (410 mi) of coastline.
A dense fluvial network covers the country, consisting of four river basins, or deltas: the Río de la Plata Basin, the Uruguay River, the Laguna Merín and the Río Negro. The major internal river is the Río Negro ('Black River'). Several lagoons are found along the Atlantic coast.
The highest point in the country is the Cerro Catedral, whose peak reaches 514 metres (1,686 ft) AMSL in the Sierra Carapé hill range. To the southwest is the Río de la Plata, the estuary of the Uruguay River (which river forms the country's western border).
There are ten national parks in Uruguay: Five in the wetland areas of the east, three in the central hill country, and one in the west along the Rio Uruguay.
Located entirely within a temperate zone, Uruguay has a climate that is relatively mild and fairly uniform nationwide. Seasonal variations are pronounced, but extremes in temperature are rare. As would be expected with its abundance of water, high humidity and fog are common. The absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, makes all locations vulnerable to high winds and rapid changes in weather as fronts or storms sweep across the country. Both summer and winter weather may vary from day to day with the passing of storm fronts, where a hot northerly wind may occasionally be followed by a cold wind (pampero) from the Argentine Pampas.
Uruguay has a largely uniform temperature throughout the year, with summers being tempered by winds off the Atlantic; severe cold in winter is unknown. The heaviest precipitation occurs during the autumn months, although more frequent rainy spells occur in winter. The mean annual precipitation is generally greater than 40 inches (1,000 mm), decreasing with distance from the sea coast, and is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year.
The average temperature for the midwinter month of July varies from 12 °C (54 °F) at Salto in the northern interior to 9 °C (48 °F) at Montevideo in the south. The midsummer month of January varies from a warm average of 26 °C (79 °F) at Salto to 22 °C (72 °F) at Montevideo. National extreme temperatures at sea level are, Paysandú city 44 °C (111 °F) (20 January 1943) and Melo city −11.0 °C (12.2 °F) (14 June 1967).
Uruguay is a representative democratic republic with a presidential system. The members of government are elected for a five-year term by a universal suffrage system. Uruguay is a unitary state: justice, education, health, security, foreign policy and defense are all administered nationwide. The Executive Power is exercised by the president and a cabinet of 13 ministers.
The legislative power is constituted by the General Assembly, composed of two chambers: the Chamber of Representatives, consisting of 99 members representing the 19 departments, elected based on proportional representation; and the Chamber of Senators, consisting of 31 members, 30 of whom are elected for a five-year term by proportional representation and the Vice-President, who presides over the chamber.
The judicial arm is exercised by the Supreme Court, the Bench and Judges nationwide. The members of the Supreme Court are elected by the General Assembly; the members of the Bench are selected by the Supreme Court with the consent of the Senate, and the judges are directly assigned by the Supreme Court.
Uruguay adopted its current constitution in 1967. Many of its provisions were suspended in 1973, but re-established in 1985. Drawing on Switzerland and its use of the initiative, the Uruguayan Constitution also allows citizens to repeal laws or to change the constitution by popular initiative, which culminates in a nationwide referendum. This method has been used several times over the past 15 years: to confirm a law renouncing prosecution of members of the military who violated human rights during the military regime (1973–1985); to stop privatization of public utilities companies; to defend pensioners' incomes; and to protect water resources.
For most of Uruguay's history, the Partido Colorado has been in government. However, in the Uruguayan general election, 2004, the Broad Front won an absolute majority in Parliamentary elections, and in 2009, José Mujica of the Broad Front defeated Luis Alberto Lacalle of the Blancos to win the presidency.
A 2010 Latinobarómetro poll found that, within Latin America, Uruguayans are among the most supportive of democracy and by far the most satisfied with the way democracy works in their country. Uruguay ranked 27th in the Freedom House "Freedom in the World" index. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2012, Uruguay scored an 8.17 in the Democracy Index and ranked equal 18th amongst the 25 countries considered to be full democracies in the world. Uruguay ranks 18th in the World Corruption Perceptions Index composed by Transparency International.
Uruguay is divided into 19 departments whose local administrations replicate the division of the executive and legislative powers. Each department elects its own authorities through a universal suffrage system. The departmental executive authority resides in a superintendent and the legislative authority in a departmental board.
|Department||Capital||Area||Population (2011 census)|
|Colonia||Colonia del Sacramento||6,106||2,358||123,203|
|Río Negro||Fray Bentos||9,282||3,584||54,765|
|San José||San José de Mayo||4,992||1,927||108,309|
|Treinta y Tres||Treinta y Tres||9,529||3,679||48,134|
In November 2010, Uruguay ratified the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty, becoming the ninth nation out of twelve to do so. The treaty was written in 2008 and was to come into force 30 days after the date of receipt of the ninth instrument of ratification.
Argentina and Brazil are Uruguay's most important trading partners: Argentina accounted for 20% of total imports in 2009. Since bilateral relations with Argentina are considered a priority, Uruguay denies clearance to British naval vessels bound for the Falkland Islands, and prevents them from calling in at Uruguayan territories and ports for supplies and fuel. A rivalry between the port of Montevideo and the port of Buenos Aires, dating back to the times of the Spanish Empire, has been described as a "port war". Officials of both countries emphasized the need to end this rivalry in the name of regional integration in 2010.
Construction of a controversial pulp paper mill in 2007, on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay River, caused protests in Argentina over fears that it would pollute the environment and lead to diplomatic tensions between the two countries. The ensuing dispute remained a subject of controversy into 2010, particularly after ongoing reports of increased water contamination in the area were later proven to be from sewage discharge from the town of Gualeguaychú in Argentina. In November 2010, Uruguay and Argentina announced they had reached a final agreement for joint environmental monitoring of the pulp mill.
Brazil and Uruguay have signed cooperation agreements on defence, science, technology, energy, river transportation and fishing, with the hope of accelerating political and economic integration between these two neighbouring countries. Uruguay has two uncontested boundary disputes with Brazil, over Isla Brasilera and the 235 km2 (91 sq mi) Invernada River region near Masoller. The two countries disagree on which tributary represents the legitimate source of the Quaraí/Cuareim River, which would define the border in the latter disputed section, according to the 1851 border treaty between the two countries. However, these border disputes have not prevented both countries from having friendly diplomatic relations and strong economic ties. So far, the disputed areas remain de facto under Brazilian control, with little to no actual effort by Uruguay to assert its claims.
Uruguay has enjoyed friendly relations with the United States since its transition back to democracy. Commercial ties between the two countries have expanded substantially in recent years, with the signing of a bilateral investment treaty in 2004 and a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in January 2007. The United States and Uruguay have also cooperated on military matters, with both countries playing significant roles in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.
President Mujica backed Venezuela's bid to join Mercosur, and supported Venezuelan Economy Minister Ali Rodriguez to become general secretary of UNASUR, a position previously held by Néstor Kirchner. Venezuela has a deal to sell Uruguay up to 40,000 barrels of oil a day under preferential terms.
On 15 March 2011, Uruguay became the seventh South American nation to officially recognize a Palestinian state, although there was no specification for the Palestinian state's borders as part of the recognition. In statements, the Uruguayan government indicated its firm commitment to the Middle East peace process, but refused to specify borders "to avoid interfering in an issue that would require a bilateral agreement".
The Uruguayan armed forces are constitutionally subordinate to the president, through the minister of defense. Armed forces personnel number about 14,000 for the Army, 6,000 for the Navy, and 3,000 for the Air Force. Enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies.
Since May 2009, homosexuals have been allowed to serve openly in the military after the defence minister signed a decree stating that military recruitment policy would no longer discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. In the fiscal year 2010, the United States provided Uruguay with $1.7 million in military assistance, including $1 million in Foreign Military Financing and $480,000 in International Military Education and Training.
Uruguay ranks first in the world on a per capita basis for its contributions to the United Nations peacekeeping forces, with 2,513 soldiers and officers in 10 UN peacekeeping missions. As of February 2010, Uruguay had 1,136 military personnel deployed to Haiti in support of MINUSTAH and 1,360 deployed in support of MONUC in the Congo. In December 2010, Uruguayan Major General Gloodtdofsky, was appointed Chief Military Observer and head of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan.
Uruguay experienced a major economic and financial crisis between 1999 and 2002, principally a spillover effect from the economic problems of Argentina. The economy contracted by 11%, and unemployment climbed to 21%. Despite the severity of the trade shocks, Uruguay's financial indicators remained more stable than those of its neighbours, a reflection of its solid reputation among investors and its investment-grade sovereign bond rating, one of only two in South America.
In 2004, the Batlle government signed a three-year $1.1 billion stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), committing the country to a substantial primary fiscal surplus, low inflation, considerable reductions in external debt, and several structural reforms designed to improve competitiveness and attract foreign investment. Uruguay terminated the agreement in 2006 following the early repayment of its debt but maintained a number of the policy commitments.
Vázquez, who assumed the government in March 2005, created the "Ministry of Social Development" and sought to reduce the country's poverty rate with a $240 million National Plan to Address the Social Emergency (PANES), which provided a monthly conditional cash transfer of approximately $75 to over 100,000 households in extreme poverty. In exchange, those receiving the benefits were required to participate in community work, ensure that their children attended school daily, and had regular health check-ups.
Following the 2001 Argentine credit default, prices in the Uruguayan economy made a variety of services, including information technology and architectural expertise, once too expensive in many foreign markets, exportable. The Frente Amplio government, while continuing payments on Uruguay's external debt, also undertook an emergency plan to attack the widespread problems of poverty and unemployment. The economy grew at an annual rate of 6.7% during the 2004–2008 period. Uruguay's exports markets have been diversified in order to reduce dependency on Argentina and Brazil. Poverty was reduced from 33% in 2002 to 21.7% in July 2008, while extreme poverty dropped from 3.3% to 1.7%.
Between the years 2007 and 2009, Uruguay was the only country in the Americas that did not technically experience a recession (two consecutive downward quarters). Unemployment reached a record low of 5.4% in December 2010 before rising to 6.1% in January 2011. While unemployment is still at a low level, the IMF observed a rise in inflationary pressures, and Uruguay's GDP expanded by 10.4% for the first half of 2010.
According to IMF estimates, Uruguay was likely to achieve growth in real GDP of between 8% and 8.5% in 2010, followed by 5% growth in 2011 and 4% in subsequent years. Gross public sector debt contracted in the second quarter of 2010, after five consecutive periods of sustained increase, reaching $21.885 billion US dollars, equivalent to 59.5% of the GDP.
The growth, use, and sale of cannabis was legalized on 11 December 2013, making Uruguay the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana. The law was voted at the Uruguayan Senate on the same date with 16 votes to approve it and 13 against.
In 2010, Uruguay's export-oriented agricultural sector contributed to 9.3% of the GDP and employed 13% of the workforce. Official statistics from Uruguay's Agriculture and Livestock Ministry indicate that meat and sheep farming in Uruguay occupies 59.6% of the land. The percentage further increases to 82.4% when cattle breeding is linked to other farm activities such as dairy, forage, and rotation with crops such as rice.
According to FAOSTAT, Uruguay is one of the world's largest producers of soybeans (9th), greasy wool (12th), horse meat (14th), beeswax (14th), and quinces (17th). Most farms (25,500 out of 39,120) are family-managed; beef and wool represent the main activities and main source of income for 65% of them, followed by vegetable farming at 12%, dairy farming at 11%, hogs at 2%, and poultry also at 2%. Beef is the main export commodity of the country, totaling over $1 billion US dollars in 2006.
In 2007, Uruguay had cattle herds totalling 12 million head, making it the country with the highest number of cattle per capita at 3.8. However, 54% is in the hands of 11% of farmers, who have a minimum of 500 head. At the other extreme, 38% of farmers exploit small lots and have herds averaging below one hundred head.
The tourism industry in Uruguay is an important part of its economy. In 2012 the sector was estimated to account for 97,000 jobs and (directly and indirectly) 9% of GDP.
In 2013 2.8 million tourists entered Uruguay, of whom 59% came from Argentina and 14% from Brazil, with Chileans, Paraguayans, North Americans and Europeans accounting for most of the remainder.
Cultural experiences in Uruguay include exploring the country's colonial heritage, as found in Colonia del Sacramento. Montevideo, the country's capital, houses the most diverse selection of cultural activities. Historical monuments such as Torres Garcia Museum as well as Estadio Centenario, which housed the first world cup in history, are examples. However simply walking the streets allows tourists to experience the city's colorful culture.
One of the main natural attractions in Uruguay is Punta del Este. Punta del Este is situated on a small peninsula off the southeast coast of Uruguay. Its beaches are divided into Mansa, or tame (river) side and Brava, or rugged (ocean) side. The Mansa is more suited for sunbathing, snorkeling, & other low-key recreational opportunities, while the Brava is more suited for adventurous sports, such as surfing. Punta del Este adjoins the city of Maldonado, while to its northeast along the coast are found the smaller resorts of La Barra and José Ignacio.
The Port of Montevideo, handling over 1.1 million containers annually, is the most advanced container terminal in South America. Its quay can handle 14-metre draught (46 ft) vessels. Nine straddle cranes allow for 80 to 100 movements per hour. The port of Nueva Palmira is a major regional merchandise transfer point and houses both private and government-run terminals.
Carrasco Airport was initially inaugurated in 1947 and in 2009, Puerta del Sur, the airport owner and operator, with an investment of $165 million, commissioned Rafael Viñoly Architects to expand and modernize the existing facilities with a spacious new passenger terminal to increase capacity and spur commercial growth and tourism in the region. The London-based magazine Frontier chose the Carrasco International Airport, serving Montevideo, as one of the best four airports in the world in its 27th edition. The airport can handle up to 4.5 million users per year. PLUNA was the flag carrier of Uruguay, and was headquartered in Carrasco. The Laguna del Sauce Airport, located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Punta del Este, was remodeled in 1997, and runways have been renovated through a private investment concession.
The Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado is the autonomous agency in charge of rail transport and the maintenance of the railroad network. Uruguay has about 1,200 km (750 mi) of operational railroad track. Until 1947, about 90% of the railroad system was British-owned. In 1949, the government nationalized the railways, along with the electric trams and the Montevideo Waterworks Company. However, in 1985 the "National Transport Plan" suggested passenger trains were too costly to repair and maintain. Cargo trains would continue for loads more than 120 tons, but bus transportation became the "economic" alternative for travellers. Passenger service was then discontinued in 1988. However, rail passenger commuter service into Montevideo was restarted in 1993, and now comprises three suburban lines.
Surfaced roads connect Montevideo to the other urban centers in the country, the main highways leading to the border and neighboring cities. Numerous unpaved roads connect farms and small towns. Overland trade has increased markedly since Mercosur (Southern Common Market) was formed in the 1990s and again in the later 2000s. Most of the country's domestic freight and passenger service is by road rather than rail.
The country has several international bus services connecting the capital and frontier localities to neighboring countries. Namely, 17 destinations in Argentina[fn 1]; 12 destinations in Brazil [fn 3] and the capital cities of Chile and Paraguay.
The Telecommunications industry is more developed than in most other Latin American countries, being the first country in the Americas to achieve complete digital telephony coverage in 1997. The telephone system is completely digitized and has very good coverage over all the country. The system is government owned, and there have been controversial proposals to partially privatize since the 1990s.
Nearly 95% of Uruguay's electricity comes from renewable energy. The dramatic shift, taking less than ten years and without government funding, lowered electricity costs and slashed the country's carbon footprint. Most of the electricity comes from hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay no longer imports electricity.
Uruguayans are of predominantly European origin, with over 87.7% of the population claiming European descent in the 2011 census. Most Uruguayans of European ancestry are descendants of 19th and 20th century immigrants from Spain and Italy (about one-quarter of the population is of Italian origin), and to a lesser degree France, Germany and Britain. Earlier settlers had migrated from Argentina. People of African descent make up an even smaller proportion of the total.
From 1963 to 1985, an estimated 320,000 Uruguayans emigrated. The most popular destinations for Uruguayan emigrants are Argentina, followed by the United States, Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy and France. In 2009, for the first time in 44 years, the country saw an overall positive influx when comparing immigration to emigration. 3,825 residence permits were awarded in 2009, compared with 1,216 in 2005. 50% of new legal residents come from Argentina and Brazil. A migration law passed in 2008 gives immigrants the same rights and opportunities that nationals have, with the requisite of proving a monthly income of $650.
Uruguay's rate of population growth is much lower than in other Latin American countries. Its median age is higher than the global average due to its low birth rate, high life expectancy, and relatively high rate of emigration among younger people. A quarter of the population is less than 15 years old and about a sixth are aged 60 and older.
Metropolitan Montevideo is the only large city, with around 1.9 million inhabitants, or more than half the country's total population. The rest of the urban population lives in about 30 towns.
A 2017 IADB report on labor conditions for Latin American nations, ranked Uruguay as the region's leader overall and in all but one subindexes, including gender, age, income, formality and labor participation.
Uruguay has no official religion; church and state are officially separated, and religious freedom is guaranteed. A 2008 survey by the INE of Uruguay showed Catholicism as the main religion, with 45.7% of the population; 9.0% are non-Catholic Christians, 0.6% are Animists or Umbandists (an Afro-Brazilian religion), and 0.4% Jewish. 30.1% reported believing in a god, but not belonging to any religion, while 14% were atheist or agnostic. Among the sizeable Armenian community in Montevideo, the dominant religion is Christianity, specifically Armenian Apostolic.
Political observers consider Uruguay the most secular country in the Americas. Uruguay's secularization began with the relatively minor role of the church in the colonial era, compared with other parts of the Spanish Empire. The small numbers of Uruguay's indigenous peoples and their fierce resistance to proselytism reduced the influence of the ecclesiastical authorities.
After independence, anti-clerical ideas spread to Uruguay, particularly from France, further eroding the influence of the church. In 1837 civil marriage was recognized, and in 1861 the state took over the running of public cemeteries. In 1907 divorce was legalized and, in 1909 all religious instruction was banned from state schools. Under the influence of the innovative Colorado reformer José Batlle y Ordóñez (1903–1911), complete separation of church and state was introduced with the new constitution of 1917.
Uruguay's capital has 12 synagogues, and a community of 20,000 Jews by 2011. With a peak of 50,000 during the mid-1960s, Uruguay has the world's highest rate of aliyah as a percentage of the Jewish population.
|Official survey results||2006||2007||2008|
|Animist and Umbanda||0.6||0.7||0.7|
Uruguayan Spanish has some modifications due to the considerable number of Italian immigrants. Immigrants used to speak a mixture of Spanish and Italian known as 'cocoliche' and some of the words are still commonly used by the population. As is the case with neighboring Argentina, Uruguay employs both voseo and yeísmo (with [ʃ] or [ʒ]). English is common in the business world and its study has risen significantly in recent years, especially among the young. Uruguayan Portuguese is spoken as a native language by 15% of the Uruguayan population, in northern regions near the Brazilian border, making it the second most spoken language of the country. Other languages include a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese called Portuñol, spoken in the Brazilian border. As few native people exist in the population, no indigenous languages are thought to remain in Uruguay. Another spoken dialect was the Patois, which was a mixture of French and Italian. The dialect was spoken mainly in the Colonia Department, where the first pilgrims settled, in the city called La Paz (Colonia). Today it is considered a dead tongue, although some elders at the aforementioned location still practice it. There are still written tracts of the language in the Waldensians Library (Biblioteca Valdense) in the town of Colonia Valdense, Colonia Department. Patois speakers arrived to Uruguay from the Piedmont. Originally they were Vaudois, who become Waldensians, giving their name to the city Colonia Valdense, which translated from the Spanish means "Waldensian Colony."
Education in Uruguay is secular, free, and compulsory for 14 years, starting at the age of 4. The system is divided into six levels of education: early childhood (3–5 years); primary (6–11 years); basic secondary (12–14 years); upper secondary (15–17 years); higher education (18 and up); and post-graduate education.
Public education is the primary responsibility of three institutions: the Ministry of Education and Culture, which coordinates education policies, the National Public Education Administration, which formulates and implements policies on early to secondary education, and the University of the Republic, responsible for higher education. In 2009, the government planned to invest 4.5% of GDP in education.
Uruguay ranks high on standardised tests such as PISA at a regional level, but compares unfavourably to the OECD average, and is also below some countries with similar levels of income. In the 2006 PISA test, Uruguay had one of the greatest standard deviations among schools, suggesting significant variability by socio-economic level.
Uruguay is part of the One Laptop per Child project, and in 2009 became the first country in the world to provide a laptop for every primary school student, as part of the Plan Ceibal. Over the 2007–2009 period, 362,000 pupils and 18,000 teachers were involved in the scheme; around 70% of the laptops were given to children who did not have computers at home. The OLPC programme represents less than 5% of the country's education budget.
Uruguayan culture is strongly European and its influences from southern Europe are particularly important. The tradition of the gaucho has been an important element in the art and folklore of both Uruguay and Argentina.
Abstract painter and sculptor Carlos Páez Vilaró was a prominent Uruguayan artist. He drew from both Timbuktu and Mykonos to create his best-known work: his home, hotel and atelier Casapueblo near Punta del Este. Casapueblo is a "livable sculpture" and draws thousands of visitors from around the world. The 19th-century painter Juan Manuel Blanes, whose works depict historical events, was the first Uruguayan artist to gain widespread recognition. The Post-Impressionist painter Pedro Figari achieved international renown for his pastel studies of subjects in Montevideo and the countryside. Blending elements of art and nature the work of the landscape architect Leandro Silva Delgado has also earned international prominence.
Uruguay has a small but growing film industry, and movies such as Whisky by Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll (2004), Marcelo Bertalmío's Los días con Ana (2000; "Days with Ana") and Ana Díez's Paisito (2008), about the 1973 military coup, have earned international honours.
The folk and popular music of Uruguay shares not only its gaucho roots with Argentina, but also those of the tango. One of the most famous tangos, "La cumparsita" (1917), was written by the Uruguayan composer Gerardo Matos Rodríguez. The candombe is a folk dance performed at Carnival, especially Uruguayan Carnival, mainly by Uruguayans of African ancestry. The guitar is the preferred musical instrument, and in a popular traditional contest called the payada two singers, each with a guitar, take turns improvising verses to the same tune.
Numerous radio stations and musical events reflect the popularity of rock music and the Caribbean genres, known as música tropical ("tropical music"). Early classical music in Uruguay showed heavy Spanish and Italian influence, but since the 20th century a number of composers of classical music, including Eduardo Fabini, Vicente Ascone, and Héctor Tosar, have made use of Latin American musical idioms.
Tango has also affected Uruguayan culture, especially during the 20th century, particularly the '30s and '40s with Uruguayan singers such as Julio Sosa from Las Piedras. When the famous tango singer Carlos Gardel was 29 years old he changed his nationality to be Uruguayan, saying he was born in Tacuarembó, but this subterfuge was probably done to keep French authorities from arresting him for failing to register in the French Army for World War I. Gardel was born in France and was raised in Buenos Aires. He never lived in Uruguay. Nevertheless, a Carlos Gardel museum was established in 1999 in Valle Edén, near Tacuarembó.
Rock and roll first broke into Uruguayan audiences with the arrival of the Beatles and other British bands in the early 1960s. A wave of bands appeared in Montevideo, including Los Shakers, Los Mockers, Los Iracundos, Los Moonlights, and Los Malditos, who became major figures in the so-called Uruguayan Invasion of Argentina. Popular bands of the Uruguayan Invasion sang in English.
Popular Uruguayan rock bands include La Vela Puerca, No Te Va Gustar, El Cuarteto de Nos, Once Tiros, La Trampa, Chalamadre, Snake, Buitres, and Cursi. In 2004, the Uruguayan musician and actor Jorge Drexler won an Academy Award for composing the song "Al otro lado del río" from the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, which narrated the life of Che Guevara.
José Enrique Rodó (1871–1917), a modernist, is considered Uruguay's most significant literary figure. His book Ariel (1900) deals with the need to maintain spiritual values while pursuing material and technical progress. Besides stressing the importance of upholding spiritual over materialistic values, it also stresses resisting cultural dominance by Europe and the United States. The book continues to influence young writers. Notable amongst Latin American playwrights is Florencio Sánchez (1875–1910), who wrote plays about contemporary social problems that are still performed today.
From about the same period came the romantic poetry of Juan Zorrilla de San Martín (1855–1931), who wrote epic poems about Uruguayan history. Also notable are Juana de Ibarbourou (1895–1979), Delmira Agustini (1866–1914), Idea Vilariño (1920–2009), and the short stories of Horacio Quiroga and Juan José Morosoli (1899–1959). The psychological stories of Juan Carlos Onetti (such as "No Man's Land" and "The Shipyard") have earned widespread critical praise, as have the writings of Mario Benedetti.
Uruguay's best-known contemporary writer is Eduardo Galeano, author of Las venas abiertas de América Latina (1971; "Open Veins of Latin America") and the trilogy Memoria del fuego (1982–87; "Memory of Fire"). Other modern Uruguayan writers include Mario Levrero, Sylvia Lago, Jorge Majfud, and Jesús Moraes. Uruguayans of many classes and backgrounds enjoy reading historietas, comic books that often blend humour and fantasy with thinly veiled social criticism.
The Reporters Without Borders worldwide press freedom index has ranked Uruguay as 37th of 178 reported countries in 2010. Freedom of speech and media are guaranteed by the constitution, with qualifications for inciting violence or "insulting the nation". Uruguayans have access to more than 100 private daily and weekly newspapers, more than 100 radio stations, and some 20 terrestrial television channels, and cable TV is widely available.
Uruguay's long tradition of freedom of the press was severely curtailed during the years of military dictatorship. On his first day in office in March 1985, Sanguinetti re-established complete freedom of the press. Consequently, Montevideo's newspapers, which account for all of Uruguay's principal daily newspapers, greatly expanded their circulations.
State-run radio and TV are operated by the official broadcasting service SODRE. Some newspapers are owned by, or linked to, the main political parties. El Día was the nation's most prestigious paper until its demise in the early 1990s, founded in 1886 by the Colorado party leader and (later) president José Batlle y Ordóñez. El País, the paper of the rival Blanco Party, has the largest circulation. Búsqueda is Uruguay's most important weekly news magazine and serves as an important forum for political and economic analysis. Although it sells only about 16,000 copies a week, its estimated readership exceeds 50,000. MercoPress is an independent news agency focusing on news related to Mercosur and is based in Montevideo.
Football is the most popular sport in Uruguay. The first international match outside the British Isles was played between Uruguay and Argentina in Montevideo in July 1902. Uruguay won gold at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games and again in 1928 in Amsterdam.
The Uruguay national football team has won the FIFA World Cup on two occasions. Uruguay won the inaugural tournament on home soil in 1930 and again in 1950, famously defeating home favourites Brazil in the final match. Uruguay has won the Copa América (an international tournament for South American nations and guests) more than any other country, their victory in 2011 making a total of 15 Copa Américas won. Uruguay has by far the smallest population of any country that has won a World Cup. Despite their early success, they missed three World Cups in four attempts from 1994 to 2006. Uruguay performed very creditably in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, having reached the semi-final for the first time in 40 years. Diego Forlán was presented with the Golden Ball award as the best player of the 2010 tournament. In the rankings for June 2012, Uruguay were ranked the second best team in the world, according to the FIFA world rankings, their highest ever point in football history, falling short of the first spot to the Spain national football team.
Uruguay exported 1,414 football players during the 2000s, almost as many players as Brazil and Argentina. In 2010, the Uruguayan government enacted measures intended to retain players in the country.
Football was taken to Uruguay by English sailors and labourers in the late 19th century. Less successfully, they introduced rugby and cricket. There are two Montevideo-based football clubs, Nacional and Peñarol, who are successful in domestic and South American tournaments and have won three Intercontinental Cups each.
Besides football, the most popular sport in Uruguay is basketball. Its national team qualified for the Basketball World Cup 7 times, more often than other countries in South America, except Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay hosted the official Basketball World Cup for the 1967 FIBA World Championship and the official Americas Basketball Championship in 1988, 1997 and is a host of the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup.
The word itself, "Uruguay," is clearly derived from the Guaraní, probably by way of the tribal dialect of the Charrúas […] from uru (a generic designation of wild fowl)
In Paraguay the Guaraní Indians call a fowl uruguaçú. The Cainguá in Misiones only say urú. […] A few Guaraní-speakiug Indians who call a hen uruguasu and a cock tacareo. Uruguaçu means "the big uru".
The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the inaugural FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Uruguay from 13 to 30 July 1930. FIFA, football's international governing body, selected Uruguay as host nation, as the country would be celebrating the centenary of its first constitution, and the Uruguay national football team had successfully retained their football title at the 1928 Summer Olympics. All matches were played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, the majority at the Estadio Centenario, which was built for the tournament.
Thirteen teams (seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America) entered the tournament. Only a few European teams chose to participate because of the difficulty of travelling to South America. The teams were divided into four groups, with the winner of each group progressing to the semi-finals. The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously, and were won by France and the United States, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0, respectively. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first goal in World Cup history, while US goalkeeper Jimmy Douglas posted the first official "clean sheet" in the tournament.
Argentina, Uruguay, the United States and Yugoslavia each won their respective groups to qualify for the semi-finals. In the final, hosts and pre-tournament favourites Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of a crowd of 68,346 people, and became the first nation to win the World Cup.2009 South American Beach Games
The I Beach South American Games was a multi-sport event held from 2 to 13 December 2009 in Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay. The Games was organized by the South American Sports Organization (ODESUR).Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Argentina) represents Argentina in football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association (AFA), the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires.
La Selección (national team), also known as the Albicelestes, has appeared in five World Cup finals, including the first final in 1930, which they lost 4–2 to Uruguay. Argentina won in their next final appearance in 1978, beating the Netherlands at extra time, 3–1. Argentina won again in 1986, through a 3–2 victory over West Germany, and a tournament campaign led by Diego Maradona. They made the World Cup finals once more in 1990, and lost 1–0 to West Germany following a controversial penalty call in the 87th minute. Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, made their fifth appearance in a World Cup final in 2014, again losing to Germany, 1–0 during extra-time. Argentina's World Cup winning managers are César Luis Menotti in 1978, and Carlos Bilardo in 1986.
Argentina has been very successful in the Copa América, winning it 14 times, being second only to Uruguay in Copa América victories. Argentina have also won the 'extra' South American Championships in 1941, 1945 and 1946. The team also won the 1992 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 1993 Artemio Franchi Trophy. The Argentine olympic team won the Olympics football tournaments in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.Argentina, Brazil and France are the only national teams that have won the three most important men's titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Olympic tournament. They have also won their respective continental championship (Copa América for Argentina and Brazil, and UEFA European Championship for France).Argentina is known for having rivalries with Brazil, Uruguay, England, and Germany due to particular occurrences with one another throughout football history.Copa América
CONMEBOL Copa América (CONMEBOL America Cup), known until 1975 as the South American Football Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano de Fútbol in Spanish and Campeonato Sul-americano de Futebol (Portugal) ou Copa Sul-Americana de Futebol (Brazil) in Portuguese), is a men's international football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL. It is the oldest international continental football competition. The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to participate.
Since 1993, the tournament has generally featured 12 teams – all 10 CONMEBOL teams and two additional teams from other confederations. Mexico has participated in every tournament since 1993, with one additional team drawn from CONCACAF, except for 1999, when AFC team Japan filled out the 12-team roster. The 2016 version of the event, Copa América Centenario, featured sixteen teams, with six teams from CONCACAF in addition to the 10 from CONMEBOL. Mexico's two runner-up finishes are the highest for a non-CONMEBOL side.
Eight of the ten CONMEBOL national teams have won the tournament at least once in its 45 stagings since the event's inauguration in 1916, with only Ecuador and Venezuela yet to win. Uruguay has the most championships in the tournament's history, with 15 cups, while the current champion, Chile, has two cups. Argentina, which hosted the inaugural edition in 1916, has hosted the tournament the most times (nine). The United States is the only non-CONMEBOL country to host, having hosted the event in 2016. On three occasions (in 1975, 1979, and 1983), the tournament was held in multiple South American countries.
The highest finishing member of CONMEBOL has the right to participate in the next edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, but is not obliged to do so.Departments of Uruguay
Uruguay consists of 19 departments. Each department has a legislature called a Departmental Board. The mayor of the department's capital city also serves as the department's chief executive.Diego Forlán
Diego Forlán Corazo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈdjeɣo foɾˈlan]; born 19 May 1979) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a forward. A prolific goal scorer, he is regarded as one of the greatest Uruguayan players of all time. At club level, Forlán is a two-time winner of both the Pichichi Trophy and the European Golden Shoe. With Uruguay, he had huge individual success at the 2010 World Cup receiving the Golden Ball, the joint Top Scorer award, the Goal of the Tournament award and being named in the Dream Team.
Forlán joined Argentine club Independiente after rising through their youth team, and after a successful four-year spell, he signed for Manchester United of England. His form for United was not as successful as at Independiente, although he won the Premier League in 2002–03 and the FA Cup in 2003–04. In the summer of 2004, he moved on to Spanish side Villarreal. In his first season in Spanish football with Villarreal, Forlán scored 25 league goals and won the Pichichi Trophy. After two more successful seasons with Villarreal, Forlán joined Atlético Madrid, where he once again became the league's top scorer, and became the first player to win the Pichichi Trophy twice since Ronaldo achieved this feat in the 2003–04 season. Forlán scored in Atlético's 2010 Europa League final victory against Fulham. In 2011, he joined Inter Milan of Italy before moving to Internacional in 2012.
Forlán also had a successful international career, scoring 36 times for his country since his 2002 debut to his retirement on 11 March 2015, including one at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was the joint top scorer by scoring five times as Uruguay came fourth at the 2010 World Cup, being recognised with the Golden Ball award for the best player at the tournament. On 12 July 2011, at the 2011 Copa América in Argentina, which Uruguay won, Forlán earned his 79th international cap, against Mexico, breaking the record held by former goalkeeper Rodolfo Rodríguez since 1986. On 20 June 2013, in a match against Nigeria at the 2013 Confederations Cup, he became the first Uruguayan to win 100 caps. Forlán was Uruguay's all-time leading top scorer from 2011 until Luis Suárez overtook him two years later.Edinson Cavani
Edinson Roberto Cavani Gómez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈeðinsoŋ kaˈβani]; born 14 February 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Paris Saint-Germain and the Uruguay national team.
Cavani began his career playing for Danubio in Montevideo, where he played for two years, before moving to Italian side Palermo in 2007. He spent four seasons at the club, scoring 34 goals in 109 league appearances. In 2010, Cavani signed for Napoli, who signed him on an initial loan deal before buying him for a total fee of €17 million. In the 2011–12 season, he won his first club honour, the Coppa Italia, in which he was top scorer with five goals. With Napoli, Cavani went on to score 33 goals each in his first two seasons, followed by 38 goals in his third season, where he also finished as Serie A top scorer with 29 league goals. On 16 July 2013, Cavani was transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for a reported €64 million, at the time the most expensive signing in French football history. In January 2018, he became the club's all-time top scorer with his 157th goal. With PSG, Cavani has won four Ligue 1 championships, five Coupes de la Ligue and four Coupes de France. He was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the 2016–17 season.Cavani scored on his Uruguay debut against Colombia on 6 February 2008, and has since then earned 109 caps and scored 46 international goals, only less than strike partner Luis Suárez among Uruguayan internationals. He has participated in seven major international tournaments: the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 Copa América, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup, the 2015 Copa América, the Copa América Centenario and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He scored once at the 2010 World Cup to help Uruguay to fourth place in the tournament, and in 2011 was part of the Uruguay squad that won a record 15th Copa América title. He finished as the CONMEBOL 2018 World Cup qualification top scorer with 11 goals.FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, which is often called the World Cup Finals. After this, 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation(s), compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month.
The 21 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight national teams. Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Germany and Italy, with four titles each; Argentina, France and inaugural winner Uruguay, with two titles each; and England and Spain with one title each.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games; the cumulative viewership of all matches of the 2006 World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match, a ninth of the entire population of the planet.17 countries have hosted the World Cup. Brazil, France, Italy, Germany and Mexico have each hosted twice, while Uruguay, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, England, Argentina, Spain, the United States, Japan and South Korea (jointly), South Africa and Russia have each hosted once. Qatar are planned as hosts of the 2022 finals, and 2026 will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico, which will give Mexico the distinction of being the first country to have hosted games in three finals.Futsal
Futsal (also known as fútsal or footsal) is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal is also played with a smaller, harder, low-bounce ball. The surface, ball, and rules together favour ball control and passing in small spaces. The game's "emphasis is on improvisation, creativity and technique."History of Uruguay
The history of Uruguay comprises different periods: the pre-Columbian time or early history (up to the sixteenth century), the colonial period (1516–1811), the period of nation-building (1811–1830), and the history of Uruguay as an independent country (from around 1830).Luis Suárez
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (American Spanish: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. Often regarded as one of the best players in the world, Suárez has won 17 trophies in his career, including five league titles and a UEFA Champions League title at club level, and a Copa América with Uruguay. A prolific goalscorer, Suárez has won two European Golden Shoes,
an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot, as well as ending the six-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning La Liga's Pichichi Trophy in 2016. He has scored over 400 senior career goals for club and country.Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. At age 19, he relocated to the Netherlands to play for Groningen, before transferring to Ajax in 2007. He won his first trophy in 2010, the KNVB Cup, finishing the season as the league's top scorer and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year. A year later, he helped Ajax secure the Eredivisie title, and scored his 100th Ajax goal. In January 2011, Suárez transferred to Liverpool, and won the League Cup in his first full season. In 2014, he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year as well as winning the Premier League Golden Boot, and sharing the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo before moving to Barcelona in a transfer worth €82.3 million (£64.98 million), making him one of the most expensive players in football history.In his first season at Barcelona, Suárez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, helping the club win a historic second continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. Messi, Suárez, Neymar (dubbed MSN), scored a total of 122 goals that season, the most for an attacking front three in Spanish football history. In his second season at the club, Suárez won his first Pichichi Trophy as well as his second European Golden Shoe, for which he became the first player since 2009 to win both awards other than Messi or Ronaldo. He ended the season with a total of 40 league goals, 14 of which came in his last five matches, and 16 assists, becoming the first player in history to top La Liga in both goals and assists.Suárez is Uruguay's all-time leading goalscorer. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup he played an important role in Uruguay's fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, as well as controversially blocking a goal-bound extra time header with his hands during the quarter-final against Ghana. At the 2011 Copa América, Suárez scored four goals as Uruguay won a record fifteenth Copa América, and he was named Player of the Tournament. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Suárez scored his 40th international goal before he was suspended from the tournament after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suárez has been a source of controversy throughout his career. As well as his goal-line handball, he has also bitten opponents on three separate occasions. He has also been accused of and admitted to diving, and in 2011, the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Suárez disputes.Montevideo
Montevideo (Spanish pronunciation: [monteβiˈðeo]) is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has a population of 1,319,108 (about one-third of the country's total population) in an area of 201 square kilometres (78 sq mi). The southernmost capital city in the Americas, Montevideo is situated on the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata.
The city was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region. It was also under brief British rule in 1807. Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur and ALADI, Latin America’s leading trade blocs, a position that entailed comparisons to the role of Brussels in Europe.The 2017 Mercer's report on quality of life, rated Montevideo first in Latin America, a rank the city has consistently held since 2005. As of 2010, Montevideo was the 19th largest city economy in the continent and 9th highest income earner among major cities. In 2019, it has a projected GDP of $47.7 billion, with a per capita of $27,542.In 2018, it was classified as a beta global city ranking eighth in Latin America and 84th in the world. Montevideo hosted every match during the first FIFA World Cup, in 1930. Described as a "vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life", and "a thriving tech center and entrepreneurial culture", Montevideo ranked eighth in Latin America on the 2013 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. In 2014, it was also regarded as the fifth most gay-friendly metropolis in the world, first in Latin America. It is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay as well as its chief port. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of a larger metropolitan area, with a population of around 2 million.Pampas
The Pampas (from the Quechua: pampa, meaning "plain") are fertile South American lowlands that cover more than 750,000 km2 (289,577 sq mi) and include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba; all of Uruguay; and the southernmost Brazilian State, Rio Grande do Sul. The vast plains are a natural region, interrupted only by the low Ventana and Tandil hills, near Bahía Blanca and Tandil (Argentina), with a height of 1,300 m (4,265 ft) and 500 m (1,640 ft), respectively.
The climate is temperate, with precipitation of 600 to 1,200 mm (23.6 to 47.2 in) that is more or less evenly distributed through the year, making the soils appropriate for agriculture. The area is also one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger Paraná-Paraguay Plain division.Politics of Uruguay
The politics of Uruguay abide by a presidential representative democratic republic, under which the President of Uruguay is both the head of state and the head of government, as well as a multiform party system. The president exercises executive power and legislative power and is vested in the two chambers of the General Assembly of Uruguay. The Judiciary branch is independent from that of the executive and legislature.
The Colorado and National parties have been locked in a power struggle, with the predominance of the Colorado party throughout most of Uruguay's history. The elections of 2004, however, brought the Encuentro Progresista-Frente Amplio-Nueva Mayoría, a coalition of socialists, former Tupamaros, communists, social democrats, and Christian Democrats among others to power with majorities in both houses of parliament. A majority vote elected President Tabaré Vázquez.
In 2009, the Broad Front once again won the elections with a plurality of the votes. A presidential runoff was triggered because their candidate, José Mujica, only received 47.96 percent of the vote. The Broad Front's candidate easily beat Luis Alberto Lacalle of the Nacional Party in second round of voting. In addition to the presidency, the Broad Front won a simple majority in the Uruguayan Senate and Congress.Río de la Plata
The Río de la Plata (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈri.o ðe la ˈplata], lit. "river of silver")—rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth and La Plata River (occasionally Plata River) in other English-speaking countries—is the estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay and the Paraná rivers. It empties into the Atlantic Ocean, forming a funnel-shaped indentation on the southeastern coastline of South America. Depending on the geographer, the Río de la Plata may be considered a river, an estuary, a gulf or a marginal sea. For those who consider it a river, it is the widest river in the world, with a maximum width of about 220 kilometres (140 mi).
The river is about 290 kilometres (180 mi) long, and it widens from about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) at its source to about 220 kilometres (140 mi) at its mouth. It forms part of the border between Argentina and Uruguay, with the major ports and capital cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo on its western and northern shores, respectively. The coasts of La Plata are the most densely populated areas of Argentina and Uruguay.Uruguay Round Agreements Act
The Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA; Pub.L. 103–465, 108 Stat. 4809, enacted December 8, 1994) is an Act of Congress in the United States that implemented in U.S. law the Marrakesh Agreement of 1994. The Marrakesh Agreement was part of the Uruguay Round of negotiations which transformed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) into the World Trade Organization (WTO). One of its effects is to give United States copyright protection to some works that had previously been in the public domain in the United States.Uruguay national football team
The Uruguay national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez. The Uruguayan team is commonly referred to as La Celeste (The Sky Blue).
They have won the Copa América 15 times, the most successful national team in the tournament, the most recent title being the 2011 edition. The team has won the FIFA World Cup twice, including the first World Cup in 1930 as hosts, defeating Argentina 4–2 in the final. They won their second title in 1950, upsetting host Brazil 2–1 in the final match, which received an attendance higher than any football match ever.
They have won the Gold Medals in football at the Summer Olympics twice, in 1924 and 1928 recognized by FIFA as World Championships, before the creation of the World Cup. Uruguay also won the 1980 Mundialito, a tournament among former World Cup champions. In total, Uruguay have won 20 official titles, a world record for the most international titles held by any country.
Their success is amplified by the fact that the nation has a very small population of around 3.4 million inhabitants (2011 est.). Uruguay is by far the smallest country in the world to have won a World Cup in terms of population, 1.75 million inhabitants in 1930. The second-smallest country, by population, to have won the World Cup is Argentina with a population of nearly 28 million people in 1978. Uruguay is also the smallest country ever to win any World Cup medals; only six FIFA member nations with a currently smaller population than Uruguay's have ever qualified to any World Cup: Northern Ireland (three times), Slovenia (twice), Wales, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Iceland.Uruguay national rugby union team
The Uruguay national rugby union team, nicknamed Los Teros, is governed by the Unión de Rugby del Uruguay. One of the older test sides in the world, Uruguay has qualified three times for the Rugby World Cup, in 1999, 2003 and most recently 2015. As of March 2018 they are ranked 18th in the world, and are ranked 3rd in the Americas region, behind rivals Argentina and the United States.
Uruguay has consistently been one of the better fringe international sides in rugby union, having consistently beaten Tier 2/3 competition from across the globe. Uruguay won the South American Rugby Championship in 1981, the only time (pre-2014) that a team other than Argentina won the tournament. They came second on 19 occasions and third the remaining 9. As of 2012, Uruguay has been classified as a Tier 2 nation, which allows them to receive more funding from World Rugby.
Their home stadium is Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo and holds up to 14,000 people. Estadio Domingo Burgueño has also been used for some fixtures in the Americas Rugby Championship.Uruguayan Primera División
The Liga Profesional de Primera División [ˈliɣa pɾofesjoˈnal de pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon] (English: First Division Professional League) (local: [pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon]) (English: First Division), named "Torneo Uruguayo Copa Coca-Cola" for sponsorship reasons, is the highest professional football league in Uruguay and organized by the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF).
The first championship was held in 1900, being an amateur competition until 1932 when the league became professional. From 1900 to the 2014–15 season there have been 111 first division seasons.
In 2011, the Uruguayan Primera División was regarded as the 23rd most difficult football league in the 21st century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).Nacional and Peñarol/CURCC are the most successful Uruguayan clubs with 46 and 45/5 titles, respectively. Of clubs to win titles, only Rampla Juniors did not win multiple titles. Rampla Juniors and Wanderers were the only clubs to not win titles consecutively.