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Uruguay

Population: 3 332 972

GDP: 55 600 000 000.00 $

Description

 

Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose Batlle in the early 20th century launched widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973.

 

 

By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Population

 

Population: 3,332,972 (2014).

 

Nationality: noun: Uruguayan(s), adjective: Uruguayan.

 

Ethnic groups: white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian (practically nonexistent).

 

Languages: Spanish (official), Portunol, Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier).

 

Religions: Roman Catholic 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1%.

GDP

 

GDP: $ 55 600 000 000.00 (2014).

Military Organization

 

Uruguayan Armed Forces: Uruguayan National Army (Ejercito Nacional Uruguaya, ENU), Uruguayan National Navy (Armada Nacional del Uruguay; includes naval air arm, Naval Rifle Corps (Cuerpo de Fusileros Navales, Fusna), Maritime Prefecture in wartime), Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, FAU).

Conflicts and Disputes

 

In 2010, the ICJ ruled in favor of Uruguay's operation of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina; the two countries formed a joint pollution monitoring regime; uncontested boundary dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue along the Uruguay-Brazil border.

 

 

Uruguay is small-scale transit country for drugs mainly bound for Europe, often through sea-borne containers; law enforcement corruption; money laundering because of strict banking secrecy laws; weak border control along Brazilian frontier; increasing consumption of cocaine base and synthetic drugs.

Geographical Information and Map

 

Capital: Montevideo

 

Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil. Second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising.

 

Geographic coordinates:

33 00 S, 56 00 W.

 

Area:

total: 176,215 sq km

land: 175,015 sq km

water: 1,200 sq km

 

Land boundaries:

total: 1,591 km

border countries: Argentina 541 km, Brazil 1,050 km.

 

Coastline: 660 km.

 

Natural resources: arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fish.