Uruguay , officially the Eastern Republic of Uruguay , is a country in South America , located in the eastern part of the Southern Cone . It limits to the northeast with Brazil - the state of Rio Grande do Sul -, to the west and southwest with Argentina - provinces of Entre Ríos , Corrientes , Buenos Aires and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires - and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It covers 176,215 km² and is the second smallest country in South America, after Suriname .[ 3 ] According to data from the lastINEcensusin 2011, the population of Uruguay is3,286,314inhabitants, [ 9 ] which is the tenth among the 12 South American countries.
It is a presidential republic subdivided into nineteen departments and 125 municipalities . The capital and most populated city of the country is Montevideo , with 1.3 million inhabitants, [ 10 ] and whose metropolitan area is around 2 million, which represents 56.3% of the national total. [ A ]
The current Uruguayan territory was known during colonial times as Banda Oriental , and included part of the current Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul . [ 12 ] On August 27, 1828, the Preliminary Peace Convention was signed , which established the creation of an independent state, although without an official name. The name of the new state given in its first Constitution was " Eastern State of Uruguay ", changing it to the current one in the Constitutional Reform of 1918 .
It has a temperate climate with an average temperature of 17.5 ºC, with January being the warmest month, with an average of 22.6 ºC, and July the coldest month, with an average of 10.6 ºC. [ 13 ] The rains are abundant and vary from almost 1000 mm per year in the south to 1500 mm in the north, on the border with Brazil. [ 14 ] The precipitations also have seasonal variations, being the autumn and spring months those that register more abundant precipitations. [ 15 ]
According to the United Nations , it is the Latin American country with the highest literacy level. [ 16 ] According to a study by the Transparency International organization , it is the Latin American country with the lowest Corruption Perception Index and the 23rd in the world. [ 17 ] The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says that it is the third country in Latin America (after Chile and Argentina ) with the highest Human Development Index(HDI) and 54th in the world. [ 18 ] [ 19 ] According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) , it is one of the countries in the region with a more equitable distribution of revenues, with a Gini coefficient of 0.39. It is also the fourth country in Latin America (after Cuba , Costa Rica and Chile ) with the highest life expectancy . [ 20 ] [ 21 ] In the year 2018 it is the third country in Latin America (afterPanama and Chile ) with the highest GDP (PPP) per capita .
The Latinobarómetro Corporation , in a study carried out in 2008, places it as the most peaceful country in Latin America . [ 22 ] [ 23 ] In addition, according to US magazine International Living is the best of Latin America to live. [ 24 ] This same publication ensures that it is among the twenty safest countries in the world, [ 24 ] while the British publication The Economist, places it among the twenty most democratic, being the only South American country considered by said index as a "full democracy." [ 25 ]
In colonial times the territory was known as Banda Oriental . This name comes from its geographical location, being the easternmost domain of Spain on the American continent. During the first years of the independence struggle , it was called the Eastern Province , forming part of the Federal League and later of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata . During the Portuguese-Brazilian Invasion (1816-1828) it was officially called the Cisplatina Province .
When the draft of the first Constitution was drawn up in 1830, the name "State of Montevideo" was suggested for the new independent nation. During the discussion of the project, the names of "North Argentine State" and "Eastern State of the Rio de la Plata " or " Eastern State of Uruguay ", finally after a vote in the assembly the name of Eastern State of Uruguay was approved , in geographical reference to the Uruguay River . [ 26 ] Finally, in the Constitutional Reform of 1918 , the official name was changed to that ofOriental Republic of Uruguay, a name that had already been used de facto for a few decades.
Currently the most common name is simply Uruguay , there are several theories about the meaning and origin of the word:
- River of the country of urú or river of urú . It is the version of the Spanish naturalist Félix de Azara . The "urú quail" or simply urú , [ 27 ] is a bird of the family of odontofóridos , or the New World quail living in the jungles of the upper basin of the Uruguay River, located in the northeast of Argentina and southern Brazil , in the region of the Jesuit Missions . In this way, the literal translation from Guaraní would be: urú ; gua , "of"; and and , "water", water - river - from urú.
- Snails river . This interpretation arises from dividing the word in Uruguayan , "caracol" or "sea snail", and y , "water or river", and has several sources. This idea was supported independently by the Jesuits Nicolás Durán Mastrilli and Antonio Ruiz de Montoya , who had a deep knowledge of the Guaraní language , and then, at the end of the 18th century, the engineer José María Cabrer , who accompanied Félix de Azara in some of his travels through the Rio de la Plata region , the Missions and Paraguay . A 2010 investigation fromNational Museum of Natural History , also supports this thesis. Also Irene Cocchi and Rosario Gutiérrez, authors of the book «In the country of the snails, Uruguay», subscribe to this theory. The indigenous people, original inhabitants of the region, would be referring to a species of mollusk that abounds in the Uruguay River, the Asolene megastoma - a gastropod belonging to the ampullary family -. The natives used these snails as food and also in some rites. The large quantities found in indigenous burials would demonstrate the importance that snails had for the ancient inhabitants of this region. [ 27 ] [ 28 ]
- River of birds . It is a version very similar to the first one. The affix uru would be designative of bird »- urubú , urutaú , jaburú - and guay « water or river ». The pampean version with a guttural tone of «uhay» or «vahy» or even «hy» —Ayuhy, Iyuhy, Paraguay, Queguay, Iraí, Piraí, Ivahy— through the ages would have transformed the geographic designative.
- River of Painted Birds . A poetic interpretation of Juan Zorrilla de San Martín . [ 27 ]
Historically, the correct gentilicio to refer to the inhabitants of the republic is Oriental , but it has gradually fallen into disuse, having been replaced in most uses by Uruguayans . [ 12 ]
It has a total land area of 176 215 km² , [ 3 ] of which 175 015 km² is the sum total of the departments, 1200 km² comprises the sum of the artificial lakes of the Negro River , [ 3 ] 105 km² of the islands of the Uruguay River and 16,799 km² of jurisdictional waters (Uruguay River, Río de la Plata and Merín Lagoon). Until August 2016, the territorial sea area was 125 057 km² (see Extreme points of Uruguay ). On August 30, 2016, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seaconfirmed for Uruguay the new extension of the continental shelf, so that the country grows 83,000 square kilometers towards the sea and has more maritime territory than land. From then on, the total area of the Uruguayan territory covers 384,272 km² . [ 29 ]
The Uruguayan relief is characterized by its low altitude, divided into two large structural areas: the peneplains and the plains . It represents a transition zone between the Pampean plain and the Brazilian shield. [ 31 ]
Although the average height of 140 meters above sea level can be considered low, the relief does not correspond to a typical plain, given the almost constant presence of blades and mountains ; This type of relief is called peneplain . The elevations are associated with two systems: the Haedo blade , north of the Negro River , and the Grande blade , south of it. Of these two systems, blades of smaller size and elevation are detached. [ 32 ]
From the Cuchilla de Haedo the Negra and Santa Ana cleavers emerge, which serve as the boundary between Uruguay and Brazil, the Hospital knife a little further south and between the Negro and Tacuarembó rivers ; towards the west the blades of Belén , Daymán and Queguay extend . [ 32 ] Geologically, this system is composed mainly of basalts and sandstone . Its hills are usually flattened in shape. [ 33 ]
The Cuchilla Grande system is made up of the Cuchilla Grande itself, which runs from north to south. As an extension of it to the north is the Dionisio blade , between the Olimar and Tacuarí rivers . The Cerro Partido blade extends eastward between the Cebollatí River and the India Muerta Stream . The Sierra de Carapé forms the southern end of the system and has the three highest hills in the country: Cerro Catedral , Cerro de las Ánimas and Cerro Pan de Azúcar . As an extension of the Sierra de Carapéthe blade of the Carbonera extends , parallel to the Atlantic coast . To the west, is the Grande del Durazno blade , between the Negro and Yi rivers . In the same direction, further south, the blade large lower reaches the plains near the mouth of the Uruguay River, shedding the same blades of the St. Lucia , the sierras of Muhammad , the blade of the cake and knife Colony . [ 32 ] This system is mainly composed of granites and its hills tend to have a rounded shape at the top.
The highest point is the Cathedral , located in the Department of Maldonado , with 514 meters. Other outstanding elevations are the Cerro de las Ánimas and the Pan de Azúcar in Maldonado, the Arequita in Lavalleja , the Montevideo with its historical fortress and from which the name of the city is supposed to be derived, and the Batoví , near the Iporá spa , in Tacuarembó . [ 31 ]
The plains or plains generally have soil formed by sedimentation and fertile. They are found mainly on the coast of the Uruguay River, the coast of the Río de la Plata and the Atlantic coast, the latter extending to the Merin lagoon and the basins of the Olimar and Cebollatí rivers. [ 34 ] [ 35 ]
The rivers and streams of Uruguay form an extensive and dense network that irrigates the entire extension of the territory. All river currents flow into the Atlantic Ocean, and these currents tend to be gently sloping, making them slow and looping currents, which favors sediment deposits on their beds. Given the irregularity of rainfall in the region, floods usually occur in times of excessive rainfall, some of them severe. [ 36 ] [ 37 ]
Although most of the country's territory is occupied by prairies, most of the indigenous forest is concentrated on the banks of the waterways. The importance of this forest is given in that it stops the erosion of the riparian soil, avoids excessive evaporation and dams the channels. [ 38 ]
There are also important underground water deposits, the north of the country being part of the Guaraní aquifer ; Other important aquifers are Raigón , in the south of the country, Mercedes , in the west, and Chuy , in the east of the territory. [ 36 ] [ 37 ]
Most of the territory is within the Río de la Plata basin , while the rest of the territory is part of the Merin lagoon basin and a series of small waterways that flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean. For a better study of surface water resources , the Uruguayan State divides the territory into three hydrological regions : the Uruguay River, the Merin lagoon and the Río de la Plata and the seafront. [ 39 ]
The hydrographic region of the Uruguay River is the part of the river basin that is within the Uruguayan territory. It has an area of approximately 113,600 km² and represents 64% of the country's land area. Of that extension, more than half, 68,200 km², corresponds to the Negro river basin. [ 40 ]
The hydrographic region of the Río de la Plata and the sea front is comprised of the basins of rivers and streams that flow into the mentioned river, with the exception of the Uruguay River and its tributaries, and into the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 34 899 km², representing 20% of the territorial extension of Uruguay. [ 41 ]
The hydrographic region of the Merín lagoon is made up of the part of the basin of the same name that is within the Uruguayan territory and extends for 27,892 km², which is equivalent to 16% of the territory. [ 42 ]
Uruguay river hydrographic region
The Uruguay River, in addition to being the longest in the country, serves as a border with the Argentine Republic and is of great economic importance, given that the plains that surround it are highly fertile. In it is the Salto Grande dam , upstream from the cities of Salto (Uruguay) and Concordia (Argentina) , started up on June 21, 1979 and which provides most of the country's electrical energy. The dam's reservoir has generated an artificial lake of 783 km², with a length of 140 km, a width of 9 km and a volume of 5 500 hm³. The river basin has a total area of approximately 339,000 km², of which 113,600 km² (slightly more than 33%) are within Uruguayan territory. In this region, the main tributaries of the Uruguay River are the Cuareim , Arapey rivers , Dayman , Queguay , Negro and San Salvador It is also important as a means of communication, since it is navigable to the city of Concepción del Uruguay and by shallow vessels to the cities of Concordia and Salto . [ 43 ] [ 44 ] [ 45]
Black river basin
The Negro river basin occupies more than half of the territory of the Uruguay river basin that belongs to this country, with an area of 68,214 km². The Negro River is the most important tributary of the Uruguay River, with a length of 850 km and an average flow of 520 m³ / s. It serves as a limit to several departments: Cerro Largo , Rivera , Tacuarembó , Río Negro , Flores and Soriano . Its main tributaries are the Tacuarembó River and the Yi River . [ 46 ] [ 37 ]
The Negro River is of great economic importance, since in addition to being an important source of water for irrigation and human and animal consumption, it has three dams for the generation of electricity : Rincón del Bonete dam , with an installed capacity of 152 MW at a voltage of kV, the Rincón de Baygorria dam , with a power of 108 MW and a voltage of 150 kV, and the Constitución or Palmar dam , with a power of 333 MW and a voltage of 500 kV. This represents just over a third of Uruguay's total hydroelectric power. [ 47 ] [ 48 ]
Hydrographic region of the Río de la Plata and waterfront
It is made up of a series of rivers and streams of medium or short length, which flow directly into the Río de la Plata or the Atlantic Ocean. This region occupies 20% of the continental territory of the country. Within this region, the Santa Lucía River appears with special importance , from which water is extracted for drinking water in Aguas Corrientes , a facility that supplies 1,700,000 people in Montevideo and various towns in the department of Canelones . [ 49 ] [ 50 ]
Mainly towards the east of this region, the water courses usually end in coastal lagoons, which have communication with the Río de la Plata or the ocean. The Cisne and Sauce lagoons are used for the purification of water. The Sauce lagoon supplies up to 300,000 people in the summer season, including the cities of Maldonado , Punta del Este , San Carlos , Piriápolis , Pan de Azúcar and several other smaller towns. [ 38 ] [ 51 ]
Hydrographic region of Laguna Merín
It is a basin that covers part of the Uruguayan territory and Brazil . In Uruguay it occupies 27 892 km², just over half of its total area. Its main tributary is the Cebollatí River . Many of the rivers and streams that make up this basin pass through the plain that surrounds the lagoon, forming extensive estuaries and marshes , which makes possible the cultivation of rice , which is very widespread in the area. To avoid that the seasonality of the rainfall affects this crop, several dams have been built, among which the India Muerta dam stands out . [ 38 ]
The existence of differentiated zones of species throughout the territory is mainly determined by the existence or not of artificial irrigation , the lack of which causes the natural grassland to predominate in most of the Uruguayan territory. On the other hand, large plant species can be found in streams , mountain ranges , riverbanks and areas surrounding them.
Uruguay has the largest group of ombúes in the world, located in the Laguna de Castillos . The huge palm grove of the Butiá capitata species also stands out, which covers a large part of the department of Rocha, being the southernmost group of palm trees in the world, with hundreds of thousands of specimens distributed over tens of square kilometers.
Among the exotic species introduced in the territory are the eucalyptus (introduced in the 19th century), the pine , the araucaria , the oak , the holy cedar , the weeping willow , the birch , the carob tree , the rosemary , the hibiscus , the ficus , cactus , ivy , tacuara , fruit trees ( citrus , guava , apple tree , fig tree , etc.), vine, palm tree, platanus hispanica (for the ornamentation of cities), reeds , climbing plants, sugar cane , among others.
The native fauna of Uruguay is characterized by a large number of aquatic and terrestrial birds, as well as mammals and reptiles. However, the human presence has endangered various animal species, partly due to the destruction of their natural habitat or due to poaching.
Uruguay's avifauna consists of around four hundred and fifty species, twenty-four of which are globally threatened and five are introduced .
Within the group of plumage birds, the big chicken and the chiricote or small crepe stand out , two of the best known species in the country. They are also common, the Pardirallus, or hen with red and blue bill and the spotted one . Equally important is the red-legged and green-legged burrito, as are smaller species such as the yellow-breasted burrito , the spotted or blackish-winged burrito, and finally the painted burrito .
The Tero is spread throughout the territory and is characterized by its speed and its song, from which it receives the common name of "Teru-Teru" [ 52 ] . On the other hand, the ñandú is in a stable proportion and in recent years its meat has been commercialized in foreign markets, which is why the breeding of this species has been extended under special conditions. [ 53 ]
The cardinal present throughout the American continent, [ 54 ] and other species such as the Argentine parrot , the parrot, the furnarius rufus , the grouse , the black-necked swan , the duck, the heron , the seagull , as well as the pelican. , the benteveo , the gray crow , the crane, the mountain eagle, and the swallow that lives in summer months, are birds present throughout the Uruguayan territory, like the Chajá .
It is believed that in the country there are more than 200 species of reptiles, most of them harmless to humans; poisonous snakes are found to the north, in the departments of Artigas, Rivera, Salto and Tacuarembó, and in the mountainous areas in the south.
Multiple reptiles stand out, including several species of lizards such as the overo lizard , turtles such as the morrocoyo , and snakes such as the viper de la cruz or yarará . The alligator overo is distributed in the north of Uruguay, especially in the department of Artigas on the shores of the Cuareim River and its tributaries; Being in danger, there is captive breeding in the Cerro Pan de Azúcar reserve.
The terrestrial mammal fauna of Uruguay comprises 77 species grouped in 7 orders and 24 families. Of these, approximately 40 live in the East Wetlands in Rocha. On the other hand, there is certainty of the extinction of at least four species of this group in Uruguay. They are: the large anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) , the jaguar (Felis onca) , the collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) and the swamp deer (Blastoceros dichotomus) . The latter was seen for the last time in Rocha in 1957, precisely in the marshlands that surround the Potrerillo de Santa Teresa. [ 56 ]
Regarding aquatic animals, Uruguay has considerable diversity due to its wide oceanic coastline on the Atlantic, its mighty rivers, and a series of natural and artificial lakes. On the beaches of Punta del Este, for example, the sea lion lives, which feeds on fish and represents a threat to fishermen in the area. During the southern winter, that is, from June to September, it is possible to find some whales, and even penguins, on the coast of Montevideo. Uruguay has the second largest colony of sea lions in the world. Most of them are found on the island of Lobos , near Punta del Este . Mainly there are two species of sea lions,Arctophoca australis , commonly known as "two-haired sea lion" and Otaria flavescens , whose common name is "one-haired sea lion" or "South American sea lion." [ 57 ] There are also whales and dolphins . [ 58 ]
The fish of Uruguay can be divided into two large groups, both with a considerable number of species, freshwater and saltwater fish.
Many species are exploited for sport from the coasts, while others support an industry linked to their sexual reproduction. Among the many species in this group, a good number of shark species stand out in particular .
Freshwater fish can be distinguished several subgroups:
- Fish from the Uruguay river . Possibly the best known are dorado and catfish.
- Fish from the Río de la Plata . Of the species in this group, one of the most popular among sport fishermen is the silverside .
- Inland freshwater fish . Uruguay is an international destination for sport fishermen who are especially looking for the gigantic tarariras , caught in the lentic river environments of the eastern interior.
There are four species that are considered pests, for which hunting is authorized:
- The wild boar , also called "pig boar"; It is not native to Uruguay and was introduced into the country by Aarón de Anchorena ( Anchorena Park ), during his stay. As it did not have control of its breeding, it spread throughout the territory, particularly in the bush areas. It is persecuted, since in the sheep breeding season, it attacks these.
- The hare , an introduced species, also causes damage to crops.
- The sparrow , which is not indigenous to Uruguay, was introduced by some Chinese immigrants to the territory. As it did not have natural predators to control its reproduction, it multiplied and dispersed throughout the national territory. Hunting is allowed.
- The parakeet , with the introduction of the very smooth bark eucalyptus, which some of its predators cannot climb, became a pest, wreaking havoc on crops.
Boundaries with Argentina
Boundaries with Brazil
The climate in Uruguay is temperate and humid , with hot summers, cool winters, and more or less homogeneous rainfall throughout the year. Uruguay is the only country in South America that is entirely in the temperate zone. The absence of important orographic systems contributes to the fact that the spatial variations of temperature, rainfall and other parameters are not so high. The average annual temperature is approximately 17 ºC. [ 63 ]
In Uruguay, where both maritime and continental influence are noticeable, the distribution of rainfall presents a double rainy season, and is distributed between spring-summer and autumn, with a maximum peak in autumn and a secondary maximum in spring .
Due to their latitude, between 30ºS and 35ºS, the four seasons are clearly differentiated by temperature. Although the climate of Uruguay tends to be uniform or averaged, there is a clear difference between the north and south of the territory. The area located in the extreme northwest of the country ( Artigas , Salto , Rivera ) is considerably warmer with an average of between 18-19 ° C and an average rainfall of about 1400 mm per year (the area of the extreme north has a typical behavior "temperate subtropical"). The south and the east ( Montevideo , Maldonado , Rocha , Lavalleja) on the other hand, they are cooler with an average of around 16 ° C and 1000 mm per year (these areas have characteristics more similar to "maritime temperate").
In Uruguay, low landforms predominate (the average height of the territory is less than 150 meters), so the climate is determined by the latitude and the influence of the ocean currents of the Atlantic Ocean . The warm current from Brazil increases the temperature of the Atlantic from the end of January to the beginning of May; the cold currents of the Falkland Islands cool their waters from June to September. The effect of both determines an average temperature of the sea at surface level ( Punta del Este) between 8 ° C and 23 ° C depending on the time of year. From February to April, the ocean temperature is very pleasant and generally significantly different from that recorded from June to the end of December, although there is significant interannual variation during the summer.
The cold is generally quite humid, very windy with cloudy days, the heat is not too dry, rather humid and heavy in the south and drier in the north.
The snow has been present in the south and center of the country, but the most common are the icy weather, which mostly affect areas south-central and north-central country. As an example of the climatic variability of Uruguay, in the 31 days of a month of July 25 days of frost can be registered as in the city of Florida, 34.1 ° S 56.2 ° W, at 54 masl , just 90 km from Montevideo , (this happened in July 2007) or only 6 days (in July 2006), this shows a great variation between years in the cold season. Summer, unlike winter, is more uniform. The La Niña phenomenon (2007) causes a uniformly cold winter and droughtsprolonged (Florida, July 2007 recorded average 6.8 ° C), while the El Niño phenomenon causes mild rains and winters (Florida, July 2006 recorded average 13.1 ° C).
Uruguay's climate is conducive to livestock production from natural pastures. It generally has a marked seasonality, with a very important peak in spring, due to an optimal combination of humidity and temperature, and a very marked deficit in winter to cover nutritional needs, due to the impact on the quality and volume of the forage. by meteorological frosts. The southern and eastern zones, with maritime characteristics, have a more favorable forage production cycle than the central and northern regions.
- Climatic hazards
Strong seasonal winds (the pampero is a cold and occasionally violent wind that blows from the Argentine pampas ), droughts, torrential rains; Due to the absence of mountains, which act as climatic barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in the climate front. Winds of up to 200 km / h can be verified with a variable frequency of between 30 and 45 years, 120 km / h is a more frequent speed even every 2 or 5 years.
The climate in Uruguay refers to the effects of the climate change in Uruguay. As a result of the increase in global temperatures, it is expected that in Uruguay there will be an increase in temperature by 3 ° C by 2100 and an increase in rainfall. [ 64 ] Increased rainfall in 2018 caused an economic cost between Uruguay and Argentina estimated at US $ 2.5 billion, according to the World Meteorological Organization. [ 65 ]
Most of Uruguay's emissions come from food production and transportation. [ 66 ] [ 67 ] Globally, only contributes only 0.05% of emissions of greenhouse gases . [ 68 ] In 2017, Uruguay committed to implementing 106 measures against climate change through the Determined Contribution at the National Level (CDN). [ 69 ] [ 70 ]Some of these measures include reducing emissions in the food and livestock production sector, increasing the area of native forest, and reinforcing the role of peatlands and grasslands as carbon sinks . [ 66 ] This CDN 2020 is under review, with the aim of presenting a more ambitious target in 2022. [ 69 ]At the national level, since 2009 there is the National System for Response to Climate Change and Variability (SNRCC). [ 71 ] The SNRCC produces the monitoring and verification reports of environmental policies, including the CDN. [ 72 ] In 2015, the law that would lead to the creation in 2016 of the National Secretariat for the Environment, Water and Climate Change was passed. This Secretariat is in charge of coordinating public policies on water, environment and climate change. [ 73 ] The Secretariat participates together with other actors in the National Environmental System (SNA). At the international level, Uruguay is part of the Kyoto Protocol , of theParis Agreement and the Doha Amendment . The private sector in Uruguay has committed to at least 15 actions to mitigate the effects of climate change, according to the NAZCA portal . [ 74 ] Uruguay is also a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency . [ 75 ]
- Territorial sea . According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (ratified by Uruguay on December 10, 1992), every State has the right to establish the width of its territorial sea up to a limit that does not exceed 12 nautical miles , measured by starting from baselines determined in accordance with the same Convention.
- Exclusive economic zone or area located beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, subject to the specific legal regime established in the Convention. Uruguay has claimed the 200 nautical miles counted from the baselines from which the width of the territorial sea is measured. The Uruguayan exclusive economic zone covers an area of 132,286 km². [ 76 ]
- Continental shelf , natural extension of the continent. According to the Convention, the continental shelf extends throughout the natural extension of the territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or up to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which it is established. measures the width of the territorial sea. The fixed points that constitute the line of the outer limit of the continental shelf on the seabed must be located at a distance not exceeding 350 nautical miles from the baselines from which the width of the territorial sea is measured. or 100 nautical miles from the isobath2500 meters, which is a line that joins depths of 2500 meters. On August 25, 2009, Uruguay submitted to a UN commission a request for recognition of its 350 nautical miles of continental shelf. The claim was based on depth and geophysical measurements made by the Uruguayan Navy to determine the extent of the Uruguayan continental shelf. [ 77 ]In August 2011, the UN commission studying the claim asked for more scientific information. On August 30, 2016, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLPC), a technical body created by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), communicated its Recommendation on the establishment of the outer limit of the Uruguayan continental shelf . This Recommendation implies a territorial extension for Uruguay of approximately 83,000 km², covering its entire continental margin and enabling it to establish the last border of the country at 350 nautical miles. [ 78 ]
Presence in Antarctica
Uruguay is a signatory country to the Antarctic Treaty with consultative member status, which means that it has a voice and vote in the consultative meetings of the treaty. In its accession document, Uruguay reserved its rights in Antarctica in accordance with International Law.
The Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base (BCAA) , founded on December 22, 1984 on King George Island , is a permanent Antarctic base belonging to Uruguay, it has 13 buildings and a population of 60 people in summer and 9 in winter. various scientific activities take place there.
The Ruperto Elichiribehety Antarctic Scientific Station (ECARE) , established on December 22, 1997 by the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute on the Antarctic Peninsula is a Uruguayan summer scientific station in Antarctica . It works as a support base for various scientific activities.
The first humans arrived in what is currently the Uruguayan territory 14,000 years ago, based on archaeological discoveries in the department of Artigas that, due to its antiquity, led to a rethinking of the date of the arrival of man to the American continent. [ 79 ]
The oldest artificial constructions in the region are the more than 3000 cerritos de indios dating back up to 5000 years old distributed throughout the east of the country, archaeological investigations have found evidence in the cerritos of companion dogs, as well as agriculture of corn , beans and squash, a practice that was previously considered unknown to the prehistoric inhabitants of Uruguay.
The settlers of Uruguay at the time of the Iberian conquest were mainly the Charruas , among whom are distinguished the Guenoas- Minuanes , the Bohanes and the Chaná , there is controversy about the existence of another group known as the Arachanes due to the lack of historical records. . There was also the town of the yaros that belonged to the yésmestizo or acculturated with the Charruas. Contrary to what has been the dominant opinion for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, recent archaeological and ethnohistorical investigations have revealed that the settlement of Uruguayan territory by the Charruas was mostly after the European conquest. More precisely, it occurred between the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, and was due to their expulsion from the territories of the current Argentine provinces of Santa Fe and Entre Ríos where they had their main residence, as part of the great offensive against the indigenous peoples. unleashed by the Spanish colonizers after the Guaranitic war. However, it is accepted that some portion of the Uruguayan territory, such as part of the current department of Colonia , had a Uruguayan presence before that migration. The ethnic group of the Minuans, on the other hand, would have been the most populous and widespread in the Uruguayan territory, even after the displacement of the Charruas. [ 80 ]
Simultaneously, the Guarani , originating from the territories of the Jesuit missions , both during their existence and even more so after their dissolution, fled to nearby regions, including Uruguayan territory. They brought with them their European knowledge transmitted through their contact with the Society of Jesus in the aforementioned Missions, giving rise to the main Amerindian cultural heritage in the Uruguayan interior, especially in what has to do with practices related to the breeding of animals, gastronomy, and other customs.
The first European settlement in what was then called the Banda Oriental was the Spanish San Lázaro , founded by Sebastián Gaboto on the eastern bank of the Río de la Plata in early 1527. [ 81 ] A few weeks later, the Spaniards under Gaboto's command founded a second fort at the mouth of the San Salvador River , which receives its European name from the name of the Fort of San Salvador . Such establishments were short-lived.
In January 1680, the Portuguese occupied the southern part of the Banda Oriental - violating the Treaty of Tordesillas - founding the Colonia do Santíssimo Sacramento , in front of the city of Buenos Aires . On November 22, 1723, the Master of the Field Manuel de Freytas Fonseca founded the fort of Montevieu. On January 22, 1724, the Spanish from Buenos Aires displaced the Portuguese, who founded the city of Río Grande in 1737 in the north of the Banda Oriental , Porto Alegre in 1742 and the Fortress of Santa Teresa in 1762 in Rocha .
After evicting the Portuguese in 1723, Montevideo was officially founded on December 24, 1726 by the Spanish captain Bruno Mauricio de Zabala , called "Brazo de Hierro", commissioned by the authorities established in Buenos Aires. The new foundation initially received the name of Fort San José, and later of San Felipe and Santiago, although the place was known from ancient times to the Spanish as Montevideu. [ citation required ]There are several theories about the origin of the Montevideo nomenclature: one hypothesis affirms that it could derive from the term "monte vide eu" used by those who first saw the hill existing on its coasts. Another widely accepted origin would be that of the territorial census in the origins; denominating itself at the time, to the position where Montevideo is: «Monte VI from E to W» —Mount sixth from East to West— [ citation needed ] . Back then SpainIt only had Montevideo, its outskirts, and the departments of San José, Flores, Canelones, and Maldonado. 90% of the Banda Oriental remained Portuguese since 1680. The Portuguese established relations with the Chaná nation and introduced Africans from Bantu nations to Colonia and later to Montevideo - from the kingdoms of Benguela , Ngola and Kongo among others - as slaves .
The Spanish settled in 1726, when the second foundation of Montevideo took place, due to the advance of Portuguese troops in the current Uruguayan territory and the founding of cities by them. The city of Montevideo was founded with military and commercial objectives, [ 82 ] being an important military place of the Spanish colonial dominions in the south during the 18th century and the main port of the estuary of the Río de la Plata. The importance of Montevideo as a port of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata earned it several times confrontations with Buenos Aires , capital of the viceroyalty.
On 22 November 1749, the king of Spain names first Governor of Montevideo to Jose Joaquin de Viana . He arrived at the Río de la Plata on the ship Nuestra Señora de la Concepción on February 3, 1751, disembarking in Buenos Aires, where he was sworn in as first Governor before Captain General Andonaegui and took possession of it in a solemn session that the Cabildo Montevideo will celebrate on March 14. The Government of Montevideo included the territories that went from the mouth of the Cufré stream , in the west, to the Pan de Azúcar hill , in the east, arriving from the north from the sources of the San José and Santa Lucía rivers , following the line of the Big Bladeup to the Ojosmín hill, which is located in the current department of Flores. In terms of the present national political subdivision, it corresponds to the current departments of Montevideo, Canelones and part of those of San José, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja and Maldonado. [ 83 ]
The first viceroy of the Río de la Plata, Pedro de Cevallos —or Zevallos— reconquered Montevideo and the Fortress of Santa Teresa as well as the island of Santa Catarina . Finally, in 1777, Cevallos himself, appointed viceroy of the recently created Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata , definitively conquered the Colony, a conquest that was endorsed by the treaty of San Ildefonso .
In 1763 the city of San Carlos in Maldonado was founded with the Portuguese by Cevallos. In 1798 and between 1806 and 1807 the English Invasions took place . Troops from Montevideo and Buenos Aires together repelled the attacks of the English fleet - the first commanded by Commodore Home Riggs Popham and the second by Admiral Charles Stirling - who came to conquer the territories of the Plata.
During the May Revolution of 1810 - started in Buenos Aires - and the revolutionary uprising in the provinces of Plata, the city of Montevideo remained loyal to the Spanish authorities, although not much of the rural interior and the smaller cities. At the beginning of his training, the leader José Gervasio Artigas stands out, whose intention was to create in the Eastern Province the nucleus of a confederation that would encompass the entire United Provinces of the Río de la Plata . Artigas called himself protector of the free peoples , bringing together under his military command the Banda Oriental - mainly present-day Uruguay - and the current Argentine provinces ofBetween Ríos , Misiones , Corrientes , Santa Fe and, briefly, Córdoba . It also intended to integrate the Eastern Missions - which Artigas declared part of the Eastern Province - and the Republic of Paraguay . In 1815 Artigas summoned a meeting of a congress of those provinces - the Eastern Congress - in Arroyo de la China, present-day Concepción del Uruguay in Entre Ríos, to try to solve their problems with the government of Buenos Aires. During the Portuguese-Brazilian invasion, Artigas focused his operations from the Purification Camp .
During his brief period as leader and ruler of the Banda Oriental, Artigas promoted the implementation of an advanced social development program that included a reform of agrarian structures, through the Provisional Regulation of 1815 , which established a distribution of land with a social sense under the slogan that "the most unhappy are the most privileged." Within this category, said regulation mentions blacks, zambosand poor widows with children, among others. Other development projects include the founding of the first public library, the customs regulations for the promotion of national production, and the first attempt to establish a public school. This process comes to an end with the invasion of the Portuguese through Brazil. In 1816 the Banda Oriental fell under the power of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve . In 1821, the Cisplatino Congress decided to incorporate the territory into Portugal under the name Cisplatina Province . In 1825 there was a revolution known as the emancipatory deed of the Thirty-Three Orientals , immediately followed by theWar of Brazil , between the Empire and the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. This concluded with the constitution of the Eastern State of Uruguay in 1828 after the Preliminary Peace Convention was signed .
Civil wars and the extermination of the indigenous
Since Independence, Uruguay has tried to join the Western world by expelling one of the surviving indigenous peoples, known as the Charruas , to keep their lands. [ 84 ] On April 18, 1831, when General Fructuoso Rivera was president and General Manuel Oribe was minister of war , the Salsipuedes Massacre was carried out.in which about thirty Charruas died, the most important of a series of battles with the native peoples, which resulted in the emigration of many Charruas to Brazil and Argentina. This battle was the corollary of a war that preceded the arrival of the Spanish to the Río de la Plata, between the Uruguayan nation and the Guaranitic, the latter protected by General Rivera.
The first forty years of the new country witnessed great political instability. The continuous confrontations between whites and colorados gave rise to the so-called Great War and the long siege of Montevideo , with the country divided between two rival governments, and which witnessed serious interference in their internal affairs by Argentina and Brazil. This war was followed by a series of coups and revolutions, which led Uruguay to participate in the long and costly War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay . Only after the Revolution of the SpearsIn 1872, a stage of more peaceful resolution of the political situations began, although small civil wars continued to occur until 1904. In 1870 Spain recognized the independence of Uruguay by signing the Treaty of Recognition, Peace and Friendship between the Eastern Republic of Uruguay and the Kingdom of Spain.
The Switzerland of America
At the end of the 19th century the country had completed its organization and during the Batllista era - led by the president at that time, José Batlle y Ordóñez - consolidated its democracy and reached high levels of well-being, comparable to those of Europe . Because of this, Uruguay began to be known internationally as "the Switzerland of America." [ 85 ] [ 86 ] Uruguay was one of the first countries to establish by law the right to the divorce -1907- and one of the first countries in the world to establish the right of the women 's suffrage . In addition, it was the second nation in the world that, following the postulates ofJosé Pedro Varela , established by law a free, compulsory and secular educational system -1877-.
There was an economic bonanza due to the consequences of World War II , when the industrialization of the country began, where for years it stopped importing European manufactured products and being manufactured in the national territory. Thus, one of the lowest unemployment rates was achieved. To all this were added other achievements; the tallest building in Latin America in 1928 - Palacio Salvo -, the excellent infrastructure, health and education with levels higher than the European countries and many developing Latin American countries, its public university, the largest stadium in the world - Estadio Centenario -, state public services - electricity, telephones, gas, trams, railways, running water, among others - aUruguayan peso that tended to appreciate against the dollar, new public institutions, the triumph in the soccer championships in the Olympic Games - Paris 1924 and Amsterdam 1928 - and the world championships of 1930 - whose headquarters was the city of Montevideo - and 1950 , in Brazil - called Maracanazo -, feats that contributed to perpetuate the myth of Uruguay's "golden age".
During the period 1940-1944, which was the year Uruguay entered World War II, the economy was overly dependent on foreign capital. One of the problems in Uruguay was that it depended 100% on the energy that came from abroad and therefore most of the benefits that were obtained went out again without giving any benefit to the country. For this reason, the growth and evolution of Uruguay were severely diminished, since the outflow of capital did not help national investment.
- The export era
At the end of the 19th century, the engine of growth in Uruguay, like that of many other Latin American countries , was exports . Uruguay's fundamental difference with the others is that it did not depend excessively on a single destination country.
Around the turn of the century —1900— the main goods exported by Uruguay were wool with 42% of the total percentage and, secondly, frozen meat with 24%. Only with these two goods Uruguay reached 66% of exports, giving special importance to the agricultural sector . These products were directed especially to three markets that were Belgium , France and Argentina , although they did not represent 70% of the total export. With World War IExports to these three countries fell and the so-called other countries gained more weight. In 1912, exports compared to other countries was 30% and after 5 years they became 70%. [ 87 ]
The fact that its export market was broader was an advantage for the Uruguayan economy since it was not strictly dependent on a few countries, which imported its products, and was not vulnerable to changes in demand from these markets. The Uruguayan economy concentrated all its efforts and investments in the production of these two primary products, which were exported with some success since they were scarce in countries, especially in Europe, that were dedicated to the production of manufactured products . the livestockUruguayan acquired a greater weight in the economy of the country, due to the technological advances of the time. New methods were introduced that increased the productivity of cattle, such as the breeding method, since in terms of land area, it was less than neighboring Argentina, which was one of the largest meat exporting countries as well. Although the star product of the Uruguayan economy was wool (46%), the export of meat increased thanks to the use of refrigerators, which allowed the meat to be better preserved, and to improvements in navigation and transport techniques that helped travel to long distance.
The new production characteristics led to a radical change in agricultural structures, giving way to market- oriented capitalist farms , and not to simple internal consumption, but the organization of the land did not produce lasting economic development in the country. The large cattle ranchers were subject to the interests of foreign capitalists , English among many, who had a strong control over production. In the particular case of Uruguay, there is talk of extensive growth, in which the use of land was increased and more labor was incorporated without taking care of looking for alternatives to the lack of natural resources, as a consequence of the exploitation of the land .
- External issues and ISI
After the era of exports, where Uruguay experienced a period of economic boom, international events arrived that made not only the economy of Uruguay shake, but also the world economy. These external impacts are: World War I and II and the Great Depression of 1929 in the United States; all of them are events external to Uruguay but that impacted its economy.
As already mentioned, the engine of Uruguay's economy was the export sector. With the war events of its trading partners, Uruguay lost part of its demand for products from abroad and this was reflected in a decline in its growth. During this period that would reach the beginning of the 1950s, Uruguay was at the expense of what was happening in the rest of the world and this is observed with the fluctuations of its pc GDP - up if there are no important events, and down if relevant events occur. For this reason, until the implementation of the ISI measures - Import Substitution Industrialization - towards the beginning of the 1950s, Uruguay was at the expense of the international situation.
In 1950 the ideas arrived in Latin America to stop being economies based on the primary sector to start producing themselves the manufactures that until now had been imported or ISI. In Uruguay, due to its limited geographic expansion and the restriction that this implied in developing a powerful internal market, industrialization measures had less impact than in neighboring countries.
Some ISI measures did become real: the Central Government took sides and promoted numerous companies and an attempt was made to import more capital goods than any other type to change the economic system. But, as has been commented, for Uruguay it is not at all clear that the ISI measures were of sufficient importance for a change in the production model to take place. On the other hand, the public deficit that would begin here would have consequences later on.
The political and social upheaval in Uruguay at this time did not help its economy to take off either.
Around 1955 an economic crisis began that also affected political institutions. During the 1960s there was a continuous process of social and economic deterioration with a notable increase in the agitation of left-wing union sectors. Simultaneously, the activity of about ten revolutionary groups was recorded, among which the " Tupamaros " stand out, who favored the urban guerrilla . At the same time, during the 60s and 70s, far- right organizations acted , such as the Uruguayan Standing Youth -JUP- and the Tupamaros Hunting Command (CCT) , known as the Death Squad . The Armed ForcesThey used in their favor the deterioration that plagued the country, gradually assuming prominence. These events led, ten years later, to a coup that established a civic-military dictatorship .
On June 27, 1973, the then president, Juan María Bordaberry , dissolved parliament with the support of the Armed Forces and months later created a Council of State with legislative functions, administrative control and commissioned to project a constitutional reform "that reaffirm republican-democratic principles ” , restricts freedom of expression of thought and empowers the Armed Forces. and police to ensure the uninterrupted provision of public services.
The coup d'état of June 1973 and its resulting Council of State was immediately resisted by a large part of the citizenry and by the workers grouped in the National Convention of Workers ( CNT ), as well as by the Student Movement, mainly represented by the Federation of University Students ( FEUU ) of the University of the Republic , who carried out a 15-day general strike, the longest in history so far. [ 88 ]
The Armed Forces arrested leftist leaders and other citizens without a political position, accusing them of sedition during the entire time that the military dictatorship lasted, that is, until 1985, as well as (for brief periods) notorious leaders of traditional political parties such as Jorge Batlle Ibáñez and Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera , who would later become Presidents of the Republic with the return to democracy, among others.
Members of "left" parties were held almost completely incommunicado and suffered physical and psychological torture (later verified by organizations such as the International Red Cross ), while those of traditional parties were released, while still being suspected in at all times and under permanent surveillance. About a hundred political prisoners died in Uruguayan prisons and another 140 people are still missing. [ 89 ]
In 1976, when Bordaberry finished his constitutional mandate, given the conviction that the political chaos that the country had experienced was the responsibility of its political system, he proposed to the Board of Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces a reform of the country's institutional system. eliminating political parties and replacing them with " currents of opinion " in a corporatist system, an idea that is not shared by the military. The disagreements between Bordaberry and the military generated the political crisis of June 1976, which culminated in the dismissal of the president and the interim appointment of Alberto Demicheli to occupy the first magistracy.
Demicheli, who until then had served as president of the Council of State, assumed the presidency of the Republic on July 12. As the first measures of his government, he proceeded to sign Institutional Acts 1 and 2, by which he suspended "until further pronouncement" the call for general elections (scheduled for November of that same year) and the "Council of the Nation" was created. . As far as economic policy is concerned, Demicheli ratified the National Development Plan created in 1972 during the Bordaberry government. The applied economic policy sought a radical reformulation of the bases of the economic functioning of the country, a new alliance between the military and the techno-bureaucracy, aimed at the transformation of the productive structures of foreign trade, of the distribution of income, demand and relative prices, in a framework of broad liberalization and opening of the economy. Finally, on September 1 of the same year, Demichelli delegated the presidency toAparicio Méndez (former Minister of Public Health), who assumes for a period of five years.
Return to democracy
On November 30, 1980, citizens rejected the constitutional reform project proposed by the dictatorial regime, beginning a slow process of political opening. On September 1, 1981, General Gregorio Álvarez assumed the presidency , who in 1984 called elections, although with banned citizens and political parties. After being held that same year, the Colorado Party emerged triumphant . During the first days of 1985 Álvarez left the command in the hands of the President of the Supreme Court of Justice in office, Rafael Addiego Bruno and, finally, on March 1, 1985 the government returned to civilians with the assumption of Julio María Sanguinetti as president.
In February and March 1985, the majority political parties agreed to vote an amnesty law that extinguished the political, common and military crimes related to these, committed as of January 1, 1962. The authors and co-authors were exempted from the amnesty of crimes of committed intentional homicide, in which respect only the review of sentences by civil courts was ordered. The express text excluded police and military officials who had committed crimes in inhuman, cruel or degrading treatment or the detention of persons who later disappeared, or who had covered up such conduct.
The law 15,848 of the Expiration of the Punitive Claims of the State (popularly known as "law of impunity" or "amnesty law"), covering all members of the armed forces accused of violations of human rights between 1973 and 1985 , was approved by the parliament in December 1986. In the following years a campaign to collect signatures was carried out to promote a referendum to annul it. On April 16, 1989, after more than 25% of the Uruguayan citizens authorized the referendum with their signature, it was held, with a triumph of the so-called "yellow vote" (due to the color of the ballot). , which ratified the law, with a margin of 57% against 43% with respect to the " green vote", for its annulment. The triumph of the" yellow vote "meant not annulling the expiration law, and maintaining the amnesty for crimes committed during the military government.
In the November 1989 elections, Luis Alberto Lacalle (from the National Party) was elected . In 1994 Sanguinetti was elected for the second time.
In 1996, a constitutional reform was brought to the attention of the citizens, establishing for the first time the internal elections and the ballot ; Said reform is approved by a small margin in the plebiscite. Thus, in 1999 Jorge Batlle (from the Colorado Party) triumphed as a result of this new system.
In July 2002, at one of the hottest moments of the banking crisis , the Senator of the Frente Amplio , Alberto Couriel , was in charge of the interpellation of the then minister Alberto Bensión , in which all the members of the Frente Amplio and a few of the National Party formally asked him to resign from office. This did not happen, but Rodríguez Batlle was removed.
In mid-July the rejection of the National Party, until then an ally of the Batlle government, for the economic policy that was being carried out was made public. It was then that, together with the Frente Amplio, they again asked for Bensión's resignation and that time they were luckier. Bensión left office on August 20 and Alejandro Atchugarry , [ 90 ] who was then serving as a senator for the Colorado Party, took office.. Atchugarry, who had just suffered the loss of his wife after a long illness, was reluctant to take office. However, Batlle found in him what he was looking for, a more political than technical minister. Batlle put the senator in a compromising situation, and suggested that if he did not assume as minister, he should resign the presidency and Luis Hierro López would have to take the reins of the country. [ 91 ] Finally, Atchugarry accepted the position saying "I love you and respect you as a father ... Well, children do not say no to their parents . " [ 91 ]At the time of Atchugarry's inauguration, Rosario Medero, the white representative on the Central Bank's board of directors, resigned at the request of her political sector.
On July 30, the bank holiday was decreed. The Batlle government excused itself by saying that it was an express request from the IMF to proceed with the liquidation of the banks of the Peirano group. The objective of this decision was to stop the flight of deposits that the Uruguayan financial market had been suffering from since 2001, since many Argentine savers turned to their savings in Uruguay when they were unable to withdraw money in their country. The ATMs ran out of money, and the exchange houses sold the dollar at 38 pesos and bought it at 24. The bank holiday ended on Monday, August 5.
The night of July 31 resulted in the first looting of a supermarket near the Legislative Palace . On August 1 there was a wave of these phenomena that shook the city of Montevideo . There were more than thirty, and this time they happened in marginal areas. Many traders expressed their willingness not to reopen their shops the next day for fear of being looted. Interior Minister Guillermo Stirling, tried to reassure the population by announcing a reinforcement of police surveillance for future occasions. On August 2 there was no looting, however, a wave of rumors invaded the city. It was rumored that a horde of people was heading towards the center of Montevideo looting everything in their path. Merchants closed their doors instantly and the center of the city was desolate. A strong police operation was ordered and the Air Force flew over the capital by helicopter in search of the horde of looters that never arrived and perhaps never existed. [ 92 ]
While the country reigned in chaos, in the United States Isaac Alfie led the delegation that Batlle had sent to form a working group with delegates from the North American government, since Horst Köhler , director of the IMF, had given the order not to lend him a dollar. more to Uruguay. Finally, the United States agreed with Uruguay a bridge loan of 1,500 million dollars destined to capitalize the state banks. That was the beginning of the end of the country's economic crisis. [ 93 ]
In November, the National Party decided to remove the ministers Antonio Mercader , Álvaro Alonso , Carlos Cat , Sergio Abreu and Jaime Trobo from their positions in the Batlle government, as they wanted to separate from him.
The 2002 crisis left devastating figures for the country. Such is the case of the suicide rate, which increased by 12.6%, meaning that two Uruguayans committed suicide per day and there were many cases of self-elimination attempts. [ 94 ]
As a direct economic consequence of this crisis, the real wage fell sharply, reaching its bottom between 2003 and 2004 with a loss of 22% compared to 2000. [ 95 ] For its part, the unemployment rate rose to a maximum in 2002 of 17%, rising 3 and a half percentage points with respect to the moment of taking office. [ 96 ] Towards the end of his government, unemployment rates reversed their trend, reaching lower figures than at the time of his inauguration. On the contrary, the drop in real wages could not be reversed, standing in 2005 some 18.6 percentage points below the figures for 2000.
Government of the Broad Front
In the presidential elections of 2004, the socialist and oncologist Tabaré Vázquez , candidate for the leftist coalition Progressive Encounter-Broad Front-New Majority, was elected with 50.6% of the votes, achieving victory in the first round and achieving a parliament with absolute majorities. Tabaré Vázquez belonged to the Uruguayan Socialist Party for more than 25 years, he disenrolled from it in December 2008 due to philosophical discrepancies in his position regarding the decriminalization of abortion, however without ceasing to continue being a person of deep socialist ideals. In the municipal elections of 2005 the National Party obtained ten municipalities, the EP-FA-NM obtained eight and the Colorado Party obtained one.
In the legislative elections of October 2009, the Frente Amplio once again achieved the parliamentary majority with 48% of the total votes (counting blank and annulled votes), while the National Party was second with 29.4%, the Colorado Party third obtaining 17.5%. The Broad Front vote did not achieve an absolute majority of the total votes cast, including blank and annulled votes, so the presidential election was defined on November 29, 2009 through a ballot between the leftist José Mujica of the Broad Front and the rightist. former President Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera ofNational Party . José “Pepe” Mujica was elected as President of Uruguay and successor to Tabaré Vázquez . The Frente Amplio formula obtained 52.4% of the votes, while the other candidate, former white president Luis Alberto Lacalle (1990-1995), obtained 43.5%, according to the results of the Electoral Court. [ 97 ]Around four percent of the ballots were blank or annulled. In the first round of October 25, Mujica, from the ruling left wing Frente Amplio party, and Lacalle, from the National Party, had been the most voted (48% and 29.1% respectively), but neither achieved a majority. In his inauguration speech, held on March 1, 2010, Mujica reaffirmed the need for the country to have state policies . He also set as a primary objective of his administration the elimination of extreme poverty and the reduction of poverty by 50%. [ 98 ]
In the departmental elections 2010, the National Party obtained twelve municipalities (recovers three, loses one), the Broad Front obtained five (loses four, conquers one) and the Colorado Party obtained two (wins one more). In the general elections of Uruguay in 2014, Tabaré Vázquez was again elected in the second round with 56.62% of the votes.
government and politics
According to a report published by the British magazine The Economist (El Economista), Uruguay is considered the most fully democratic country in South America, ranked 27 out of a total of 167 nations, [ 99 ] and is also the first in Latin America in terms of the table of countries with the lowest rate of perception of corruption (prepared by the organization Transparency International).
Its government is divided into three independent powers:
The executive power is exercised by the President , acting in accordance with the Minister or respective Ministers or the Cabinet . The president is simultaneously head of state and government , and is elected together with the vice president by direct popular election. The President has a term of 5 years without immediate reelection until after the same period from the cessation of his position. They are chosen in the same candidacy presented by the respective party. In the event that no candidacy obtains an absolute majorityof the votes, a second round is carried out between the first two majorities. In said vote, the candidacy that obtains the simple majority of the votes is the winner .
The President of the Republic appoints the heads of the Ministries and can remove them. Likewise, the General Assembly may dismiss the Ministers by an absolute majority of votes.
|Economy and Finance||Azucena Arbeleche|
|National defense||Javier García Duchini|
|External relationships||Francisco Bustillo|
|Education and culture||Pablo da Silveira|
|Public health||Daniel salinas|
|Work and Social Security||Pablo Mieres|
|Housing and Territorial Planning||Irene Moreira|
|Livestock, Agriculture and Fishing||Carlos Maria Uriarte|
|Industry, Energy and Mining||Omar Paganini|
|Transportation and Public Works||Luis Alberto Heber|
|Social development||Pablo Bartol|
|Secretary of the Presidency||Alvaro Delgado Ceretta|
|Assistant Secretary of the Presidency||Rodrigo Ferrés|
|Planning and Budget Office||Isaac Alfie|
The legislative power resides in the General Assembly , consisting of a Senate of thirty-one members (counting the chamber president, who is the Vice-president) and a House of Representatives of 99 members. Elections for parliament are held on closed lists simultaneously with the presidential election (the vote for each candidate for Deputy or Senator does not apply, but for a list submitted by each political party). Deputies are elected by department, while senators are elected at the national level, both for five-year terms. Each of the 19 departments of Uruguay is headed by a mayorpopularly chosen. The councilors of the Departmental Board act as legislative power at the departmental level.
Power of attorney
The judiciary is headed by the Supreme Court of Justice , whose members are appointed by the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority and whose terms last ten years or until they reach 70 years of age. The Supreme Court of Justice is the last appeal court and is also in charge of judging the constitutionality of the laws. The judiciary is also made up of Courts of Appeals, Law Courts and Justice Courts.
Departments and municipalities
- Departmental governments
The governments of each of the 19 departments are organized like the central government, with two fundamental organs: the Municipal Intendant (Executive), and the Departmental Board (Legislative). They take care of the department's domestic tasks, transportation, city care, waste, public lighting, among other functions. They have their own resources, in particular taxes levied on vehicles registered in the department ("vehicle license") and the properties located there ("real estate tax", lighting tax, sanitation tax, etc.).
- The Mayor is elected directly by the citizens registered in the civic registry of that department, in elections that are held in 19 constituencies (one for each department) on a date other than the national election (the second Sunday of the following May).
- The Departmental Boards are unicameral organisms made up of 31 councilors. The political party that obtains the simple majority of votes obtains 16 of the seats and the rest is divided among the other parties in proportion to the votes obtained.
- The constitutional reform of 1997 institutionalized the National Congress of Mayors , in order to coordinate the policies of the Departmental Governments to allow them to agree among themselves, with the Executive Power or with other organs of the State.
- Administrative subdivisions
Uruguay is divided into 19 departments and has 125 municipalities, each of which has a population equal to or greater than 2,000 inhabitants:
|Administrative divisions of Uruguay|
By Law No. 18567 of September 13, 2009, local entities called municipalities were created, with five-member bodies. Its president is called "mayor" and the other members are called "councilors." The members are elected by direct vote of the citizenry on the same occasion in which the Intendants and the Departmental Boards are elected. By law No. 18,653 of March 15, 2010, 89 municipalities were defined, whose territory does not cover the entire country.
The powers of these local bodies are very limited and are fundamentally based on the delegation of functions that they receive from the respective departmental governments. The municipalities do not have their own budget or officials, and their resources are those assigned to them by the central government and the departments.
The Democracy Index (index of democracy) is the classification elaborated by the Intelligence Unit of The Economist , through which it is tried to determine the rank of democracy in 167 countries. [ 101 ]
Uruguay is, together with Costa Rica and Chile, the only Latin American countries considered as "full democracies", obtaining high scores in three of the five assessment areas, although the low score in the area of "political participation" prevents it from ascending to the first world table positions. Still, it scores a better average than most European Union countries .
|Position||Punctuation|| Electoral process |
| functioning |
|7,96 (27)||8,08 (23)||8,10 (17)||8,17 (17)||8,17 (18)||8,17 (18)||8,17 (17)||8,17 (19)||8,17 (19)||8,12 (18)||8,38 (15)||8,38 (15)|
|Full democracy (8.01 to 10.00)||Imperfect democracy (6.01 to 8.00)||Hybrid regimen (4.01 to 6.00)||Authoritarian regime (0.00 to 4.00)|
The Armed Forces of Uruguay are constitutionally subordinate to the president through the Minister of Defense. In 2003, Uruguay had more than 2,500 soldiers in 12 peaceful missions of the United Nations . The largest troops are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Haiti . There are 57 members of the armed forces on the Sinai Peninsula. The Uruguayan armed forces are made up of the National Army , the National Navy and the Uruguayan Air Force .
The army is made up of some 24,000 troops [ 103 ] organized into four divisions . Its armored force consists of 15 Ti-67 Tiran, ( T-55 tanks captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six Day War and modernized), 17 M24 Chaffee and 22 M41A1 Walker Bulldog . In addition, 15 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles , 100 OT - 64 armored personnel carriers , 55 Thyssen Henschel - Cóndor , 24 M113A2s , 15 EE-9 Cascavels , 18 reconnaissance vehicles EE-3 Jararaca , 48 armored 4x4 Vodniks from Russia, and 147 Mowag Piranha . [ 104 ]
The current assault rifle used by the army is the FN FAL . An Iranian company (Moldex) has tendered to replace the FN FAL, but there is a UN embargo on arms imports from Iran . Finally, the tender gave as the winner, the Austrian Steyr AUG 5.56 mm rifle and of excellent quality, of which 3,500 units will be acquired initially (in 2009), to later reach 20,000, equipping the entire force. [ 105 ]
The National Navy is made up of about 5000 troops and is structured into four commands, the Fleet Command, the National Naval Prefecture, the Naval Material Directorate and the Naval Personnel Directorate.
It has a Naval Aviation, whose base is located in the department of Maldonado , on the shores of the Sauce lagoon , and its name is Naval Air Base No. 2 " Corvette Captain Carlos A. Curbelo", which gives it the name to the airport, which belongs to the National Navy, and is currently concessioned by government decision in the 1990s, also known as Laguna del Sauce International Airport , where the air resources for the task of Jurisdictional Water Control are located ( CAJ) and search and rescue at sea (SAR).
The Naval School is located in Carrasco , a neighborhood of the city of Montevideo . The instruction consists of 4 years of study, embarking at the end of the last year on board in the training ship ROU 20 Capitán Miranda for a period of approximately one year. This trip serves as a practical experience for future seafarers visiting various ports around the world, while promoting Uruguay as a tourist destination.
The Air Force is made up of about 3,000 personnel and is organized into three air brigades. The Air Brigade 1 is based on the Cesáreo Berisso air base which is in the Carrasco Airport where the transport squadrons and helicopters are located . Air Brigade 2 is at Mario W. Parallada Air Base at Santa Bernardina Airport and has the hunting and ground attack squadrons, as well as the liaison squadron and the Forward Flight Squadron. Air Brigade 3 is based at the Boiso Lanza air base , and it houses the observation and liaison squadron.
Combat aircraft is made up of theAmericans A-37B Dragonfly . For training they have the Aermacchi SF.260 , B-58 Baron and the PC-7 . For the transport use a pair of C-130B Hercules a C-95 Bandeirante an EMB-120 Brasilia and a C-212 Aviocar . The observation and liaison aircraft are the 206H Stationair , and the T-41D Mescalero . Lastly, helicopters include UH-1H Iroquois , Twin Hueys , and AS 365 Dauphin .
Uruguay has traditionally had strong political and cultural ties with its nearby countries and Europe . The British diplomat Alfred Mitchell-Innes was Minister of Uruguay in all the crucial years of The Great War (1913-1919).
With globalization and regional economic problems, its ties with the United States have been strengthened. Uruguay is a strong defender of constitutional democracy, political pluralism, and individual freedoms. Historically, international relations have been guided by the principles of non-intervention, multilateralism, respect for national sovereignty, and reliance on the law to resolve disputes. Uruguay also reflects the international relations of its campaign to seek export markets and foreign investment. He is a founding member of MERCOSUR . In June 1991, MERCOSUR and the United States signed the Rose Garden Agreement(also known as the "Four Plus One" Agreement). The agreement was not operational until June 2001 when MERCOSUR invited the US to examine the viability of market access negotiations. The first US - MERCOSUR meeting was held on September 24, 2001, and resulted in the creation of four working groups on industrial trade, e-commerce, agriculture, and investment.
After ambivalent positions from the government of Tabaré Vázquez on the US offer to sign an FTA , in the absence of complete support in the Broad Front, the negotiations culminated with the signing of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States.
Uruguay is a member of the Rio Group , an association of Latin American states that deals with multilateral security issues. Likewise, it is a member state of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance ). Uruguay's location between Argentina and Brazil leads to close relations with these two larger neighbors. One of the first proponents of the Initiative for the Americas , Uruguay has actively participated in the process of periodic follow-up to the Summits of the Americas, especially the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Often considered a neutral country, having a professional diplomatic corps, Uruguay is frequently called upon to preside over international organizations. More recently, Uruguay was selected to chair the FTAA and agricultural committees of the WTO and a Uruguayan is presiding over the General Assembly of the WTO . Uruguay is also a member of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), a Montevideo-based trade association that includes 10 South American countries plus Mexico and Cuba .
Uruguay along with Brazil , Argentina and Paraguay is a state party [ 106 ] and founder of Mercosur [ 107 ] , Chile as the first associate member; and Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, as recently associated States Mercosur began to function with its own legal personality on December 15, 1994, the date of entry into force of the Ouro Preto Protocol , Uruguay being part of the initial group of countries that they made up this block.
Mercosur has legislative powers, through the issuance of Decisions, Resolutions and Directives that are of mandatory application for the member states (articles 9, 15 and 20 of the Protocol of Ouro Preto).
In Uruguay there are different attitudes towards Mercosur from the different political parties. From right-wing ranks, former President Luis Alberto Lacalle affirmed that Mercosur should limit itself to commercial relations. On the other hand, the leftist former president of Uruguay, José Mujica , affirmed on his inauguration day as president that Mercosur must be continued even more deeply, in his own words, "until death do us part."
Mercosur has also been harshly criticized since its inception. There are those who affirm that, given the comparative size of Uruguay with respect to the other Mercosur partners and considering the constant obstacles suffered by the products of this country to be exported to neighboring countries, that the current formation of Mercosur does not suit Uruguay. On more than one occasion, the relationship between Uruguay and Mercosur ran the risk of breaking down; as when, for example, there was the possibility of signing a Free Trade Agreement between Uruguay and the United States.
The economy of Uruguay is dominated by export - oriented agricultural sector and a developed industrial sector. After having grown by 5% per year during the period 1996-1998, the economy was strongly affected by the economic recessions in Brazil and Argentina , and the currency devalued at the same time as the Argentine currency. Uruguay is a member of Mercosur , and Montevideo is the headquarters. After the 2002 crisis, the country entered a prolonged phase of economic growth at high rates, based mainly on exports of merchandise at high prices.
Uruguay is an agro-exporting country, so agriculture : rice , wheat , corn , sunflower , sorghum , barley , soybeans , sugar cane ( Bella Unión ) and livestock ( cattle , sheep ) are the fundamental resources of the economy. The main industries are refrigerators , dairy and derivatives, textiles , paper and cardboard , fertilizers ,alcohols , the cement and refining of hydrocarbons .
Although mineral and energy resources are scarce, there are large deposits of agates and amethysts in the north of the country ( department of Artigas ), deposits of granite and marble , and gold extraction in the town of Minas de Corrales . The search for diamonds and other minerals is also under study.
Also noteworthy is the services sector ( financial , logistics, transport, communications) as well as the booming information technology industry, particularly the development of software and related services. Uruguay is also the largest per capita exporter of software in Latin America and the fourth in absolute terms, only surpassed by Mexico , Brazil and Argentina . [ 108 ] In recent years, the forestry exploitation of Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus globulus has grown in importance , with a view to the production of sawn wood and wood for the production ofcellulose pulp . Likewise, a plant belonging to Montes del Plata is under construction , the result of the union of the Stora Enso and Arauco companies, as well as others in the project stage. A cellulose pulp plant belonging to the Finnish company UPM-Kymmene (formerly Botnia ) is in operation, located on the Uruguay River , in the department of Río Negro , near its capital, Fray Bentos .
Another of the main economic income to the country is tourism : the nation has a coastline on the Río de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean dotted with spas, among which Punta del Este and Piriápolis , of international fame, stand out. Agricultural, historical and thermal tourism is important.
After years of growth, in the period 1999 - 2002 the economy suffered a major recession , which was mainly derived from the indirect effects of the economic problems of its large neighbors, such as Argentina and Brazil . The banking crisis was caused by the massive withdrawal of the assets of Argentine citizens from Uruguayan banks. Later, with the intervention of the IMF , Uruguay was able to cope with its problems, including debt restructuring. The average growth in the five-year period 2004-2008 was 8% per year. The external debt as of December 31, 2014, according to data from the CIA The World Factbook reached 24,190 million dollars. 
According to IMF estimates , in 2009 after the international financial crisis , the economy grew by 0.6%. According to the Central Bank, with the data processed in 2010, the economy grew in 2009 by 2.9% and in 2010 by 8.5%. Since 2013 it is attended a stagnation of economic activity, with declining annual growth: 5.1% (2013), 3.5% (2,014) and 1.5% in 2015. [ 109 ]
The nominal GDP reached in 2015 at 53 790 million dollars, while the GDP (nominal) per capita , adjusted for parity of purchasing power, arrived in 2015 to $ 21,500, making it the fourth largest economy in Latin America, after Argentina , Chile and Mexico . In fact, considering the GDP per capita at current prices, would lead Uruguay in the region with $ 16,350 per capita , followed by Chile and Argentina.La or CPI inflation was 8.7% in 2015. [ 109 ]
- GDP - Growth rate (2017) : 2.7%. [ 110 ]
- Inflation (2017) : 6.55%. [ 111 ]
- External debt approx. (2004) : US $ 13.6 billion.
- Imports (2004) : US $ 3.5 billion.
- Exports (2004) : US $ 3,421 million.
- Main client countries : Brazil, Argentina and the United States.
- Main supplying countries : Argentina, Brazil, United States, China.
GDP structure in 2002 :
According to the United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ), Uruguay is the third country in Latin America (after Chile and Argentina ) with the highest Human Development Index ( HDI ) and 54th in the world. [ 19 ]
Poverty measured as a percentage of poor people reached 9.7% in 2014, while indigence was 0.3% of the population. [ 112 ] According to ECLAC's 2011 Social Panorama of Latin America Report , Uruguay has the lowest poverty rate in Latin America. [ 113 ] The average monthly income per inhabitant, as of January 2015, in Montevideo, is in households: $ 5,492 (US $ 226), and per person: $ 20,363 (US $ 838). In the rest of the country, households: $ 47,215 (US $ 1943), people: $ 14,386 (US $ 592) - Does not include income from the Christmas bonus and rental value ($ 1 = $ 24.3) January 15, 2015 , BCU -.
When comparing the incidence of poverty by descent, striking differences are observed. For 2008, while poverty among white people was 19.4%, Afro-descendant people registered 43.1% for the country as a whole. [ 114 ]
- Unemployment (Feb. 2006): 12.4% [ 115 ]
- Unemployment (Jan. 2014): 6.6%
- Employment (Feb. 2006): 13.8%
- Poverty (2005): 29.8% [ 116 ]
- Poverty (2014): 9.7% [ 116 ]
- Homelessness (2005): 3.5%
- Homelessness (2014): 0.2%
Exports and imports
According to the CIA The World Factbook , Uruguayan exports in 2009 totaled 6.32 billion dollars and imports about 6.576 billion dollars. [ 109 ] In 2010, Uruguayan exports, according to the General Customs Directorate and the Uruguay XXI Institute, were 6,761 million dollars and imports were 6,320 million dollars, and finally, in 2011, according to the same institutions, the exports Uruguayan were 8022 million dollars and imports of 8571 million [ 117 ]
From its beginnings as a country, livestock farming was very important for Uruguay. The production of meat and wool has always remained among the main activities and exports of the country. There are multiple breeding establishments for both cattle (Hereford, Aberdeen Angus, and other breeds), and sheep (Corriedale, Australian Merino). The old saladeros gave way in the 20th century to cold rooms , from where Uruguayan beef leaves to a wide variety of destinations in the world.
Livestock is also important in terms of dairy cattle . The sector has gone from supplying only local consumption from traditional dairy farms, to the situation in the 21st century in which industrialized dairy products are an important export item. Uruguay currently sells dairy products to European countries . [ 118 ]
Sheep production is concentrated in the north of the country, in the departments of Artigas and Salto, although it is distributed in the rest of the country to a lesser extent, while cattle are found throughout the territory, with more predominance in the south. from the country.
Mineral production is not one of the country's outstanding items, however they can be found: agates and amethysts in the department of Artigas , gold mines in Rivera, Treinta y Tres and Lavalleja, beryl in Colonia, lead , zinc , barite and dolomites. in Lavalleja, (the latter two can also be found in Maldonado), iron in Rivera, Durazno, Florida and Treinta y Tres, manganese in San José and Rivera, quartz and feldspars in Florida (the latter is also found in Canelones),Montmorillonite in Cerro Largo, kaolin in Durazno, talc in Colonia and Lavalleja, ilmenite and peat in Rocha, silts in Montevideo, San José and Maldonado, limestone in Lavalleja, Paysandú and Treinta y Tres, clay in Montevideo, Durazno, Maldonado, San José and Cannelloni and yesifera clay in Río Negro. Likewise, in different parts of the country, granite , black granite, sand , plaster , boulders , marl , pyrite , ballast ,slab stone , crushed and raw, diorite and granodiorite .
There was an exploitation project, the first in the country of large size, of open-pit mining, called the Aratirí project , for the extraction of iron in the Cuchilla Grande area , in the departments of Treinta y Tres , Durazno and Florida . near the town of Valentines . [ 119 ]
Agriculture still contributes approximately 10% to the country's GDP and is the main source of foreign exchange, putting Uruguay in line with other agricultural exporters such as Brazil, Canada and New Zealand. Uruguay is a member of the Cairns Group of exporters of agricultural products.
In Uruguay rainfed agriculture [ 120 ] has relatively low inputs of labor, technology and capital compared to its irrigated agriculture (rice) and other countries, which is comparatively lower in yields per hectare, except rice, but it also opens the door to Uruguay to market its products as "natural" or "organic." Campaigns such as "Natural Uruguayan grass-fed meat" and "Natural Uruguay" aim to establish Uruguay as a brand in the meat, wine and other food products sector. The suitability of its soils and their characteristics can be freely accessed by consulting the national rural parcel of Uruguay on the following map servers:
Some agricultural export crops in Uruguay are wheat, barley, oats, soybeans, rice, corn, sorghum, sunflower and blueberries.
One of the traditional crops in this country is the vine. This crop was introduced by the Spanish colonizers in the mid-17th century. Although traditionally there were vineyards planted throughout the national territory, today there are some areas of concentration of vineyards and wineries such as the metropolitan area of Montevideo, the surroundings of the city of Colonia and the city of Bella Unión .
Recently, an industry has emerged around tourist estancias that capitalizes on the traditions or folklore associated with the gaucho culture and the remaining resources of Uruguay's historic golden age estancias. One of the examples of this industry is tourism related to the world of wine and catering. Given the historical importance of this crop and the associational spirit of the country, some wineries have formed the Los Caminos del Vino association, whose objective is to promote wine tourism.
Uruguay does not have its own fossil fuel resources for power generation. The hydropower potential is relatively small. For this reason, 60% of energy needs are imported. Especially this causes dependence on oil imports . The government encourages the use of natural gas, which is imported from Argentina.
Uruguay has three hydroelectric dams on the Río Negro: Rincón del Bonete (1945), Baygorria (1960) and Palmar (1982); and one on the Uruguay River, Salto Grande (1979), the latter shared with Argentina. There are a variety of gas and fuel oil plants, which are used as backup in the absence of water.
Electric power consumption in 1999 decreased, mainly due to the recession . However, a further increase in consumption is expected in the coming decades. It depends mainly on hydroelectric plants. Further expansion of electricity production power from hydroelectric plants is highly unlikely, as most of the rivers on which significant dams can be built are already dammed. Added to this is the problem of the frequent droughts that affect them.
In 2000, the first experimental wind turbine was installed in the Sierra de los Caracoles, and in 2007 the first commercial wind turbine was installed in Maldonado. In 2016, 1,000 MW of installed power were reached. [ 121 ]
In addition, new capacities are projected for the generation of energy with natural gas, biomass, etc. In some of these aspects there are already advances or pilot plans. Furthermore, the possibility of opting for generation from an atomic reactor is under discussion.
Uruguay's current network is integrated with that of Argentina to the west, participating in electricity exports and imports. The interconnection project with Brazil to the east is currently underway , thus achieving diversification of energy supplies.
On the other hand, in recent years, hydrocarbon exploration campaigns have been carried out both on land ( onshore ) and on the maritime continental platform ( offshore ), achieving important advances in knowledge in this area. [ 122 ]
Regarding the transport of loads, it is done by means of trucks and the railroad . Regarding passengers, there are short-distance bus lines (less than 50 km ) and long-distance (more than 50 km) which cover the main routes, concentrating on the most important cities. The passenger train lines that are concentrated in the capital were the only operational services until 2019, since then they have been suspended for reasons of reconstruction of the main road.
According to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works , the national road network has 8696 km of roads with two or more lanes , which are distributed over 176,215 km² of territory, [ 3 ] which means one of the highest access rates to different parts of a Latin American region. The main characteristic is that most of the highways converge in the capital, Montevideo . Currently, the construction project of a perimeter ring ( Route 102) that avoids crossing the city, linking the routes to the west with those to the east. In addition, there are several important routes that cross the country, thus facilitating transit between the interior departments without going through the capital, for example Route 26 that connects Melo with Paysandú via Tacuarembó.
Types firmly on the road: [ 123 ]
The main roads, routes and expressways in Uruguay are: Route 1 , Route 3 , Route 5 , Route 8 , Route 9 , Route 26 , Route 101 , Interbalnearia Route , Italia Avenue and Giannattasio Avenue , they have good maintenance and signaling although there are sections in bad shape. The secondary routes have variable condition, from very good to poor quality.
The Uruguayan railway network has approximately 2,900 km of track, with a 100% homogeneous gauge , of 1,435 mm , and only 11 km of double track, and is one of the densest in the region (0.016 km / km²). As of today (2021), only about 1600 km of track are operational almost exclusively for the transport of cargo, and within these, only 118 km (since 2019) for passenger services. The rest of the branch is closed. [ 124 ]
The current state of both the railway network and the tractive park has been, since the 1950s, plunged into decline and in a rather precarious state. The vast majority of the network is not only closed, but in some cases they have not been maintained or rebuilt for decades. Regarding the fleet, all the material is imported and about 95% of the material is second-hand that is in service, repaired, in poor condition or scrapped. The Uruguayan railway system is not electrified . However, in recent years the repair and reconstruction of some branches for the transport of loads has been carried out. A project from 2015intends to rebuild a 273 km section of the 563 km of the Montevideo-Rivera trunk line that is currently under execution for the transport of cellulose pulp from the Finnish forestry company UPM-Kymmene , which includes the extension of the current double track (11 km) to 26 km and the use of monobloc-type concrete sleepers and rails welded with cast steel, something never before happened in the country. As well as the repair of the existing fleet and the purchase of new material is also being carried out. [ 125 ] [ 126 ]
Since March 1, 2003, passenger trains depart and arrive from a new and small terminal station located 500 meters to the north of Montevideo's Central Station , which has been closed since then. This meant a loss of more than 100,000 passengers for train services. [ 127 ]
The AFE is, since 1952, the current state administrator of the network and, since 2020, it is in charge of infrastructure maintenance. The circulation of material from other companies and institutions is allowed and several have their own wagons and locomotives ( ANCAP , AUAR , CEFU, CUCP).
In Uruguay there are approximately 64 airports or secondary aerodromes, of which nine have a paved runway, the other 55 being secondary aerodromes or emergency runways with an unpaved runway with light pavement. [ 128 ] The two most important are the Carrasco International Airport located in the Department of Canelones , within the metropolitan area of Montevideo , and the Punta del Este International Airport , in the Department of Maldonado . In 2009, work was completed on a new terminal at Carrasco International Airport. The new terminal was inaugurated on November 15, 2009 and began operating on December 29, 2009. The old facilities were left for air cargo service. The transformation of this terminal into a southern South American connection center for cargo is planned.
Carrasco Airport was initially opened in 1947 and in 2009, Puerta del Sur, the owner and operator of the airport, with an investment of $ 165 million, commissioned Rafael Viñoly Architects to expand and modernize the existing facilities with a new and extensive terminal for passengers to increase capacity and stimulate commercial growth and tourism in the region.   Frontier magazine, based in London, chose Carrasco International Airport, which serves 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.
The International Airport of Punta of the East , also known as Airport Laguna El Sauce is located 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the city of Punta of the East , in the department of Maldonado , is the second air terminal more passenger traffic from the country. Work of the Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, the terminal was inaugurated in 1997 and the runways were renovated through a private investment concession.