Uruguay is wedged between neighboring Brazil and
Argentina on the Atlantic coast of South America. The
country was early a modern welfare state and stable
democracy when the region was otherwise characterized by
authoritarian rule. Military dictatorship also prevailed
in Uruguay for more than a decade from the early 1970s,
but now the country has once again been rumored to be a
progressive forerunner, not least in social policy
issues. Agriculture is the foundation of the economy.
The breeding of cows and sheep is mainly carried out on
large farms, estancias, in the plain.
Brief profiles of Uruguay, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Uruguay is located on the Atlantic coast of
South America, sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina.
It is the continent's second smallest state, after
Surinam, and corresponds to the surface about a third of
Sweden. The landscape consists of a hilly plateau with
some low mountain ranges running in a north-south
Most of Uruguay is lowland. The highest mountain,
Cerro Catedral, reaches just over 500 meters.
Three quarters of the country consists of grass
pastures which are excellent pastures. The coast towards
the Atlantic Ocean in the south is low and sandy and is
bordered on the east by lagoons.
The country is named after the Uruguay River which
forms a border with Argentina and then culminates in the
large bay of Río de la Plata. The land is divided in the
east-west direction by the river Río Negro, which forms
a series of long narrow lakes in the middle of the
Uruguay is the only country in South America that is
completely outside the tropical zone. Instead, it
belongs to the subtropical climate belt and has four
seasons. The location by the sea contributes to a mild
climate during most of the year.
The warmest is in December - February when the
daytime temperature normally reaches 28-30 degrees. The
coldest months are June - August with a temperature of
usually 10-14 degrees. In winter, the temperature can
drop to zero, but frost is unusual and snow does not
occur. No season is markedly dry or rainy. The weather
is changing rapidly and severe storms can occur at any
time during the year.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
176 215 km2 (2018)
Swedish –4 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Capital with number of inhabitants
Montevideo 1.4 million (estimated 2018)
Other major cities
Salto 104,000, Paysandú 76,000, Las Piedras 71,000
Cerro Catedral (513 m asl)
Río Negro, Río Uruguay
Embalse del Río Negro (artificial)
Average Precipitation / year
about 1,000 mm
Average / day
22 °C (Feb), 10 °C (July)
The amnesty law is repealed
Congress withdraws the invalidated amnesty law (see March 2011).
The crimes are declared to be crimes against humanity, and thus cannot be
prescribed. In the Senate, the decision goes through with the votes 16-16.
Public apology for UN soldiers
President Mujica apologizes to Haiti after reporting that an 18-year-old
Haitian man was raped by a group of Uruguayan peacekeeping soldiers. The case
has caused much upset in Haiti.
Amnesty laws are annulled
A decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) is announced
which means that a 1986 amnesty law relating to crimes committed under the
military dictatorship (1973-1855) is not valid because it violates international
human rights conventions (see also Political system).
Military convicted of MR crime
An active military is being dropped for the first time for human rights
violations during the dictatorship (see Political system).
Mujica takes over as president
José Mujica becomes President. He won the second round of the presidential
election in November 2009 with 55 percent of the vote, against 45 percent for
Luis Lacalle de Herrera (who was president from 1990 to 1995).
Ex-president gets jail
Former President and military dictator Juan María Bordaberry (1972-1976) is
sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder and violation of the Constitution
after the 1973 military coup.
Mujica wins the presidential election
In the second round of the presidential election, the ruling Left Alliance
defeats Breda Front's candidate José Mujica by 55 percent of the vote, against
Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou's 45 percent for the right-wing Blanco Party (or
Left victory in the election
The Left Alliance The broad front retains its majority in both chambers of
Congress, with 50 seats in the House of Representatives and 16 in the Senate.
The Blank Party gets 30 and 9 seats, the Colorado Party 17 and 5, respectively,
and the Independent Party 2 in the House of Representatives and none in the
Senate. Wide front presidential candidate José Mujica gets 49 percent of the
vote and thus misses with barely a marginal victory in the first round. Blanco's
Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou gets 30 percent and Colorados Pedro Bordaberry 18
percent. Mujica and Lacalle Pou advance to a second round. Two referendums are
also held, with both proposals being voted down. One was to repeal an amnesty
provision for human rights violations committed during the military dictatorship
of 1973–1985 (53 percent no) and the other was to allow postal voting for
Uruguayans abroad (63 percent no).