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During all Sunday, the picture which could be seen in Montevideo was practically the same in all neighborhoods: people with flags in every corner, mainly red, blue and white of the Frente Amplio –left wing party in Uruguay- together with pink banners and flags, representing a “Yes” to annul the impunity law through a plebiscite, which together with a plebiscite to implement vote by mail in the country, was carried out with the Presidential Elections.
The law in question ensures impunity for those who violated human rights during the last civic-military dictatorship which took place between 1973 and 1985. The plebiscite had been possible due to tens of social organizations who organized a massive campaign to gather signatures to make the citizenship decide on this issue for the second time.
But in the evening, when the potential results of the elections started to be heard, the joy on the streets decreased. None of the plebiscites reached 50 per cent of the votes, the amount necessary to be passed. With little over 40 per cent, the pink ballot paper, representing a “Yes” to repeal the impunity law, had been rejected by the citizenship.
“The struggle for human rights is constant. These law is null from ethical terms”, said Luis Puig, member of the Coordination to Repeal the Impunity Law, in a press conference given on Sunday, after knowing the results.
Puig also said that the pink paper managed to achieve the support of great part of the population, and that this result does not mean that the Uruguayan people validate torture. “There is still a lot to do on human rights”, he said.
With reference to the Presidential Elections, Frente Amplio was the party which received more votes, but did not reach the percentage of votes necessary to avoid a run-off. Thus, a second round of elections will be held in November, between Frente Amplio candidates José Mujica and Danilo Astori, and right-wing and conservative Partido Nacional, represented by former president Luis Alberto Lacalle and Jorge Larrañaga.
The latter have the support of also presidential candidate Pedro Bordaberry, from the right-wing Partido Colorado and son of dictator Juan María Bordaberry.
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