U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Uruguay
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 January 1998|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Uruguay, 30 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa1f30.html [accessed 20 October 2014]|
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
URUGUAYUruguay is a constitutional republic with an elected president and a bicameral legislature. In November 1994, former President Julio Maria Sanguinetti won a narrow election victory. He began his 5-year term in March 1995. The judiciary is independent. The Interior Ministry administers the country's police departments and the prison system and is responsible for domestic security and public safety. The police continued to commit human rights abuses. The economy is a mixture of private and state enterprises and is heavily dependent on agricultural exports and agroindustry. The Government respects private property rights. The economy grew by 4.9 percent in 1996, with estimated growth of 5.0 percent for 1997. Annual per capita income was about $6,000 in 1996. The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary generally provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse. However, there were problems in some areas, principally continued police abuse and mistreatment of detainees, and poor prison conditions. Low pay and consequent lack of professionalism in police ranks continue to be a problem. Court cases sometimes last many years, resulting in lengthy preverdict detention. Other problems include violence against women and continued underrepresentation of women and the black minority in the upper ranks of government and business.