Interviews

17: The Man in the Well

Jose Mujica was kept at the bottom of a well for nearly three years by the Uruguyan dictatorship in the 1980s. He emerged to lead his country – and to become the first President to fully legalize a drug since the 1930s. This chapter tells his story, and talks about what legalization really means.

President Mujica recalls life in the well (the translator you can hear in this interview is Dario Moreno):

President Mujica talks about it further:

Mauricio Rosencoff, another dissident who was also kept at the bottom of a well, recalls what the guards told them (the translator you can hear in this interview is Alex Ferreira):

President Mujica explains that we have been fighting the war on drugs for 100 years:

President Mujica talks about life and not sacrificing people:

Danny Kushlick is one the leading advocates of legalization in the world, as co-founder of the British-based Transform Drug Policy Foundation. Here he explains what legalization is really about:

Fred Martens was an undercover cop in New Jersey in the 1970s. Here he explains a moment when he had an epiphany about the drug war:

He continues:

President Mujica talks about the failure of prohibition:

(with translator)

Danny Kushlick explains that prohibition is the radical policy:

Luica Topolansky, President Mujica’s wife and one of Uruguay’s leading senators, explains the effect of imprisonment on Mujica (the translator here is Geoffrey Ramsay):

She continues:

President Mujica explains why he has so few possessions:

President Mujica talks about his approach to politics:

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