Jose Alberto "Pepe" Mujica was elected president of the South American country of Uruguay in 2009. Since then, he has done much to improve the economy and access to healthcare in what was once one of the continent's most impoverished states. But that's not what sets Mujica apart from the rest; he is in fact the poorest president in the world!
Raised in poverty by an Italian immigrant mother and a bankrupt farmer father, Mujica joined the Board Front, an extreme left-wing movement tied to the Cuban revolution. Within the group he became a prominent guerrilla leader and was held as a political prisoner in his own country on four occasions. Following the military coup in 1973, Mujica was held in a military prison at the bottom of a well for over two years.
Mujica soon entered into the realm politics, but not by any means for the money or prestige. He was the Minister of Agriculture, a position dear to his heart, and an adamant spokesperson against 'politics as usual' much before his run for presidential election. But when he was elected in 2009, Mujica earned his biggest claim to fame yet; the title of the world's poorest president.
Mujica married his first wife and current spouse, Lucia Topolansky, at the ripe age of 70 and they live together on his austere farm on the outskirts of the capital city of Montevideo. On the farm, they cultivate chrysanthemums, a beautiful colorful flower, for sale and travel around in his used Volkswagen Beetle. The couple turned down the presidential driving service and refuses to move into the presidential mansion in the center of the city.
But Mujica's uniqueness as a world leader doesn't end there. He donates 20 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to the poor and to small businesses that need it. He also was one of the first presidents in South America to legalize marijuana in 2012 in order to fight the occurrence of drug-related crimes.
Watch here to find out more about the life a genuinely good politician like we've never seen before!
Get free access To all the posts in our new app!