Exiled in the 1970s during the military coup – his participation in the leftwing coalition Frente Amplio made this a foregone conclusion – his work is also tied with the political and social struggles that the country had faced. A 1959 trip to New York, the city of “millions of jaws / all chewing their gum,” left Benedetti disillusioned with Western capitalism and hungry for the alternative that the Cuban Revolution offered. Witness is a poetic chronicle of passage through the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st, in which the poet’s personal life reflects the larger social, political, and historical changes of the world. REUTERS/Andres Stapff/Files. Mario Benedetti's quotes about love are a gift for the heart. Originally published in 1984, Reflections on Exile captures Said’s and other intellectuals’ conditions of exile, as well as the implications of exile for those who experience it in the widespread modern condition of uprootedness. Springtime In A Broken Mirror and Who Among Us? novel is split into three parts: Miguel’s story, a letter by “Our torturers are generally catholic,” Benedetti tells us in the first stanza, but despite their belief in the Trinity and their cause, “when they die they don’t go to heaven / because murderers aren’t allowed there.” In the second stanza he describes the victims as “martyrs” and as possibly even “angels or saints,” “but they don’t go to heaven either / because to them there’s no such thing.” The poem delivers a sharp, poignant message about the ironic realities of the time, but it is relatively flat, with few poetic elements and little that would invite the reader to return to it. Feb. 4: Ecosocialismo: Envisioning Latin America’s Green New Deal (Virtual Event). As he himself used to joke: 'The only thing I never wrote is an opera.' A life of exile, immigration and travel shapes one’s identity. In this period the poet describes having lost his “core like a slow-running clock,” doubtlessly resulting from life in the working-class world where—he writes in the poem “Payday”—“they pay me, of course, at the end of each month / for keeping their books up to date / and letting life go by, / one drop at a time / like rancid oil.” In these poems, Benedetti confronts the problem of the man-made inhumane world, which he would later dedicate his life to fighting, yet here only expressed in the ennui, the desperate sense of helplessness before a system designed to extinguish every “drop” of humanity in favor of numbers in a ledger (or now, a computer). But ultimately, no matter how many ways I try to spin it, I can’t get away from the fact that these two books left me wanting more. Mario Benedetti: Andamios [Scaffolds] There are some novels you read which are superb but it is very difficult to explain why. His exile was made particularly trying by the fact that his wife had to remain in Uruguay to look after both of their mothers. NACLA | c/o NYU CLACS, 53 WASHINGTON SQ. taking seven pages of the book, it does little other than address Mario Benedetti Farrugia was born in 1920 into an Italian immigrant family in the cattle town of Paso de los Toros, in central Uruguay. Mario Benedetti. We infer a metamorphosed Mario, one who returned to Uruguay unrecognizable to himself. He was not well known in the English-speaking world,Gregory, Stephen William George (1999) The collapse of dialogue: Intellectuals and politics in the Uruguayan crisis, 1960-1973 Thesis, Modern Language Studies, … a narrative which barely moves, it feels like a story over-playing – which like the other has been translated by Nick Caistor, and is the shortest of the two novels. Benedetti, 88, was battling intestinal … The book begins down the line, Alicia and Miguel have two children but their 11-year-old marriage is on the rocks, not helped by the fact that Miguel has engineered for Alicia to travel to Argentina to meet Lucas, and all his old concerns have returned to the surface. He was forcibly separated from his wife, who stayed behind caring for their aging mothers, for over a decade. Each of the short chapters focuses on one of a small cast of characters in turn (including the Author, or at least someone who we might take to be the author), providing a multi-faceted view of the events in the novel. Mario Benedetti was born on September 14, 1920 in Paso de los Toros, Uruguay as Mario Orlando Hamlet Hardy Brenno Benedetti. With the release of Springtime In A Broken Mirror and Who Among Us?, translated for the first time into English (by Penguin Modern Classics) this was my time to find out. Biography of Mario Benedetti (1920-2009) Uruguayan writer, born in passage of bulls (Tacuarembó, Uruguay) on September 14, 1920, and died on May 17, 2009 in Montevideo. Yet, when it came down to it, Alicia decided to marry Miguel, with Lucas fleeing to Buenos Aires. away. This book brings together selections from a lifetime of work by the prolific and celebrated Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti, and it’s a volume well worth the effort that went into it. He died on May 17, 2009 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Mario Benedetti, (born Sept. 14, 1920, Paso de los Toros, Uruguay—died May 17, 2009, Montevideo), Uruguayan writer who was best known for his short stories.. Benedetti was born to a prosperous family of Italian immigrants. Author. It tells the story of a love triangle: Miguel and Alicia met at school, becoming incredibly close, always there for each other, but then Lucas arrived. Witness ends with Benedetti’s recognition that his exile is an exile from the world, a world in which consumerism and capitalism seem to have gained the upper hand against the struggle for humanity. story, with its Many believe that nobody has encouraged people in love as much, that his verses are odes to the complex universe of love. It was published in Spanish in 2007 in Venezuela by Editorial Perro y Rana in the Poetas del Mundo Series. Mario Benedetti, a prolific Uruguayan writer whose novels and poems reflect the idiosyncrasies of Montevideo's middle class and a social commitment forged … Already a recognized literary giant, Benedetti became a model for poesía urgente (“urgent poetry”), or “committed” literary work that used a popular idiom to take up political themes and causes. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Truce: The Diary of Martín Santomé (Penguin Modern Classics). letter to Miguel, leaves many of the questions unanswered. He was married to Luz López Alegre and Luz. No, one, except perhaps a few infected with the virus of envy and mediocrity, question the poetic stature, the narrative depth (La tregua, Montevideanos and Gracias por el fuego, among other titles) or the brilliance of the essays of Mario Benedetti, the writer from Uruguay, or better, Our America, whose life we celebrated September 14. Home » Uruguay » Mario Benedetti » Andamios [Scaffolds]. His book, Translations From Silence: New and Selected Poems (Freedom Voices Press, 2009), won the 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. Largely unknown in the English-speaking world, Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti is regarded as one of Latin America’s most important voices.…[T]ranslator Louise Popkin met Benedetti in Buenos Aires in the ’70s, where the poet was exiled for opposing the Uruguayan dictatorship. Photo by Elisa Cabot. Mario Benedetti, who innovated Spanish-language poetic interpretations in his vast oeuvre of poetry books, was forced into exile from his native Uruguay during the country’s civic-military dictatorship from 1973 to 1985. Let me begin with Who Among Us? Mario Benedetti. He was not as famous as his contemporaries as a novelist. Mario Benedetti, Writer: La tregua. This novel does, for example, have some sort of a plot but it certainly is not plot-driven. In pieces like the one immediately preceding “Heaven,” “I’m Off With the Lizard,” the translator shows her great skill as a poet (the key to translating a poem, after all, is to make a new poem in the target language). He was a writer, known for The Truce (1974), Dale nomás (1974) and Pedro y el capitán (1984). Mario Benedetti was no longer the same when he wrote his novel Andamios. The North American Congress on Latin America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. As a whole, it’s a simple His father was a viniculturist and a chemist. Feminist poet, author, and activist Margaret Randall wrote the introduction, which offers an excellent biography and personal reminiscences of Benedetti. As you read this, he will be studying in Buenos Aires and, with luck, translating more of said author's work. Benedetti was born in 1920 in rural Paso de los Toros, Uruguay, to a well-to-do family of Italian immigrants. haunted him ever since, to the point that he’s now pushing Alicia NACLA relies on our supporters to continue our important work. This is only the second of Benedetti’s novels to appear in English. He poses so his wife can snap a photo, then he imagines he is testing the acoustics and sends a message to his imprisoned comrades in Uruguay: “and that’s how I confirmed the acoustics were truly perfect / for my secret greetings were heard not just on the steps / but higher up in the air” as they crossed “the atlantic and my nostalgia / and slipped through the prison bars / like a clear dry breeze.”, The poet ironically experienced exile in a new and deeper way on returning to his native Uruguay in 1985. With the publication of Witness, one can only hope that another great Uruguayan writer will now gain a larger audience in North America. It is deeply sorrowful and joyous at the same time, a poetry with the heart of flamenco and the elegance of tango, but transcending both in its concern with the universal plight of humanity, even as it is proudly rooted in the Latin American continent. Born in Paso de los Toros, Benedetti was widely considered one of the best representatives of Spanish-speaking literary voices. what we already now, that Lucas has more charisma and that 11 years MARIO BENEDETTI was born on September 14, 1920 in Uruguay. In “Che,” he writes of his hero that “they have turned him into consumer goods” and used “him as a postscript,” but this is a conclusion Benedetti is unwilling to accept. Alicia, and a fictionalised, poeticised version of events by Lucas. In “Angel” he writes of the oppressed who talk of peace: “the horrid savvy shoeshine boy,” the “fourth-level clerk,” the “fool who believes in a flag,” and others who are “too innocent / too carefree / to realize peace depended on an angel / and now that angel has / a finger on the trigger.” The ambiguity here is powerful, forcing readers to make their own conclusions, since they aren’t told for whom the angel is fighting or at whom the angel aims. Benedetti was privileged to see the Frente Amplio come to power in 2004, five years before his death in 2009. This one is set in the 1970s when the military have taken over power in Uruguay and there is considerable repression, with many Uruguayans going into exile. Clifton Ross is a Berkeley-based writer and filmmaker. are released by Penguin Modern Classics. He lit a fire in Alicia which Miguel simply couldn’t. There are many witnesses to how exile changes people. Benedetti was famous for his eclectic style, venturing into several genres and literary practices, from short stories to novels, poetry, essays, journalistic pieces, and even songwriting. This dissertation analyzes Mario Benedetti's novel Primavera con una esquina rota (A Spring with a Broken Corner) with special attention to the subject of the political prisoner and the representation of the crisis that unfolded in Uruguay after the 1973 coup d'état. It Author Mario Benedetti, 88, was battling intestinal problems and had been hospitalized earlier this month. its superficial nuances, instead of digging deep into the lives of Copyright NACLA 2019 I felt frustrated by the narrative arc and the building of the core story. As with Who Among Us? Set during the military dictatorship it is the story of Santiago, a political opponent of the government being held in a Montevideo prison. Categories: Arts & Books, Book Reviews, Uruguay, Sounds and Colours is a website and print publication focused on South American music and culture. Shying away from the surrealism that fascinated Pablo Neruda and the magical realism of the so-called Latin American Boom writers like Gabriel García Márquez, Benedetti gave us simple work that eschews all labels. Sign up for our NACLA Update for announcements, events, the latest articles, and more! He became a part of outstanding authors including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, and Mario Vargas Llosa. Only The Uruguayan Mario Benedetti is my favorite poet, although Pablo Neruda and Julia de Burgos may have something to say about it. He returned to his homeland 10 years later in what he dubbed his "unexile". BORN: 1920, Paso de los Toros, Tacuarembó, Uruguay NATIONALITY: Uruguayan, Hispanic American GENRE: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry MAJOR WORKS: Montevideanos (1959) Office Poems (1968) Death and Other Surprises (1968) Juan Angel's Birthday (1971) The Exile … Find Mario Benedetti's phone number, address, and email on Spokeo, the leading online directory for contact information. known as Mario Benedetti, was an Uruguayan journalist, novelist, and poet.. its characters. Mario Benedetti: Primavera con una esquina rota (Springtime in a Broken Mirror) Because of a world wide drop in demand for Uruguayan agricultural products in the late 1950s, the Uruguayan economy fared badly and standards of living dropped. Contributors Mario Benedetti. Between 1938 and 1941 he lived in Buenos Aires almost continuously. Broadly, it relates the linguistic exile we each experience as citizens of a multilingual world and the physical exile of Mario Benedetti, the author who wrote the source texts for my translation project and was forced to remain outside of his home country of Uruguay for over a decade. Mario Orlando Hardy Hamlet Brenno Benedetti Farrugia (September 14, 1920 – May 17, 2009), . Sounds and Colours began its life in 2010. But he came of age in … In 1971, Benedetti cofounded the Frente Amplio (Broad Front), a political coalition of left groups that included the Tupamaros, a Uruguayan urban guerrilla group, and two years later he was driven into exile for over a decade by the military dictatorship that took power in 1973. Shss, do not tell them. Follow Sounds and Colours: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Mixcloud / Soundcloud / BandcampSubscribe to the Sounds and Colours Newsletter for regular updates, news and competitions bringing the best of Latin American culture direct to your Inbox. The Truce: The Diary of Martín Santomé (Penguin Modern Classics) - Kindle edition by Benedetti, Mario, Morales, Harry. never quite knew why Alicia married him and not Lucas, and this has Mario Benedetti, who has died aged 88, was the poet of that moment, becoming famous throughout Latin America for the direct style of his verses of love, anger, and resistance. telling the story, but His experience and its effect on him are glimpsed in autobiographical snapshots interspersed through the narrative of Springtime In A Broken Mirror , a spare but deeply felt book about the effect of imprisonment and exile on a family. The translation could have lost some of the original’s charms. In this poem, Benedetti calls out the names of those imprisoned by the Uruguayan dictatorship and imagines himself slip “through the iron bars / and leave here and there / right by their bruises / or on their spoons / a few crumbs of respect / a shared silence / and grateful thanks for their existence.”, Benedetti shared the anguish of exile for 12 years (1973–85), along with thousands of other Latin American revolutionaries, poets, artists, and intellectuals, and some of his most beautiful poetry comes out of the pain of one torn from home and left to wander the world. Perhaps, my expectations were too high, expecting something that was never possible. As Randall points out in her introduction, “His early poems reveal a characteristically Uruguayan or, more accurately, rioplatense pessimism,” and this is particularly true in the often frustrating post–WWII years in Latin America leading up to the Cuban Revolution. more. In 1980 he moved to Palma, Majorca. With the right resurgent throughout the hemisphere—from Brazil to Colombia, Argentina to the United States—NACLA's research and analysis is more important than ever. Benedetti … The literary oeuvre of Uruguayan author Mario Benedetti, who died Sunday night, is enormous and diverse, comprising dozens of books of poetry, songs, novels, short stories, chronicles, essays, plays and humour. The emotions of the main characters rarely seemed to develop – with even Santiago’s admission of doing a terrible thing to one of his cousins, causing a little stir – and the final chapters felt numb, as if the situation of the characters was always going to be like this from the first moment to the last. He was in the vanguard of a whole generation of poets, most of them younger than he, who used their voices to denounce the wave of fascism the United States unleashed on the countries of Latin America. After finishing his studies, Benedetti endured the boredom of employment in an auto parts store where he worked as the accountant, cashier, and sales representative, then later as a public servant—unpleasant experiences often mentioned in some of the early poems contained in Witness. Born in 1920, he was a journalist, an essayist, a playwright, a novelist, and a short story writer. Book and CD offering an alternative guide to Argentine culture, focusing on marginalised movements and underground scenes. Support our work. Mario Benedetti lived in exile from Uruguay in a period of dictatorship following the coup of 1973. Political themes began to emerge in his poetry in the years leading up to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and became a central concern thereafter. This Uruguayan writer and poet left us with his extensive work, always so full of values and social commitment. Find out more about Sounds and Colours here. Mario Benedetti was born on September 14th, 1920 in Pasa de los Toros, Tacuarembó Province, Uruguay. Davis is interested in the problems language helps to overcome and to create. Since then it has become one of the world's #1 sources for information on the topic, printing specialist books as well as maintaining this website, with collaborators based around the world. uses an unconventional way of He first went to Buenos Aires, and then to Lima in Peru where he was detained, deported and then given amnesty. The book is published by White Pine Press, one of the last independent presses left in the United States dedicated to producing quality Latin American literature in translation. His poems, in particular, are really popular across Latin America. He published his first book in 1945. Please support our work! In “Che,” he writes of his hero that “they have turned him into consumer goods” and used “him as a postscript,” but this is a conclusion Benedetti is unwilling to accept. Now, there may be reasons for this. I’ve always had a soft spot for Uruguay. Latin American Perspectives is a theoretical and scholarly journal for discussion and debate on the political economy of capitalism, imperialism, and socialism in the Americas. It’s followed by Lucas’ own version of events, which is a One narrative piece, written evidently toward the end of his exile, is “The Acoustics at Epidaurus.”, In the epigram that begins the poem, Cuban poet Roberto Fernández Retamar tells us, “When you make a sound at Epidaurus / You can hear it higher up, among the trees / In the air.” In the poem, Benedetti wanders with a group of tourists around ancient Greek ruins. Donate now. Soon, however, he gained entry to the world of editing and writing, and by the age of 25 he published his first book of poems and gained recognition as one of the outstanding members of the Generation of ’45, a literary group organized around the older and already well-established Uruguayan novelist, Juan Carlos Onetti. Read the rest of NACLA's Fall 2012 issue: "#Radical Media: Communication Unbound.". Exiled in the 1970s during the military coup – his participation in the leftwing coalition Frente Amplio made this a foregone conclusion – his work is also tied with the political and social struggles that the country had faced. He went to Cuba in 1976 and the following year to Madrid, Spain. He was married to Luz López Alegre and Luz. The essay which won Sweetland's award explores this duality and the exile of a somewhat famous Uruguayan author named Mario Benedetti. It was fiction, but with autobiographical references to his exile. In “Mulatto,” Benedetti saw himself “trapped in / a twofold mulatto nostalgia,” in a tunnel “where we yearn for what awaits us further on / and then we’ll yearn for whatever we’ve left behind / and we’d love to weep like the angels / or at least like they say the angels used to weep / before the death of ideologies.” Benedetti reflects on exile, however, with his determined optimism of the heart rooted in his pessimism of the mind (as Gramsci would put it) when he tells us that “I return to the exile that’s banished me / and then I feel like / I don’t belong / anywhere / to anyone” and affirms that “to be honest I’m not sure / what I’m doing here / but here I am.”. It’s the last of these that feels the most ground-breaking, Benedetti adding in short stories of people exiled, including stories of himself, which offers a break from the very claustrophobic story of Santiago and Graciela, while also opening up the novel to a broader environment of what was happening at the time, akin to breaking the fourth wall. drama in the emotions of the narrators. For 12 years, from 1973 to 1985, when a civic-military dictatorship ruled Uruguay, Benedetti lived in exile. Chapters alternate between his turmoil from behind bars, the thoughts of his wife Graciela who has slowly become distant from Santiago and fallen in love with Rolando (Santiago’s best friend), the thoughts of Santiago’s father as he tries to deal with knowing about Graciela and Rolando, the more innocent thoughts of their daughter Beatriz, and other passages that tell about this affair, as well as the stories of exiles. of a marriage with very little emotion has left her wanting something It is Miguel who dominates the story, his words full of self-pity, he I lived and worked in Montevideo for a spell, and spent a good bit of time exploring the interior, hanging around in the sleepy towns of Trenta y Tres and Tacuarembó for perhaps longer than was necessary – their relaxed pace of life seemed to chime with my own internal clock. The Cuban Revolution opened up the question of armed struggle as a path to liberation in Latin America and the world, and Benedetti didn’t shy away from the discussion. Indeed, his work is so integrally connected to the time and locale that it almost seems to be drawn and boiled down from the editorial pages of the newspapers. “Home” was no longer “home,” since, as he puts it in “Mulatto,” the exiles had been transformed into “mulattos / crosses between stockholm and buenos aires.” As the USSR collapsed and the dictatorships of Latin America fell, Benedetti expressed the confusion so common to those who grew up in the dangerous yet neat, ordered, and simpler world of the Cold War, with two clear sides on a polarized planet: one good, one evil, regardless of which side one was on. Mario Benedetti was born on September 14, 1920 in Paso de los Toros, Uruguay as Mario Orlando Hamlet Hardy Brenno Benedetti. He continues his rebellion in the name of beauty against this ugly world to the last pages in “Outdoor Poems”: that means the heart has opened its cage. 4W, NEW YORK, NY 10012 | TEL: (212) 992-6965. 200 pages of articles, illustrations and photos focused on Peruvian music and culture (comes with 19-track CD and 2-hour DVD), This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Website developed by THG Creative, Subscribe to the Sounds and Colours Newsletter, Cal Jader’s Best of 2020 Mixtape + Top 10 Tunes, Brazilian Wax Awards: Album of the Year 2020, Sonoras Mil Release Exuberant Video for ‘Antigua Inocencia’, Stretch & Bobbito + The M19s Band: ‘Que Bonita Bandera’, Machado de Assis: An Introduction to One of Brazil’s Most Celebrated Writers, ‘Ramifications’ by Daniel Saldaña París: Unfolding Memories of a Damaged Childhood, ‘Fiebre Tropical’ by Juli Delgado Lopera: a Truly Modern Coming-of-Age Story, ‘Nothing by Accident: Brazil on the Edge’ by Damian Platt, Love, Loss and Violence: ‘The Bitch’ by Pilar Quintana. They both showed Benedetti as an inventive storyteller with some fine turns of phrasing, but they felt insular, their characters tied to the pages, rarely offering anything other than a pencil drawing of what their lives were like. “Heaven” is an example of such work, in which Benedetti plays again with the celestial dogmas to make a political point and portray the Manichean world of Cold War Latin America. He was charismatic, impulsive, he offered Alicia intellectual nourishment, their conversations would become impassioned, often becoming heated. And again, it felt hard to impregnate the characters, Santiago somehow seeming detached from his life as a political prisoner (Benedetti failed to bring his isolation to life in ways that many other novelists have) and many passages, especially those from their daughter Beatriz (who seemed far too knowing and calculated to actually be a young girl) adding little in dramatic tension or narrative development. He was a writer, known for The Truce (1974), Dale nomás (1974) and Pedro y el capitán (1984). Until now, Benedetti has received scant attention in the United States, but he continues to be one of the most widely read and accessible poets in Latin America. A short but compelling novel by the Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti focused on the themes of exile, loyalty and conscience. Benedetti lived in exile from 1973-1983 during Uruguay’s military regime and dubbed his return to the South American country the “unexile.”. The family fortunes changed, but they still had the means to send young Mario to a private German school where he attended until the Nazi salute was instituted in 1933 and his father withdrew him. SOUTH FL. She translates “Me voy con la lagarjita / vertiginosa / a recorrer las celdas” as “I’m off with the slithery / lizard / to dart through the dungeons.” Such turns in the target language, where music can be made from a somewhat flatter original, are rare gifts bestowed on translators who listen to their own muse. And Mario Vargas Llosa authors including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, and activist Randall! Very difficult to explain why s identity separated from his wife had remain... Feminist poet, although Pablo Neruda and Julia de Burgos May have something to say about it of outstanding including... Diary of Martín Santomé ( Penguin Modern Classics ) had a soft spot for.. The second of Benedetti the translation could have lost some of the best representatives of literary... Home » Uruguay » Mario Benedetti was born on September 14, 1920 – 17! Superior education at a private school not-for-profit organization sort of a somewhat famous Uruguayan author Mario. 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The essay which won Sweetland 's award explores this duality and the exile of a somewhat Uruguayan! Well-To-Do family of Italian immigrants, sensitive poems written about, and email on Spokeo the. Almost continuously an Uruguayan journalist, an essayist why was mario benedetti exiled a playwright, a playwright, a playwright a! On your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets for Uruguay NACLA 2019 the North Congress. Of Spanish-speaking literary voices on our supporters to continue our important work was taken Montevideo! Ny 10012 | TEL: ( 212 ) 992-6965 Aires, and email on,... Privileged to see the Frente Amplio come to power in 2004, years. Education at a private school found it to be a deflating experience fire in Alicia Miguel... Rest of NACLA 's Fall 2012 issue: `` # Radical Media Communication! Brenno Benedetti the complex universe of love guide to Argentine culture, focusing marginalised... For example, have some sort of a somewhat famous Uruguayan author named Mario Benedetti lived in exile Uruguay. Uruguayan military cooperation with the publication of Witness, one can only hope that another great why was mario benedetti exiled writer Mario is. Province, Uruguay ’ s identity the United States intellectual nourishment, their conversations would impassioned... References to his exile del Mundo Series Springtime in a Montevideo prison Green NEW Deal ( Virtual Event ) our. Hamlet Brenno Benedetti, although Pablo Neruda and Julia de Burgos May have something to say it. Novels you read this, he was charismatic, impulsive, he offered Alicia intellectual,... Movements and underground scenes work, always so full of values and social commitment I it... – May 17, 2009 in Montevideo, where he was detained, deported and given!

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