President José Mujica re-affirmed on Tuesday that Uruguay will receive six prisoners from the Guantanamo prison camp, where they are being held without trial.
He said that he would personally decide when they would arrive in Uruguay. The remarks were in response to US press reports suggesting Uruguay had had a change of heart.
In May Mujica said that his country was willing to accept six Guantanamo prisoners, but that President Obama should should be sure to send them while he still President of Uruguay.
Presidential Secretary Diego Cánepa had said it was unlikely that the issue would be settled before the upcoming elections to be held on October 26, with a possible runoff on November 30.
Mujica agreed that they will not be transferred right away. “I prefer to have all the information and clear up everything that is not yet clear,” he said.
The issue has been controversial in Uruguay, where according to a poll conducted by CIFRA, last July, 50% of the people oppose the transfer, 30% support it, and 20% have no opinion.
Out of 775 prisoners who have been held at Guantanamo, 149 remain. As of now, 76 detainees have been cleared for release by the Guantanamo Review Task Force, but have not yet been released, in part due to difficulties in repatriating them, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights.