MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — By most accounts, Uruguay’s President Jose “Pepe” Mujica is pretty badass.
He survived 14 years in prison, fought as a revolutionary, gives away most of his salary, drives a crumbling VW bug and shows up to official meetings in his sandals.
Hell, he even signed a law making Uruguay the first country on the planet that will grow, harvest, sell and tax marijuana.
But you know who’s just as much of a badass, if not more?
Lucia Topolansky: Senator, ex-guerrilla, prison escapee, torture survivor, blonde-bombshell-turned-wild-haired, farm-living, hard-as-nails first lady.
A lot of Uruguayans, especially conservatives, don’t like the first lady very much. In the swankier suburbs of Montevideo, residents often turn up their noses at the mention of the former rebel's name. She’s dangerous, they say. An assassin. A liar, and a thief
It’s hard to reconcile this image of a bloodthirsty firebrand with the matronly 69-year-old who shuffled around her small flower farm during a recent visit by GlobalPost, proudly showing off the first truck her husband ever bought — an old Ford now sprouting daisies in the corner of a field.