Lucia Topolansky is Uruguay’s first female Vice-President. She took over after Jose Sendic resigned amid corruption charges. Lucia took over from Syndic because the former President Jose Mujica was ineligible as he had been president before. Lucia is his wife and was the senator with the second biggest number of votes. The country has been led by the left-wing Frente Amplio Party which promotes social welfare policies since 2005.
Here are some things to know about her:
- Both she and her husband were part of Uruguay’s armed insurgency movement. She spent 13 years in prison, and survived copious amounts of torture before escaping.
- Lucia was responsible for sacking the Monty financial institution. She was working at the Monty to fund her way through architecture school, when she discovered a black market financial operation behind the scenes. She contacted the press, and banking regulators but nothing happened. Then she contacted the rebel group Tupamaros. They conducted an armed raid on the bank, and stole incriminating papers and the like.
She was one of the 38 prisoners who had escaped from a women’s Carcel Cabildo in 1971. She crawled through sewage pipes for 45 minutes before reaching a tunnel and a safe house which was dug up by comrades.
- However, she was recaptured and had to spend some years in solitary confinement.
- Lucia was the First Lady of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015. She even served as the first female President of the country, when both her husband and the Vice-President were out of the country.
- Lucia comes from a posh family, which she left to go join the insurgency movement. She had started her activism in high school.
- She has studied architecture at one of the best colleges in the country. The 72-year-old believes in living frugally, despite her wealthy background.
There is certainly a lot to learn from this feisty lady. Lucia did not let even prison stop her from fighting for what she believed in.