URUGUAY: Mister President

"Your Excellency," the usual form of address for Latin American Presidents, is banned by law in democratic Uruguay; "Mr. President" is thought to be title enough. Luis Batlle (pronounced Bat-zhay) Berres, the next President of Uruguay's Swiss-style National Council and therefore the country's top man, is definitely the mister type. During an earlier presidential term, explaining that "it's ridiculous for me to have guards," he modestly removed policemen from duty at his little farm just outside Montevideo. The disconcerting result was not an assassination attempt but the theft of 50 chickens.

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