Shortly after his inauguration in 2009, President Obama issued an executive order that supported his pledge to close Guantanamo Bay. As of now, 136 detainees remain out of 750. Approximately half of the remaining men have been cleared for transfer but have nowhere to go. In December of 2014, President José Mujica of Uruguay (a former urban guerrilla who spent over a decade in prison) agreed to take in six detainees. Although these men have expressed gratitude to the country for their freedom, the adjustment hasn't been easy.
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The six men released to Uruguay were all imprisoned 12 years ago for suspected ties to Al-Qaeda. They were never charged. Four of these men are from Syria, one is from Palestine, and one is from Tunisia. They were not returned to their home countries because those places are considered too unstable. Far from both their homes and the prison, they are attempting to adjust to life not only back in the world but in a country very different from their own.
Members of this group have spoken out and said that Uruguayans have been kind and welcoming but they are still struggling. They are trying to learn Spanish, get back in touch with distant loved ones, acclimate to a country that has a small Muslim population, and find suitable jobs. In all that they've gone through and all that is changing for them, some of these men are also wondering why America isn't helping them more.
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Read more about the Guantanamo Bay Prisoners:
CNN: U.S. transfers 6 detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Uruguay
The Guardian: Guantánamo prisoners released to Uruguay: 'We are so happy to be here'