LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Uruguay’s austere president is urging world leaders to fight a “culture of waste” in which poor nations try to emulate richer countries rather than live in balance with the environment.
Speaking in Bolivia on Sunday to a summit of the Group of 77 and China, Jose Mujica calls the growth in consumerism “a trap” that will produce material gain at the cost of human development.
Mujica is a former guerrilla leader and he has won attention for his no-frills lifestyle as Uruguay’s president, including driving an old Volkswagen Beetle and living on a simple flower farm.
Opposition leaders in Bolivia have criticized the summit of representatives from 128 nations as a waste of money. President Evo Morales defends the meeting, saying will help promote Bolivia and its social reforms.
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