The Oriental Republic of Uruguay is a constitutional republic with a democratically elected president and a bicameral legislature. In the 2019 national elections, Luis Lacalle Pou won a five-year presidential term in a free and fair election. No political party won a majority in parliament, but the ruling party formed a coalition to pass legislation.
Under the Ministry of Interior, the National Police maintains internal security, and the National Directorate for Migration is responsible for migration and border enforcement. The armed forces, under the Ministry of National Defense, are responsible for external security and have some domestic responsibilities, including perimeter security for six prisons and border security. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over security forces. There were credible reports that members of the security forces committed some abuses.
Significant human rights abuses included credible reports of harsh and potentially life-threatening conditions in some prisons.
The government took steps to identify and punish officials who committed human rights abuses or engaged in official corruption, and there were no reports of impunity. The judiciary continued to investigate human rights violations committed during the 1973-85 military dictatorship, which the law classifies as crimes against humanity.