On December 7, the Department of Defense announced that the United States had transferred six detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to Uruguay. TCP President Virginia Sloan welcomed the news, saying in a press release, “After several years of limited action, we are pleased that the Obama administration appears to be accelerating its efforts to end the detention of individuals long cleared for transfer from Guantanamo, and we trust this announcement is a harbinger of more transfers to come.”
Sloan applauded the government of Uruguay – and President Mujica in particular – for the willingness to provide a home for the six men. According to a report in The Washington Post, Mujica said that Uruguay would treat the prisoners as refugees.
The transfers lower the number of detainees at Guantanamo from 142 to 136, most of whom have been held without charges for more than decade, and nearly half of whom are already cleared by the U.S. government for transfer out of Guantanamo once a host country can be found. A legislative ban on transfers of detainees to the U.S. has complicated the process of identifying possible destinations for resettlement. Sloan called on Congress to lift the ban.
In April 2013, The Constitution Project Task Force on Detainee Treatment, an 11-member bipartisan blue-ribbon panel, released a 600-page report that included a series of unanimous conclusions and recommendations for reform, including a proposal for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.