To give you an idea of the impact this has had here, know that the government passed a law to create an extraordinary holiday, with the purpose of securing the downtown area where the presidents would be hosted, aka the exclusion zone, the neigborhood of ciudad vieja. In a first version announced the holiday would be for everyone in Montevideo, and then, when confirmed, it was limited only to those working in the "zone".
It was an important security procedure, for Uruguayan measures, land, sea, and air, where secured, and everyone living or working in the exclusion zone was registered by government personnel, more than 5000 persons. We had to have a radar borrowed from spain, because ours was broken (pathetic). They say the cost of the whole thing was about two million dollars.
Uruguay government tried to use this summit to achieve some advance in the negotiations on the pulp mill issue with Argentina, while Mexico was looking for backup against the wall under construction. Lula didn’t come, which, taking into account that he’s the president of the biggest country in South America, takes part of the fun out of the party.
In my opinion the summit meant for Uruguayans among other things a long weekend, some long waited restoration work done on some public buildings, and having a part of the city banned, which is totally unusual for us. You could tell something funny was going on for the number of tourists walking 18 de Julio the last couple of days, in particular Brazilians, plus some demonstrations going on on 18 against the "capitalist" summit, plus the fact that my usual empanadas delivery (san telmo) seems to be in the exclusion zone, and I’m blogging on an empty stomach....