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Hostage Nation: Colombia's Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugsby Victoria Bruce
Synopses & Reviews
A blistering journalistic exposé: an account of government negligence, corporate malfeasance, familial struggle, drugs, politics, murder, and a daring rescue operation in the Colombian jungle.
On July 2, 2008, when three American private contractors and Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt were rescued after being held for more than five years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the world was captivated by their personal narratives. But between the headlines a major story was lost: Who exactly are the FARC? How had a drug-funded revolutionary army managed to hold so many hostages for so long? Had our costly War on Drugs failed completely? Hostage Nation answers these questions by exploring the complex and corrupt political and socioeconomic situations that enabled the FARC to gain unprecedented strength, influence, and impunity. It takes us behind the news stories to profile a young revolutionary in the making, an elite Colombian banker-turned-guerrilla and the hard-driven American federal prosecutor determined to convict him on American soil, and a former FBI boss who worked tirelessly to end the hostage crisis while the U.S. government disregarded his most important tool—negotiation.
With unprecedented access to the FARCs hidden camps, exceptional research, and lucid and keen insight, the authors have produced a revelatory work of current history.
"In this thrilling account of the origins and workings of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), Bruce (No Apparent Reason), Hayes, and Botero, all codirectors and coproducers of the documentary Held Hostage in Colombia, marshal years of research into the guerrilla group, the Colombian drug trade, and the story of three American private contractors and Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian presidential candidate, held captive by the FARC from 2003 to 2008. FARC's history is expertly interwoven into a narrative that includes intimate details of the lives of the hostages, their families back home, and those who worked for their release. But the authors' real achievement is their objectivity--no book published in the U.S. in the last decade details the activities of the FARC, the Colombian and U.S. military, the flailing war on drugs, and President Alvaro Uribe's administration in such a well-rounded and unbiased way, covering recent history from so many perspectives--no small feat given the perils of reporting from the region and the polarized views of the FARC as revolutionaries or terrorists, bumbling gangsters or major players. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Victoria Bruce is the author of No Apparent Danger: The True Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado del Ruiz.
Karin Hayes coproduced and codirected the award-winning documentary film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt.
Jorge Enrique Botero is a Colombian journalist and best-selling author. He is the only journalist who ever gained access to the American hostages while they were held by the FARC.
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