History •  Journalism •  Latin America and Politics

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978-0-8263-4767-1

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Country of Bullets: Chronicles of War


Juanita León
Translated by Guillermo Bleichmar

Juanita León has reported on the violence in her native war-torn Colombia for more than a decade. In Country of Bullets she provides a chronicle of what she has witnessed in the midst of one of the oldest civil wars in any Latin American nation. She breaks through the façade of dogma and rhetoric of various groups, including the Marxist guerillas, right-wing paramilitary forces, and government troops, to examine the human aspects of Colombia's hostilities.

While the stories illustrate vital aspects of the war, territorial struggles for gold, oil, and coca, the motives of individual leaders, and the strategy of the Colombian army, León avoids the infamous scenes of war, focusing instead on its "commonplace" reality. She presents a unique account that highlights the amazing things normal people do in their struggles to live relatively ordinary lives. Published in Colombia as País de plomo: Crónicas de Guerra, the book received third place for the 2006 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Juanita León, a native Colombian, received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked as a journalist for the Wall Street Journal. Upon returning to Colombia, she worked as an editor or journalist for that nation's largest print media, including El Tiempo and Semana. León won the World Health Organization's World Prize for Health Journalism in 2001 for an article on the health risks posed by the conflict in Colombia. León was awarded a Harvard University Neiman Fellowship in 2006 and received a 2008 Open Society Fellowship to launch an investigative news blog in Colombia, where she resides.

Guillermo Bleichmar received a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University.

Mary Roldán is an associate professor of history, Cornell University. She is the author of Blood and Fire: La Violencia in La Antioquia, Colombia, 1946"“1953.

Juanita Leín, a native Colombian, received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked as a journalist for the Wall Street Journal. Upon returning to Colombia, she worked as an editor or journalist for that nation's largest print media, including El Tiempo and Semana. Leín won the World Health Organization's World Prize for Health Journalism in 2001 for an article on the health risks posed by the conflict in Colombia. Leín was awarded a Harvard University Neiman Fellowship in 2006 and received a 2008 Open Society Fellowship to launch an investigative news blog in Colombia, where she resides.

Mary Roldán is an associate professor of history, Cornell University. She is the author of Blood and Fire: La Violencia in La Antioquia, Colombia, 1946–1953.

ACCLAIM

"Of all the books I've read about Colombia's unending agony of civil war, drug trafficking, massacres, kidnappings and mass displacement, Country of Bullets offers the most vivid portraits of the people caught in the crossfire....It will be at the top of the list of books read in those halcyon days to come when, dare we hope, the violence ends and future generations of Colombians turn to accounts like this one to learn how bad it was."

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6 x 9 in. 248 pages 5 halftones