Hostage Nation by Victoria Bruce
Colombia's Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugs

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Synopsis

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 FARC’s hidden camps, exceptional research, and lucid and keen insight, the authors have produced a revelatory work of current history.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Victoria Bruce

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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.
 
Published August 10, 2010 by Knopf. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A pointed case study in unintended consequences—in this case, of the war against drugs spilling out into civil war, and vice versa.

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Publishers Weekly

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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...

May 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Hostage Nation: Colombia's Gu...

Christian Science Monitor

By Carlo Wolff / August 12, 2010 Hostage Nation: Colombia’s Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugs By Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes, with Jorge Enrique Botero Knopf 336 pp., $26.95 ...

Aug 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Hostage Nation: Colombia's Gu...

Bookmarks Magazine

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 th...

Aug 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Hostage Nation: Colombia's Gu...

Time Magazine

In recounting 2008's Operación Jaque (Operation Checkmate) hostage release--which, among other things, saw soldiers posing as FARC members--the authors rightly address the context of the failed war on drugs.

Aug 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Hostage Nation: Colombia's Gu...

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