The town needs to get 300 coffins ready. Heads Up! The priest better be ready to work overtime. —flier from Colombian paramilitaries announcing their arrival
In January 2003, U.S. troops were sent to Colombia to train army units engaged in a bloody civil war, deepening a multibillion-dollar American commitment that makes that country the third-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.
Despite the potential for disaster embodied in the U.S.’s looming entanglement with another jungle war, America’s role in Colombia has received little critical media attention. The interlacing of terror, drugs and oil with endemic political instability makes the country a likely international flashpoint in the near future.
In this stunning account of Colombian violence and disorder, acclaimed anthropologist Michael Taussig recounts two weeks in a village under siege by paramilitaries. Routinely visited by autodefensas brandishing weapons and a laptop containing a list of names, victims are rounded up, tortured, and killed, their bodies left on display as a warning to others. In his diary of the limpieza (the “cleaning”), Taussig offers unusual insight into the nature of Colombia’s present peril and a nuanced account of the human consequences of a disintegrating state.
About Michael TaussigSee more books from this Author
Limpieza , or "cleansing," is carried out town by town and involves the seemingly random killing of those who may or may not be contributing to the persistent disorder and violence, and may or may not be sympathetic to the FARC, ELN or M-19 guerrillas.| Read Full Review of Law in a Lawless Land: Diary ...