Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia
In "Walking Ghosts," Steven Dudley, a journalist who lived in Columbia for five years, expertly chronicles the life and death of the Patriotic Union (UP), the party established by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia's largest guerrilla group. Through stories of the politicians, drug kingpins, revolutionaries, and mercenaries who play key roles in Colombia's civil strife, Dudley maps out the complicated and murderous absurdity that is present-day Colombia, where daily life has devastating consequences: 30,000 murders per year, 75 political assassinations per week, 10 kidnappings a day. As the conflict gets bloodier, international pressure and influence mounts: Worried about the FARC's strength and its role in the drug trade, the United States has sent close to three billion dollars in aid to help the Colombian government fight the FARC.
Steven Dudley seeks to make sense of this complicated conflict by focusing on the stories of key actors in the struggle, from the earliest days to the present. He has seen the civil war up close: dead bodies; paramilitaries; guerrillas; victims; and survivors. He has witnessed political parties grappling for power by any means necessary, and he's spoken to all sides and asked the difficult questions. Fast-paced and informative, with a new afterword by the author, Walking Ghosts presents a window into a conflict likely to shape the politics of this hemisphere for years to come.