Country of Bullets: Chronicles of War


Country of Bullets: Chronicles of War
Juanita Leon, translated by Guillermo Bleichmar
2009, University of New Mexico Press
223 pages

IF DISTURBING, this book is nonetheless necessary and, in its own way, refreshing. Juanita Leon has reported on the violence in her native, war-torn Colombia for more than a decade and, in Country of Bullets, chronicles what she has witnessed in an effort to break through the facade of dogma and rhetoric of the warring Marxist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitary forces and government troops in order examine the human aspects of Colombia’s hostilities. Leon therefore avoids the by now familiar scenes of warfare and focuses instead on its “commonplace” reality, providing a unique account of the amazing things normal people do in their struggles to live relatively ordinary lives amidst war. Published in Colombia as Pais de plomo: Cronicas de Guerra, the book received third place for the 2006 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage. – GJ

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