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Hostage Nation

This true story of the dramatic rescue of three captive Americans raises disturbing questions about the US war on drugs in Colombia.

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

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North American journalists Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes allied with the insider they needed – the Colombian journalist Jorge Enrique Botero – to produce the gripping book Hostage Nation. This brave, deeply reported work makes a compelling argument for ending the drug wars that the United States continues to prosecute in Colombia, Mexico, and – for that matter – Afghanistan.

The authors tack that argument onto the end of this compelling story about the interplay of economics and politics in Colombia, that country’s relationship with the United States, and the rescue of three US contractors held in captivity in Colombia for more than five years. Their depiction of the daring, persistence, and open-mindedness necessary to prevail over ineptitude at the top levels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Colombian government, and the Bush administration proves that political posturing, no matter the stripe, can prove fatal.

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