Colombian Civil War

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In 2000, the National Police of Colombia reported that 25,660 people met violent deaths in that country. According to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, 170 civilians were killed in the first 18 days of 2001 in massacres and selective homicides related to that country's terrible civil war.

By drawing on diverse sources of information, this work brings together the thoughts of historians, journalists, human rights activists, social scientists, military veterans, law enforcement officials, Congressional investigators, financial analysts, lawyers, Roman Catholic priests, peace organization spokespersons and others about the volatile present-day situation in Colombia. It explains the complexities of the drug-financed civil war and details Washington's concern that the Colombian conflict will destabilize the Andean region. Photographs and maps enhance the text.

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Editorial Reviews

Colombia Report
comprehensive analysis...essential reading
The Dallas Morning News
well-researched and richly detailed
The Charlotte Observer
a succinct, well-written overview and analysis of Colombia's chronic crisis...a disturbing portrait of what Colombia has become and what it could be
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786410842
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/15/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 279
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Bert Ruiz is a former Wall Street executive and is current chairman of the Colombian American Association. In 1997, President Ernesto Samper presented Ruiz with the Republic of Colombia's prestigious award, "La Orden Nacional al Mérito." He lives in Bedford, New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Red Carpet 3
2 They Fought Like Lions! 18
3 The Genesis of Violence 38
4 The Mistake from Hell 61
5 The Next Vietnam 77
6 Guerrillas at the Door 99
7 The War on Drugs 134
8 Death Squads 162
9 Northern Brothers 188
10 The Peacemaker 226
Afterword 257
Bibliography 263
Index 267
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2002

    A harsh account of Colombia

    Bert Ruiz takes a hard view of Colombia. To the author's credit the research and interviews are impressive. And the overall tone of the book is very professional. But Ruiz tends to favor the guerrillas too much and places excessive blame on the rich for all of Colombia's problems. This is a good book. The historical examination of Colombia is outstanding but the author takes a harsh position on Colombian leaders and does not honestly attack the cruely of the insurgents. Overall this is a good read but blemished because it is not completely objective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2002

    Bert Ruiz is a whistleblower

    I bought this book because of the large influx of Colombians to my church. I found that there is a lot of finger pointing in this book. Ruiz basically blames much of Colombia's woes on the upper class. He also accuses the Colombian military of gross corruption. At first, I was reluctant to accept his bold allegations. But by the end of the book his convincing presentation of research converted me. I'm puzzled because Ruiz informs us that the U.S. MUST come to Colombia's rescue. It makes me wonder. Because I do not agree with him. If Ruiz is correct in saying the elites and the corrupt military destroyed the country...why should Americans have to pay to fix it? If the war on drugs is not the reason for this giant civil conflict why should Washington get us involved? Colombia has nothing to do with America's war on terrorism despite what Colombia's rich tell us. This book is provocative. As an American taxpayer Ruiz has awakened me. I never realized Colombia was so violent and that it is the third largest recipient of American foreign aid in the world. If Ruiz is correct Colombia is going to explode soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2002

    The best and most current information on a critical subject

    This book is required reading for Latin Americanists at Colorado State University in Boulder. Bert Ruiz leaves no room for error...he uses hundreds of footnotes to document his outstanding journalistic appraisal of what Colombia is today and the risks it poses to American leaders in Washington.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002

    Colombian Civil War

    Solid, entertainingly written and fair-minded.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2002

    Colombian Civil War

    Anyone who wants to learn the ABC's of Colombia must read this book. The analysis of Colombian - American affairs is excellent. However, the greatest part of the book is the explanation of what makes the guerrillas in Colombia tick.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    Colombian Civil War

    Is the war on drugs a failure? Is the Colombian government weak? Are the poor in Colombia fed up with the United States? Bert Ruiz tells us what truly is going on in Bogota. Will Colombia be our next Vietnam? Probably not but it does look like it is going to be a major heartache for the U.S. in the years ahead. Ruiz has written a good book. Hopefully some American leaders read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2001

    Surprisingly Comprehensive

    A surprisingly good book. Up on current events and gives a lot of background as well. Surprisingly detailed is the US government's holding pattern regarding policy towards Colombia. It is eerily reminiscent of the steady escalation of aggression towards Vietnam. This book really made a profound impression on me. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2001

    objective, insightfully written

    The book is unique in providing a clear panorama of the main features of Colombia's civil war, with an outstanding review of the key periods in Colombian political history that have contributted to exacerbate and sometimes change the course of the conflict. The work is extremely comprehensive in scope, providing a profound analysis of the future implications of a growing US military involvement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2001

    Will Colombia be the next Vietnam?

    Colombia is the murder and kidnapping capital of the world. It also has more displaced citizens than all of Kosovo. As a result, the civil war in Colombia is the greatest human rights crisis in the western hemisphere. The author uses a series of flashbacks and flashfowards to explain the expanding American role (Colombia is the third highest recipient of U.S. foreign aid in the world after Israel and Egypt) and why Washington thinks the guerrilla warfare in Colombia a nation twice the size of France, can destabilize the region. The style of the text is journalistic and objective. The author interviews key political actors to explain how the lack of significant social and land reforms and the absence of political inclusion has created an atmosphere of revolution among the poor. All draft age students and concerned parents should read how the United States is sliding down the slippery slope of intervention in Colombia.

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