Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia

Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia

by Garry Leech
Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia

Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia

by Garry Leech

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Independent journalist Garry Leech has spent the last eight years working in the most remote and dangerous regions of Colombia. Unlike other Western reporters, most of whom rarely leave Bogotá, Leech learns the truth about conflicts and the U.S. war on drugs directly from the source: farmers, male and female guerrillas, union organizers, indigenous communities, and many others.

Beyond Bogotá is framed around the eleven hours that Leech was held captive by the FARC, Colombia's largest leftist guerrilla group, in August 2006. Drawing on unprecedented access to soldiers, guerrillas, paramilitaries, and peasants in conflict zones and cocaine-producing areas, Leech's documentary memoir is an epic tale of a journalist's search for meaning in the midst of violence and poverty. This compelling account provides fresh insights into U.S. foreign policy, the role of the media, and the plight of everyday Colombians caught in the middle of a brutal war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807061480
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 02/01/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Garry Leech is an independent journalist and editor of Colombia Journal. For the past eight years his work has primarily focused on the US war on drugs and Colombia's civil conflict. He is the author of several books including Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia, Crude Interventions: The United States, Oil and the New World (Dis)Order, Capitalism: A Structural Genocide and How I Became an American Socialist. Find him online at

Read an Excerpt

The idea for this book emerged during an eleven-hour detention I endured at the hands of Colombia’s largest guerrilla group in August 2006. More specifically, it evolved from thoughts that washed over me during that ordeal about my three-month-old son, Owen. I couldn’t stop thinking that if anything happened to me, either during that detention or at any other time in Colombia, I wouldn’t be around to explain to Owen, when he grew up, what sort of work his father did. Sure,

Excerpted from "Beyond Bogota"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Garry Leech.
Excerpted by permission of Beacon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

A note from the author
The First Hour: 10:00 a.m., August 16, 2006
Entering La Macarena; my detention
The Second Hour: 11:00 a.m., August 16, 2006
My introduction to Latin America; a Salvadoran
The Third Hour: 12:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
The Panama invasion; Colombia’s two faces—
generosity and greed; indigenous villages and
oil in Ecuador
The Fourth Hour: 1:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
Welcome to Farclandia; Commander Simón Trinidad
and the rebel perspective; a meeting with Erika, a
teenage FARC guerrilla; Geraldo Rivera visits the
rebel safe haven
The Fifth Hour: 2:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
Investigating Plan Colombia; AUC commander
Luis Enrique and the paramilitary perspective;
a body in a hole
The Sixth Hour: 3:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
The displaced in Barranca; Gregorio and the
landmine; the cocaine lab; collusion and murder
in Puerto Asís
The Seventh Hour: 4:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
9/11 and the war on terror; detained by Carlos
Castaño’s paramilitaries; the battle for Saravena,
Colombia’s “Little Sarajevo”
The Eighth Hour: 5:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
Displaced Afro-Colombian communities of
the Chocó; the Bellavista tragedy; the plight
of the indigenous Embera
The Ninth Hour: 6:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
The Plan Patriota offensive; the new coca plant;
the predicament of Colombian journalists; Plan
Colombia becomes Plan Petroleum
The Tenth Hour: 7:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
Mining multinationals and human rights; the
displacement of Tabaco; indigenous massacres
in La Guajira and Nariño
The Eleventh Hour: 8:00 p.m., August 16, 2006
My release; chemical warfare in La Macarena
Epilogue: June 2007
Jungle rendezvous with FARC commander Raúl
Reyes; the prospects for peace
Timeline (1948–2007)
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