Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Fri Oct 31 2003 - 21:15:16 EST

.Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza
by Michael T. Taussig,

Product Details

*       Hardcover: 256 pages
*       Publisher: New Press; (November 1, 2003)
*       ISBN: 1565848632
* Sales Rank: 96,863

Editorial Reviews
About the Author
Michael Taussig began conducting fieldwork in Colombia in 1969. He is
a professor of anthropology at Columbia University and the author of
Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man; Mimesis and Alterity; and
The Magic of the State, among other books.
Book Description
A disturbing chronicle of the terror and uncertainty of daily life in
Colombia's American-funded civil war.

The town needs to get 300 coffins ready. Heads Up! The priest better
be ready to work overtime.-flier from Colombian paramilitaries
announcing their arrival

In January 2003, US troops were sent to Colombia to train army units
engaged in a bloody civil war, deepening a multi-billion-dollar
American commitment that makes that country the third-largest
recipient of US foreign aid.

Despite the potential for disaster embodied in the US's looming
entanglement with another jungle war, America's role in Colombia has
received little critical media attention. The interlacing of terror,
drugs and oil with endemic political instability makes the country a
likely international flashpoint in the near future.

In this stunning account of Colombian violence and disorder,
acclaimed anthropologist Michael Taussig recounts two weeks in a
village under siege by paramilitaries. Routinely visited by
autodefensas brandishing weapons and a laptop containing a list of
names, victims are rounded up, tortured, and killed, their bodies
left on display as a warning to others. In his diary of the limpieza
(the "cleaning"), Taussig offers unusual insight into the nature of
Colombia's present peril and a nuanced account of the human
consequences of a disintegrating state.

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