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 * Amazon.com 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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