Death Beat: A Colombian Journalist's Life Inside the Cocaine Wars

Maria Jimena Duzan, Author, Peter Eisner, Editor
Maria Jimena Duzan, Author, Peter Eisner, Editor HarperCollins Publishers $22 (282p) ISBN 978-0-06-017057-8
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A columnist covering the Colombian drug beat for Bogata-based El Espectador , Duzan endured the jungle to interview guerrillas, found her apartment bombed by drug lords, saw her newspaper building bombed and suffered the murder of her documentary filmmaker sister. Nevertheless, she helped to form a remarkable cartel of news organizations to jointly publish non-bylined (and thus safer) investigative reports on the drug organizations, and also uncovered for her paper massacres by militias associated with the government. Less a personal tale than a survey of Colombia's recent past, the book is disorganized at times, offering detailed accounts of Colombian politics. But Duzan's depictions of brave patriots, slum kids-turned-assassins, and a village corrupted by the coca trade make this an important account of the Latin American costs--both economic and human--of the world's drug habit. Author tour. (Mar.)
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