Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence

Sibylla Brodzinsky, Editor, Max Schoening, Editor, Ingrid Betancourt, Foreword by
Edited by Sibylla Brodzinsky and Max Schoening, foreword by Ingrid Betancourt. Voice of Witness/McSweeney's Books, $16 trade paper (430p) ISBN 978-193636591-3
Ebook - 441 pages - 978-1-938073-49-6
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Human rights journalists Brodzinsky and Schoening geographically organize intimate oral histories from individuals living through pervasive violence among Colombia's drug cartels, military forces, and rebels. Often astonishing quotes double as headings ("A Pretext to Throw Me in The River"; "I'd Go Alone and Sit Down Next to Their Tombs"; "I'm Going to Start Killing Indians as if They Were Fish"), piquing readers' curiosity and conscience. The editors document the conflict's tangible impacts—destruction of villages, deaths, and physical injuries—and emphasize stories embodying two ideas: violence seems to permeate the air many Colombians breathe, yet they show "tenacity to persevere and survive." For Amado Villafaňa, a member of the indigenous Arhuaco people, "the conflict begins with Christopher Columbus"; despite this, "we're not resentful." In childhood, Sergio Díaz heard bomb explosions and "got so scared [his] face changed from this color to that." Five years later, he stepped on a landmine, losing his leg. Readers concerned with human rights and Latin American politics will find this account of violence and survival both sad and inspiring. Maps. (Sept.)
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