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

McSweeney's
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For nearly five decades, Colombia has been embroiled in internal armed conflict among guerrilla groups, paramilitary militias, and the country’s own military. Civilians in Colombia have to make their lives despite the threat of torture, kidnapping, and large-scale massacres—and more than four million have had to flee their homes. The oral histories in Throwing Stones at the Moon describe the most widespread of Colombia’s human rights crises: forced displacement. Speakers recount life before displacement, the reasons for their flight, and their struggle to rebuild their lives. Among the narrators:

JULIA, a hospital union leader whose fight against corruption led to a brutal attempt on her life. In 2009, assassins tracked her to her home and stabbed her seven times in the face and chest. Since the attack, Julia has undergone eight facial reconstructive surgeries, and continues to live in hiding.

DANNY, who at eighteen joined a right-wing paramilitary’s enormous training camp in the Eastern Plains of Colombia. Initially lured by the promise of quick money, Danny soon realized his mistake and escaped to Ecuador. He describes his harrowing escape and his struggle to survive as a refugee with two young children to support.
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About the author

Sibylla Brodzinsky has spent more than twenty years writing about Latin American politics, human rights, and social issues. She is a freelance journalist in Colombia, contributing regularly to The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Guardian.

Max Schoening is a researcher and writer on human rights in Colombia. He contributed research to Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict, a forthcoming photography book documenting the history of the Colombian conflict by Stephen Ferry.
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Additional Information

Publisher
McSweeney's
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Published on
Sep 12, 2012
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Pages
380
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ISBN
9781938073496
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Latin America / South America
Literary Collections / Caribbean & Latin American
Political Science / Human Rights
Social Science / Violence in Society
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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MANY CULTURES * ONE WORLD
"Boricua is what Puerto Ricans call one another as a term of endearment, respect, and cultural affirmation; it is a timeless declaration that transcends gender and color. Boricua is a powerful word that tells the origin and history of the Puerto Rican people."
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
Cecilia Valdés is arguably the most important novel of 19th century Cuba. Originally published in New York City in 1882, Cirilo Villaverde's novel has fascinated readers inside and outside Cuba since the late 19th century. In this new English translation, a vast landscape emerges of the moral, political, and sexual depravity caused by slavery and colonialism. Set in the Havana of the 1830s, the novel introduces us to Cecilia, a beautiful light-skinned mulatta, who is being pursued by the son of a Spanish slave trader, named Leonardo. Unbeknownst to the two, they are the children of the same father. Eventually Cecilia gives in to Leonardo's advances; she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. When Leonardo, who gets bored with Cecilia after a while, agrees to marry a white upper class woman, Cecilia vows revenge. A mulatto friend and suitor of hers kills Leonardo, and Cecilia is thrown into prison as an accessory to the crime. For the contemporary reader Helen Lane's masterful translation of Cecilia Valdés opens a new window into the intricate problems of race relations in Cuba and the Caribbean. There are the elite social circles of European and New World Whites, the rich culture of the free people of color, the class to which Cecilia herself belonged, and then the slaves, divided among themselves between those who were born in Africa and those who were born in the New World, and those who worked on the sugar plantation and those who worked in the households of the rich people in Havana. Cecilia Valdés thus presents a vast portrait of sexual, social, and racial oppression, and the lived experience of Spanish colonialism in Cuba.
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