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.
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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