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Key texts for understanding Colombia’s history of internecine violence are presented to an English-speaking audience. This part encompasses nineteenth-century material, including Simón Bolívar’s 1813 public proclamation of “War to the Death,” the private diary kept by Soledad Acosta de Samper in Bogotá in 1854, and a text discussing the possibility of peace after the civil wars of the 1850s–1890s. Conflict in the late twentieth century is the focus, however. Key texts prepared by leftist guerrilla groups are translated here, as are texts that reflect the views of rightist actors and the paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño. The point of view of a captured police colonel is provided by the inclusion of a personal letter written by Luis Mendieta, who was held by the guerrillas in substandard conditions at jungle outposts for more than a decade.

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