Juanita Leon has reported on the violence in her native war-torn Colombia for more than a decade. In ""Country of Bullets"" she provides a chronicle of what she has witnessed in the midst of one of the oldest civil wars in any Latin American nation. She breaks through the facade of dogma and rhetoric of various groups, including the Marxist guerillas, right-wing paramilitary forces, and government troops, to examine the human aspects of Colombia's hostilities. While the stories illustrate vital aspects of the war, territorial struggles for gold, oil, and coca, the motives of individual leaders, and the strategy of the Colombian army, Leon avoids the infamous scenes of war, focusing instead on its 'commonplace' reality. She presents a unique account that highlights the amazing things normal people do in their struggles to live relatively ordinary lives. Published in Colombia as ""Pais de plomo: Cronicas de Guerra"", the book received third place for the 2006 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage.
Juanita Leon, a native Colombian, received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked as a journalist for the Wall Street Journal. Upon returning to Colombia, she worked as an editor or journalist for that nation's largest print media, including El Tiempo and Semana. Leon won the World Health Organization's World Prize for Health Journalism in 2001 for an article on the health risks posed by the conflict in Colombia. Leon was awarded a Harvard University Neiman Fellowship in 2006 and received a 2008 Open Society Fellowship to launch an investigative news blog in Colombia, where she resides. Guillermo Bleichmar received a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University. Mary Roldan is an associate professor of history, Cornell University.