Colombia is the least understood of Latin American countries. Its human tragedy, which features terrifying levels of kidnapping, homicide and extortion, is generally ignored or exploited. In this urgent new work, Forrest Hylton, who has extensive first-hand experience of living and working in Colombia, explores its history of 150 years of political conflict, characterized by radical-popular mobilization and reactionary repression. He shows how patterns of political conflict after 1848, and especially after 1948, explain the war currently destroying Colombian lives, property, communities and territory. "Evil Hour in Colombia" also traces how Colombia's "coffee capitalism" gave way to the cattle and cocaine republic of the 1980s, and how land, wealth and power have been steadily accumulated by the light-skinned top of the social pyramid through a brutal combination of terror, expropriation and economic depression.
Forrest Hylton is a researcher in history at New York University. He is an editor of and contributor to Ya es otro tiempo el presente: Cuatro momentos de insurgencia indigena, 2nd edition, and the co-author, with Sinclair Thomson, of Revolutionary Horizons: Indigenous and National-Popular Politics in Bolivia. He is currently writing a book on urban poverty with Mike Davis.