In "My Life as a Colombian Revolutionary", Maria Eugenia Vasquez Perdomo presents a gripping account of her experiences as a member of M-19, one of the most successful guerrilla movements in Colombia's tumultuous modern history. Vasquez's remarkable story opens with her happy childhood in a middle-class provincial household in which she was encouraged to be adventurous and inquisitive. As an eighteen-year-old university student in Bogota, Maria Eugenia embraced radical politics and committed herself to militant action to rid her country of an abusive government. Dedicated and daring, Vasquez took part in some of the M-19's boldest operations in the 1970s and 1980s and became one of its leaders. She was able to avoid detection for nearly twenty years in the movement because she was both clever and considered too attractive to be a guerrillera. Her vivid narrative brings to life the men and women who were her comrades and conveys their anxiety and exhilaration as they carried out their actions. When she tells of her love affairs with some of M-19's top leaders, she cannot separate romance from camaraderie or escape a sense of impending tragedy.
If Vasquez gave us only a rare insider's account of youth culture and a guerrilla movement in a Latin American country, this would be a book well worth reading. But she also gives us an unsparing analysis of what it meant to be a woman in the movement and how much her commitment to radical politics cost her. Author note: Maria Eugenia Vasquez Perdomo is Director, Fundacion Mujer y Futuro (NGO: Woman and Future Foundation), working in coordination with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the project 'Mujer y Derechos' (Women and Rights), which serves women forcibly displaced by the armed conflict. The Spanish-language edition of this book, published as "Escrito para no morir", was awarded the Colombian National Prize for Testimonial Literature in 1998. Lorena Terando is Assistant Professor of Translation at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Maria Eugenia Vasquez Perdomo is Director, Fundacion Mujer y Futuro (NGO: Woman and Future Foundation), working in coordination with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the project "Mujer y Derechos" (Women and Rights), which serves women forcibly displaced by the armed conflict. The Spanish-language edition of this book, published as Escrito para no morir, was awarded the Colombian National Prize for Testimonial Literature in 1998. Lorena Terando is Assistant Professor of Translation at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Introduction: Memory, the Thread that Weaves Life 1. Family Portrait A Papa for Christmas From Games to Conventual Discipline Staging 2. Turmoil at the Nacional The Betrayal 3. A Criolla Guerrilla Target Shooting at the Fair Now? Yes! A Guerrillera Nothing Stops Love Household Routine We Stole Bolivar's Sword 4. The ANAPO, the Pueblo the M-19 Needed Here amongst Ourselves 5. The Face behind the Mask 6. Operation Colombia: Weapons for the War A Woman Noone Suspected Which One is Me? A Sea to Wash the Soul 7. We Risked it All Crashing the Party An Embassy was our Honeymoon Partial Victory War Games 8. An Army in Deep Nightmare 9. Bars on My Soul Dreaming has no Price... Escaping Does Single Stitch, Chain Stitch, Single Stitch... Them Us The Others Resistance Signs and Devotions A Little Liberty in Prison The Law of the Jungle Freedom is a Wide Open Space 10. Singing in the Sun like a Locust Complicit City Stop the War a Minute Dialogues of the Deaf How Could We Believe in Peace Forged with Bullets? Children of War 11. Mortal Wounds Peace Camps Dreams of Insurrection Buried in the Mud A Palace of Ashes Life and Death Distance The City and Men Feminine Mystique Lost in the World 12. Re-Inventing Life The City: a Map of Absences If I Didn't Bury the Sadness, I'd Die Un-walking Steps I Didn't Seek it; the Past Found Me Being a Woman A Path with Heart Chronology of Major M-19 Actions