by Maria Eugenia Vasquez Perdomo
Temple University Press, 2005
Paper: 978-1-59213-101-3 | Cloth: 978-1-59213-100-6
Library of Congress Classification F2279.22.A37A3 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 986.10632092

In My Life as a Colombian Revolutionary, María Eugenia Vásquez 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. Vásquez'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 Bogotá, María Eugenia embraced radical politics and committed herself to militant action to rid her country of an abusive government. Dedicated and daring, Vásquez 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 Vásquez 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.

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