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J. Lat. Amer. Stud. 34 (2002). DOI: 10,1017/S0022216X02366446
Charles Bergquist, Ricardo Penaranda and Gonzalo Sanchez G. (eds.), Violence in Colombia, 1990-2000: Waging War and Negotiating Peace (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 2001), pp. xxv + 300, $60.00, $21.95 pb.
Colombian scholars have produced an impressive range of studies on the different violences in their society, much of it unavailable in English. The evolution from violence to war in the course of the 1990S has generated new international interest in the country, and as a result we are beginning to see Colombian scholarship in English. This volume is the second collection of essays by mostly Colombian, and a few international, scholars on the past and present of Colombian violence. Together with the previous volume (Charles Berquist, Ricardo Penaranda, and Gonzalo Sanchez, Violence in Colombia: The Contemporary Crisis in Historical Perspective (Wilmington, DE, 1992), these essays represent the best introduction to the study of violence in Colombia available in English.
The complexity of the Colombian conflict has daunted many non-Colombian academics and policy makers. The lack of good material in English has encouraged commentators to simplify their explanations and reduce analysis to the more obvious and visible manifestations of the conflict, particularly the armed groups and the drugs issue. The strength of this volume of essays lies in its efforts to encompass the complex range of dimensions to the crisis that grew in the course of the 1990s, which in turn built upon historical and socio-political roots …