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Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory, and Justice in Guatemala (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Ana Arana , Sebastian Rotella , Francisco Goldman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

The harrowing and heartrending story of Guatemala’s Dos Erres massacre, and the survivors whose lives were forever changed by it

In 1982, at the height of Guatemala’s civil war, twenty soldiers from the army’s commando unit, called the Kaibiles, invaded the farming village of Dos Erres. Masquerading as leftist guerillas, the squad members cut their way through the small town, killing more than 250 men, women, and children. Only a handful of people survived. One of them, a young boy, was adopted by Kaibil lieutenant Ramírez and raised by Ramírez’s family, who named him Oscar. Just three years old at the time of the massacre, Oscar grew up unaware of his true origins. It wasn’t until almost thirty years later, living in the suburbs of Boston with a family of his own, that Oscar would learn the truth.

Drawn from interviews with massacre survivors, commandos-turned-protected witnesses, lawyers, and forensic anthropologists, Finding Oscar is a powerful, groundbreaking investigation into the Dos Erres massacre and its aftermath. It is an unforgettable account of the secret abductions of Dos Erres survivors, the mission to bring the perpetrators to justice, and the courage of the Guatemalan people.

This ebook contains content not available anywhere else. Additional features include:

A preface by Sebastian Rotella
An afterword by acclaimed author Francisco Goldman

Oscar’s story is also featured on the May 25, 2012, episode of This American Life.

Product Details

  • File Size: 343 KB
  • Print Length: 51 pages
  • Publisher: ProPublica (May 22, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085O8154
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,011 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massacres and Justice October 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent article by Ms Arana about the early 80's in Guatemala. This was a time of civil war and uprisings by the poor against the strong, corrupt and murderous government. This story tells the sad story of a Army lieutenant who is a family man yet a murderer when serving and fighting against the rebels. Well written and easy to read, this story will tell a story that a lot people will not recall yet will be glad it is being told now. In the end its all about justice for the dead and the country.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Oscar September 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book presents a contemporary incident that took place in Guatemala, Central America, in a town called Dos Erres (The Two R's). The incident was the total destruction of the town in that country, by soldiers (Kaibiles) considered to be an elite group similar to American "Seals." The difference is that those soldiers are assassins. Under false pretenses, that there were "guerrillas" in the town, the Kaibiles rounded up all the men,women, and children assassinating them and throwing the bodies in common graves, later found during the investigation conducted by the government. Some of the "Kaibilies" were found living in the U.S. The only survivor of the massacre is a boy by the name of "Oscar" living in Massachusets.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of journalism on Dos Erres May 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
As the Dos Erres massacre hit the news again as trials for the killers concluded, there were a flurry of reports revisiting the massacre. Sebastian Rotella and Ana Arana have come out with a stunning piece of long-form journalism on the event -- told through the terribly human story of Oscar, a boy who was spared and raised by the participants of the massacre. It's a great, thoughtful project-- a great read, and a tragic tale with a hopeful ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting account of sad history January 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short and to the point in describing horrific events during Guatemala's civil war. But feel it could have gone into more detail in the characters, of which presumably much more is known.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine true story May 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is filled with intrigue, seeing that it is a non-fictional account of a true story. It is very powerful. So many unnecessary lives were lost in the Guatemalan Civil War, and the mystery around Oscar o Alfredito makes a stunning read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Oscar April 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a great book which takes the reader back to the horrific realities of civil war in a third world country. I was impressed by the investigator who never gave up searching for the truth, and Oscar who left his stable life in the US to help persecute the mass murders of his boyhood village.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentation March 13, 2013
By Sandra
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great research and careful documentation. Anyone who seeks an unbiased information on current events in Guatemala will find this book is short, to the point and very insightful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Oscar August 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
And we continue to take our freedoms for granted .... a touching, frightening story of what goes on in so many other countries. "Finding Oscar" is well done and one of the few happy endings. Jeanne Kosek
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply depressing. Hopefully it is not indicative of forces ...
Deeply depressing. Hopefully it is not indicative of forces currently at work politically in the country. Certainly the book gave a factual picture of the time period evolved. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandra Besso
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Gives a name to the sad events in Argentina during those terrible years of "disappearing".
Published 6 months ago by chris
5.0 out of 5 stars things we don't know but should
this is an amazing short documentary about uncovering yet another story of the Guatemalan massacres. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ruth W. Messinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Find more stories like these, keep up the good fight.
Important. A must read book. It is a does if necessary reality. I hope justice triumphs in Guatemala. My prayers.
Published 13 months ago by Cyndi V.R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
A very sad, but well-written story that's definitely worth reading. Contains interesting information about the Civil War here in Guatemala.
Published 19 months ago by LynnAnn Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading
This was an absolutely compelling read and I could not put it down. I would strongly recommend it. It is intense and very moving.
Published on January 1, 2013 by txrev
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent informative work
It keeps amazing me the amount of evidence found on the cruelty with which the leaders of Guatemala used against the country's own inhabitants. Read more
Published on December 26, 2012 by Marko Herrera
5.0 out of 5 stars finding Oscar
Five stars on journalism very sad ,terrible how people lives can be threat and taken in a twink of eye.Finging oscar
Published on September 21, 2012 by Irene
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More About the Author

Sebastian Rotella is an award-winning author, foreign correspondent and investigative journalist. His first novel, Triple Crossing, was named favorite debut crime novel and favorite action thriller of 2011 by the New York Times Sunday Book Review. His second novel, The Convert's Song, was published in December, 2014. He is also the author of Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1998), which was named a New York Times Notable book. He has written two e-books: Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala (2012) and Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story (2011.) Since 2010, he has been a senior reporter based in Washington, D.C. for ProPublica, an investigative newsroom dedicated to journalism in the public interest. He previously worked at the Los Angeles Times, serving as bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires and as correspondent at the Mexican border. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2006. His work from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia has won honors including a Peabody Award; Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Award and Dart award for coverage of Latin America; the German Marshall Fund's Weitz Prize for excellence on reporting on European affairs; five awards from the Overseas Press Club and five awards from the Inter American Press Association; and the Urbino Press Award of Italy. He was correspondent and narrator for "A Perfect Terrorist," a television documentary on Frontline PBS that received an Emmy nomination. His reporting from the Mexican border inspired two songs on Bruce Springsteen's album The Ghost of Tom Joad in 1995. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and studied at the University of Barcelona. He speaks Spanish, French and Italian. He was born in Chicago.

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