- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (February 23, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061671800
- ISBN-13: 978-0061671807
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,508,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Law of the Jungle: The Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure 1st Edition
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In July 2008, Colombia’s army foisted a brilliant ruse upon its Marxist enemy, the FARC. Masquerading as humanitarian workers, soldiers tricked the FARC into handing over its most valuable hostages: three American military contractors whose plane had crashed into the jungle (FARC murdered their two comrades on the spot); Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt; and several Colombian police and military personnel. Journalist Otis’ intensive depiction of that operation culminates his chronicle of how the victims fell into the clutches of the FARC, the ordeal of captivity, and their relatives’ pressure to obtain their release. Otis frames such specifics with the decades-long rebellion by the FARC and its resorting to extortion, drug trafficking, and kidnapping to finance itself. A Colombian army unit that discovered a stash of FARC cash while searching for the hostages is a story told in parallel to the prisoners’ narratives of abusive treatment. With its Conradian atmosphere of jungle-induced madness and an immediacy stemming from interviews with many of the participants, this will engage all who follow Colombian politics. --Gilbert Taylor
“Amazing...Mesmerizing....[John] Otis has assembled a yarn that would make a magical realist blush, complete with outlandish characters, tragicomic twists of fate, and far-flung deeds of derring-do.... Riveting.” (Boston Globe)
“Compelling...Wild.” (New York Post)
“Law of the Jungle is a well-reported, highly informative account of the chase, which was undertaken largely by the Colombian army....[A] thriller-opera of a story....Otis’s story rises beyond ordinary reporting: He manages to condense recent Colombian history into a clear, digestible narrative.” (Washington Post)
“Gripping and funny...[Otis] tells an amazing story in his first book....Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell were finally freed during the summer of 2008, and Otis tells their story in the sort of rich detail you’d expect of an experienced print journalist.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“With its Conradian atmosphere of jungle-induced madness and an immediacy stemming from interviews with many of the participants, this will engage all...” (Booklist)
“An impossible-to-put-down read with as many twists and turns as a summer blockbuster.... Otis, a journalist who has worked in Latin America for more than 20 years, skillfully weaves this incredible tale of attempted—and eventually successful—rescue by Colombian soldiers....Fascinating.” (Very Short List)
“Has the feel of a John Huston movie, with its mix of tragedy, intrigue, black comedy and, ultimately, heroism....fascinating. (BookPage)
Top customer reviews
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I have often wondered the back story of the whole war on drugs- especially as it has played out in Colombia, Law of the Jungle brought me up to speed in a thoughtful and entertaining way.
The author's in depth knowledge of latin america, both culturally as well as politically show through in the narrative, Mr. Otis should continue writing on this subject, I can't wait for his next book!
As one who fought in the drug wars of Colombia in 96-97 as a contractor
I found this book very well written. It captured the full spectrum of the story
from all sides, left to right and top to bottom and with a great scope and scale!
A must read for anyone who wants to understand that conflict and those politics.
Well done Jhon thanks
Jorge "Coco" Sanjines