Monday, February 18, 2013

Violence in Peru & Vargas Llosa's Death in the Andes

From this week's NYT story "Peru Objects to U.S. Embassy’s Warning to American Tourists:"
A United States Embassy warning to American tourists about a potential kidnapping threat in the Cuzco region of Peru, which includes the Incan citadel Machu Picchu, drew vehement objections from Peruvian officials on Friday.  But a United States Embassy official said credible evidence existed of a threat from a Peruvian terrorist group. The official confirmed a report in La República, a Peruvian newspaper, that said that leaders of the Shining Path guerrilla group had discussed kidnapping foreigners, particularly Americans, in intercepted communications.

Which brings us to Mario Vargas Llosa's novel Death in the Andes:
In a remote Andean village, three men have disappeared. Peruvian Army corporal Lituma and his deputy Tomás have been dispatched to investigate, and to guard the town from the Shining Path guerrillas they assume are responsible. But the townspeople do not trust the officers, and they have their own ideas about what forces claimed the bodies of the missing men.
In my opinion, Mario Vargas Llosa is Latin America's greatest writer. His later novel The Feast of the Goat, set in the Dominican Republic, is also superb.

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