Colombian Narco-Guerrillas?

soil_ride soilride at
Sat Feb 24 08:39:52 MST 2001

I recently read a book entitled Long March to Freedom: Tom Hargrove's Own
Story of His Kidnapping by Colombian Narco-Guerrillas by Thomas Hargrove.
Has anyone on the list read this?

Apparently it was a book that was published to counter the revolution that
is happening in Colombia. Not just a book to counter the revolution, but a
book that is out to dissuade that their is an actual revolution in Colombia.
First of all it barely hinted at a social analysis of Colombia's situation
and second it is mostly a publication of one's person's journal of one's
experience with the FARC.

It is interesting to note how the on the cover of this book uses the term
"Narco-Guerrillas" to indict The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as
nothing but a bunch of thugs defending the drug trade, while the rest of the
content of the book[journal entries] have little to do with the indictment
that the cover says. When I think about it, I don't recall Hargroves account
ever mentioning the term "narco-guerrillas", except on the cover and sleeve
of the book in hardcover.

The book is mainly journal entries that Hargrove "smuggled" out of Colombia
after being held by the FARC.  Thomas Hargrove an  American, raised in Texas
and who received degrees in agricultural science and journalism, and also
became a commissioned officer as a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army and had
served the US in the Vietnam War. After which he became interested in the
development of agriculture and joined the International Rice Research
Institute and the Center for Tropical Agrictulture(CIAT-el Centro
Internacional de Agricultura Tropical).  The latter is what brought him to
Colombia.  Working to improve crops and agriculture in the poorest nations.
It was while he was driving to his home in Cali, that he was stopped by a
roadblock set up by the FARC and taken in as a hostage.

Apparently, judging from what his journal entries implies, there has been a
misunderstanding between his identity among the FARC rebels.  Of course to
me, this seems truly understandable.  Especially during a revolution.

The rest of the book is mainly his thoughts as being held a prisoner of the
FARC and opinions.  He even writes emotionally at times and other times
bitterly and soon comes to "despise" the FARC guerrillas, for choosing him.
At one point Hargroves admittingly writes, he calls his captors "shitheads"
and even "queer" under his breathe.

Mainly the publication, focusing on one's mans "harrowing" experience is
good enough to tell the tale of who the FARC really are.  But of course, an
opiniated and bias report against the FARC is exactly what the Evil Empire
needs to support the continuous brutal campaign to up the ante towards the
situation in Colombia.

What do others think of this publication that was put out in 1995? Any

In solidarity

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