A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Since the unrest, violence and crime of Latin America has been the subject of numerous recent novels and films, it can be difficult to remember that these terrible things are happening to real people not that far from our borders. Martinez reminds us of the human toll this virtual lawlessness has taken, refusing to look away from these tragedies. A fearless book by a man who cares deeply for his people and the world he lives in.

— Justin


This is a book about one of the deadliest places in the world

El Salvador and Honduras have had the highest homicide rates in the world over the past ten years, with Guatemala close behind. Every day more than 1,000 people--men, women, and children--flee these three countries for North America. scar Mart nez, author of The Beast, named one of the best books of the year by the Economist, Mother Jones, and the Financial Times, fleshes out these stark figures with true stories, producing a jarringly beautiful and immersive account of life in deadly locations.

Mart nez travels to Nicaraguan fishing towns, southern Mexican brothels where Central American women are trafficked, isolated Guatemalan jungle villages, and crime-ridden Salvadoran slums. With his precise and empathetic reporting, he explores the underbelly of these troubled places. He goes undercover to drink with narcos, accompanies police patrols, rides in trafficking boats and hides out with a gang informer. The result is an unforgettable portrait of a region of fear and a subtle analysis of the North American roots and reach of the crisis, helping to explain why this history of violence should matter to all of us.

About the Author

Óscar Martínez is the author of The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail. He writes for El Faro, the first online newspaper in Latin America.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781784781712
ISBN-10: 1784781711
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: April 11th, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English