Surviving 1,967 Days In The Colombian Jungle
On Sale: March 1, 2009
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On February 13, 2003, a plane carrying three American
civilian contractors—Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Tom
Howes—crash-landed in the mountainous jungle of Colombia.
Dazed and shaken, they emerged from the plane bloodied and
injured as gunfire rained down around them. As of that
moment they were prisoners of the FARC, a Colombian
terrorist and Marxist rebel organization. In an instant they
had become American captives in Colombia's volatile and
ongoing conflict, which has lasted for almost fifty years.
In Out of Captivity, Gonsalves, Stansell,
and Howes recount for the first time their amazing tale of
survival, friendship, and, ultimately, rescue, tracing their
five and a half years as hostages of the FARC. Their story
takes you inside one of the world's most notorious terrorist
organizations, going behind enemy lines with vivid and
haunting imagery. Their words conjure a reality that few
people have ever encountered—from sleeping on beds literally
carved out of the jungle to escaping Colombian military air
strikes under the cover of darkness to being bound with
steel chains by their captors. Describing backbreaking
starvation marches and forced isolation, the authors
chronicle their confrontations and interactions with the
FARC guerrilla soldiers—a motley crew of brainwashed,
idealistic teenagers and seasoned vet-erans who've been
around long enough to realize that the only way out of the
FARC is in a body bag.
Though the physical
punishments their bodies endured were unrelenting, the
psychological battles they waged were the ultimate test of
their resolve. With candid detail, Gonsalves, Stansell, and
Howes relate the perilous mental struggles they each
experienced, as they grappled with feelings of guilt, fear,
and anxiety for the families and lives they'd left behind.
Exposing the transformative power of captivity, they show
how they turned these fears into strengths, using their
memories and their families, their pasts and their futures,
to motivate them in their quest for survival.
Despite the odds and the conditions, despite the chains and
the silence, and despite the often tense relationships they
experienced with their fellow Colombian hostages, they had
one another, forging a bond that allowed them to cope with
the horrific conditions of their confinement. This
brotherhood enabled them to persevere through the worst that
the FARC threw at them while always reminding them of their
ultimate goal: freedom.
A harrowing account of one
of the longest civilian hostage crises in United States
history, Out of Captivity is a remarkable and
compelling exploration of how far three Americans were
willing to go as they fought to stay alive for themselves,
their families, and one another.
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