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WOLA-Duke Book Award Announced

"Hostage Nation" Examines Colombia's War and America's War on Drugs
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Duke University have selected Hostage Nation: Colombia’s Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugs as the winner of the third annual WOLA-Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America.

The authors of the winning book—Victoria Bruce, Karin Hayes and Jorge Enrique Botero—will be honored at WOLA’s upcoming Benefit Gala on October 26 at the Organization of American States. They will also receive an invitation to give a reading at Duke University, where they will be presented with a $1,000 cash award.

WOLA, a human rights research and advocacy group established in 1974, and Duke University created the prize to honor the best current, non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy and social justice in contemporary Latin America.

Hostage Nation, published in August 2010 by Alfred A. Knopf, is the story of three American contractors and Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt held hostage by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) for over five years before their rescue in 2008. The book draws on Botero’s exclusive interviews of the American contractors and extensive research on the FARC and the Colombian drug trade to illustrate the impact of Colombia’s war and the US war on drugs in Colombia.

The WOLA-Duke Book Award aims to draw the general public’s attention to good writing on contemporary Latin America. Francisco Goldman won the first award in 2008 for his book The Art of Political Murder. Heraldo Muñoz’s The Dictator’s Shadow was last year’s winner.

In addition to the the Duke University Libraries' Archive for Human Rights, the Duke Human Rights Center and the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies are co-sponsors of the award.

The book award is the second cooperative venture between WOLA and Duke University. Since 2008, WOLA has donated its historical archives, dating to the organization’s founding in 1974, to the Archive for Human Rights at the Duke University Libraries. The materials in the archives document WOLA’s influential role in keeping human rights and justice central in U.S. policy toward Latin America.
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Posted 9 September 2010

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Last modified September 10, 2010 8:43:06 AM EDT