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Human rights activist and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has been described as "a force of nature on the page and off." That force is fully present in Blood on the Border
, the third in her acclaimed series of memoirs. Seamlessly blending the personal and the political, Blood on the Border
is Dunbar-Ortiz's firsthand account of the decade-long dirty war pursued by the Contras and the United States against the people of Nicaragua.
With the 1981 bombing of a Nicaraguan plane in Mexico City--a plane Dunbar-Ortiz herself would have been on if not for a delay--the US-backed Contras (short for los contrarrevolucionarios
) launched a major offensive against Nicaragua's Sandinista regime, which the Reagan administration labeled as communist. While her rich political analysis of the US-Nicaraguan relationship bears the mark of a trained historian, Dunbar-Ortiz also writes from her perspective as an intrepid activist who spent months at a time throughout the 1980s in the war-torn country, especially in the remote northeastern region, where the Indigenous Miskitu people were relentlessly assailed and nearly wiped out by CIA-trained Contra mercenaries. She makes painfully clear the connections between what many US Americans today remember only vaguely as the Iran-Contra "affair" and ongoing US aggression in the Americas, the Middle East, and around the world--connections made even more explicit in a new afterword written for this edition.
A compelling, important, and sobering story on its own, Blood on the Border
offers a deeply informed, closely observed, and heartfelt view of history in the making.