Paula Delgado-Kling takes us to her homeland, Colombia, where she finds answers to the country’s drug wars by examining the life of Leonor, a former child soldier in the FARC, a rural guerrilla group.
Paula followed Leonor for nineteen years, from shortly after she was an active member forced into sexual slavery by a commander thirty-four years her senior, through her rehabilitation and struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, to more recent days, as the mom of two girls. Leonor’s immense resourcefulness and imagination in the face of horrendous circumstances helped her carve a space for herself in the FARC, a world dominated by males. She is beautiful, and by honing her powers of seduction, Leonor created a parallel world where she made herself a protagonist. She never stopped believing that she was a woman of worth and importance. It took her many years of therapy to accept that she was a victim. For half a lifetime, she regarded herself as “the First Lady of the Southern Bloc,” and exploited any power she fabricated for herself to stay alive.
Colombia’s violence also touched Paula’s family. This narrative began with the question: why was her brother kidnapped and why were his guards teenagers?
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