chapter  17
10 Pages


By the time I started investigating the Unión Patriótica, the party was on the endangered species list. There was virtually no formal political component left. The UP had about thirty municipal council reps, a couple of mayors, and a halfdozen provincial assemblymen. The rest were dead or hiding or, if they were smart, had taken refuge from politics altogether. The last UP senator fled the country in 1997, shortly after armed men entered his house while he was having lunch with his wife and daughters and told him he would leave the country or die. Other lesser-known party members went into exile as well, one of them after paramilitaries shot a rocket at her car as she drove down one of Bogotá’s main thoroughfares toward the city council building where she was a councilmember. She survived. A man in another vehicle was injured.