The Battle Next Door: An Insider’s Experience with Colombian Military Discourse

I was recently in my bed in rural Colombia when an explosion rocked my house. I decided to get out of bed.

Heavy combat immediately ensued on the hill immediately adjacent to the village I live in, including shots from rifles, AK-47s, M-60s and occasional grenades. The combat on the “Hill of the Cross” between guerrilla and military forces continued for the next twenty minutes as I and my teammate scurried around making contact with community leaders, our team in Bogotá and Colombian military officials. While most of the gunfire and combat came from the far side of the hill, enough shots were fired from the side facing our house to induce wincing.

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