Archive - March 27, 2014

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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) Border Bleed

Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) Border Bleed

A Writer Writes Border Bleed by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978–80) In 1989, days after my first big publishing break, I was hanged in effigy in Bolivia. Protestors marched on the American embassy. Although I had left the country, the nation’s journalists boycotted our ambassador’s Fourth of July reception to express their anger. La Paz was the setting for a story that The Atlantic Monthly published called “Stone Cowboy on the High Plains.” Being caricatured as a monster in the Latin American media was not the reaction I had been hoping for. I had been set up. An organization called the Council on Hemispheric Affairs published a communiqué linking me with ugly sentiments about Bolivians that the story’s protagonist expressed. The premise was absurd, the motivation political. The magazine’s credits identified me as an American diplomat, and the Council was a fierce critic of U.S. policy to Latin America. But knowing . . .

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