For seven years Rusty Young, author of the international bestseller Marching Powder, lived and worked in Colombia, interviewing special forces soldiers, snipers, undercover intelligence agents and members of two vicious terrorist organisations - the FARC and Autodefensas. During this time he was both shocked and touched by the stories of child soldiers he encountered. He vowed to one day turn their tales into a book and let their voices be heard.
In Colombia you have to pick a side. Or one will be picked for you. All Pedro GutiUrrez cares about is fishing, playing pool and his girlfriend Camila's promise to sleep with him on his sixteenth birthday. But his life is ripped apart when Guerrilla soldiers callously execute his father in front of him, and he and his mother are banished from their farm. Swearing vengeance against the five men responsible, Pedro, with his best friend Palillo, joins an illegal Paramilitary group, where he is trained to fight, kill and crush any sign of weakness. But as he descends into a world of unspeakable violence, Pedro must decide how far he is willing to go. Can he stop himself before he becomes just as ruthless as those he is hunting? Or will his dark obsession cost him all he loves?
Colombiano is an epic tale of rural villages held to ransom, of jungle drug labs, cocaine supermarkets, witch doctors and buried millions, of innocent teenage love, barbaric torture and meticulously planned revenge. Superbly told and by turns gripping, poignant and darkly comic, Colombiano is the remarkable story of a boy whose moral descent becomes a metaphor for the corruption of an entire nation.