Sin Salida (No Exit) depicts a real-life story about the kidnapping of a mother’s son by las FARC in Colombia. A student of mine chose this book while we were learning about terrorism in modern-day Colombia, and I’m glad she did. We’ve talked at length about FARC (las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), aka The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country’s largest rebel group. Founded in 1964, this terrorist group was known for using some of the most heinous tactics to win their war against the government, fighting to protect the poor. One of their most classic tactics was to kidnap people (either people of importance or those whose families fought against them) and seek ransom to fund their cause. Sin Salida is a story about just that.
Sin Salida is based on a true story about a mother, Isabel, whose husband was murdered by the FARC, and years later, came and kidnapped her son. When they offered their price, Isabel found herself in the same situation as many of their other victims: helpless. The ransom was too high. She couldn’t pay it to save her son. As a result, she went on to spend the longest and darkest period of her time, tortured by the FARC, pleading with them, and even making many long and treacherous journeys deep into the jungle to find them in the vain hope of saving her son.
While Colombia is a beautiful and magical country, this book paints the country as a dark image that is not only part of its history, but of its present. Since this book is not only difficult to read for the Spanish, but also for the difficult content, I recommend it to someone who has a high level of proficiency in Spanish - either someone who has taken 2 years at university or a post-AP Spanish Language and Culture student. Unfortunately, it is only offered in Spanish, but I do highly recommend it.