Friday, August 19, 2011

Our August Author: Leighton Gage

Blood of the WickedThis month we are reading Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage.  The author has a website and Facebook page and contributes to a group blog, Murder is Everywhere. (He and his fellow bloggers have not worked out the most efficient labeling system, so here's a shortcut to get you to his posts highlighting his broad interest in Brazilian culture.)

Detectives Beyond Borders has a good interview with Gage (Part 1, Part 2) focusing on Blood of the Wicked to aid our discussion. Crime Scraps has a multi-part interview, too (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Although this video relates to a different book (Buried Strangers) it offers a brief introduction to the author and the Mario Silva series:

Blood of the Wicked certainly stands out in the way the issues brought to the fore dovetail with Amnesty's human rights concerns. For an overview of Amnesty's human rights concerns in Brazil, consult the country page. There are several Brazil actions currently available including one involving threats to landless workers by gunmen hired by a local farmer where police have failed to take adequate steps to investigate the incidents and protect the workers. See this Human Rights Now blog post and this press release for more information. Another blog post from August 17 relates to the murder of a judge who had received threats from both criminal gangs and police officers.  Yet another post relates the fate of environmental activists José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva.  That case is also described in this New Yorker blog post which also mentions the murder of Dorothy Stang, the American nun Gage references in his author's note.

Finally, for a look at what an occupation by the landless movement looks like I recommend this great little 2005 PBS Frontline documentary.  In addition, the film includes a nod to both liberation theology, and a passing reference to 'political theater' of the kind we became familiar with through our friend Hector Aristizabal (The Blessing Next to the Wound). Worth a look!
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