The real-life story of a Mexican guerilla fighter who was disappeared by the Mexican Army and miraculously escaped to tell the tale.
Andrés Tzompaxtle Tecpile was torn from the world. Abducted off the street, blindfolded and beaten, he was brought to a Mexican military facility and "disappeared."
Tzompaxtle, a young indigenous man and member of an insurgent guerrilla movement, was subjected to months of interrogation and torture as the military tried to extract information from him. In an effort to buy time to protect his family and comrades, and to keep himself alive, he lead his captors on fruitless journeys to abandoned safe-houses and false rendezvous locations for four months. Finally, faced with imminent execution, he decided to make what he thought was a suicidal attempt at escape; when he miraculously survived, he was able to return underground.
Gleaned from years of clandestine interviews, Tzompaxtle's story offers a rare glimpse into chronic injustice, underground resistance movements, and the practice of forced disappearance and torture in contemporary Mexico.
Praise for John Gibler:
"At great personal risk, the author unearths stories the mainstream media doesn't—or is too afraid—to cover, and gives voice to those who have been silenced or whose stories have been forgotten."—Publishers Weekly
" . . . a journalistic masterpiece, an instant classic . . . brilliantly vivid and alive, it will terrify and inspire you and shatter your heart."—Francisco Goldman, praising John Gibler's I Couldn't Even Imagine That They Would Kill Us
Praise for the Mexican edition of Torn from the World:
"In this great work of literary journalism we come to know a life of vertigo in a Mexico still more opaque and unjust than the one we see in the newspapers and social media. This is the shadow Mexico where armed struggle and fierce repression wage a decades-long battle. . . . Torn from the World proves that John Gibler—a Mexican infrarealist—views writing as a form of dissent, of going against the grain. It also shows, through the story of an impossible escape, that in the Mexico of the shadows, every once and a while, one finds a bit of light."—Diego Osorno, Más por más
"John Gibler has written a raw and forceful portrait to show the extremes of violence and torture."—Juan Carlos Talavera, Excelsior
"John Gibler mixes, with as much rigor as imagination, literary metaphor with narrative journalism, testimony with the theoretical essay, the open-ended interview with critical reflection."—Andrés Fabián Henao, Palabras al Margen
"Beyond the reporting or the mere description of the events, Torn from the World by John Gibler is a conversation from the shadows of clandestinity that seeks to step away from the power relations that characterize the journalist's labor. . . . Here one finds a bone-chilling testimony from the school of pain to which men and women with ideals and a thirst for justice are submitted in a country like ours, dominated by autocrats and criminals disguised as public officials."—Lobsang Castañeda, Revista Leemás