Small Wars Journal

The Story of an American Military Advisor and the Colombian Drug War

Book Announcement: East of the Orteguaza: The Story of an American Military Advisor and the Colombian Drug War by Victor M. Roselló, Colonel, USA, Ret. Also available as a Kindle edition and discussed on Facebook.

As stated in the subtitle, East of the Orteguaza is the story of an American military advisor and the Colombian drug war. The book's title is a geographic reference to an actual place in time...a military base that was at the center of the drug war, deep inside the jungles of southern Colombia...and a place where the author lived and worked.

Tres Esquinas is the name of this military base. In Spanish it means three corners, or the junction where two rivers, the Orteguaza and the Caquetá flow together to create one main river. The Rí­o Orteguaza is a tributary of the Rí­o Caquetá and it runs parallel and west of the base...hence, the title, East of the Orteguaza. Orteguaza is believed to be one of many names derived from the native indigenous groups of this Amazonian region, such as the Tukano, Koreguaje, or Huitoto. Historical research reveals that in 1635, Franciscan missionaries may have been the first to Hispanicize the name Orteguaza from the name of the Oyoguaja tribe of the Tukano Family. Still another conjecture is that Orteguaza originated from the native indigenous word Ocoguaje, which literally means "people of the water."

This is a story steeped in fact and inspired by true events as experienced by the author while assigned to a counterdrug base near the Ecuadoran/Peruvian border in the drug infested Putumayo and Caquetá region of southern Colombia.

More importantly, this is the story of a quiet war; a war so quiet that it rarely catches the attention of the news media....despite the presence of hundreds of US military advisors in Colombia. It focuses on the many varied facets of the US military advisory mission in the jungles, valleys, plains, and mountainous regions of Colombia in support of the Colombian Armed Forces...and their quiet war.

About the Author: Victor M. Roselló is a retired US Army Colonel, intelligence officer, and Latin America Foreign Area Officer. During his 30 year career he served as a military advisor to the Salvadoran and Colombian Armed Forces and combat parachuted into Panama with the 82nd Airborne Division during the 1989 invasion. An Army Ranger and Master Parachutist, he graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College, School of Advanced Military Studies, and the US Army War College. He has a Master of Arts degree in Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies from the University of Chicago.

Purchase East of the Orteguaza: The Story of an American Military Advisor and the Colombian Drug War at Amazon.