Rachel Nolan

Rachel Nolan teaches Latin American history at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.

No Bananas Today: Mario Vargas Llosa

Rachel Nolan, 2 December 2021

The coup​ is almost funny, if you squint. The year was 1954, and the CIA, still young and enthusiastic, had decided to overthrow the democratically elected president of Guatemala. Washington was convinced that the tiny republic was a threat, a reflection of growing anti-communist paranoia, and – in particular – of the ministrations of Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays,...

On the night of 26 September 2014, in the town of Iguala in the Mexican state of Guerrero, local police opened fire at several buses – some full of students, one carrying football players coming home from a match. Six people were killed. By midnight, 43 more students had disappeared, or, rather, had been forcibly disappeared. That’s where the story fades to grey. As the case of the missing students became international news, parents and activists went looking. They found first one mass grave, then another and another. Not their children’s. Other bones.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences