The real-life story of a political insurgent who was disappeared and tortured 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 Torn from the World:


"At once harrowing and humane, John Gibler's wonderful new book Torn from the World shines a light on the darkest corners of the Mexican justice system. We cannot turn away from what we see there. This is a brave, daring book, equal in every way to the extraordinary life it documents."—Daniel Alarcón, author of The King is Always Above the People


"Once in a long while a brilliant writer happens on a story he was born to tell—a story that in its stark and unremitting horror gives us a glimpse of the world as it is, unvarnished and unredeemed. John Gibler is such a writer and Torn From the World is such a story. A wrenching, astonishing tale, brilliantly told."—Mark Danner, author of Spiral and The Massacre at El Mozote


"There are things that we would rather not know. Those are precisely the things that John Gibler investigates and comes back to tell us. Here he dwells on the unconscionable and methodic tortures to which the Mexican State submitted Andrés Tzompaxtle Tecpile. But, also, he tells the story of how this man didn't let himself be erased by his torturers, preserving his humanity. Torn from the World is the product of a thorough investigation and it is written with rage and humility at the same time. This is the work of one of the most important journalists of our time."—Yuri Herrera, author of Signs Preceding the End of the World

Torn from the World: A Guerrilla's Escape from a Secret Prison in Mexico

$16.95 Regular Price
$13.56Sale Price
  • City Lights Publishers 2018

    New paperback

    260 pages

1 N. Lombardy St.

Richmond, VA 23220


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