“Roger Casement—a ‘traitor’ in Britain but an Irish hero in the Amazon”


The Irish Times has published a feature on Roger Casement which quotes Jordan Goodman, author of The Devil and Mr Casement: One Man's Struggle for Human Rights in South America's Heart of Darkness (just published in paperback). Mario Vargas Llosa's new novel, to be published in Spanish this November, is based on Casement's life, so expect a flurry of interest in this fascinating and important figure.

"Cocaine is funding wars, and these wars are killing Indians and pushing Indians aside. It would be nice to make people aware in rich societies that, to get this white powder, many things happen and many people are hurt and have their rights violated," says Juan Alvaro Echeverri, an anthropologist at the University of Colombia, who has recorded tribes' attempts to come to terms with the Putumayo genocide.

Such ongoing abuses make Casement's legacy as a campaigner for human rights and for an end to the evils of colonialism as relevant today as a century ago - unlike the question of whether the "Black Diaries" were forged by British intelligence, says Jordan Goodman, author of The Devil and Mr Casement, a history of his involvement in the Amazon.

Visit the Irish Times to read the article in full.

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