Written with passion and moral power, this book invites us neither to forget the past nor to repeat history. Impregnated with a stark realism based on individual and collective experience, it describes Dantesque dungeons and torture chambers, with one overriding intention: to rescue the anonymous voices of the victims and leave a record of one of the darkest chapters of Bolivia s contemporary history. Without memory, there can be no historical imagination; without imagination, history must remain a sealed book. Emerging from this tension are the stories of Víctor Montoya. His men and women and children emerge from the limitless dark of mineshafts and the indescribable light of the thin-aired altiplano (high plateau); from its penetrating cold and stark, even frightening beauty. Sometimes abstractly rendered, the extremes of Bolivia s natural environment pervade these tales, mirroring those of the characters social world. Driven to creation as an act of social communication, the author has forged a literature of critical consciousness, from The Chessboard of Death, which masterfully recreates the capture and murder of the Inca Atahuallpa, to Days and Nights of Anguish, which unveils the atrocities committed by Latin American dictatorships during the notorious Operation Condor, winning the National Story Price of the Oruro Technical University in 1984 and the acclaim of critics specializing in the field, who underlined that the author brought the theme of torture into 20th-century Bolivian literature.