The year is 1999: Cochabamba, a quiet, progressive Bolivian city seems an unlikely location to launch an attack to destabilize Latin American governments. But Kurt Wallerein, feared, hated, and hunted by every intelligence service and law enforcement agency in the West forms a partnership with an embattled Fidel Castro to do exactly that. Wallerein, a graduate of the Baader-Meinhof School of Terrorism, blends his ex-Stasi and KGB operatives with Castro’s own Dirección General de Inteligencia (DGI) to take over and bleed drug cartels in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia for the funds needed to re-ignite the flames of communist insurgencies throughout the region.
Lieutenant Colonel Tom Callahan, USAF, on his way to command an F-15 squadron, is suddenly diverted and assigned to the US Military Group-Bolivia where he stumbles on Wallerein’s network. Callahan and his friends in the MILGROUP and the Bolivian military are all that stand in the way of Wallerein and Castro’s success. Life is further complicated for Callahan by the emergence of yet another terrorist conspiracy in Cochabamba, this one organized by Americans– equally violent and vicious.
Murders, bombings, and mayhem mark the trail of the twin conspiracies as they weave deception and violence across Latin America. Wallerein’s hatred of the United States leads him to attempt the unthinkable—an attack on select American cities. Tom Callahan, his wife, and an Army lieutenant colonel unravel the plan but have precious little time to convince skeptical authorities of the danger to thousands of American citizens and the very fabric of the American government.
I was lucky enough to serve in the US MilGroup-Bolivia and able to fly into many of the places that Tom and Colleen Callahan visited in this book.
Here’s a book trailer that will give you some idea of what’s about to happen…it was made by my good friend, Michael Turri. Making the trailer was a kick in the pants — Michael is a great professional with a keen eye and a lively sense of humor. His choice of photos captured the sense of Bolivia and really nailed the beauty of the country. The narration mostly sucks — but that’s because it’s me! This perfectly illustrates why I’m a writer and not a speaker…!
Why I wrote the Cochabamba Conspiracy
I had the good fortune to spend two years working in the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, as the Chief of the Air Force Section of the U.S. Military Group-Bolivia. I checked out in the embassy Beechcraft C-12 Super King aircraft and flew all over that gorgeous country, going places that most Bolivians had never visited. Tour completed, I won a Post Graduate Fellowship at the Hoover Institution of War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Again, I was surrounded by people with enormous intellects– Nobel Prize winners, former cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, tenured professors, and the like. All seemed fascinated by my stories about Bolivia. Eventually, I got the message– if these well traveled and educated people did not have a clue about Bolivia, then non-Nobel Prize winners, non-former cabinet secretaries, non-ambassadors, non-tenured professors, etc probably wouldn’t either. So, I started writing the stories down. As I am a great fan of thrillers, I decided to write a thriller located in Bolivia, based on my experiences, suitably enhanced of course (I am a pilot, after all!).
Then life intervened and my wife and I welcomed three baby boys into our lives within the space of twenty months. Yikes! So, I put the writing on hold for more than a decade. Eventually, I started working with the manuscript at night. With the help of some really good (and extra patient) writing coaches, I finally beat it into shape, even won an award. The result is The Cochabamba Conspiracy. Book two of the series, Chita Quest, was published in 2014 and has also won some awards. Book three is on short final.
This book is scheduled for re-release in late September 2017.