Laurence Blair is a journalist and writer who covers Latin America in print, radio and video for outlets including the BBC, the Guardian, National Geographic, The Economist, The Financial Times and the New York Times.
He has reported on archaeological discoveries in Chile’s Atacama Desert and coup attempts in Bolivia; rafted down Amazonian rivers with former guerrillas in Colombia and helicoptered into drug plantations with Paraguayan special forces; trekked over the Andes with Argentine gauchos, journeyed to remote islands off the coast of Peru, and walked with Venezuelan refugees into the lawless jungle of the Darien Gap.
His forthcoming book, Lost Countries: A New History of South America, will be published by Bodley Head. Taking ten supposedly disappeared nations, peoples and territories as his waymarkers, Laurence travels to each in turn, in an intrepid journey on foot and horseback, railway and river. He uncovers rarely-told stories of co-existence, resistance and rebellion, weaving a new narrative that places the continent at the centre of the history of the world – and its future.
Born and raised in Dorset, southwest England, he studied Ancient and Modern History at the University of Oxford before moving to South America. As a speaker and commentator on Latin American current affairs, he has chaired and participated in panels at the UK Parliament and Canning House in London, and appeared on news channels including Al Jazeera, the BBC, and CNN.