Brazil: Raising the Ransom Price

Swiss Businessman Rudi Bucher was celebrating his 54th birthday at his home near Lake Como when a congratulatory letter arrived from his brother, Switzerland's Ambassador to Brazil. Life in Rio, wrote Giovanni Enrico Bucher, 57, a suave, popular bachelor, was "pleasant and uneventful." One day, he predicted, Brazil would be one of the "stablest nations of Latin America." One day, perhaps, but not just yet. Moments after Rudi Bucher finished reading the letter, he heard that his brother had been kidnaped by urban guerrillas in Rio.

Not Possible. A man of rigid habits,...

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