El Salvador An Offer They Couldn't Refuse

As elections near, the rebels mount a violent offensive

The neatly typed letter to Mayor Marta Gomez de Melendez opened with a cordial greeting. But there was no mistaking it for fan mail. The message from the Marxist-led Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (F.M.L.N.) informed the mayor of Cojutepeque that she was obstructing El Salvador's revolution and gave her a choice: resign within 72 hours or face "popular justice." Gomez, a normally outspoken member of the right-wing ARENA party, knew exactly what * the last phrase meant. In the past year, eight mayors who ignored similar F.M.L.N. invitations to quit had been "executed," as the rebels call their political murders....

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