The Latin Debtors Cry for Help

Embattled Mexico and its fellow borrowers ask for easier terms

Not long ago, moneymen started to look upon Latin America's ominous $370 billion debt load as the crisis that went away. The borrowers were gamely trying to make their payments and shape up their economies. But last week several Latin countries sent out new distress signals. Mexico's Finance Minister Jesus Silva Herzog, whose country's financial condition has been devastated by falling oil revenues, rushed to Washington to seek aid in closed-door meetings with Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, Secretary of State George Shultz and Treasury Secretary James Baker. Meanwhile, Peru suddenly withdrew its gold, silver and cash reserves from U.S. banks...

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