El Salvador Coffee Caper

Bargaining with the guerrillas

The middle-aged businessman, a scion of one of El Salvador's oldest families, was impatient. He had been waiting a day and a half for his plantation foreman to report the results of a highly sensitive negotiation. Finally, the telephone rang with the news. The foreman had got in touch with El Salvador's Marxist-led guerrillas to discuss wages for the migrant farm laborers whom the cafetalero needed during the 2 1/2-month coffee harvest. The guerrillas' demand on behalf of the workers: about $4 for each 100 lbs. of coffee beans picked, plus food and medical care. The rebels also wanted a slice...

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