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Kidnappers Release Textile Manager After Ransom Paid

February 7, 1995

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ In the country’s third kidnapping in a week, a textile executive was released 12 hours after her relatives paid an undisclosed ransom, police said Tuesday.

Graciela Bahia, a manager at the textile company Facalca-Hiltex, was kidnapped Monday in Chalchuapa, 45 miles northwest of the capital. She was freed unhurt.

Some officials attribute the increase in kidnappings and other crime to high unemployment among tens of thousands of ex-soldiers and guerrillas since 1992, when El Salvador’s 12-year civil war ended.

Three-quarters of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty.

At first, Bahia’s captors demanded $115,000 but reduced the amount in subsequent negotiations. Relatives did not disclose how much was paid.

On Sunday, Archbishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez expressed concern about the wave of kidnappings and denounced the seizure of the brother of the late Archbishop Arturo Rivera Damas. There was no word of the man’s whereabouts Tuesday. His kidnappers had demanded a ransom of $23,000.

Last week, the French industrialist Jean Claude Khan was also kidnapped from San Salvador. He remained missing Tuesday, and police had no comment on the case.

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