Beckman Instruments had a subsidiary company and manufacturing plant called Aplar in El Salvador. In 1979 the country was on the brink of a civil war that would ultimately span three decades. On September 21, 1979, the manager of the Aplar plant, Dennis McDonald, and a Beckman Instruments engineer, Fausto Bucheli, were kidnapped by members of the guerrilla movement and held for ransom. The terms of their release were the payment of a ransom as well as publication of a manifesto in various newspapers worldwide. Beckman Instruments paid the random and published the manifesto, leading to the release of the hostages after forty-five days of captivity. Robert J. Steinmeyer headed the team who negotiated the release of the hostages.
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“Dennis McDonald with Robert Steinmeyer after Return from Kidnapping in El Salvador,” 1979. Beckman Historical Collection, Box 55, Folder 21. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/5999n3413.
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