A Time for Vultures
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A Time for Vultures recounts a seemingly profitable business venture in a South American country which suddenly became dangerous when Joe Truhill and three other Americans were placed in the center of a political power struggle and found themselves in the local keep.
Reviewing what looked like a profitable venture, Truhill signed a contract with the Ralph Dial company to airlift tantalite ore from Brazil to the Fan Steel Corporation in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The undertaking suddenly turned sour when a tide of political unrest swept over Brazil.
Doing business in some Latin American countries requires paying an appropriate amount of respect to the local authorities. The particular turf in question was under the jurisdiction of General Riograndino Kruel, the head of the federal police, known in Brazil as the DFSP, Districto Federal Seguranca Publica. Riograndino's brother, General Amauri Kruel, had his sights on the presidency. In the one candidate election, Branco, the incumbent president, was not in agreement. He had already picked his successor.
The Americans had arrived in Brazil at an opportune moment. They could provide a smokescreen to discredit Branco. General Kruel claimed Branco was handing the country over to the Norteamericano imperialistas, who were supposedly, smuggling radioactive ore out of Brazil. His brother, a man of integrity, he claimed, needed to take over and save the motherland from foreign possession.
During months in a filthy Brazilian jail, Truhill engineered various escape attempts. However, escaping by surface transportation was a dangerous undertaking. He had his wife visit him and she returned to the United States with plans for a flying escape attempt. A friend posing as a tourist would fly an airplane to Brazil. The proposed escape route, a 7,000-mile trip, would take them across some of the world's highest and most treacherous mountains, the Andes. Many of those mountains are over 20,000 feet high. The airplane had a service ceiling of 18,000. The attempted escape would have to cross ten foreign countries and land at seven of those for fuel. The five men would attempt to baffle various foreign authorities with two good passports and one fake.
A Time for Vultures recounts a journey through Latin American justice under the scope of a political jungle characterized by some Anti-Americanism that made an escape more alarming.
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