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The founder of the Aramayo mining dynasty, José Avelino Aramayo (1809–82) was a prominent advocate of industrial modernization, which he had witnessed under way during his travels in Europe. He championed Bolivia’s potential to attain the economic level of its neighbors Argentina and Chile, if not that of Europe itself. Mineral wealth would be the basis for economic development, he believed, yet Aramayo was also concerned with the advance of railroads, agriculture, public works, and political democratization. From a modest landholding family in the far south, near Tupiza, he eventually came to lead the revolution in the silver-mining industry, which...

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