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The man who rose to the peak of Bolivian tin mining and became a titan of the industry worldwide was Simón Patiño (1860–1947). He started his career as a low-level commercial operative who struck it rich when he found the mineral vein called La Salvadora (the Savior) near Llallagua. He ended up with a legendary fortune, a business empire spanning four continents, and extravagant mansions from Bolivia to Biarritz. In Bolivia, however, the rising nationalist forces linked to the labor movement saw Patiño as a symbol of all that was wrong with the political and economic order. They attacked Patiño...

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