Argentina: The Lords of Patagonia

Every Thursday at precisely 4 p.m., the leaders of Argentina's wealthiest, most influential—and most clannish—dynasty sit down to weigh their business affairs. The six brothers of the Braun-Menendez family, ranging in age from 55 to 68, meet in a paneled Buenos Aires board room under a portrait of their late father Mauricio. Around the table each in turn stands up to discuss the fortunes and policies of Sociedad Anonima Importadora y Exportadora de la Patagonia. Something like a Hudson's Bay Co. of the Southern Hemisphere, "La Anonima" controls most of the commerce and communications in Patagonia, a wild and...

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