THE AMERICAS: Castles of Tin

High up in the thin, cold air of the Bolivian Andes, shrewd Mestizo Simón I. Patiño built for himself and his family an empire of tin. It was founded on the peon labor of mountain Indians whose lowly wage offset the high cost of transporting Patiño's ores to world markets. The mines Patiño developed from the original holding he acquired from a debt-ridden Portuguese made him one of the richest men in the world. But last week the manner in which he got his wealth returned, to plague him—and the United Nations.

Around Patiño's tin Bolivia grew; by tin, today,...

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