MEXICO: Meet Mr. Jenkins

Though it grows increasingly conservative with the years, Mexico's one-party government still calls itself revolutionary and acts the part by occasional nationalization of foreign private enterprise. Last week President Adolfo López Mateos was onstage in full revolutionary uniform as a $26 million plan to buy out 365 of Mexico's leading cinemas went into effect. The intention: to clip the wings of the theater owner, U.S. Citizen William O. Jenkins, 82, a mysterious buccaneer-businessman who has built the biggest personal fortune in Mexico, a money pile estimated anywhere from $200 million to $300 million.

Good Bad Luck. Over the years Jenkins has...

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