The deal had a medieval ring. President Victor Paz Estenssoro needed more money to shore up his country's nationalized tin mines; the tin baron wanted a divorce. What more logical situation?

Last week Antenor Patiño, 65, head of what was once the richest of Bolivia's tin baronies, agreed in principle to a loan of $5,000,000 to the Bolivian government tin corporation. In return, Paz promised to let through a law that would permit Patiño to divorce his first wife, Princess Maria Cristina de Borbón (a niece of Spain's last monarch, Alfonso...

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