Dr. Dionisio Foianini, son of an Italian father and a Bolivian mother, grew up in central Bolivia not far from most of Standard Oil‘s Bolivian fields. After studying pharmacy in Italy, where he came to admire Benito Mussolini‘s fascism, Foianini returned to Bolivia before the Chaco War broke out and was put in charge of munitions manufacture. During the war, he went on a secret mission to Argentina and organized Bolivian espionage behind Paraguayan lines. When the war ended, Foianini organized the nationalization of the Standard Oil fields and set up a State Petroleum Board. After Germán Busch organized a coup in 1937, Foianini became Minister of Mines and Petroleum in Busch’s Cabinet.