By Frank Bajak

The man at the center of Bolivia’s land wars is an improbable figure: a tall, folksy Montanan whose vast holdings have been ordered confiscated on the grounds he treated workers as virtual slaves.

Ronald Larsen, 64, calls the claims unfounded and vows not to give up without a fight. For four decades, he says, he has fed and clothed workers who would otherwise live in squalor – even educating their children.