The son of an Italian father, Dionisio Foianini Ioli, and a Bolivian mother, Carmen Banzer Aliaga, he 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.
- "Bicentenario de Santa Cruz". El Deber. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
- Dabdoub Arrien, Carlos (26 November 2001). "Dionisio Foianini, Un Digno Constructor de la "Cruceñidad"". eForo Bolivia (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 July 2017.
- The Other Americas, Newsweek, volume 14, 1939
- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,761349,00.html BOLIVIA: Barter, TIME, 22 May 1939
- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,761219-1,00.html BOLIVIA: Busch Putsch, TIME, 8 May 1939
- Helmut Waszkis, https://books.google.com/books?id=uqFFAAAAYAAJ Dr. Moritz (Don Mauricio) Hochschild, 1881-1965: the man and his companies: a German Jewish mining entrepreneur in South America, 2001, ISBN 3-89354-164-0, page 112