Fernando Santos Granero

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4. Merchant house Cecilio Hernández and Sons, Iquitos, 1916.

Loreto’s rubber economy was in the hands of ten large merchants houses, which controlled 85% of the region’s rubber exports. In contrast to Brazil, where British and US companies monopolized rubber exports, in Loreto the major foreign-owned export houses were French and German. Three of the region’s ten largest export firms were Peruvian. Loreto’s trading firms were multifunctional, acting as exporters, importers, wholesale traders, shippers and bankers. They financed the operations of most rubber bosses. They reached with their boats into the region’s remotest confines, and together with the military and higher government officials dominated the region’s political and economic life.

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