Fernando Santos Granero


5. Police station in the frontier with Brazil, Breu River, circa 1904.

Throughout the rubber boom (1870-1914), the government struggled to increase its presence in Loreto. It explored the region’s rivers, established police stations and customs houses along its international borders, and appointed numerous executive, judicial and administrative functionaries. The government was successful in imposing taxes and tariffs to the merchant class, and in preserving as public property the region’s lands and resources. However, due to its uneven presence and its incapacity to supervise local authorities, the State was unable to enforce legislation protecting indigenous peoples. As a result, up to two thirds of the region’s population was denied its civil rights.