Fernando Santos Granero


10. Brazilian ships loading fine timber in Iquitos, circa 1950.

Loreto’s post-rubber boom economy was based on an alliance between the large surviving trading firms and the owners of fundos, large rural landholdings whose labor force was coerced by ties of debt-peonage. The merchant houses of Iquitos extended credit in money or merchandise to fundo owners, who in turn outfitted their indigenous and mestizo peons to carry out a variety of extractive and agricultural activities. The products thus obtained were transported to Iquitos in ships owned by the merchant houses. From there they were sent to Europe and the US in British, Brazilian and Peruvian vessels.