Fernando Santos Granero

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11. Depot of the Rubber Development Corporation, Iquitos, 1945.

World War II brought unexpected prosperity to Loreto. Japanese occupation of the rubber plantations of Southeast Asia forced the Allies to look for new sources of rubber. Peru made an agreement with the US to promote the extraction of wild rubber and to sell all of its production to it at high fixed prices. The US Rubber Development Corporation and its counterpart, the Corporación Peruana del Amazonas, were quite successful in increasing rubber production, while at the same time promoting less exploitative labor relations. In the process, they eroded the monopoly that traditional merchants houses had over the region’s exports, as well as the hold that fundo owners had over their peons. 

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