Fernando Santos Granero

Book Cover

Tamed Frontiers

The political economy and civil society of Loreto -the northeastern portion of Peruvian Amazonia- have experienced radical transformations since the opening of the region as a new colonization frontier in 1851. In its initial stages, the evolution of Loreto’s economy followed the pattern of frontier expansion common in the Amazon Basin. It was characterized by cyclical booms and busts of extractive forest products; it depended on external demand and capital; it was based on coercive forms of labor relations; it did not encourage permanent settlement of the land; and, due to the weak presence of the State, it was characterized by lawlessness, the disenfranchisement of a large portion of the local population, and violent confrontation over valuable resources.

In subsequent decades, the development of Loreto’s economy took a very different track; one that could no longer be characterized as a frontier economy. In Tamed Frontiers we discuss the factors that induced the transformation of Loreto’s economy from a backwater, violent frontier into a more stable, integrated, diversified, and modern regional economy and civic society.

  1. Steamlaunches loading firewood in Puerto Waltibori, Yurua River, circa 1904.
  2. Extractors weighing Castilla rubber balls in Puerto Portillo, Yurua River, circa 1903.
  3. Iñapari Indian peons in the rubber trading post of Carlos Scharff, Purus River, circa 1903.
  4. Merchant house Cecilio Hernández and Sons, Iquitos, 1916.
  5. Police station in the frontier with Brazil, Breu River, circa 1904.
  6. Malecón Palace Hotel, Iquitos, 1925
  7. Public meeting of the Liga Loretana, Iquitos, 1919.
  8. Members of the elite in official parade, Iquitos, 1927.
  9. Women packing barbasco roots for Israel & Co., Iquitos, circa 1947
  10. Brazilian ships loading fine timber in Iquitos, circa 1950.
  11. Depot of the Rubber Development Corporation, Iquitos, 1945.
  12. March by FEDECANAL, the peasant/Indian organization, Iquitos, circa 1980.
  13. Street protests against the Peace Treaty with Ecuador, Iquitos, 1998.
  14. Carnival Queen, Iquitos, circa 1910.