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“Peru: Blood for rubber, blood for oil”

2009

David T. Rowlands in Green Left Weekly

At the turn of the twentieth century, global demand for rubber from the upper reaches of the Amazon (encompassing Peruvian, Colombian and Brazilian territory) was at its height.

Capitalising on this profitable opportunity, the agents of an international consortium known as the Anglo-Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company enslaved virtually the entire local indigenous population to maximise output and reduce labour costs.

Over a decade, tens of thousands of indigenous men, women and children were worked to death. When eyewitness reports of the company’s brutal methods reached the outside world, public opinion eventually forced the British government in 1910 to convene a formal inquiry in the Peruvian rubber port of Iquitos.

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