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Peru became the first world exporter of guano (fertilizer) between 1840 and 1880, the level of exports reached 11 million tons, which were sold in Europe and North America.
The exploitation of guano was in the hands of consignees, who used Chinese, Polynesian and black labor for export. The worst working conditions encountered by the Chinese were in the Guaneras Islands. For this reason, when the yellow trade to Peru was just beginning, it was forbidden, as it was specified in the contracts, that the Chinese (coolies) went to work on the islands. But, as compliance with the prohibitions was conditional on "national needs", they always worked on the islands and did so alongside convicts, free blacks, and the Kanaks (natives of Oceania). Workers were tortured with whipping and many of them committed suicide on the rocks due to the inhumane working conditions.