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The vulcanization process attributed to Charles Goodyear, who patented it in 1839 in the United States, had just been discovered. This gave rise to the so-called extractive rubber fever in the next decades to fuel the automobile industry.

The Peruvian Amazon Company was a rubber boom company that operated in Peru in the late 1800s and early 1900s financed by British capitals. Peruvian rubber baron Julio César Arana ran the company in Peru. Based in Iquitos, the company operated in the area of the Putumayo River. It is estimated that more than 40,000 indigenous people perished there due to mistreatment, malnutrition, punishments, burned alive or exhausted by the horrible working conditions.