What economic and political forces account for the brutal treatment of indigenous rubber workers in the Putumayo, according to Hardenberg?
The Amazonian rubber boom gave rise to appalling abuses of indigenous peoples. The boom occurred in reaction to the end of invention of rubber tires for the newly-created automobile. Rubber trees grew wild in the Amazon, but indigenous knowledge was needed to find an access the latex within the trees. In this isolated environment, foreign corporations used violent tactics to coerce indigenous labor. The most notorious of these rubber corporations was the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company, owned by a Peruvian trader named Julio Cesar Arana and financed by British merchants on the London Stock Exchange. In 1909 the American engineer Walter Hardenberg wrote an exposé of the labor tactics used by the Aranas, accusing them of enslaving the indigenous peoples and subjecting them to corporal and capital punishment, so well as sexual abuse. Hardenberg’s account was borne out in a 1910 investigation by the British Consulate, led by Sir Rodger Casement. Historians and anthropologists now refer to the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company as having perpetuated a genocide against the Bora, Witote, and Andoke people. This excerpt comes from a 1912 book published by Hardenberg about his experiences in the Peruvian Amazon. The book was widely read in Britain and the United States and the publicity led to criminal proceedings against the Board of Directors of the Peruvian Amazon Company in London..
Read the attached document and answer the following questions:
1. What economic and political forces account for the brutal treatment of indigenous rubber workers in the Putumayo, according to Hardenberg?
2. What role does sexual exploitation of indigenous women play in upholding this labor system?
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