Citation
Atrocities on the Amazon: The Diplomatic Struggle for Human Rights in the Putumayo Region of Peru

Material Information

Title:
Atrocities on the Amazon: The Diplomatic Struggle for Human Rights in the Putumayo Region of Peru
Creator:
McKinley Lester, Hali Michaela
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Notes

Abstract:
In 1907, a Peruvian newspaper published reports of atrocities against indigenous populations forced to extract rubber for the Peruvian Amazon Company, a company headquartered in London that employed Barbadian workers. In 1910, British diplomat Roger Casement travelled to the region to investigate the allegations with the express purpose of protecting the Barbadians, British subjects. Yet Casement also observed the cruelty of company agents in torturing the Indians, and he labeled it slavery. His report prompted a long diplomatic struggle to bring the perpetrators to justice and alleviate the suffering of the Indians. The British government initiated extensive communication with the Peruvian government, advocating changes to this system of slavery. The correspondence reveals the challenge of protecting human rights in a commercial but remote region. The British government also involved the United States in diplomatic pressure, but the Peruvian government continued to make empty promises, failing to enforce justice. Finally, the British government published Casement's report in 1912, leading to international outcry. However, Peru lacked the capacity and political will to reform the system. By 1913, many of those responsible for the worst atrocities remained unpunished as World War I and the collapse of the Peruvian rubber industry shifted attention elsewhere. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, Major: History, and Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Major: International Studies-Emphasis/Concentration: Latin America and the Caribbean on May 2, 2018.
General Note:
College or School: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
General Note:
Advisor: Jeffrey Needell. Advisor Department or School: History

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Hali Michaela McKinley Lester. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

UFDC Membership

Aggregations:
UF Undergraduate Honors Theses

Downloads

This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

Atrocities on the Amazon: The Diplomatic Struggle for Human Rights in the By: Hali McKinley Lester Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Needell April 2018 University of Florida

PAGE 2

2 Table of Contents Acknowledgements 3 2 1 Chapter ... 3 2 ...4 9 60 3

PAGE 3

3 Acknowledgements I am fortunate to have many people who offered support and e ncouragement throughout the grueling process of writing my thesis, and I am so g r ateful for their assistance. First, I would like to thank my thesis advisor Professor Needell. He open ed the world of Latin American history to me and provided my first introduction to Roger Casement in his History of Amazonia class Professor Needell was a gifted teacher and continues to be an inspiring advisor, pushing me to question preconceptions and encouraging me to refine my thesis W hen I felt o verwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of my project, he helped remind me of my love for history and my passion for this topic This thesis would not be possible without his guidance. I also thank my mother, Dr. Nancy McKinley, who has spent years painstakingl y editing my essays, thus molding me into a better writer in the process. She listened patiently to my frustrations throughout my thesis research and provided much needed motivation during the writing process. My mother also made my love for history possib le; she worked hard to help me attend summer history camps, where the incredible Janeal Jaroh introduced me to the fascinating world of bringing history to life. I am also appreciative of Professor Harland Jacobs and Bryan Kozik, whose dedication to the Hi story Honors Program helped make this project go much more smoothly. Amid topic changes and thesis panic, they guided me to successfully complete my thesis. Finally, I thank all of my family and friends who provided outlets for my stress and believed in my ability to complete this thesis I am sure they got sick of my endless comments about my thesis, but their support never wavered. It takes a village, and I am so grateful for mine.

PAGE 4

4 Introduction 1 T he term human rights was not officially defined until the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 Yet more than a quarter of a century prior, in 1910, Roger Casement, a British diplomat, advocated for the human rights of indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon. He spent several months in the Putumayo region of Peru investigating allegations that the Peruvian Amazon Company a bused local Indians in rubber extraction Throughout his journey, Casement kept an extensive journal detailing the torture and atrocities he witnessed. He 2 words still carry profound weight today : he is often lauded as the father of human rights in recognition of his advanced terminology and advocacy Moreover, Casement transformed the diplomatic role in ensuring global human rights. Roger Casement was born on September 1, 1864 in Dublin, Ireland and pursued an impressive career as a British diplomat and humanitarian in the Belgian Congo, Brazil, and the abuses in the Congo, where he worked from 1884 to 1904, attempting to alleviate the suffering of the Heart of Darkness. 3 After his admirable work in the Congo Casement was the ideal choice for investigating the atrocities in the Amazon, for he would not be cowed by colonial powers. Casement built his reputation on pursuing honest 1 Roger Sawyer, Casement, The Flawed Hero (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984), 108. Casement made this statement during his testimony to Parliament about his Putumayo reports. 2 Roger Casement and Angus Mitchell, The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (London: Anaconda Editions, 1997), 178. 3 Sawyer, Casement, The Flawed Hero, 21.

PAGE 5

5 discoveries of systems of abuse. Yet he maintained strong emotional ties with his Irish roots, and Casement eventually left the diplomatic service in 1913 to pursue his passion for Irish independence 4 Throughout his observations of the effects of colonialism in the developing world, he l amented the plight of his native Ireland. This dedication eventually led to his death; he was hung for treason in 1916 after attempting to organize an Irish rebellion. 5 Casement was a complicated man, and his journals and correspondence reveal deep interna l struggles as an agent of the British government trying to ensure the human rights of marginalized people. The Putumayo abuse began at the turn of the twentieth century when Peruvian businessman Julio Cesar Arana formed the rubber company Arana Brothers. Utilizing a system of torture, floggings, rape, and murder, Arana Brothers forc ed Indians to extract rubber Despite numerous investigations in the Putumayo, Arana remained smooth and cunning, denying misconduct and avoiding his responsibility in the situ ation. He seemed to face few consequences as his money and influence bought him absolute power in the region. Arana centered his operation on the Putumayo River, a territory claimed by both Peru and Colombia. In such a remote area, over a thousand miles fr om the nearest city of Iquitos, terror reigned. The Peruvian government lacked the capacity to control the region, so they relied on Arana and his company to claim the territory as Peruvian. At this time, natural rubber was the only source for rubber on t he international market, and the best source came from Amazonia. The Putumayo region was rich in a particular kind of rubber tree, which was cut down and stripped for its latex. While many places merely tapped the Hevea brasiliens i s tree for rubber, thus leaving the tree intact, the Putumayo contained Castilloa 4 Jordan Goodman, Heart of Darkness (New York: Farrar, St raus and Giroux, 2010), 253. 5 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 257.

PAGE 6

6 elastica trees, which had to be destroyed to get the rubber. Because the trees were killed by the extraction term commerci al ties with the continuously for 50 years. 6 This strenuous labor demanded working crews, in which the Company forced local indigenous groups into rubber extraction using a great deal of abuse. The main groups, the Huitoto and Bora Indians, were estimated to have a population of around 5 0,000 at the first contact with the rubber company. By the end of the British investigation, the population had dropped to around 8 ,000, ne arly eliminating their population and culture. 7 In 1907, Arana Brothers was incorporated in London, becoming the Peruvian Amazon Company, with a board of British directors. That same year, a newspaper in Iquitos called L a Sanci n published accounts of sta rtling abuse by the Company against the Indians coerced into rubber extraction. Arana dismissed the accusations as blackmail, attempting to discredit the 1908, ho wever, a railroad engineer from the United States, Walter Hardenburg, found himself embroiled in the rubber tyranny. He had been travelling through the Amazon when he was captured by rubber traders who stole his belongings, and he essentially became a pris oner of the Company. As the agents took him down the river toward Iquitos, he saw the evidence of 8 When Hardenburg finally arrived in Iquitos, he tried to confront Arana for compensation for his mistreatment and appealed to the United States government but h e got nowhere. Yet, Hardenburg found a friend in Saldaa Rocca. The two men shared evidence and 6 Barbara Weinstein, The Amazon Rubber Boom 1850 1920 (Stanford: Stanford University Press) 26. 7 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, February 5, 1912, in Correspondence, 167. 8 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 25.

PAGE 7

7 observations of inhumane treatment of the Indians. Salda a Rocca petitioned the violence, but by February 1908 Saldaa Rocca received threats against his life and barely escaped to Lima, leaving some of his evidence with Hardenburg. 9 U nsatisfied with the response from Arana and his own government, Hardenburg gathered further testimonials of the abuse before travel ling to London to find an outlet for his story. In London, Hardenburg met with the editor of the magazine, Truth, which was known for its dramatic stories uncovering various scandals. Truth receiving almost immediat e backlash and rebuttals The directors of the Peruvian Amazon Company wrote to Truth denying the atrocities. Furthermore, they claimed that even if the abuse w rote to the editor of Truth, arguing that the allegations were false because the Peruvian government would have known about the abuse 10 was questioned, and the British government hesitated to get involved. Yet, t he evidence grew when an additional report surfaced in October 1909, this time by Captain Thomas Whiffen, a British military officer Salda British government, the Foreign 11 While the British government might have felt some humanitarian sympathy for the plight of the abused Indians, Britain lacked just However, the British did have a political stake in the investigation. The Peruvian Amazon 9 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 45. 10 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 52. 11 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 62.

PAGE 8

8 Company employed a number of Barbadian workers, who, as British subjects, merited attention from a consular offici these Barbadians, the British government formulated a plan for ensuring their rights. Thus, the accusations prompted an investigation by the British Foreign Office of the treatment of B arbadian workers, as well as a related unofficial report on the general conditions of the rubber system and the treatment of Indians. Roger Casement soon became the obvious choice to lead the the Congo, Casement would Casement set off to uncover disturbing human rights violations and to convince his government to pressure the Peruvian government into demanding justice. He advocated for a would have profound effects on the understanding of human rights and the indigenous groups in the Putumayo, as well as on the transformation of the diplomatic r ole in ensuring these rights. Unfortunately, however, his successes were limited to his diplomatic influence The power of the rubber industry remained difficult to dismantle, as most of the criminals escaped unpunished and the Indians continued to suffer exploitation by commercial agents. Historiography Casement has been a source of fascination for numerous historians and biographers due to his remarkable career and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his death. I consulted many which was the only boo k to focus exclusively on

PAGE 9

9 I could not access, so his work helped fill in missing gaps in my research. Historian Angus Mitchell has dedicated much of his work to do cumenting The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement and Roger Casement in Brazil: Rubber, the Amazon, and the Atlantic World 1884 1916, devotion to humanitarianism. Althou bias. Moreover, one graphic diaries supposedly detail the homosexual exploits of Casement and served to turn public opinion against him during his trial for treason Many historians debate whether the diaries were forged by the British government to influence the verdict. While I acknowledge was relevant to my investigation of his work advocating f or the rights of the Putumayo Indians and his impact on diplomatic negotiations. Other works, such as The Lives of Roger Casement by B.L. Reid and Roger Casement by nced portrayal of Casement, although they do cede attention to speculations about his sexuality. The books were published in 1976 and 1973, respectively, so they lack some of the more recent Casement, the Flawed Hero, by Roger ective strengthen ed my focus on the diplomatic aspect of demanding justice in the Putumayo.

PAGE 10

10 I was fortunate to access a wealth of primary sources for my research, including recording his journey through the Amazon, where he chronicled many of the observations used to compile his report. While the journal itself was used as a primary source, it was published in 1997 with notes by Angus Mitchell, who helped to provide context and clarify additional information. I also Colonial Subjects and Native Indians Employed in the Collection of Rubber in the Putumayo of the communication between the British Foreign Office and the Peruvian and United States government s This document, which was submitted to the British House of Commons in July 1912 documentation. The final source, which helped wrap up the case and likely warrants further 13. This the abuse, and correspondence regarding the case. This collection of document s showed the changes, or lack thereof, in the Putumayo as a result of Casem nited S tates perspective, U.S. officials were working with the British, and the report offers valuable information regarding events after July 1912, bridging my gap to British sources. My Argument A ding of human

PAGE 11

11 observations, for while he advocated for an end to the abuse, he denied the intellectual capacity own My research also focuses on the diplomatic aspect of the investigation. As I read more about the case, I grew frustrated with the startling lack of concrete action to protect the Indians. How could the accusations emerge in 1907, yet Casement was not sent to investigate until 1910? did the Peruvian government fail to bring the criminals to justice and not protect their indigenous citizens? To answer these questions, I explored the diplomatic correspondence between the olvement. By utilizing the vast correspondence between the British Foreign Office and the Peruvian government, I analyze the strategies the British employed to pressure the Peruvian government to act. ty promises and methods of appeasing subsequent involvement increased pressure on the Peruvian government, although the U.S. representatives were easily fooled by Peruvian Amazon Company implemented minimal reforms, and the Peruvian government negated its responsibility in diplomatic interest in international human rights and brought attention to the plight of indigenous groups. Thus, while Casement could not achieve the desired reform of Putumayo slavery, he did

PAGE 12

12 m ake great strides for diplomacy broadening the role foreign powers had regarding diplomatic oversight of human rights

PAGE 13

13 Chapter 1 The Foreign Office Decides to Investigate As Hardenburg and Whiffen struggled to make their voices heard in London, the Br itish government began formulating a response. On September 29, 1909, members of Parliament in the House of Commons questioned the U ndersecretary of S tate for F oreign A ffairs, Thomas McKinnon Wood, about alleged ill treatment of British subjects from Barbados in the Peruvian Amazon. 12 Truth, and they were eager for a investigate the allegations. McKinnon Wood exp ressed confusion at the questioning, promising to look into the claims and report back. While the questions in Parliament focused on Barbadians, the article in Truth highlighted the abuse of the Indians, thus recognizing the constraints of a British invest igation: Whatever his thoughts and feelings about the suffering of the local population, Hart Davies knew full well that no department of state had any right to interfere in the internal affairs of another country when it came to the plight of its own peo ple; had he raised the issue of the Indians, the foreign secretary would simply have replied to this effect. But the Barbadians were another matter. They were British subjects and had the right to appeal to Britain for protection. 13 T he deliberations in P in the situation as they sought to protect the Barbadian workers. Meanwhile, the Peruvian Amazon Company and the Peruvian government denied the accusations. The Company claimed that they had no reason to believe the reports of atrocities; moreover, they did not bear responsibility for potential abuses as the British Board had not yet 12 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 4. Goodman gathered his evidence from primary sources in the British National Archives and Parliamentary documents. 13 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 13.

PAGE 14

14 become part of the Company at the times of the alleged occurrences. 14 The Peruvian charg res in London also denied the allegations in a letter to the editor of Truth, arguing that the Peruvian government maintained control in the region and therefore would have known about any abuse. He insisted that the evidence published in the Iquitos new 15 Truth allegations appeared in multiple British p ublications Th e conflicting accusations added to the assign blame and enforce justice. Thus, despite the fervent protests of the Company and the Peruvian gov ernment, the Foreign Office decided that they needed to investigate further. The Foreign Office wrote to the British Consul in Iquitos, David Cazes, requesting his judgement on the veracity of the allegations. Cazes claimed that the accusations were largel y unfounded. He criticized the Iquitos newspaper and asserted that the Barbadians, who lodged a few complaints, had mostly returned home. Moreover, he assured the Foreign Office that the Barbadians were unjustified, and he had observed good tre atment of the Indians. 16 The Foreign Office, however, was to the office in London to discuss the case further; however, Cazes remained insistent that the reports were exaggerated, likel y propagated by the jealous Colombian government with interests in the region. Recognizing that Cazes offered little help, the Foreign Office sought other sources. They contacted Charles des Graz, the British minister in Lima, who reported that he lacked 14 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 52. 15 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 54. 16 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 55.

PAGE 15

15 information as the Putumayo was incredibly isolated from Lima. Curious about the rumors of an American report, James Bryce, the British ambassador in Washington, reached out to the State Department. The State Department responded that they had no record o f such a report, despite the existence of United States consul Charles 17 The report would have and helped the Foreign Office, but lacking ac cess to its contents, they instead turned to des British officer, was considered a more legitimate source and his observations confirmed those published by Ha rdenburg. Whiffen had set off to the Putumayo in hopes of finding out what happened to Eugene Robuchon, a French explorer who had disappeared while attempting to map the region for the Peruvian government. Whiffen traveled through the Putumayo on Company launches but after several months he determined that Robuchon was nowhere to be found. After Whiffen returned to London, t he Foreign Office contacted him and he submitted a report detailing his observations about the atrocities. Although Whiffen had not witnessed overt acts of violence, his conversations confirmed the horrible treatment of the Indians as he recounted to the Foreign allegations and expressed conc ern that Arana had not kept his promise to enact reforms. 18 The sufficient information about the condition of the Barbadians, the true concern that fell under the ir purview. 17 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 56. 18 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 67.

PAGE 16

16 Thus, the Foreign Office reached out to the Colonial Office, trying to determine the status of the Barbadians in Peru. The Colonial Office was uncooperative, and the Foreign Office struggled to gather sufficient information. They were about t o accept that the Barbadians had all departed Peru when Whiffen came in to the Foreign Office for an interview and revealed that there were still Barbadians in the Putumayo, many of them forced to remain because they were in debt to the Company. The Coloni al Office lacked answers, but they suggested a consular officer travel to the region to investigate the situation. Both the Foreign Office and Whiffen dismissed this idea, doubting that a Consul could discover the true extent of the atrocities when traveli ng under the watch of the Company. 19 Yet, the continued pressure from Truth convinced the Foreign Office that they needed to explore other avenues for investigation. Bryce, the British by agreeing to compensate the 20 The Foreign Office contact ed the Peruvian Amazon Company directly. The Foreign Office sent their letter on November 24, 1909, detailing the indictment against the Company. While the Foreign Office w aited for a response from the Company, they extended their communication with the United States government about the situation. Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, instructed Bryce to provide the State Department with all of the evidence compil 21 The Foreign Office r ecognized 19 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 69. 20 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 71. 21 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 73.

PAGE 17

17 more leverage for change. However, the United States was already involved in mediating a border dispute between Peru and Ecuador and could not risk the ir role by becoming embroiled in the Putumayo controversy 22 The Foreign Office received their response from the Company on December 30, 1909. The Company denied the allegations, labeled Hardenburg and Whiffen as blackmailers and insisted any supposed atro cities had ended, negating their culpability. They also included a Region, for neither the Peruvian Authorities, who efficiently fulfil their duties of maintainin g order and administering justice, nor I myself would have allowed such a state of things to 23 The Foreign Office realized they required a different approach with the Company, and cited the need for an impartial investigation by the Company to assua ge public opinion. During translator during his explorations of the Putumayo Brown detailed the abuse against Barbadians: ey are slaves. They are in need of help and there is 24 Foreign Office, confirmed that British subjects remained in the Putumayo, thus necessitating a British investigati on. As Goodman noted, one. Only a British consul and an official of the Barbadian government, who could talk directly 25 As 22 Huntington Wilson to Stuart Fuller, April 6, 1912, in Slavery in Peru 10. 23 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 76. 24 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 80. 25 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 80.

PAGE 18

18 public outrage mounted and the Anti Slavery society demanded answers, the Peruvian Amazon Company acquiesced, writing to the Foreign Office on June 8, 1910 that they would initiate an investigation in the Putumayo, and they agreed to allow a consular official to accompany them. As the Foreign Office debated wh ich consular official to send along with the Company Commission, the Anti Slavery Society suggested Roger Casement, whose work in the Congo had 26 The Foreign Office evide ntly agreed, and on July 21, 1910, Casement received a letter from the British Foreign Office, informing him that he had been selected to join His explicit instructions were to investigate the treatment of Barbadian workers who, as British subjects, merited attention from a British Consul Yet, the unofficial charge of the investigation involved a larger question of the treatment of the native population and general cond itions of the rubber industry. The broad perform his official responsibility to the Barbadians while balancing his moral duty to protect the abused indigenous population. In his journal, C asement reflected on the gravity of his assignment: It would be necessary to exercise great caution in this respect as indeed throughout the enquiry so as to afford no ground for possible objection being raised by the governments of the territory visi ted. It would be necessary from the first to treat any such information obtained as of a confidential and separate character and it would not be intended for publication nor for direct transmission to the go vernment or governments whose agents might be inv olved. 27 Cas ement recognized the value of discrete diplomacy to avoid problems with his investigation. 26 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 85. 27 Casement, The Amazon Journal, 62.

PAGE 19

19 Maintaining his image proved essential because he traveled with the Company Comm ission. Casement depended on the Company for lodging and transportation i n the extremely remote regions of the Putumayo. Moreover, he knew his interviews and investigations would be under the watchful eye of Company agents whose interests were threatened by his enquiry. Indeed, Casement seemed rather pessimistic about the effic acy of his investigation: We shall be fairly well hoodwinked I think the good will be in a general cleaning up necessity I am under of travelling everywhere as the guest o f this Commission. It is very hard, well nigh impossible to arrive at an independent judgement or to take any 28 n frequently frustrated him, for he resented the constraints on h is ability to alleviate suffering. Although Casement recognized the risk of his investigation interfering with Peruvian sovereignty, he also observed the lack of the ntrol in the regio n The absence of government power was important After all, t he Company protested that the allegat ions of abuse were false because the Peruvian government maintained control of the region and would not allow such atrocities. However, Casement witnessed the absence of government authority allowing lawlessness that facilitated the abuse of Barbadians and indigenous tribes. Casement condemned the judicial processes in the region: obtain justice in Peru or Brazil, or any other of these Latin States of the N ew World one must bribe and lie, cheat and corrupt, terrify and threaten so that your justice won leaves the soil rank 29 Moreover, he feared that even if the Peruvian government exe rcised authority in the region, the Indians wo uld continue to suffer. Casement was particularly affected by a 28 Casement, The Amazon Journal, 66. 29 Casement, The Amazon Journal, 112.

PAGE 20

20 conversation with a rubber trader, Victor Israel, during his trip to the Putumayo. Israel remarked 30 Thus, Casement lacked trust in the possibility of institutional reform, believing the Peruvian government would not be motivated to protect the Indians. When Casement finally arrived in Iquitos, his suspicions of atrocities grew as his faith in Peruvian authority shrank further. He met with the Prefect of Loreto, Dr. Paz Soldan, who Casement believed was not being bribed by the Company like the p revious prefect. 31 Yet, Paz Soldan remained steadfast in his assurances that the atrocities were blackmail Indeed, he argued that he said, had performed distinguished services t o the State and stood high in the opinion of the 32 The Company not only controlled law and order in the region, but they had also managed to control public opinion. Moreover, Casement concluded from his meeting that finding an unbiased legal arm of the Peruvian government not under Company pay would be incredibly difficult. After gathering initial information in Iquitos, Casement ventured up the Putumayo, visiting sev eral rubber stations and gathering evidence to formulate his report for the Foreign Office. 30 Casement, The Amazon Journal, 80. 31 The prefect was responsible for running the Department of Loreto, which, headquartered in Iquitos, encompassed the Putumayo region. 32 Casement, The Amazon J ournal, 92.

PAGE 21

21 Chapter 2 After spending several months in the Putumayo, Casement returned to England and began to compil e his copious evidence into a report f or the Foreign Office. On January 7, 1911, testimony of the Barbadians to show innumerable charges of murder, rape and constant flogging. 33 Casement detailed the course of his journey, which left him with no doubt that the claims of abuse were true. Moreover, he connected the case to the Barbadians, his original focus revolting de scription, and the Barbados men bringing these charges did not omit, in several cases, to also accuse themselves of shocking crimes, committed, they averred, under 34 he had travelled with was also convinced of the abuse. One of the most important additions to this preliminary report was a list of the Company agents who had committed barbarous crimes Casement urged that the agents should be arrested and charged by the Peruvian government. Most of the criminals were Peruvians, and Casement recognized the danger that they would run away to escape punishment. Despite his advocacy for the Barbadian workers he also suggested the arrest of one Barbadian, Armando King, who had shot and killed a young Colombian. Although King insisted on his innocence, Casement received disturbing reports from several sources. Casement remained steadfast in his belief in justi added that even there in the wilderness he must not think these crimes could go on undetected or 33 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, January 7, 1911, in Correspondence 12 all sent directly to Sir Edward Grey, who, as Foreign Secretary, occupied the highest position in the British F oreign O ffice reflecting the im 34 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 12.

PAGE 22

22 unpunished; that someday, perhaps soon, a civilized Government would take account of what was being done in the name of civilization, and then he might 35 A fter receiving government about prosecuting the criminals. Three weeks later, Casement submitted an additional report about the conditions of the Barb adians and a description of the Putumayo region. Casement began his report by explaining the purpose of his trip and his instructions for the commission, recognizing his duty to the Barbadians, as well as the underlying need to investigate the rubber syste m. He discussed the They lacked medical access and were held in debt to the Company to buy products they needed to survive. Yet even more disturbing than the vio lation of their labor rights was the violent work laborers, were forced to act as armed bullies and terrorists over the surrounding native dians had to satisfy all the demands of the so called commercial establishment 36 Casement was outraged that the Barbadians were forced to abuse the Indians. Casement then proceeded to describe the conditions of the Indians in the region, whom 37 He seemed surprised that the of obscure and often trivial origin 38 assumptions about the legitimate conflicts between indigenous groups as they maintained their 35 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 14. 36 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, January 31, 1911, In Correspondence, 19. 37 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 20. 38 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 20.

PAGE 23

23 own societies and power dynamics regardless of Western influence. Casement also assumed the have a white man with attractive articles to give away settling in his neighborhood and to bring in exchange Ind ia rubber for these tempting trifles seemed easy. Moreover, the Amazon Indian is by nature docile and obedient. His weakness of character and docility of temperament are no match for the dominating ability of those with European blood in their veins. Yield ing himself, first, perhaps, voluntarily, to the domination of these uninvited guests, he soon finds that he has entered into relations which can only be described as those of a slave to a master, and a master, be it observed, who can appeal to no law that recognizes his rights. The system is not merely illegal in civilized parts of the world, but is equally illegal in the Amazon forests, since those regions are all claimed by civilized Governments which absolutely prohibit any form of slavery in their terr itories. 39 situation. While he exhibited racist beliefs about the intellectual capacity of the Indian as a humans. He seemed to quickly conclude that Indians were naturally ripe for subjugation, rather than considering the skewed power dynamic that facilitated disproportionate control by the rubber agents. Yet Casement also condemned what he understood as a sy stem of slavery. Thus, he could remind governments of their moral responsibility to protect the global population from systems of slavery. By naming his sources and eli citing sympathy for their plight, he reinforced the severity of the situation. For example, he relayed the story of a Barbadian named Quintin, who was beaten with 50 lashes for trying to buy food from an Indian girl. Later, Company agent Augusto Normand be at Quintin for letting two Indians escape, leaving him sick for months. Quinton also wounded exorbitant prices. Casement witnessed the marks from this abuse, whic h remained five years 39 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 21.

PAGE 24

24 later. Further testimonies told similar stories of abuse, as well as attempts by the Company they were punished when they tried to find othe r food sources. Ironically, Frederick Bishop lamented that he was forced to flog the same Indians who ensured his survival by helping him gather food. 40 In addition to the physical abuse, the Company kept the Barbadians in debt, encouraging them to gamble a nd forcing them to buy goods at inflated company prices. 41 Casement managed to help the Barbadians relieve their debt negotiating a de al with the Company to refund all Barbados men twenty five percent of their purchases. This debt relief proved sufficient for them to close out their accounts, and with their burden of debt assuaged, most of the Barbados men were free to accompany Casement back to Iquitos and leave the employ of the Company. 42 After spending two months in the remote Putumayo investigating the various rubber stations, Casement returned to Iquitos, satisfied with the breadth of his investigation. He testimonies for he acknowledged their hesitation and reluctance to share about the crimes committed. Moreover, they incriminated themselves along with the station chiefs, thus demonstrating they were not acting all in self interest. He also recognized the overlapping confirmation of the testimonies, whereby several Barbadians detailed th e same abuse. Casement also used his own observations Indians men, women, and children. The condition of these people itself was the best proof of 40 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 30. 41 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey 28. 42 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 33.

PAGE 25

25 the truth, and oft 43 Casement anticipated challenges to his report, so he acknowledged and refuted counter arguments before they could question his legitimacy. He was determined that his report effect change. Two months after his initial reports, Casement submitted his complete report, offering more details about the entire rubber system and the abuse of the Indians, along with supplemental evidence of his testimonies and the Company practices. In this report, he described the history of the region to explain how it became a center for rubber extraction. Casement emphasized the isolation of the region, which facilitated a lack of authority. Thus, once Arana created hi s rubber company at the turn of the century, the exploitation of Indians began unfettered. The conquistadores who arrived in the region managed to profit because they could force the Indians to extract rubber from the trees. 44 Once under their control, the Indians were considered property, and the r property. 45 In his discussions of protection for the Indians, Casement suggested the possibility of a religious mission to provide a civilizing force. He referenced several documents from the P eruvian Ministry of Justice, published in 1907, that lamented the challenges of establishing a 46 At a time when most of the accusations were being denied, the church already recognized the abuse. Yet, their concern was not compl etely humanitarian. Rather, the Church believed the 43 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 34. 44 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, March 17, 1911, In Correspondence, 37. 45 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 38. 46 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 39.

PAGE 26

26 rubber system hindered their ability to convert the Indians who needed to be Christianized. For example, Frei Prat remarked that the mission established on the Ampiyaco River produced 47 T he rubber agents were hostile to the missions, whose purpose of converting the Indi ans to Christianity threatened the agents ability to subjugate the indigenous labor force. The mission arie s were also concerned about their own safety. In a letter to the Minister of Justice, the no effective remedy is applied, later on we shall not be safe even in the mission villages, nor shall we be able to spread our winning 48 He also expressed concern about lly the hunting of Indians, which had decimated the Indian population, thus limiting their number of converts. Despite some evident self interest, the prefect also alluded to the system of slavery. 49 The British and United States governments continued to pr opos e a religious mission in the Putumayo as a solution to the lawlessness of the region. Casement detailed the horrifying treatment of the Indians. He explained how the Indians were condemned for killing white men, something that Casement saw as justifi ed as their only knows the weakness of his own character as opposed to the resolute enterprise and enduring 50 In effect, while Caseme nt doubted their intellectual capacity, he defense Casement denied their equality yet advocated for their humanity. 47 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 39. 48 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 40. 49 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 40. 50 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 40.

PAGE 27

27 The power dynamics of the stations were deeply ingrained. The Company recognized the value of autonomy at the stations, for it increased their rubber yield. In a place where profit was was asked as to what took place there. Each chief of section did as he pleased, and even Peruvian subordinates had frequent cause of complaint against their local superiors. Complaints, if made by a Barbados man or an inferior workman, were not attended to, and the chief of section knew 51 Casement explained the system of control at the rubber stations, lower ranked Peruvians and Colombians, meted out the punishment. The other enforcers were achos de confianza Casement seemed horrified by these muchachos and their violent tendencies, although he acknowledged they were likely forced into their actions. 52 Indians while excusing the Barbadians demonstrated a problematic double standard. Atrocities and Abuse Casement provided vivid descriptions of the disturbing punishments carried out against the Indians. The racionales followed orders from the section ch iefs to flog Indians for misbehaving or failing to bring in sufficient rubber. Flogging was the preferred method of punishment because the Indians particularly hated it. It was deemed an effective method of subjugation, and Casement explained the violent a S ome men like the Colombian negro Simon Anglo seemed to have liked the task and to have been specially chosen for their ability 53 Thus, not only 51 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 33. 52 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 41. 53 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 43.

PAGE 28

28 was it a system bas ed on ensuring the Indians provided enough rubber, but there was also a bloodthirsty interest in selecting the most painful punishment. Casement heard numerous testimonies about the prevalence of flogging, and he also saw the evidence of it himself. Most o f the Indians, barely clothed, bore marks of lashes on their backs and buttocks. One evening, several Indians came to him asking for healing lotion to put on their wounds. legs would be forced into small holes as their bodies were stretched in discomfort, often left there for words evoked the horror of the flogging, which often led t suspended by the arms, often twisted behind their backs and tied together at the wrists, and in this agonizing posture, their feet hanging high above the ground, they were scourged on the 54 Days after the flogging, their wounds infested with maggots, the victims would either succumb to death or be shot by the station chiefs, having become useless as labor sources. As Casement tried to ascertain the extent of the abuse, one resident of the region estimated that 90% of the population had been flogged, a number Casement found highly likely. 55 The section chiefs tried to conceal the worst of the abuse, claiming that the marks were all old, and they had since enacted provisions to prohibit this punishm observations challenged that assertion He managed to see more recent wounds, despite the Company hiding the most visible victims in the forest during his visit. 56 Casement recognized the illegality of these floggings and, in addit ion, condemned them for being used not to punish a 54 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 47. 55 Roger Casement to Sir Edw ard Grey, 44. 56 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 45.

PAGE 29

29 crime or wrong 57 In attempts to conceal their abusive practices, the section c hiefs began implementing different forms of punishment. One popular method was to beat Indians with machetes, which while inflicting incredible pain, left minimal scarring. The chief at the Occidente station, however, simply held the Indians under the rive r water, leaving them half drowned. 58 Casement described the disturbingly creative methods used to develop new drownings of Velarde to just stop short of taking life while in spiring the acute mental fear and inflicting much 59 This abuse proved an integral part of the rubber system. As in most instances of colonization and subjugation, female Indians suffered additional abuse. When placed in the stocks for punishment, the Company agents took advantage of their immovable position to rape them. 60 Many agents took young women as concubines, especially those in the vulnerable position of domestic labor. They did not, however, take the wives of Indians who worked in rubber extraction, for then those men would simply refuse to work; no amount of torture could convince them otherwise. Casement was impressed by this fidelity and f impending 61 This observation by Casement was contradictory, for, as noted, he also questioned the intelligence and strength of character. 57 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 49. 58 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 48. 59 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 49. 60 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 52. 61 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 57.

PAGE 30

30 In addition to the flogging, the Indians were forced to carry rubber for long distances, often up to 60 miles, with no food provided by the Company. They bore loads over 50 kilograms, a difficult burden especially for their malnourished bodies. They frequently carried rubber amounts heavier than their own body weight. Often, small children would accompany their parents on their arduous journey, just so they could carry the small amounts of cassava bread, prepared prior to departure, that were supposed to sustain them. 62 Moreov er, on this march, the Indians were tied up or chained at night in uncomfortable positions to prevent escape. 63 Then, hus, they were never sufficiently paid for their rubber, remaining dependent on the Company for minimal materials for survival. Casement evidently anticipated rebuttals of his observations. Some of the Company agents argued that such torture could not be possible because section chiefs would not want to deplete their labor source. However, Casement saw no regard for life, and the system of slavery day in order to terrify fresh victims to morrow. Just as the appetite comes in eating so each crime led on to fresh crimes, and many of the worst men on the Putumayo fell to comparing their battues [practice of driving game toward 64 The inhumanity of these Company agents also brought on a form of cultural genocide. The criminals recognized the value of the elderly as cultural sources in the Indian tribes, for they offered advice and wisdom that could be used as a form of resistance. The Company agents killed almost all the elderly members of the 62 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 46. 63 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 52. 64 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 54.

PAGE 31

31 tribe, thereby robbing them of leadership to help escape their conditions. 65 Casement greatly feared the decimation of the Indian population as long time residents described the already incred ible reduction in numbers over the past decade. As Casement concluded his report, he confirmed the brutal accusations through his own observations and the trustworthy testimony from the Barbadians. He returned to Iquitos where he met with the Peruvian pre Government. If the disgraceful state of things existing on the Putumayo was not dealt with and 66 Thus, Casement alluded to the forthcoming pressure from the British government to reform the system. The prefect promised to take action and protect the Indians, the start of numerous empty m of slavery, the British government was equipped to force diplomatic negotiations. 65 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 55. 66 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 62

PAGE 32

32 Chapter 3 The Foreign Office Urges Peru to Act British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey began the diplomatic pressure to convince the Peruvian go vernment to bring the perpetrators to justice. On January 15, 1911, he wrote to Charles Des Graz the British Minister 67 The British believed the Peruvian prevent the continuance or recurrence 68 Grey also included the list of criminals compiled by Casement, so the Peruvian government could act swiftly. At the end of his letter, Grey offer ed a veiled threat; should Peru not act before the Foreign Office has to report to Parliam go unpunished, or that there is the least chance of their being repeated, would be most 69 owed the Foreign government would acquiesce to their influence However, British demands for justice would continue for a year and a half as the Peruvian governm ent attempted to delay and avoid British demands. 67 Sir Edward Grey to Charles Des Graz, January 16, 1911, in Correspondence, 15 68 Sir Edward Grey to Charles Des Graz, 15. 69 Sir Edward Grey to Charles Des Graz, 15.

PAGE 33

33 Almost immediately, the Peruvian government began to make empty promises that they the Peruvian government that they would act quickly for justice. The Peruvian government sent their own commission of enquiry, led by Dr. Romulo Paredes, to the Putumayo to investigate and corroborate British reports. Yet, Grey worried that the Peruvian response would prove too slow, allowing the criminals time to escape. His correspondence with Des Graz then paused after 70 returned to the Putumayo issue on March 30, when Grey reached out to the Briti sh Ambassador in the United States United States government about the British interactions with the Peruvian government in Lima 71 Despite the United States Putumayo situation, the British hoped the United States would at least support their actions and not work against them. 72 the British representative in 73 After almost a month with no response from Peru, Grey reached out again, asking if they had apprehended any of the criminals indicted in his telegram from January 16. He reiterated the need for Parliament to see that Peru proposed effective measures for reform. 74 Jerome responded 75 Jerome also related val uable Peruvian government 70 Sir Edward Grey to Charles Des Graz, January 25, 1911, in Correspondence 16 71 Sir Edward Grey to James Bryce, March 30, 1911, in Correspondence, 152 72 Jerome filled in for Des Graz in Lima during much of this correspondence. 73 Sir Edward Grey to Lucien Jerome, March 30, 1911, in Correspondence, 153 74 Sir Edward Grey to Lucien Jerome, April 21, 1911, in Correspondence, 153. 75 Luci en Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, April 27, 1911, in Correspondence, 153

PAGE 34

34 telegrams about the investigation in the Putumayo. The telegrams revealed the inefficacy of the Peruvian government as they detailed the escapes of various criminals. Many fled to Brazil, which lacked an extradition agreement with Peru. Throughout the correspondence, the British government encouraged Peru to negotiate an extradition treaty with Brazil, hoping it would facilitate the pursuit of justice. However, the negotiations failed, and many criminals remained out of reach. 76 Ev en though the telegrams reflected no real success in detaining criminals, Grey expressed approval of surface level indications that Peru was taking action on May 4 reflected the challenge of extradition from Brazil; criminals from the Putumayo that had escaped with kidnapped Indians were stopped in Brazil. However, while the Brazilian government agreed to return the Indians to their right ful home, they opposed extradition of the criminals without a treaty with Peru. Though t he Peruvian government told Jerome that they were attempting to negotiate such a treaty with Brazil, it never came to fruition. Jerome also mentioned the changing publi c opinion in Peru, largely as a result of the Asociacin Pro Indgena, which advocated for indigenous rights. 77 Public opinion in Peru represented a challenge because many Peruvians denied the citizenship rights of indigenous people. The British government, prompted by Casement, recognized that changing the perception of indigenous inferiority was essential to ending the system of slavery. The British understood how p ublic backlash could help motivate the Peruvian government to protect the Indians. Writing echoed previous statements in which the Foreign Office requested Peruvian action t hat they 76 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, 154. 77 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, May 4, 1911, in Correspondence, 155.

PAGE 35

35 could relay to the British Parliament. Parliament, evidently, was growing dissatisfied with the inally be convinced to act 78 This confidence emerged numerous times; the Foreign Office thought they had skillfully prompted Peruvian action. Yet Peru accepted their demands in person while ignoring them in enacting actual legislative reform. Parliament, h remained more insistent on evidence that Peru would address their concerns. In a July 6 Britain with proof of their actions to bring criminals to trial, or they would be forced to publish 79 Grey also forwarded a copy of this telegram to Ambassador Bryce in Washington, hoping he could ascertain if the British would receive any diplomatic suppo rt from the United States in Lima. 80 President Augusto Legua to underscore the importance of the situation. The president assured Jerome he would speak to the Minister of Fore ign Affairs and instruct him to take immediate steps, but he wanted the memo to remain private and unofficial for the time being 81 This interaction epitomized th government. Their conciliatory words did not match their action s as they sought to appease obsequiousn ess, replying to Jerome that he was pleased with his interaction with the president. 78 Sir Edward Grey to Lucien Jerome, June 20, 1911, in Correspondence, 155 79 Sir Edward Grey to Lucien Jerome, July 6, 1911, in Correspondence, 155. 80 Sir Edward Grey to James Bryce, July 6, 1911, in Correspondence, 156. 81 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, July 13, 1911, in Correspondence, 156.

PAGE 36

36 Grey also revealed a new objective in this telegram. Not only did the British government want the criminals brought to justice, the British had also decided the best way t o prevent future abuses in the region was to establish a religious mission. Grey urged Jerome to communicate th eir goal to the Peruvian government and ask them to provide this future mission with an annual subsidy. 82 The suggestion of a religious mission re needed an alternative presence to protect the Indians from abuse. 83 Peru Confirms Abuse but Delays Justice The P eruvian government continued to produce a faade of action in the Putumayo. Dr. Paredes and the commission completed their investigation, concluding that egregious crimes had been committed in the Putumayo. Jerome passed along more Peruvian telegrams to Gr ey that later, they had already arrested several criminals. 84 Yet, as Casement feared, these criminals were mostly low ranking officials simply following orders, whil e the main culprits had escaped to Brazil. Grey urged the Peruvian government to communicate the ir names to the Brazilian government and request that Brazil inform Peru if the men left. 85 This suggestion proved interesting because Peru still lacked an extra dition treaty with Brazil, yet Grey believed they could leverage diplomatic relations to at least share information between the countries. Yet, information sharing can rarely be one the lack of recipr 82 Sir Edward Grey to Lucien Jerom e, July 21, 1911, in Correspondence, 156. 83 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, March 17, 1911, in Correspondence, 37. 84 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, July 25, 1911, in Correspondence, 157. 85 Sir Edward Grey to Lucien Jerome, July 27, 1911, in Correspon dence, 157.

PAGE 37

37 attempt to diminish the basis for the accusations. 86 While the Paredes report acknowledged the abuses, the government asserted that most of the crimes had occurred before 1907. Th ey also laid blame upon the Barbadian workers who Casement had attempted to protect. The Peruvian government boasted that they had so many warrants out, the gaol would be too small to hold all the criminals. 87 These telegrams indicated the lack of cohesive policy from the Peruvian government as they struggled to prove their own competence, while minimizing the severity of the abuse. through the Paredes commission as correspondence about the subject ceased until October Then, Grey received a letter from Jerome detailing new challenges. Jerome relayed rumors that report, had le ft Iquitos. Jerome learned of this information from the newspaper, Prensa, despite El Comercio, reported that one of the criminals, Pablo Zumaeta, had been permitted to escape. Jerome inte nded to meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to express his frustration and also hoped to convince the United States Minister to express his displeasure to the Peruvian government. 88 Grey responded to Jerome on October 14, instructing him to question t he Peruvian government about the newspaper rumors A when they though the Peruvian authorities had awakened to a sense of their responsibilities and were acting a manner tha 89 Grey Furthermore, Grey 86 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, July 27, 1911, in Correspondence, 157. 87 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, 158. 88 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, August 28, 1911, in Correspondence, 158. 89 Sir Edward Grey to Lucien Jerome, October 14, 1911, in Correspondence, 158.

PAGE 38

38 relayed information about the alleged locations of several of the notorious criminals, inc luding Victor Macedo in Lima and Elias Martinengui in Callao. It seems surprising that Grey was not more outraged that two of the criminals were living quite openly in Peru and should have been n deep. At the end of his letter, Grey issued a reminder that these criminals, in addition to abusing the Indians, also mistreated justice for their subjects Jer ome responded with the results of his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Jerome that Valcarcel had not left Iquitos He also claimed there was no evidence 90 extrad ition from Argentina and the arrest of Macedo in Lima. Jerome also confirmed to Grey that the United States Minister in Lima Henry Clay Howard, was supporting the British side. 91 In November, Des Graz returned to Peru from London and assumed responsibilit ies of the Putumayo investigation. Grey updated him on the progress of the British investigation, including ed him to question the Peruvian government about the steps they were taking to arrest the criminals a nd bring the prisoners in Iquitos to trial. 92 Des Graz responded that he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs who 90 Augusto Normand was a section chief accused of horrendous abuse, including burning Indians alive, dashing the brains out of children, and cutting of Indians arms and legs. His c apture was especially important to Casement. 91 Lucien Jerome to Sir Edward Grey, October 19, 1911, in Correspondence, 159. 92 Sir Edward Grey to Charles Des Graz, November 29, 1911, in Correspondence, 159.

PAGE 39

39 assured Des Graz he had sent a letter about arresting Fonseca and Montt 93 and would send a follow up telegram to Iquitos inquiring about th e progress. The Minister also assured Des Graz strong local opposition. 94 Th e hypocrisy is clear: by blaming comm commercial success of rubber and power dynamics held more sway. Casement frequently referenced the corruption he witnessed in the Putumayo as unpaid government agents were easily bribed by the Company. 95 As Britain grew more frustrated with the Peruvian response, President Legua involved himself further in the situation. On December 13, Des Graz relay ed a telegraph from the Peruvian president to the prefect of Iquitos, in which the president demanded the capture of the criminals in Brazil and an immediate punishment of the guilty. He also reiterated that the slowness of the proceedings made the Peruvian government look irresp onsible in England. 96 Aware that his international reputation was on the line, President Legua th erefore attempted to demonstrate his good intent. Legua also met with Des Graz, assuring him that he was the case. The president repeated a common boast from the Peruvian government: they had issued almost 300 arrest warran ts. 97 However, as Grey would have reflected, issuing warrants without enforcing them proved futile in the pursuit of justice. 93 Fonseca and Montt were two of the worst criminals remained in Brazil unpunished. 94 Charles Des Graz to Sir Edward Grey, December 3, 1911, in Correspondence, 159. 95 Casement, The Amazon Journal, 92. 96 Charles Des Graz to Sir Edward Grey, December 13, 1911, in Corre spondence, 160. 97 Charles Des Graz to Sir Edward Grey, November 17, 1911, in Correspondence, 160.

PAGE 40

40 United States Involvement Despite initial reluctance from the United States to get involved in the Putumayo, the Foreign Office co ntinued to keep them apprised of the situation. In fact, after months of discussion about the issue between Peru and Britain, the United States government began to express more interest in t he Putumayo In a telegram on July 21, 1911, Ambassador Bryce info to end abuse and the hope for further pressures to prevent future cruelties against the natives. 98 response, they recognized the need for more effec tive pressure. This meant utilizing the United Department in Washington with minimal success. Thus, after Casement left his second visit to the Putumayo, distraugh t at the lack of justice, he decided to travel to the United States to plead his case. Bryce helped arrange meetings between Casement and State Department officials. With his first hand experience and passion for the case, Casement was able to convince the U nited S tates government to take a more active role in pressuring the Peruvian government. 99 report was imminent, so he believed a meeting with Casement would assure the U compliance. Bryce and Casement both believed it would be beneficial for the United States to appoint a Consul to Iquitos, who could work with the British consular official there. As the two countries escalated their involvement, Bryce wanted them to agree on a definitive line of action 98 James Bryce to Sir Edward Grey, July 21, 1911, in Correspondence, 157. 99 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 174 175.

PAGE 41

41 to take in unison: ressure applied upon the Peruvian Government by Great Britain and the United States would probably have the effect of inducing the Peruvian Government, not only to regularize its title to th e district by negotiation or by arbitration with Colombia, but also to 100 T protect the Indians because they lacked authority. included a telegram from the U.S. Secretary of State, Philander Knox, to the U.S. representative in Lima, Henry Clay Howard cooperate with the British and add additional pressure on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, e mphasizing that lack of action would result in publication of the report and the outrage of the ght induce the public opinion of the world to believe that Peru had shown herself unable to properly exercise sovereign 101 proved somewhat surprising, considering the min imal U.S. involvement previously. Yet, the United States likely recognized the escalation of the case and increased their involvement. Bryce The next step would be On January 23, Grey relayed to Bryce the contents of his meeting with the U.S. Charg in London, Mr. Phillips elected to 100 James Bryce to Sir Edward Grey, January 12, 1912, in Correspondence, 162. 101 James Bryce to Sir Edward Grey, January 19, 1912, in Correspondence, 161.

PAGE 42

42 suspend his decision a bout publishing the report, promising to consult Knox before making his judgement thereby resulting in their extermination. 102 Yet, despite hopes for the U full support for publication, the Peruvian government continued to project a faade of action that the United States came to believe. Casement Weighs In While the Foreign Office continued to develop their relationship with the United States about the Putumayo situation, Casement tried to push for greater action. Casement returned to the Putumayo for a second visit, and h e sent Grey an extensive letter on February 5 th to upd ate 103 the Peruvian government confirmed the atrocities, thus denying claims about a biased outside the criminals Fonseca and Montt, excusing the remoteness of the region as the reason for their failure. Perhaps his leniency tow government protections for indigenous tribes and their ability to change public opinion to value native people. Casement saw this method as a model for Peru to implement to improve the treat ment of natives throughout the Amazon Basin. 104 Throughout the letter, Casement emphasized the lack of enforcement of justice, despite 102 Sir Edward Grey to James Bryce, January 23, 1912, in Correspondence, 163. 103 Roger Casement to Sir Edwar d Grey, February 5, 1912, in Correspondence, 164. 104 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 164.

PAGE 43

43 that only nine people had been arrested, mostly inferior agents who primarily carried out orders. true criminals. The authorities also insisted that they could not proceed to trial until all the other criminals implicated were also apprehended. Casement found this logic confusing and possibly illegal as the failures of the justice system abounded. Moreover, Casement argued that the police proved an ineffective enforcement mechanism as they were e asily bribed. They ignored most of the warrants, allowing the criminals to continue to work in the Putumayo and force the Indians to bring in rubber. On the occasions they went in search of criminals, they never found them, although the Company men returne d to their stations soon after the police departed. Especially egregious to Casement was the knowledge that Pablo Zumaeta, the managing director of the company at Iquitos and one of the most culpable criminals, managed to avoid his arrest warrant, remainin g inside his home in Iquitos. He bought the complicity of the police, appealed to the court to annul the warrant, and returned to public life without trial or investigation of the charges. The case of Zumaeta seemed to confirm Casement that justice would be close to impossible. These enforcement failures led Casement to conclude that the Foreign Office should not expect the punishment of the criminals; indeed, it probably went beyond the abilities of the local justice system. He repeate 105 Thus, Casement understood the challenge of protecting the Indian s when public sentiment denied their rights and remained unsympathetic to their suffering. Nonetheless 105 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 166.

PAGE 44

44 106 Paredes was working on sending the report to the Lima government, which Casement assumed would then be shown to the British representative in Lima. Moreover, the value of the report was not only in the conf I t also outlined a project of judicial and magisterial administration for that region, which, if put into execution by the Peruvian Government, should do much, I believe, to end the organized enslavement and ill treatment of the In 107 only beacon of hope to Casement, it would be largely ignored by the Peruvian government, the contents only known to the British government 108 to Iquitos also enabled him to identify additional practices that hampered by a frontier conflict with Colombia, Casement criticized the lack of evidence of any effect ive initial steps. Moreover, he recognized that the magistrate for the region was unpaid, thus enabling the Peruvian Amazon Company to bribe his compliance. Casement also learned to the old conditions of exploitative rubber collection. This regression showed Casement that his 109 Ca sement found that the Indian population continued T he human sacrifices attained such proportions that human bones, the remains of lost tribes of Indians, are so scattered through the forests that, as one informant stated, these spots 110 106 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 166. 107 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 166. 108 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 166. 109 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 167. 110 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 169.

PAGE 45

45 Interestingly, Casement did not place all of the blame on the Peruvians. As an Irishman and avowed anti imperialist, he condemned the whole international system that facilitated the the rubber trade; even if the Company left the region, Britain still participated in transportation of rubber and created a market for its consumption. Thus, he argued that consumers should want to end the system, making justice the in the best interests of commercial civilization and the vital needs of traditional communities on the river that the system of ruthless and destructive human 111 g 112 Casement certainly hoped diplomatic pressure could convince Peru to act, but he also approved another alternative. As previously suggested, he believed the presence of a Christian mis sion would be beneficial. The Foreign Office responded a month later, expressing their approval of his proceedings throughout his visit. 113 The United States Hesitates On February 17, Des Graz informed Grey that he and United S tates Minister Howard had met with President Legua and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, explaining the situation and demonstrating their joint action unofficially and informally. Once again, Legua repeated his desire for punishment of the criminals, citing the steps his gover nment had already taken, and asking the British for suggestions for further action. Des Graz emphasized the need for the government in Lima to exercise its authority in Iquitos and prompt a trial. Des Graz also stimony for a project of reform. Although the 111 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 169. 112 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, 169. 113 Louis Mallet to Roger Casement, March 7, 1912, in Cor respondence, 171.

PAGE 46

46 President claimed this would prove politically difficult, he agreed to receive Paredes. 114 s were a repetition of what they had been told all along, and the Peruvian As a result, Grey nted the United States deferred to Britain regarding whether to publish the report. Grey prepared for publication. 115 Yet, several days later, the United States began hesitating in their condemnation of Peru. Bryce relayed a telegraph from the State Department in which the Assistant Secretary of State, Wilson believed 116 The United States lamented the Peruvian Bri tain had received from Peru for close to a year. Yet the United States also regarded the report as a tool to support the Peruvian government by giving them, via public opinion, the power to act. Grey seemed unimpressed, for two months later, he instructed Mitchell Inness at the Foreign papers they would bring before Parliament. Knox responded granting his permission for the he also expre to encouraging measures 114 Charles Des Graz to Sir Edward Grey, February 17, 1912, in Correspondence, 170. 115 James Bryce to Sir Edward Grey, March 28, 1912, in Correspondence, 171. 116 James Bryce to Sir Edward Grey, March 28, 1912, in Correspondence, 172.

PAGE 47

47 Presid ential Decree of April 22, which established a commission to propose a reform plan. The decree acknowledged the crimes committed in the Putumayo, although avoided some responsibility by claiming they primarily occurred prior to 1907. With this decree Peru decided 117 The decree claimed that a reform plan would be presented for the study and approval of the National Congress before July 2 8, 1912 Knox seemed enamored of this decree, citing it as an indication of imminent legislation to control the Putumayo region. Thus, he hoped the Foreign Office would postpone t to allow Peru to proceed with this new development. Finally, Knox made an important note: should Britain proceed with publication, he wanted t his letter expressing his support for the Peruvian government, included. This specification indicated attempting to protect their diplomatic influence in Peru. Either way, Grey d ecided to proceed with publication. On June 27, he responded to tha t fresh legislation is not so much required as a more rigid application of existing laws which 118 Moreover, Grey learned that the presentation of the reform plan had been delayed unti l Jan 1, 1913, another unacceptable attempt to delay justice, especially after he had just found out about a large 117 Mitch ell Inness to Sir Edward Grey, May 25, 1912, in Correspondence, 172. 118 Sir Edward Grey to Mitchell Innes, June 27, 1912, in Correspondence, 174.

PAGE 48

48 shipment of rubber which could only have been possible with a return to the old system of forced labor. 119 Grey also believed publication would speed up the establishment of a religious mission, a measure they had deemed necessary for reform. As these factors surfaced, Grey sent a letter to the U nited S tates informing them of his decision. 120 Several days later, Grey began presenting the report to Parliament. 119 Sir Edward Grey to Mitchell Innes, 174. 120 Sir Edward Grey to Mitchell Innes, 175.

PAGE 49

49 Chapter 4 As the Foreign Office prepared report for publication, they continued to urge the Peruvian government t o implement reform in the Putumayo. The British sent a new consul, George Mitchell, who woul d work along with the United States consul Stuart Fuller to explore improvements and monitor Peruvian progress. As Mitchell and Fuller conducted their investigati on, they discovered minimal changes to protect the Indians as the commercial interests continued to facilitate exploitation. The diplomats concluded that the Peruvian government lacked sufficient political will and capacity to enact effective changes. Yet, even as Mitchell and Fuller criticized the lack of reform, interest in the case waned. Mitchell and Fuller were the last Western representatives to pursue justice in the region as the collapse of the rubber industry and the start of World War I in 1914 tu report prompted swift action by Britain and the United States. The press expressed outrage at the content the Indians, bringing public attention to the remote region. As constituents called for change, the British and U.S. governments were prompted to expand their pressure on th e Peruvian government. On July 15, T he London Times territory which Peru professes to govern the worst evils of the plantation slavery which our forefathers labored to suppress are at this moment equal or surpassed. They are so horrible that 121 The implication of this quote seemed to resonate in Britain and the United States. The accusation 121 Philander Knox to Congres s, February 4, 1913, in Slavery in Peru, 5.

PAGE 50

50 pushed the U.S. government to a dopt a resolution in the House of Representatives on August 1, 1912 to request information from the State Department regarding the validity of this statement in T he Times One year later, the State Department submitted a 440 page report detailing Consul Fu correspondence regarding the Putumayo. The United States Completes Its Own Investigation Peruvian government in pursuing justice and protecting the Indians. In his letter of submittal, Secretary Knox explained the process of sending Fuller as a consul, as well as the difficulty he and the British Consul Mitchell faced in gathering information common humanity, and that the efforts of the Peruvian government to work a remedial change 122 Thus, upon sustained contact with the Peruvian government, the United States also discovered that it delayed and avoided reform despite its promises. As Fuller prepared for his new assignment, he received instructions from the State Department on the best way to proceed. In a letter to Fuller, Huntington Wilson, act ing Secretary of State, updated Fuller on his instructions to work with the British officer. Wilson referenced 122 Philander Knox to Congress, 6.

PAGE 51

51 could help raise funds for establishing a religious mission in the Putumayo, and he instructed Fuller to assess the viability of a mission. 123 Fuller wrote back when he arrived in Iquitos, already expressing difficu lties. He had a brief chance to meet with Mitchell before he left for a three week trip upriver. Perhaps the biggest blow, however, was that the Prefect Paz Soldan, who had seemed committed to stopping the abuse, was preparing to leave for three months in Europe. Fuller relayed doubts that Paz Soldan would ever return after being threatened by powerful actors in Iquitos. 124 grown as he spent more time investigating the sit uation in Iquitos. He observed that the Company men in Iquitos held great wealth and influence. The people in Iquitos seemed to love managed to get his arrest warrant thrown out. Indeed, by the time Fuller arrived, Zumaeta had been elected to several powerful positions in Iquitos. The fact that he was elected, not appointed, indicated the extent to which the Company had ingratiated themselves in the eyes of the Iquitos of the cruel and inhumane treatment, generally regard the Indians as placed here by Providence for the use and benefit of the white man and as having no rights that the white man need 125 Thus, the problem lay not only with the Company and the Peruvian government, but reinforced those recognized by Casement in h is report. Casement even suggest ed methods to shift public opinion. 126 123 Huntington Wilson to Stuart Fuller, April 6, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 12. 124 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, May 31, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 13. 125 Stuart Fuller to Secret ary of State, July 1, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 14. 126 Roger Casement to Sir Edward Grey, February 5, 1912, in Correspondence, 164.

PAGE 52

52 peonage. He lamented the difficulty of dismantling the system because Peru needed to compete with other rubber sources. 127 Fuller also discovered an additional form of labor abuse, which labor. 128 Yet the citizens of Iquitos seemed to justify this system by claimin g the wards were like part of the family, echoing arguments used to justify slavery in the United States. Fuller expanded on the failure of justice in the Putumayo case. Those accused of the worst crimes remained out of reach of the Peruvian authorities; i n fact, the government had given up on catching most of the criminals. 129 As Fuller pondered a method to rectify the situation, he urged for administration and judici 130 Fuller, a newcomer to the case, had not yet lost his earnest confidence enact justice. Fuller expressed a great belief in the need for strong governmental reforms, for h e to halt the atrocities. He recognized the local corruption: the justice of the peace for the Putumayo, Manuel Torrico, was also an employee of the Company. Fuller also commented that the possibility of losi ng territory to Ecuador or Colombia seemed to be the only motivation for reform. 131 Fuller suggested the threat of this territory loss could be an effective catalyst for change, although he could not take that position officially. The Company seemed to capit alize on this fear as they argued that the Colombians did 127 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, July 1, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 15. 128 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 16. 129 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 20. 130 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 20. 131 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, July 15, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 27.

PAGE 53

53 not treat the Indians well, so Peru must retain control of the territory if there could be any hope for reform. 132 The Company and the Peruvian government often blamed Colombians for the crimes for wh ich the Company was accused. Fuller, meanwhile, attempted to establish his legitimacy in investigating the situation for his government. He contacted the acting prefect in Iquitos on July 10, asking what measures were being taken to protect the Indians a nd punish the guilty. He justified his inquiry under the guise of assessing the situation for Church missions. 133 If the United States would send funds and its citizens as missionaries, the U.S government needed assurances of safety. In his report, Fuller al until January 1, 1913. This delay prompted the British Foreign Office t published. Although the British government expected, and perhaps hoped for some outrage in Iquitos, Fuller reported that the report received little attention. Rather, the Lima newspaper El Oriente published telegrams that denied the accusations and claimed the abuse was false. Fuller also explained the local resentment in Iquito s as the residents saw the United States and the The Peruvian author con whether the solicitude that these two powerful nations have in making us appear to the wo rld like 132 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, July 16, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 34. 133 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, July 10, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 28.

PAGE 54

54 a nation of savages, where it is necessary to penetrate to punish and civilize, may not conceal a 134 muster resistance to the Western incursion. The autho r also argued that the abuse had ended, and the leaders were hiding out elsewhere, therefore precluding the need for British and American intervention. While the article demonstrated the opposition faced by Fuller and Mitchell, they continued to develop th eir plans for their investigations. Fuller, satisfied he had gathered all the information he could in Iquitos, soon prepared for a trip up the Putumayo to visit the Company stations and investigate any progress on the conditions of the Indians. Moreover Fuller would travel with the British Consul Mitchell, to assess the truth, however, w as dampened by their need to travel on Company launches. 135 The men plan ned to depart the first week of August, and on August 5 th Fuller relayed his last piece of correspondence before the communication blackout in the Putumayo. 136 Fuller informed the State Department that he had spoken with a Peruvian military officer who reve aled that the Company still carried out abuse against the Indians. The local authorities failed to do anything but deceive the Peruvian government. When the officer attempted to speak out, he was reprimanded to confine himself to military, not civil, affai rs. 137 This confirmation of abuse from a Peruvian military officer reinforced the need for substantial, committed change in the Putumayo. 134 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, July 31, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 41. 135 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 38. 136 While traveling up river, Fuller was not able to send le tters back to the United States because of lack of secure transportation for his communication. 137 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, August 5, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 43.

PAGE 55

55 Although Fuller was forced to repeatedly justify his presence to the Company authorities, who resented his interference, he was eager to complete his investigation. Fuller sent his report of conditions in the Putumayo on October 28, assessing that the Company had made small improvements, yet the Peruvian government still failed to do anything to ameliorate the conditions. F long after they departed Iquitos, the men learned that the Peruvian Consul General at Manaus, presence, noting accounts to indicate that the 138 In fact, in a meeting with Casement, Dr. Paredes ha d or the ignorance in which 139 Worse, the two consuls were joined by Arana and his brothers, making any independent conclusions difficult. Altogether, it was clear tha t the Company hamper ed their efforts. For example, Rey de Castro tried to delay the investigation at multiple points, and the consuls found themselves being spied on constantly by Company personnel, unable to talk to the Indians alone. Fuller concluded tha t to truly understand the local situation, a government agent would need to live there for one year independently and well paid. This type of honest person, Fuller added, would be difficult to find. 140 As Fuller observed the conditions at the rubber station reforms were minimal. Se or Tizon, who Casement believed was one of the few Company agents invested in reform, assured Fuller that the Company had abolished the commission based 138 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, October 28, 1912, in Slavery in Peru, 46. 139 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 165. 140 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 50.

PAGE 56

56 payment system for white employees. Tizon a rgued that without the need to bring in a higher quantity of rubber, the Company eliminated the incentive for abuse. 141 Though Fuller acknowledged that the abuse was not as severe, and the floggings were more intermittent, he believed the commission system s till existed, prompting the Indians to work in fear. The rubber forced labor, whether it is secured and kept by the rifle or by a system of peonage based on adva 142 In the rare moments when Fuller was able to conduct honest, unsupervised interviews with Indians, they told him they primarily wanted the white people out of the area. Although their conditions had improved slightly, the Indians of c ourse resented the rubber system forced upon them. According to Fuller, they possessed little concept of the 143 Thus, the Indians lacked any identity as Peruvians themselves. Their hoped for solution was resistance to the incursion of other Peruvians into their area. indictments as faulty, wondering if the report was flawed on purpose to make pr osecutions difficult. 144 Yet, Fuller argued that political and economic issues continued to motivate interest in Putumayo reform 145 The Company, nonetheless blocked reform and was waiting for the attention to dissipate, so they could re plenish their rubber supply. Indeed, they saw good reason to let the Indian population recover whereby they would 141 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 58. 142 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 60. 143 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 61. 144 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 5 6. 145 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 57.

PAGE 57

57 have access to a renewed labor source. Although Fuller, like Casement, feared a vacuum of wors en condition s he urged greater punishments of Company criminals and more effective reform strategies. Fuller concluded his report by lamenting the difficulty of establishing missions in the region, especially foreign ones, due to local resistance and lack of Company support. 146 missions as a solution, and the British and American hope for a civilizing Church presence case, w ere brought before the U.S. House of Representatives on August 1, 1913. While the United States condemned the system and called for reform, their role in demanding Peruvian action declined. The difficulty of achieving substantial change, as well as Britain interest, allowed the case to fall out of public interest. Western Interest Wan es The British government also debated the issue, questioning numerous witnesses, including the Company owners and Julio Cesar Arana himself. In November 1913, the se lect committee on the Putumayo issue promoted a petition with three recommendations. Committee members wanted to modify the Slave Trade Acts to include British companies in the illegality of slave owning and slave trading. They also wanted to reexamine the British antislavery treaties with foreign powers. Finally, the committee suggested the Foreign Office should expand its training of consuls to investigate treatment of indigenous populations in remote regions of the world. 147 ed suggestions promoted by Casement, who believed the British government could play a larger role in ensuring rights for disenfranchised groups 146 Stuart Fuller to Secretary of State, 62. 147 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 248.

PAGE 58

58 across the world. Thus, Casement not only revolutionized understandings of human rights, but he also expanded th e role of diplomacy in protecting those rights. Yet, even as the British government seemed to be increasing its international waned Instead, Casement began to focus on Irish iss ues, drawing parallels between the suffering of the Irish at the hands of British imperialism to the subjugation of the Indians by white Peruvians. Although Casement suggested various lines of questioning for the Parliamentary inquiry, he was cynical about the possibility of change: will promise & leave everything as before to the men on the spot & the F.O. will, perforce, be required to accept this ending & so the whole question closes. The other blackguards will lift up their heads, & in a brief space the old game will go on with 148 Frustrated with years of the denials and empty promises from the Peruvians, Casement lamented August 1, 1913. 149 tions to improve international protections against slavery, the British government soon moved on from the Putumayo issue. Europe was facing its own problems with the onslaught of World War I; July 9, 1914 marked the last time the British government or Brit ish newspapers would mention the Putumayo. 150 Although Arana agreed to testify in front of Parliament in England, he managed to avoid most of the direct questions, denying his own culpability in the abuse. He also escaped 148 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 224. Casement expressed this cynicism in a letter to Charles Roberts, the member of Parliament chairing the Select Committee on the Putumayo. 149 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 253. 150 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 249.

PAGE 59

59 his arrest warrant issued in Peru, e asily hiding out in Brazil for a while before returning to Peru with his warrant thrown out. Arana assumed a comfortable life in Lima, even serving as a senator in the early 1920s. Ironically, he ran his campaign on promises of Indian protection. 151 151 Mitchell, The Amazon Journal, 69.

PAGE 60

60 Conclusion Unfortunately, Casement found his reputation tarnished in Britain after he was arrested in 1916 for participating in the Irish rebellion. As his trial progressed, the British government brought forth the supposed Black Diaries as evidence, hopin g to sway public opinion against Casement. In light of this public shame, Casement was found guilty and hung for treason on August 3 1916, prematurely ending his legacy of humanitarianism. 152 work in the Putumayo had influenced action by the British and United States governments in pressuring the Peruvian government to enact reform, his influence quickly faded as the two countries sought an end to their involvement in the Putumayo. In September 1913, the United States consulate in Iquit os closed, and in May, 1916, the British legation in Lima declared an end were originally formulated by a man whose name is now the subject of universal reprobati 153 Thus, the context and driving force for diplomatic pressure dissipated, allowing a renewal of abuse against the Indians The Franciscans established a mission at La Chorrera in November 1912, yet it only lasted five years, the efficacy of its purpose 154 Not long to rid the region of whites, according to Father Leo Sambrook, the Irish missionary in charge of the La Ch orrera mission. He believed the current punishments were less severe than those Casement had witnessed but the Indians continued to be beaten and refused to accept the abuse any longer. However, the retaliation by the white men from Iquitos violently repr essed further 152 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 257. 153 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 264. 154 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 265.

PAGE 61

61 rebellion. The mission aries soon departed as their proselytizing proved ineffective in reducing violence Despite the sharp decline in the Indian population and the speculations of herbal abortifacients, wherein the Indians would rather abort their children than bring them into a world destined for abuse, the number of Indians remained stable after 1912, at around five thousand. Considering estimates of fifty thousand Indians in the region prior to the incursion of the rubber company, the deci mation of human life is disturbing. Perhaps, the factor that saved the Indians from complete extinction was the shift of the rubber production industry from harvest in South America to new plantations in Southeast Asia. As rubber demand grew in the intern ational market, many botanists and businessmen attempted to create rubber plantations to increase production. However, the Amazon soil was not conducive to plantations, and the proximity of planted rubber trees made them vulnerable to disease. 155 Instead th e plantation efforts moved to Southeast Asia, where cheap land and labor facilitated 156 Certainly, the Indians, lacking power and resources to resist Peruvi an incursion, somewhat. In the end, in border negotiations with Colombia in the 1920s, Peru lost the territory there. 157 Casement was certainly a complex man; despite some paternalistic views, he undeniably advanced the cause of human rights for indigenous populations around the world. His work in the Putumayo prompted diplomatic pressure from Britain and the Unite d States that forced Peru to at least face the issue, rather than deny its existence. Although the Peruvian government 155 Weinstein, The Amazon Rubber Boom, 32 33. 156 Weinstein, The Amazon Rubber Boom, 218. 157 Goodman, The Devil and Mr. Casement, 260.

PAGE 62

62 effectively failed to enact justice and protect the Indians, the system of slavery was not allowed to continue unhampered. Some reforms w ere made, and the Indians were not totally wiped out. At the very least, Casement pioneered the diplomatic role in eradicating global slavery and promoted an early understanding of human rights.

PAGE 63

63 Bibliography Primary Sources Casement, Roger, and Angus Mitchell. The Amazon J ournal of Roger Casement London: Anaconda Editions, 1997. Correspondence Respecting the Treatment of British Colonial Subjects and Native Indians employed in the collection of Rubber in the Putumayo District, 1912. Cd. 6266. HathiTru st Digital Library https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015012075860;view=1up;seq=849 Hardenburg, Walter. and an account of the atrocities committed upon the Indians therein. London: T.F. Unwin, 1912. Slavery in Peru. Message from the president of the United States, transmitting report of the secretary of State, with accompanying papers, concerning the alleged existence of slavery in Peru Washington, DC: GPO, 1913. HathiTrust Digital Library http ://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433075939847 Secondary Sources Clayton, Lawrence. Peru and the United States: The Condor and the Eagle. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1999. Goodman, Jordan. The D evil and Mr. Casement: O ne M an's B attle for H uman R ights in South America's H eart of D arkness New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010. Inglis, Brian. Roger Casement New York: Harcourt Jovanovich, 1974. Mitchell, Angus, Roger Casement, and Laura P. Zuntini de Izarra. Roger Casement in Brazil: Rubber, the Amazon and the Atlantic world, 1884 1916 S o Paulo: Humanitas, 2010.

PAGE 64

64 Reid, B. L. The lives of Roger Casement New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976. Sawyer, Roger. Casement, the flawed hero London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. Weinstein, Barbara. The Amazon Rubber Boom 1850 1920. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1983