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Carlos Fermín Fitzcarrald (1862 – 9 July 1897)[1] was a Peruvian rubber baron of Peruvian-American ancestry. He grew up in the city of Iquitos.

Rubber baron[edit]

He became established as a rubber baron in the late 19th century. Determined to find a way to transport rubber out of the Madre de Dios region, he exploited native workers. He forced them under pain of death to dismantle and transport a ship over a mountain during the turn-of-the-20th-century rubber boom in the Amazon Basin.[2]

He explored the Madre de Dios region of BAP Fitzcarrald in Lake Sandoval, Madre de Dios, Peru. He founded the City of Puerto Maldonado and explored the area that is now the Manu Biosphere Reserve. To achieve this, it was necessary to transport his steam ship piece by piece over the mountains to the Madre de Dios basin. [2]

Fitzcarrald discovered a short passage overland between the Mishagua River, a tributary of the Urubamba, and the Manu, a tributary of the Madre de Dios River. The latter leads into the Ucayali River. The Isthmus of Fitzcarrald was later named for him, as discovery of this route enabled transport of rubber from the Madre de Dios region. It was transferred to ships on the Manu, which could reach the Madre de Dios, the Ucayali River and thereby down the Amazon to markets and Atlantic ports for export.[2]

His exploits inspired director and writer Werner Herzog's film Fitzcarraldo (1982).[2] He died at age 35 when his ship Contamana sank in an accident.[2]


  • The Carlos Fermín Fitzcarrald Province was named after him.
  • Puerto Maldonado has a place to view the sunken remains of Fitzcarrald's steam ship, the Contamana, which is located in the Madre de Dios River.
  • The film Fitzcarraldo (1982) was inspired by his efforts, symbolizing the extremes generated during the rubber boom.


  1. ^ Sevillano, Alfonso Cueva (2004). Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald. Diccionario histórico biográfico: peruanos ilustres (in Spanish) (A.F.A. Editores Importadores). p. 222. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Dan James Pantone, PhD., "The Myth of Fitzcarraldo", Iquitos News and Travel, 2004-2006

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Fitzcarrald — Please support Wikipedia.
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21 news items

Movie City News
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 20:04:51 -0800

... perhaps, the sheer audacity of Fitzcarraldo's dream. Klaus Kinski gives an unforgettable performance as the would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, who was based on Peruvian Carlos Fitzcarrald. Herzog's mad vision and stormy relationship ...
International Business Times UK
Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:48:45 -0800

This is the third time that Mashco-Piro members have reached Monte Salvado in search of food this year. Hundreds of Mashco-Piro members were slaughtered by the army of Peruvian baron Carlos Fitzcarrald in 1894. The survivors retreated to remote areas ...
Wall St. Cheat Sheet
Mon, 13 Jan 2014 06:37:30 -0800

When it comes to film production, the classic adage of “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” — better known as Murphy's Law — is often the most crucial way to approach the project. That is because while most art forms consist of only a few ...


Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:45:11 -0800

El 10 de diciembre último, Aldazabal reveló a la fiscalía graves irregularidades en la licitación ganada por Antalsis para el "Mejoramiento del Colegio Carlos Fitzcarrald", con un presupuesto de 25,3 millones de soles. Aldazabal ha señalado que los ...

Medical Daily

Medical Daily
Thu, 22 Aug 2013 11:42:01 -0700

In 1894, the tribe retreated into the rainforest after an attack by the private army of Carlos Fitzcarrald, and since then, not many outsiders have seen them. In 2012, a local guide, who had acted as a translator and in-between for the Mashco-Piro and ...
Washington Post
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 09:14:07 -0700

Its heyday a century ago brought rubber barons, none more colorful than Carlos Fitzcarrald, inspiration for Werner Herzog's film about an obsessed would-be rubber magnate who hauls a steamship overland to reach a rich strand of rubber trees. The end of ...
gato encerrado.net
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:57:12 -0800

La Corte Superior de Justicia de Madre de Dios emitió el pasado 10 de noviembre, una resolución en la que resuelve denunciar ante al Ministerio Público a varios funcionarios y otros involucrados en la remodelación del colegio Carlos Fitzcarrald, obra ...
Red Bull (International)
Sun, 01 May 2011 04:02:47 -0700

100 years earlier in Peru, rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald dreamed of building the world's finest opera house in the town of Iquitos. The fact that Iquitos is located in the middle of the Amazon Basin was an obvious stumbling block. But undeterred, he ...

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