In Iquitos, attempts to reform Belén signaled an authoritarian but negotiated path whereby the organization of urban life maintained many of its customary characteristics, and the built environment remained precariously entangled with its rainforest surroundings. In Manaus, the Brazilian military regime’s treatment of the Cidade Flutuante was part of an aggressive political agenda and of a developmental hubris that imposed the material and cultural structures of the modern city over the jungle. In both cases, Cold War political alignments (such as the urban policies endorsed by the Alliance for Progress), geopolitical ideas, and economic interests helped shape decisions about how to deal with each jungle city, but interpretations of historical social inequality in Amazonia and the political momentum they acquired were eventually decisive. Similarly, popular classes, local elites, national state actors, and environmental dynamics were part of the process, but the politicization of local history was ultimately crucial in reconfiguring the relationships between all these elements.
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