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Loreto is one of the twenty-four departments that, together with the Constitutional Province of Callao, form the Republic of Peru. Its capital and most populated city is Iquitos. It is located in the northeast of the country, in the Amazon, Peruvian bordering on the north with Ecuador and Colombia, on the east with Brazil, on the south with Ucayali and on the west with San Martín and Amazonas. With 368 852 km² it is the largest region, and the seventh largest subnational entity in South America and throughout Latin America - behind five states in Brazil and the department of Santa Cruz in Bolivia - and with 2.4 inhabitants / km², the second less densely populated, ahead of Madre de Dios.
It was founded on February 7,1866. Along its plain territory sinuously run extensive rivers drained from the Cordillera de los Andes that cause seasonal flooding. In this region the Marañón and Ucayali rivers join and the main course of the Amazon River is born. The Loreto territory has more than one million inhabitants, initially it was populated by successive waves of wandering indigenous groups. During the Colony, few missions succeeded in forming some permanent populations. At the end of the 19th century, the explosion of the Rubber Fiebre produced sudden fortunes in the hands of rubber tappers and the forced slavery of hundreds of indigenous people.
During this period, the rivers of the jungle were explored and the city of Iquitos, departmental capital, was consolidated since the division of the Department of San Martín in 1897. Loreto is also the most diverse region in ethnic groups and indigenous languages. Still used in the region are isolated languages and houses five families of endemic languages. Many other linguistic varieties have recently disappeared, such as the muniche.