Manuel Antonio Mesones Muro
It was really a very ancient wish and at the end of the XIX century, many and meticulous technical and economic studies had been already devoted to it. Only one man undertook the task of exploring the Peruvian regions in all their largeness to see in which one of them the so many times projected railroad could pass.
Mesones Muro's name had been definitively bound to this task to one of the big tributaries of the Amazonas. That's the reason why one of his biographers baptized him as "el hombre del Marañón" (the Marañón's man).
the Marañón's man
The idea of opening an exit to the Pacific Ocean for the Amazon region goes back to 1843. One of the projects contemplated a trip of 650 km, starting from Piura. Project that was supported his author, Jorge von Hassel, who assured that there was not a lowest place in the mountain range of South America. Like it always happens with works of this nature, powerful political and economic interests concerning the projected railroad were already moving . But on April 10, 1902, Mesones, who was then a stranger for everybody, publishes in Lima a documented letter. In this letter, with big authority and command of the topic, he supported and argued that the shortest route for the Marañon had to be projected from Eten, with the advantage that there was stretch of 48 km already built between Eten and Ferreñafe.
Mesones immediately organizes himself an exploratory expedition with his own savings. He proposes to demonstrate what is really convenient to the national interests.
With this purpose, he began his journey on May 18, 1902. This expedition was going to live through one of the most extraordinary adventures in the forest and it would end with the first trip through the pongo de Manseriche and the discovery of the Paso de Porculla, the lowest place of the mountain range of the Andes in South America, at 2,144 msnm. Enrique Brüning and the engineer Eduardo de Habich son were accompanying him.
Conquering thousand of obstacles, the expedition members return and Mesones himself embarks to Lima, where he expounds in the Geographical Society, the result of the expedition, causing sensation on having revealed that in the Cordillera del Norte there was a mountain pass of a little more than 2,000 m. and that the pongo de Manseriche was navigable.
But the reason cannot do very much against the deaf ears of the interests. There begins in Mesones' life a stage of physical and moral sufferings.
Because of bad faith or negligence, a layer of silence was spread about the route to the Marañon. Mesones keeps on studying with more firmness than ever some maps, planes, chronicles and all that he could use for doing a work that a very few people understand, because he was going ahead of his epoch. With his visionary's look, he harbour regional projects, integrating railroads with ports, rivers, navigation systems, telegraphs, etc.
Ten years had passed since his previous expedition and once again, with noble enthusiasm, conquering the indolence and stinginess of the Government employees and authorities, he makes the prowess of arriving to Iquitos in record time sailing along the Marañon, to demonstrate the possibilities of defense of the region.
And as if this is not enough, he embarked on the return in a motorboat, going upriver the pongo de Manseriche with it. In Lima, he undertakes a new campaign in a useless attempt to be opposed to the improvisation that prefers wasting money in small works. The only thing that he received from his pilgrimage around the public offices to preach the truth that he only knows, is that the Government employees pointed him like "el loco Marañon" (The Marañon's crazy man).
Ready to prove once again the veracity of his affirmations, he spends his money up to the last cent in the preparation of the "First commercial expedition from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean".
In times of Leguía he witness the moment when one of his most expensive ideas was about to come true and then collapses. This idea was the diverting the Huancabamba to the Pacific Ocean. Finally, in his last years, was in charge of the directorship of the Brüning Museum of Lambayeque, position from which he was dismissed, when he was about to die in a hospital.es:Manuel Antonio Mesones Muro