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Peru

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Major Cities of Peru in the continent of South America

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THE PERU COAT OF ARMS
Escudo de armas del Perú.svg
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Location of Peru within South America
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Map of Perú
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Flag Description: three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), white, and red with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a shield bearing a vicuna (representing fauna), a cinchona tree (the source of quinine, signifying flora), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out coins (denoting mineral wealth); red recalls blood shed for independence, white symbolizes peace

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Cures for Diseases, Ailments, Sicknesses that afflict Humans and Animals - HOME PAGE
(View Photo Gallery of Herbs)
Aloe Vera Astragalus Bankoro Bilberry Bitter Orange Black Cohosh Cat's Claw Chamomile Chasteberry Coconut Cranberry Dandelion Echinacea Ephedra European Elder Tree Evening Primrose Fenugreek Feverfew Flaxseed Garlic Ginger Ginkgo Ginseng (Asian) Golden Seal Grape Seed Green Tea Hawthorn Hoodia Horse Chestnut Kava Lavender Licorice Malunggay Moringa Oleifera Milk Thistle Mistletoe Passion Flower Peppermint Oil Red Clover Ringworm Bush (Akapulko) – Cassia alata Saw Palmetto St. John's Wort Tawa Tawa Turmeric Valerian Yohimbe
accept the bitter to get better

Official name República del Perú (Spanish) (Republic of Peru)
Form of government unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house (Congress of the Republic [130])
Head of state and government President: Ollanta Humala, assisted by President of the Council of Ministers: Ana Jara
Capital Lima
Official languages Spanish; Quechua (locally); Aymara (locally)
Official religion none1
Monetary unit nuevo sol (S/.)
Population (2014 est.) 30,148,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 496,225
Total area (sq km) 1,285,216
Urban-rural population

Urban: (2012) 77.6%
Rural: (2012) 22.4%

Life expectancy at birth

Male: (2012) 71.7 years
Female: (2012) 76.9 years

Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate

Male: (2007) 94.9%
Female: (2007) 84.6%

GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2013) 6,390

1The state recognizes Roman Catholicism as an important element in the historical and cultural development of Peru.


Background of Peru

Peru, country in western South America. Except for the Lake Titicaca basin in the southeast, its borders lie in sparsely populated zones. The boundaries with Colombia to the northeast and Brazil to the east traverse lower ranges or tropical forests, whereas the borders with Bolivia to the southeast, Chile to the south, and Ecuador to the northwest run across the high Andes. To the west, territorial waters, reaching 200 miles (320 km) into the Pacific Ocean, are claimed by Peru.

Peru is essentially a tropical country, with its northern tip nearly touching the Equator. Despite its tropical location, a great diversity of climate, of way of life, and of economic activity is brought about by the extremes of elevation and by the southwest winds that sweep in across the cold Peru Current (or Humboldt Current), which flows along its Pacific shoreline. The immense difficulties of travel posed by the Andes have long impeded national unity. Iquitos, on the upper Amazon, lies only about 600 miles (965 km) northeast of Lima, the capital, but, before the airplane, travelers between the cities often chose a 7,000-mile (11,250-km) trip via the Amazon, the Atlantic and Caribbean, the Isthmus of Panama, and the Pacific, rather than the shorter mountain route.

The name Peru is derived from a Quechua Indian word implying land of abundance, a reference to the economic wealth produced by the rich and highly organized Inca civilization that ruled the region for centuries. The country’s vast mineral, agricultural, and marine resources long have served as the economic foundation of the country, but by the late 20th century, tourism had also become a major element of Peru’s economic development. Favourite destinations for international travelers include Machu Picchu, a site of ancient Inca ruins located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, and museums housing artifacts excavated from ancient tombs in northern coastal Peru.

Geography of Peru

The Land

  • Relief

Peru is traditionally described in terms of three broad longitudinal regions: the arid Costa on the west; the rugged Sierra, or Andes, system in the centre; and the wet and forested Amazonia—the tropical Amazon Basin—on the east.

THE COSTA

The coastal plain can be readily divided into three parts—north, central, and south—on the basis of the amount of level land and the distance between the Andean ranges and the sea. Generally speaking, the amount of level coastal land diminishes from north to south. In the northern region, from Ecuador to Chimbote, the plain is typically some 20 to 30 miles (30 to 50 km) wide, with a maximum width of more than 90 miles (140 km) in the Sechura Desert south of Piura. The central coastal region, which stretches from Chimbote to Nazca, is narrower than the northern region and is characterized by areas of rough hills that extend from the Andes to the shores of the ocean. From Nazca southward to the Chilean border the coast is for the most part lined by low mountains; the southern valleys are narrow, and only in scattered spots are level lands found near the ocean.

THE SIERRA, OR ANDEAN, REGION

Along the western edge of South America, the Andes Mountains were created by tectonic activity in which the South American Plate overrode the Nazca Plate. The Peruvian Andes are typical of mountain regions of the Pacific Rim: they are young in geologic terms, and their continuing uplift is manifested by frequent earthquakes and much instability. Three main backbones protrude from the Peruvian Andes; they are commonly called the cordilleras Occidental, Central, and Oriental, although these designations are not used within Peru.

Slopes are relatively gentle in northern Peru, and maximum elevations seldom exceed 16,000 feet (about 5,000 metres). The Andes in central Peru are higher and more rugged. The ranges of the central zone form particularly difficult barriers to movement. The main pass east of Lima, for instance, is at an elevation of more than 15,000 feet (4,500 metres)—higher than many of the peaks in the north. Many of the mountains of central Peru are snowcapped and are a popular attraction for climbers and tourists. Of particular fame is the Cordillera Blanca, with the country’s highest peak, Mount Huascarán, at 22,205 feet (6,768 metres), and nearby Huascarán National Park (designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985). In southern Peru the character of the Andes changes to that of a high plateau region; this is the Puna, with vast tablelands and elevations between 13,000 and 16,000 feet (about 4,000 and 5,000 metres). Scattered peaks, with elevations of up to about 21,000 feet (6,400 metres), protrude above the broad southern plateaus. Beginning northwest of Arequipa, many of the southern peaks form a volcanic chain that stretches into northern Chile, including Ampato, Huacla Huacla, and Misti.

AMAZONIA

The lower slopes of the western Andes merge with the heavily forested tropical lowlands of the Amazon Basin to form the region known as Amazonia, which occupies more than three-fifths of the area of Peru. An area of dense cloud forests is found in the zone immediately adjacent to the Andes. This area is referred to as the Montaña; the jungle areas in the eastern part of Amazonia are referred to as the Selva. The physiography of the region is characterized by rolling hills and level plains that extend eastward to the borders with Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia. Elevations are uniformly low, ranging from about 3,300 feet (1,000 metres) at the eastern edge of the Andes to about 260 feet (80 metres) above sea level along the Amazon River at the Peru–Brazil border.

  • Drainage

Distinctive drainage patterns dissect the Costa, the Sierra, and Amazonia. Of the more than 50 rivers that flow west from the Andes across the Costa, most are short (usually less than 200 miles [325 km] long) and precipitous, with highly seasonal rates of flow. Most have a period of peak flow (usually during the December to March rainy season) followed by a long dry period; only the largest of the Costa rivers, such as the Santa, have dependable year-round flows.

The Sierra not only contains the headwaters of the streams that flow to both the Pacific and the Amazon but also has a large area of internal drainage. In the south several rivers cross the altiplano in Peru to empty into Lake Titicaca, which is shared with Bolivia and is—at an elevation of 12,500 feet (3,810 metres)—the world’s highest navigable body of water.

Amazonia is characterized by great rivers. The Amazon, with the largest volume of flow of any river in the world, has headwaters that rise in several places in the Peruvian Andes; one of the main branches, the Ucayali, originates in southern Peru some 1,700 miles (2,700 km) from its juncture with the main river. The Amazon is navigable, but such large tributaries as the Marañón, Huallaga, and Ucayali can be navigated only for relatively short distances west of the port of Iquitos. These rivers flow northward in long deep valleys before turning east to join the Amazon, forming mostly hindrances to transportation rather than important trade routes.

  • Soils

Peru has a paucity of fertile soil. In the Costa region most of the river valleys have rich soils, derived from silts carried to the coastal plain by rivers flowing out of the Andes. In some areas, however, improper use of the land has led to deposition of salts, thus reducing soil fertility. The soils between valleys, derived largely from windblown sands, are also poorly developed. Sierra soils are fertile in some of the highland basins, but soils on the mountain slopes are often thin and of poor quality. Soils of low fertility covered by heavy forest growth typify Amazonia.

  • Climate

Three broad climatic regions can be readily distinguished in Peru paralleling the three main topographic regions: the Costa, the Sierra, and Amazonia.

COASTAL DESERT

From the Peruvian–Ecuadoran border south to northern Chile, the west coast of South America has one of the Earth’s driest climates. This region is dry for three reasons: (1) the Andes block rain-bearing winds from the Amazon Basin; (2) air masses moving toward the coast out of the South Pacific high-pressure system produce little rainfall; and (3) northward-flowing cold water off the coast (the Peru Current, also known as the Humboldt Current) contributes little moisture to surface air masses. This is not a hot desert, however; average temperatures of the Costa range from 66 °F (19 °C) in winter to 72 °F (22 °C) in summer. Despite its dryness, some parts of the Costa receive sufficient moisture from winter fogs (locally known as garúa) to support some vegetation.

MOUNTAIN CLIMATES

Within the Sierra are a wide range of climates that vary according to such factors as latitude, elevation, local winds, and rain shadow effects. In general, temperatures decrease as elevation increases, and rainfall decreases from north to south and from east to west. During the December–March rainy season, the heaviest precipitation is in the north and along the eastern flanks of the Andes. Temperatures vary little seasonally, but there is a tremendous diurnal range (between daily highs and lows). For example, in Cuzco, at an elevation of 11,152 feet (3,399 metres), the January average temperature is 52 °F (11 °C), and the July average 47 °F (8 °C). The diurnal range, however, is frequently more than 40 °F (22 °C) between the midday maximum and the predawn minimum. Snow falls in the Sierra at higher elevations, and many peaks have permanent snow.

TROPICAL FOREST CLIMATES

Hot humid conditions characterize the Amazonia climate of eastern Peru. Rainfall throughout the region is high (Iquitos averages more than 90 inches [2,200 mm] annually), with precipitation common throughout the year, although it is somewhat heavier from December to March. There is little seasonal variation of temperatures, but the diurnal range again is relatively large. Daytime highs at Iquitos sometimes extend into the mid-90s °F (mid-30s °C), whereas at night temperatures may fall into the 60s °F (upwards of 15 °C).

EL NIÑO

The most severe variation in Peruvian weather patterns occurs irregularly, at intervals of about a decade or so. This change, usually called El Niño (“The Christ Child,” because it usually begins around Christmas time), is but a small part of what is known as the Southern Oscillation, a pan-Pacific reversal of atmospheric and sea conditions. Although the causes of this phenomenon are not completely understood, the effects in Peru are quite clear: (1) warm water replaces the cold water of the Peru Current; (2) heavy rains fall in the coastal desert; and (3) drought occurs in the southern highlands. Severe occurrences of El Niño—such as those that took place in 1925, 1982–83, and 1997–98—cause ecological disasters, including widespread loss of bird and fish life and tremendous damage to modern infrastructure such as roads, canals, and agricultural land.

  • Plant and animal life

Peruvian plant and animal life can be classified according to the three main physiographic regions: the Costa, the Sierra, and Amazonia.

THE COSTA

Evidence of plant life is relatively rare in the barren desert of coastal Peru. Where coastal fog is heavy, lomas (a mix of grasses and other herbaceous species) are common. In the north coast region, some parts of the desert are covered by epiphytes or by stands of sapote or algarroba (mesquite). The most important feature of the coast, however, is the enormous amount of bird, marine mammal, and fish life that abounds in the coastal waters. The biomass includes such small fish as anchovies and such larger types as corvina (sea bass), tuna, swordfish, and marlin. Sea lions thrive in isolated parts of the coast. Bird life is heavy on islands off the coast. Among the most important bird species are pelicans, cormorants, gannets, and various gulls. Humboldt penguins, an endangered species, are found as far north as the Ballestas Islands near the Paracas Peninsula.

THE SIERRA

Two plant communities characterize the Peruvian highlands: puna grasslands at elevations from about 13,000 to 16,000 feet (about 4,000 to 5,000 metres) and, at lower elevations, a mixture of native and introduced species. The Puna has an abundance of forage grasses and is home to the llama, alpaca, vicuña, and guanaco, which are native to the region. At lower elevations grow such domesticates as potatoes, quinoa, and corn (maize). Several species of eucalyptus have replaced native tree species.

AMAZONIA

The eastern slopes of the Andes and the Amazon plains are covered by a heavy growth of tropical forest. In its woods and waters live thousands of plant, insect, and animal species. Interesting mammals of this region include the jaguar, capybara, tapir, and several species of monkey. Of special note is the wide and colourful variety of bird and fish life. Reptiles and insects abound. The forests have a broad assortment of hardwood and softwood species that produce a variety of forest products. Manú National Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, is home to many examples of Amazonia’s diverse plant and animal life. Scattered in isolated fields in the eastern foothills of the Andes, too, are plantations of coca, the plant from which cocaine is illegally produced.

Demography of Peru

The people

  • Pre-Hispanic groups

Throughout the pre-Hispanic period, the peoples of Peru were largely isolated from one another by the rugged topography of the country. At least three times, however, a unifying culture spread across the Andes. Beginning c. 1000 bc, the Chavín culture permeated the region, emanating possibly from the northern ceremonial site of Chavín de Huántar. After about ad 600, the Huari civilization, based at a site of the same name near modern Ayacucho, dominated most of the central Andean region. Finally, the Inca empire developed, eventually to control all of the territory from northern Ecuador to central Chile.

  • Ethnic groups

Quechua Indians constitute almost half of Peru’s population; mestizos (persons of mixed Indian and European descent), slightly less than one-third; and people of European ancestry, about one-eighth. There are also small minority populations of Aymara Indians, Japanese, and others.

Modern Peru’s complex ethnic mosaic is rooted in its history. The Spanish conquerors dominated the indigenous Indians and colonial Peruvian society, including politics, religion, and economics. They brought their European culture, the Spanish language, and the Roman Catholic religion to the region. The Spaniards introduced some African slaves, but the number of slaves transported to this part of South America was not significant; their descendants are found mainly in Lima and a few central coastal valleys. Following independence (1824) and the prohibition of slavery (1854), Chinese arrived to work as farm labourers, and new groups of Spaniards, northern Europeans, and Japanese were among other arrivals. These diverse ethnic groups have tended to intermarry over time.

Differences in lifestyles and attitudes are pronounced. Peruvians of Spanish descent and mestizos live mainly along the coast and control most of the country’s wealth. Typically, a small group of people of European ancestry hold the main power in government and industry. Mestizo culture is a blend of Indian and European ways known as criollo. The Spanish-speaking mestizos make up the middle class of Peruvian society. They hold managerial, administrative, and professional jobs, but some are also small landowners and labourers. The Indians of the Sierra live in extreme poverty in a harsh environment; many remain both indifferent to and outside the mainstream affairs of the country. Land reform acts in the 1960s and ’70s have brought some improvement, such as the dismantling of haciendas—typically large estates with absentee owners—and reallocation of the land in smaller segments to individuals or cooperatives. However, many highland Indians still shepherd llama herds or work tiny plots of land to eke out a living. The lowland Indians of Amazonia occupy a social position similar to that of the highland Indians.

  • Languages

During the pre-Hispanic period, the Inca spread their language, Quechua, across the highlands and along the coast, although some groups near Lake Titicaca spoke Aymara at the time of the Spanish conquest. Quechua and Aymara are still prevalent and have official usage, with Spanish, in regions where they are heavily spoken. Tropical forest areas were outside Incan influence, and the numerous languages and dialects now spoken in the Amazon region reflect the diverse linguistic heritage of the tropical forest peoples. Like their Inca ancestors, the overwhelming number of Indians read neither their own nor any other language. In major cities and tourist areas, however, English and other European languages are commonly spoken.

  • Religion

Peru’s constitution provides for freedom of religion. More than four-fifths of Peruvians are Roman Catholic; Protestants, other Christians, and followers of traditional beliefs form small religious minorities.

Ancient Peru had various polytheistic and pantheistic religions. The most important gods were Viracocha (lord, creator, and father of men) and Pachamama (Earth mother). The Sun, Moon, and such phenomena as lightning and mountains were also worshipped. Each culture raised temples to honour its local divinity.

The Hispanic conquest of the Incas brought new religious traditions to the Andean area. The Spanish indoctrinated the Indians and spread Roman Catholicism, built hundreds of churches, and held fiestas for patron saints in each village. The people were not strict in their practices, however. Protestant sects proliferated during the 20th century, and the Indians have mixed many pagan beliefs into the Roman Catholic rituals to produce a syncretic religion rich in traditions.

Settlement patterns The nature of Peruvian life, whether urban or rural, varies by physiographic region. Modern patterns of settlement also reflect three major influences: (1) pan-Andean cultures of pre-Hispanic Peru; (2) colonial settlement of the Costa and the Sierra; and (3) migration to the cities and colonization of Amazonia.

PRE-HISPANIC PATTERNS

Diverse groups of indigenous Indians occupied Peru during the pre-Hispanic period. When the first migrants arrived in the Andean area, probably more than 13,000 years ago, they were at a hunting and gathering stage of cultural development. Over a long period of time, however, varied and more-sophisticated ways of life were developed. Along the coast, groups became specialized in fishing and shellfish collecting. In the Puna, hunting of vicuña and guanaco was replaced by herding of their related species, the llama and alpaca. Finally, in many parts of Peru agriculture was developed—including the domestication of numerous species of plants, such as beans, quinoa, and potatoes.

At the time of the Spanish arrival, the population of Peru largely resided in rural areas, with society organized around village-level clans (called by the Incas ayllus). The most densely settled areas were the irrigated coastal river valleys and some fertile basins in the highlands—for example, those of Cajamarca, the Mantaro Valley near Huancayo, and Cuzco, as well as the region around Lake Titicaca. Some urban centres had developed as the capitals of kingdoms or empires—such as the Chimú’s Chan Chán near Trujillo and the Inca’s Cuzco—or as religious centres—such as the pre-Incan Pachacamac, south of Lima.

COLONIAL PATTERNS

The Spanish conquest of the Incas in 1532 was accompanied by several dramatic changes in Andean settlement patterns. First, the Spanish were oriented toward their European homeland. Thus, Spanish cities such as Piura (1532), Lima (1535), and Trujillo (1534) were established near ports that were the sea links to Spain. Second, Spanish settlements focused on the extraction of resources, leading to the establishment of mining centres in Huancavelica and at Potosí, in modern Bolivia. Third, after a period of rapid population decline caused mainly by the introduction of European diseases, the Spanish established new towns that brought together the remnants of the surviving rural population. Finally, the Spanish divided the rural agricultural zones into encomiendas, which later formed the basis for haciendas and kept the best farmland in the hands of a few wealthy owners. They established feudal systems based on peasant labour that lasted until the sweeping land reforms of the mid-20th century.

TWENTIETH-CENTURY MIGRATIONS

In Peru, as in most Latin American countries, there was a mass migration to the cities during the 20th century, especially after the end of World War II. Lima was the principal destination during this rural exodus, but Trujillo in the north and Arequipa in the south also received large numbers of migrants. The lack of opportunity in rural regions is usually cited as a major reason for movement to the cities, where migrants seek better health care and educational opportunities, as well as jobs. Some migrants certainly do improve their lot, but others end up in city slums or in squatter settlements at the edges of the cities, where conditions may be little improved over those in the rural areas. Often the best hope for advancement has been in squatter settlements at the edges of the cities, where residents gradually invest in improved housing over a period of decades.

A second focus of migration in Peru has been eastward into the Amazon Basin. At the end of the 19th century, the world rubber boom caused many people to move to the eastern lowlands. Decades later, during the administrations of Fernando Belaúnde (1963–68; 1980–85), the Peruvian government developed programs to improve the economy of Amazonia—a main purpose of which was to divert migrants away from the already crowded coastal urban centres. The completion of roads from Chiclayo on the north coast to Tarapoto in the Huallaga basin and from Lima to Pucallpa along the Ucayali River stimulated this eastward movement. Further development along the eastern side of the Andes was designed to open new settlements in this region. Nevertheless, Amazonia remains the least densely populated of the three regions.

URBAN PERU

The massive 20th-century migration from the countryside brought rapid growth to Peruvian urban centres. Lima became the urban giant, much larger than the next-largest city, but other cities, particularly Trujillo and Chimbote in the north and Arequipa in the south, have also grown rapidly. Since World War II, Peru has changed from a country with a predominantly rural population to one that has more than two-thirds of its people living in cities; more than one-fourth of the country’s population lives within the greater Lima metropolitan area.

Ornate colonial architecture contrasts with modern high-rise buildings in Lima, which is the heart of Peru’s commerce and industry. Large factories are located in the city, but much of the industrial production takes place in the small workshops of the squatter settlements that surround the city. A difficult problem in Lima has been that of matching the urban infrastructure to the city’s growth rate. Lima has only a few freeways and lacks an up-to-date mass transit system. Basic public services are, in many neighbourhoods, rudimentary at best.

Arequipa in the Sierra and Trujillo in the Costa are other major urban centres. Arequipa is the largest city in southern Peru. Founded in 1540, it is often called the White City because most of the colonial-era buildings were constructed out of white volcanic rock (sillar); the historic city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. Agriculture around Arequipa has improved with the completion of several important irrigation projects, and the area has become a major wool-processing and milk-producing region. Trujillo is a major centre in northern Peru but does not dominate the north as Arequipa does the south. That is because other cities, notably Chiclayo, Chimbote, and Piura, share power in the north, whereas Arequipa is rivaled only by Cuzco, which is in the mountains to the east. Trujillo is the historic power centre in northern Peru, however, and it has become an important commercial centre. Its industries include tractor and diesel motor factories as well as food-processing plants. Chavimochic, a massive irrigation scheme built in the 1990s, has greatly expanded agriculture in the Trujillo area. Chimbote, Peru’s best harbour, has a steel mill and numerous fish-processing plants. Chiclayo and Piura mainly serve as regional political and commercial centres.

Most highland cities are small. In the north the principal city, Cajamarca, has long been noted chiefly as the place where the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured and executed the Inca emperor Atahuallpa. The establishment of the Yanacocha gold mines, located about 30 miles (50 km) north of Cajamarca, led to much development in the city in the late 20th century. Huaraz, located near the spectacular peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, about 200 miles (320 km) north of Lima, is a rapidly growing tourist centre that was connected to Lima by a paved road in the mid-1970s. To the south, Cerro de Pasco, an important mining centre, is, at more than 14,200 feet (4,300 metres), one of the world’s highest cities. Huancayo, about 100 miles (160 km) due east of Lima, is a farming centre famous for its colourful Sunday market, where Indians sell such handicrafts as llama-wool blankets, ponchos, and sweaters. The best-known Andean centre is the ancient city of Cuzco, once the capital of the Inca empire. Tourists from all parts of the world visit Inca remains in Cuzco and its environs, as well as its many colonial churches. The Inca past is apparent in many places. Inca walls topped by Spanish-style structures stand along many streets around Cuzco’s main plaza. The most monumental Inca ruins are those of the fortress/sanctuary of Sacsahuamán, built on a hill overlooking the city. The bygone world of Spanish colonial power is evident in the tile-roofed houses and churches of Cuzco; among the most impressive is the cathedral, dating from around 1550. The city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 and serves as the starting point for visitors heading to Machu Picchu.

The major cities of eastern Peru are Iquitos and Pucallpa. Iquitos, on the upper Amazon, was a small jungle outpost until the rubber boom of the 1880s. When the boom ended, lumber became the major product of the area. More recently oil and tourism have contributed to its growth. Pucallpa, on the Ucayali River, is connected to Lima by road and to Iquitos by river vessels. The area around Pucallpa was a major colonization zone in the 1960s.

  • Demographic trends

The population of the Inca empire at the time of the Spanish conquest in 1532 is commonly estimated to have been around 12 million, although estimates vary. Not all of these people, of course, lived within the boundaries of modern Peru, but it is clear that Peru was the most densely settled area in pre-Hispanic South America. During the first century of Spanish domination, the Indian population declined by almost 80 percent—owing to overwork, malnutrition, and the introduction of such diseases as smallpox and measles. The country’s first accurate census (1791) showed the impact of Hispanic dominance of the Inca: the population had declined to slightly more than one million (which included Europeans, people of mixed ancestry, and black slaves). After independence the population gradually increased, mainly as a result of high birth rates. By the mid-1960s the population of Peru was about the same as that of the Inca society at its height—in other words, it took more than 300 years to replace the population lost in the first century of Spanish domination.

During the 20th century, the population of Peru grew rapidly, particularly in the middle decades, and became predominantly urban. The rapid population growth led to a surplus of population in many areas, particularly in the Andean highlands, and overpopulation of the rural areas was one root cause of the mass migration to the cities that occurred in Peru in the decades after World War II. There was a sharp decline in death rates in the period between 1940 and 1970, while, at the same time, birth rates remained very high. Growth rates peaked in the 1970s at more than 3 percent; since then, the spread of birth control (notwithstanding widespread opposition by the Peruvian Roman Catholic hierarchy) and the desire of urban dwellers for smaller families have slowed the rate of population growth. In the early 21st century, Peru’s birth rate and life expectancy were close to the world average; its death rate, slightly lower.

Economy of Peru

Peru is a less-developed country whose economy has long been dependent upon the export of raw materials to the more-developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere. It is one of the world’s leading fishing countries and ranks among the largest producers of bismuth, silver, and copper. In recent decades, the country has struggled to modernize its economy by developing nontraditional export industries as well as the manufacture of consumer items to meet local needs. Serious economic problems persist, however, in several areas. Extensive destruction of transportation and agricultural systems occurs periodically from earthquakes, landslides, El Niño rains, and other natural disasters. The limited agricultural areas do not meet the needs of the rapidly expanding population, resulting in continually rising imports of foodstuffs and difficult attempts to alter the country’s farming and dietary habits. To remedy these and other economic deficiencies, a military government nationalized the petroleum, mining, and other industries in the late 1960s and early 1970s and made extensive efforts at agrarian reform. Nationalization, however, created additional economic problems, including massive government debt, high rates of inflation, a large trade deficit, and strained relations with some of Peru’s trading partners. This caused successive Peruvian governments to reassess the role of the state in the economy and to reopen some economic sectors to private entrepreneurs. These actions, along with structural reforms implemented by the government in the 1990s, contributed to rapid economic growth in the early 21st century.

  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

Traditionally, the primary economic activity in Peru was agriculture, although the importance of this sector of the national economy declined sharply in the last half of the 20th century. Peru imports large amounts of grain (particularly wheat, rice, and maize [corn]), soy, vegetable oils, and dairy products to feed its population. Although ambitious development plans have been designed to improve output, the scarcity of arable land is an extremely limiting factor in Peru.

The most productive agricultural areas are the irrigated valleys of the northern coastal region. Principal crops include sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, fruits, asparagus, soybeans, flowers, and pulses. In the Sierra, cropland is limited and soil fertility low. The main crops in the Sierra region are potatoes and grains, especially wheat, corn, and quinoa, an extremely high-protein cereal. There is little beyond subsistence agriculture in the Amazon region of Peru, although the lowland Indians have traditionally harvested the coca leaves for local use and for trade with the Sierra Indians.

In the 1950s and ’60s Peru’s fishing industry expanded rapidly, based on the harvest of enormous schools of anchovy. These fish were converted into fish meal and oil for export as animal feed. By 1963 Peru was the world’s leading fishing country, measured in terms of tonnage caught. Overfishing, combined with a severe occurrence of the El Niño current in 1971–72, sent the fishing industry into decline. Recovery took place during the late 1970s, although the catch did not approach earlier record levels. Increasing emphasis is put on fish for human consumption in the domestic and export markets. Forestry has been mainly concentrated in the eastern lowlands of Amazonia. Many varieties of commercial wood are found in the Amazon forests, but they are often inaccessible, and exploitation has been hampered by fears of ecological damage.

  • Resources and power

Peru has a wealth of mineral resources. Copper, iron, lead, zinc, bismuth, phosphates, and manganese exist in great quantities of high-yield ores. Gold and silver are found extensively, as are other rare metals, and petroleum fields are located along the far north coast and the northeastern part of Amazonia.

In spite of the country’s potential mineral wealth, exploitation lagged in much of the last third of the 20th century for a number of reasons, including diminished foreign investment, world price fluctuations, lack of transportation facilities, a scarcity of processing plants, the depletion of deposits in many traditional mining areas, and the limitations of the centralized state mining administration. Beginning in the 1970s—and particularly during the 1990s—many of the nationalized mines and unexploited deposits were sold to private Peruvian and international investors. As a result, new mines have been opened, such as the Yanacocha gold-mine complex near Cajamarca, which is now one of the largest producers of gold in the world. Difficulties of geography have hindered developments, however, because some of the most-promising deposits are located at elevations above 12,000 feet (3,600 metres) or in the Amazonian forests.

The hydroelectric potential of Peru is great, especially on the rivers that flow eastward out of the Andes Mountains to the Amazon Basin. Large power plants have been built on the Santa and Mantaro rivers, and other locations have been selected for future development. Most existing plants, both thermal and hydroelectric, have been connected to a coordinated national electric grid. About three-fourths of the country’s electrical energy is produced from hydroelectric sources; as a result, there are some shortages of power during times of drought. In the early 21st century, Peru pursued the development of natural gas as a more-accessible source of power. Much of the country’s power production and demand are in the Lima metropolitan area, where there is a heavy concentration of industry.

  • Manufacturing

Although the Peruvian government has tried to disperse industrial production, most Peruvian factories are located within the greater Lima area. To better utilize the country’s natural resources to achieve self-sustained growth, a strong push has been given to industries such as those producing petroleum, textiles, processed food, steel, cement, fertilizer, and chemicals. Many of these industries either were nationalized or benefited from special tax incentives and trade-protectionist policies during the 1970s; many were reprivatized in the 1990s.

  • Finance

The main institutions dealing with finance in Peru are the large state-owned banks, which control such areas as credit, currency regulation, bank regulation, and foreign exchange. Major financial institutions include the Central Reserve Bank of Peru, the National Bank, and the Development Finance Corporation. Peru’s national currency is the nuevo sol.

In the last decades of the 20th century, government monetary policies focused on inflation and foreign debt, which were serious problems in the 1970s and ’80s. By the mid-1990s, Peru had almost completely controlled inflation, and the growth of the country’s economy was among the fastest in the world. The Lima stock market now plays an important role in the national economy, particularly with the privatization of many former state-run industries.

  • Trade

Foreign trade has been a mainstay of the Peruvian economy since colonial times. The country has historically depended on imported manufactured products, a situation that prompted the government to subsidize import-substitution industries. Peru’s imports have consisted primarily of foodstuffs, consumer goods, transportation equipment, and machinery and component parts for Peruvian industries. Petroleum products formed an expensive share of Peru’s imports in the early 1970s, but increased domestic production, particularly from the Amazon area, turned Peru into a net exporter of oil by 1980. Other important exports have been such primary commodities as ores and minerals (gold, copper, silver, lead, and zinc, for example) and such agricultural products as cotton, sugar, and coffee. Fish meal, a leading export since the 1960s, continued to be important into the 21st century, as did gold, copper, zinc, clothing and textiles, agricultural and livestock products, and petroleum.

The United States is Peru’s major trading partner. Other trading partners include China and South American countries such as Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, and Brazil. In 1969 Peru became a charter member of the Andean Common Market (now Andean Community), but economic problems during the 1980s and early ’90s hampered implementation of trade policies, and Peru suspended its membership in 1992–97. Peru also belongs to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the World Trade Organization.

  • Services, labour, and taxation

The leading employment sectors in Peru have long been agriculture and fishing, mining, and manufacturing, while the services sector was relatively undeveloped. As the population and economy grew in the latter half of the 20th century, the percentage of agricultural workers declined, the mining and manufacturing sectors were relatively stable, and the services sector grew rapidly, employing some three-quarters of the workforce by the early 21st century. However, between 1980 and 1990, wages in Peru fell dramatically; the average manufacturing wage, for example, dropped by almost two-thirds. Although wages did increase in the 1990s, they were still well below 1980 levels at the end of the 20th century. As a result, few workers earn above the official poverty line, and many must work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Unionized workers in the mining and government sectors have done better than those employed in other areas.

A large percentage of Peruvian workers are employed in the “informal” economy, outside government regulation and taxation and without the protections offered by legal employment. Workers in the informal sector include street vendors, those employed in small workshops in squatter settlements, drivers of jitney taxis in larger urban areas, and women making tourist trinkets in their homes. Most informal workers are underemployed in jobs that provide only a limited amount of work (and income) per week.

From the mid-1990s, significant investment in the tourism sector has led to improvements in the country’s economy. Further growth of this sector is anticipated as the government promotes policies to develop tourist infrastructure in various parts of the country.

  • Transportation and telecommunications

Peru’s transportation system faces the challenge of the Andes and of the complex Amazon River system. River traffic in Amazonia is underdeveloped because of the vast distances and low population density of that area. Roadways cross the country from north to south, or they form penetration roads that run east–west over the Andes. The most important road is the Pan American Highway, which parallels the coast from Ecuador to Chile. Other main roads include the trans-Andean, or Central Highway, which follows the Rimac River Valley east from Lima, crossing the Andes and connecting to the Mantaro Valley near Huancayo, and another main road that connects Arequipa to Bolivia through the Andes.

The major Peruvian railroad, the Central Railway, rises from the coast at Callao near Lima to cross the continental divide at about 15,700 feet (4,800 metres). It connects with a branch line to Cerro de Pasco, making it of great importance to the mining industry of the central Andes. A longer line, the Southern Railway, serves Cuzco, Arequipa, and other cities and ports such as Puno on Lake Titicaca; some of its traffic originates in Bolivia. Callao, on the Pacific Ocean, is the largest of Peru’s numerous ports. Iquitos, located on the Amazon some 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from the river’s mouth, is the major river port of eastern Peru.

The rough terrain of Peru compels the use of the airplane, but it also complicates flight. Air transport is especially important in hard-to-reach places of the heavily forested east. Commercial aviation began in 1928, and several domestic companies operate in addition to numerous foreign airlines. Jorge Chávez International Airport, which serves Lima, is the most important of Peru’s airports. Arequipa, Cuzco, and Iquitos are served by international airports as well.

Landline telephone service in Peru is generally of adequate quality, and usage continued to increase from the early 1990s into the 21st century. The use of mobile phones skyrocketed during that same period of time, and usage surpassed that of the traditional land telephone service. Internet service, although limited, began to expand steadily at the beginning of the 21st century.

Government and Society of Peru

'Politics The formal politics of Peru takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the president is both head of state and head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. ' Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Congress. The judiciary is supposed to be independent of the executive and the legislature.

Administrative divisions

Peru is divided into 25 regions and subdivided into 180 provinces and 1,747 districts. The Lima Province, located in the central coastal area, is unique in that it doesn't belong to any of the regions. The city of Lima is located in this province, which is also known as Lima Metropolitan Area.

Military

The military branches of the Peruvian armed forces include the army, navy, and air force. It has the second most powerful army of South America. In the last few years social stability has brought the army back to its original objectives: control of national sovereignty on the sea, land, and air, as well as protecting the people, economy, and infrastructure from threats.

Culture Life of Peru

History of Peru

Early History

Peru has been inhabited since at least the 9th millennium B.C., and the earliest known American civilization, sometimes called the Caral-Supe, emerged there in the Norte Chico region by c.3200 B.C. Peru was later the center of several developed cultures, including the Chavín (see Chavín de Huántar), the Chimu, and the Nazca. In the 12th cent. A.D., the Quechua-speaking Inca settled around Cuzco, and in the mid-15th cent. they established by conquest a large, well-organized empire that included most of present-day Peru and Ecuador and parts of Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. Their fortress city of Machu Picchu is perhaps the most extraordinary ruin in the Americas. Around 1530 the empire was weakened by civil war initiated by Atahualpa and Huáscar, who had been designated as dual heirs by their father, Huayna Capac.

  • The Spanish Conquest

Atahualpa had defeated Huascar for control of the Inca empire by 1532, when Francisco Pizarro, a Spaniard, arrived on the coast of Peru with a small band of adventurers. Atahualpa agreed to meet Pizarro at Cajamarca, where he was imprisoned after refusing to accept Spanish suzerainty and Christianity. Although the emperor's followers collected a huge ransom in gold and silver for his release, the Spaniards executed him in mid-1533. By late 1533, Pizarro had captured Cuzco, the Inca capital, and the empire had disintegrated. In 1535, Pizarro founded Lima, which in 1542 became the center of Spanish rule in South America.

From 1536 to 1544, Manco Capac, who had succeeded Atahualpa as emperor, led several unsuccessful uprisings against the Spaniards. At the same time, Pizarro and his brothers and companions (including Sebastián de Benalcázar) were unsuccessfully challenged by Pedro de Alvarado and then by Diego de Almagro and his son, who was defeated (1542) by Vaca de Castro, a representative of the Spanish crown sent to restore order. Pizarro forced the natives held in encomienda to work in the mines, on the lands of Spanish landlords, and in the small textile mills ( obrajes ).

The New Laws of 1542, which would have ended the abuses of the encomienda system, caused Gonzalo Pizarro to revolt (1544). He defeated the viceroy, Blasco Núñez Vela, but was in turn defeated (and executed) by Pedro de la Gasca in 1548. However, the New Laws were never administered for the benefit of the native peoples.

Francisco de Toledo, who was viceroy from 1569 to 1581, improved administration, defeated a revolt under the Inca Tupac Amaru, and resettled the natives in new villages, or reductions. The viceroyalty of Peru was expanded to include all of Spanish-ruled South America except Venezuela, and the mining of silver and gold increased. Lima was the administrative, religious, economic, and cultural center of the viceroyalty.

In the 18th cent. Peru was drastically reduced in size by the creation of the viceroyalty of New Granada and a viceroyalty centered at Buenos Aires (see Argentina); as a result, Lima lost control over considerable trade and mineral wealth. At the same time, government in Peru was reformed, but Spaniards retained almost complete control in the viceroyalty, and the indigenous peoples and creoles (persons of Spanish descent born in Peru) remained powerless and poor. Led by a man who called himself Tupac Amaru in reference to his alleged Inca ancestor, the native inhabitants revolted in 1780, but were defeated by 1783. There were a few additional uprisings in the early 19th cent.

  • Independence

The ideas of the French Revolution, and Napoleon I's conquest (1808) of Spain, led to strong independence movements in all of Spain's Latin American holdings except Peru. Peru's loyalty to Spain was due to the relatively large number of Spaniards who resided there, to the concentration of Spanish power at Lima, and to the efficiency of the government in the viceroyalty. As a result, Peru achieved independence (1821) largely because of the efforts of outsiders, notably José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar.

After he had ended Spanish rule in Chile in 1818, San Martín captured the Peruvian port of Pisco in 1820. Shortly thereafter the viceroy evacuated Lima, and on July 28, 1821, San Martín proclaimed the independence of Peru. However, Spanish forces remained in the interior. Bolívar took over the leadership of the liberation movement in 1822, and in 1824 he and his aides Antonio José de Sucre and Andrés Santa Cruz assured Peru's independence by defeating Spain at the battles of Junín and Ayacucho.

Santa Cruz left Peru to govern Bolivia in 1828, and government in Peru became confused as several military leaders vied for power. Taking advantage of the disorder, Santa Cruz joined Bolivia and Peru in a confederation in 1836. Fearing the power of the new state, Chile intervened militarily and the confederation was terminated (1839) after the battle of Yungay. Peru continued to be torn by civil strife until the emergence of Gen. Ramón Castilla, who was president from 1844 to 1850 and from 1855 to 1862. Under Castilla, Peru enjoyed stability and economic development.

  • The Late Nineteenth Century

A republican constitution was promulgated in 1860 and remained in effect until 1920. After Castilla, Peruvian politics again were in turmoil, due to corruption, growing foreign indebtedness, and an attempt by Spain to regain Peru. Claiming that Peru had not met its financial obligations, Spain seized the guano-rich Chincha Islands in 1863. Aided by Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, Peru defeated the Spanish at Callao in 1866; a truce was signed in 1871 and in 1879 Spain recognized Peru's independence. Meanwhile, President José Balta (1868–72) undertook a costly program of public works, including the building of Peru's first railroad, between Mollendo and Arequipa. Foreign debt had risen dramatically by the time the country's first civilian president, Manuel Pardo (1872–76), inaugurated a series of economic reforms.

In 1873, Peru signed a secret defensive alliance with Bolivia, which led to war with Chile (see Pacific, War of the) in 1879. Chile badly defeated the allies and by the Treaty of Ancón (1883) Peru had to yield the province of Tarapacá and also to surrender the other southern coastal provinces of Tacna and Arica to Chilean administration for a period of 10 years, when a plebiscite was to be held. There ensued the Tacna-Arica Controversy, which was not resolved until 1929, and tensions over the border have periodically flared since. Peru emerged nearly bankrupt from the war. President A. A. Cáceres (1886–90) created a syndicate of foreign capitalists to manage the guano deposits and the railroads, and foreign influence and holdings in Peru grew stronger.

  • Twentieth-Century Peru

The first third of the century was dominated by President Augusto B. Leguía (1908–12, 1919–30), who for much of his tenure was a virtual dictator; he promoted economic development in the interest of the country's dominant oligarchy. In 1924 a new political party, the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA), was founded by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre; it called for radical reform, especially of the condition of native peoples. The party was banned by Leguía and was again outlawed after Sánchez Cerro overthrew Leguía in 1930.

The 1930s were marked by bitter rivalry between leftists and rightists, with the latter dominating politics for most of the decade. However, a more moderate course was followed by President Manuel Prado y Ugarteche (1939–45). Peru was involved in a serious boundary dispute with Ecuador in 1941 and sided with the Allies in World War II. APRA was allowed to take part in the 1945 elections and backed the victorious moderate, José Luís Bustamante y Rivero. However, APRA split with Bustamante in 1947, and the resulting disputes led to a military coup by Manuel Odría in 1948. Odría, a conservative, was president until 1956, when Prado was again elected, this time with APRA support.

In the 1962 presidential elections Haya de la Torre won by a small plurality, but did not receive the required one third of the total vote. The military seized power and conducted elections in 1963 that were won by Fernando Belaúnde Terry, a moderate reformer. Belaúnde opened up the interior of the country by constructing a highway system through the Andes, but his regime was plagued by budgetary deficits and spiraling inflation. In 1968 he was deposed by a military junta, which installed General Juan Velasco Alvarado as president. Velasco suspended the constitution and assumed dictatorial powers, seeking to diversify the country's economy by exploiting its natural resources (especially petroleum) with foreign help but without foreign control.

In 1970 a severe earthquake in N Peru killed about 50,000 people. In 1975, Gen. Francisco Morales Bermúdez headed a new junta, and in 1980, a new constitution came into force and civilian government was restored. Both Morales and his successor, Belaúnde, instituted austerity programs to aid the failing economy. Inflation soared, leading to civil unrest, much of it led by a Maoist guerrilla group based in the Andes Mts. known as the Shining Path and by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). Alan García Pérez, elected president in 1985, instituted a broad range of social and economic reforms, but the cost of military actions against the insurgents continued to strain the economy, which suffered from rampaging inflation. His term was also marred by cronyism and corruption and charges of army abuses in actions against the Shining Path, and he left office widely discredited.

In 1990, Alberto Fujimori defeated author Mario Vargas Llosa for the presidency. Insurgent violence continued, and in Apr., 1992, Fujimori suspended the constitution, claiming that emergency action was necessary to fight guerrillas, drug traffickers, and corruption. By Sept., 1992, many Shining Path leaders had been captured and jailed, and the rebel group no longer posed a serious threat to the government. After three years of economic liberalization, hyperinflation was eliminated, and the economy was growing at a good rate. In 1993 voters approved a new constitution that allowed Fujimori to run for a second consecutive term; he was easily reelected in 1995, and his party won a large majority in the new congress. There was, however, international criticism of his authoritarian policies and concern over the power of the Peruvian army. In 1995 Peru and Ecuador clashed in a brief border war; the dispute was resolved by treaty in 1998.

On Dec. 17, 1996, a group of MRTA guerrillas infiltrated a reception at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima and took about 600 hostages, many of whom were soon released; the MRTA's demands included freedom for their jailed comrades. Following months of failed negotiations, Peruvian forces stormed the building on Apr. 22, 1997, saving all but one of the remaining 72 hostages and killing 14 guerrillas. In the late 1990s, Fujimori continued with his privatization program as Peru struggled with a recession due in part to the effects of a particularly damaging El Niño and a financial crisis in Asia; the economy began recovering in 1999.

In the 2000 presidential contest, his government orchestrated widespread media attacks on his opponents, but despite this Alejandro Toledo Manrique, a business-school professor, forced Fujimori into a runoff election. The election commission was accused by observers of vote tampering and trying to steal the first-round election, and Toledo withdrew from the runoff, expecting Fujimori's campaign to engage again in fraud. In the congressional elections, Fujimori's party, Peru 2000, lost control of the congress but remained the largest bloc, with more than 40% of the seats.

In September his chief adviser and head of the intelligence service, Vladimiro Montesinos, was revealed to have bribed opposition lawmakers, and Fujimori abruptly offered to hold new presidential elections in which he would not run. Ongoing political instability and the possibility of a corruption investigation led Fujimori to resign in November while traveling in Japan, where he remained in exile. The congress, however, refused to accept his resignation and declared him morally incapacitated and the presidency vacant.

Congress speaker Valentín Paniagua became interim president, and new congressional and presidential elections were scheduled for the following year. In June, 2001, Toledo was elected president, after defeating former president Alan García in a runoff. Although the electorate showed no great enthusiasm for either candidate, the election was notable for being nearly free of irregularities. Toledo sought to purge Peru's military and security forces of supporters of Fujimori and Montesinos; the latter was arrested in mid-2001 and later convicted of corruption, plotting to overthrow Fujimori, and other charges.

Toledo's popularity subsequently evaporated, however, as a result of political promises that went unfulfilled and ethical scandals involving several ministers in his government. Elections in Nov., 2002, for the newly established regional governments were a victory for Alan García's APRA party. In July, 2004, Toledo was charged by a former aide with taking a $5 million bribe from a Colombian company. Toledo denied the accusation, but the charge further eroded what little public standing he had. In Jan., 2005, a group of 150 army reservists staged an abortive uprising in Andahuaylas, in S central Peru, and called for Toledo's resignation; they surrendered after four days. Charges that Toledo and his party had been involved in forging signatures to register for the 2000 elections led in 2005 to a congressional committee investigation that, after splitting along party lines, accused Toledo of electoral fraud. The congress, however, did not vote to impeach Toledo.

In Oct. 2005, voters rejected a goverment proposal to consolidate 25 of Peru's regions into five "macroregions." An ambush by Shining Path guerrillas in December led to the declaration of a two-month state of emergency in E Peru, and the group experienced something of a resurgence beginning in 2007 due to payments it derived from protecting the illegal cocaine trade. Peru accused Venezuelan president Chávez of interfering in its politics in Jan., 2006, when he met with and offered support to Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala, a leftist nationalist who had led an abortive military uprising in 2000 (and whose brother had led the 2005 uprising). The two nations subsequently (April) recalled their ambassadors, but agreed to resume ties eight months later. Also in January, an attempt to register Fujimori, who had visited Chile and was arrested there at Peru's request, as a presidential candidate was denied.

Humala finished first in the Apr., 2006, presidential election, but fell well short of a majority of the vote. Humala was forced into a runoff with former president Alan García, who won the post after the June vote largely because he was regarded by many as the lesser of two evils. Humala's party, however, won the largest bloc of seats in the Peruvian congress. In Dec., 2006, Humala was charged with rebellion in connection with the 2005 Andahuaylas uprising.

An earthquake in Aug., 2007, caused extensive devastation in the Ica region of SW Peru; more than 500 persons were killed. Fujimori was extradited from Chile to Peru in Sept., 2007, and he was subsequently convicted (2007, 2009) in four cases arising from his presidency. In Oct., 2008, seven members of García's cabinet lost their posts over their possible involvement in a corruption scandal in which a Norwegian oil exploration company was accused of paying kickbacks in return for government contracts. The cabinet changes were also partially prompted by demonstrations over the regional distribution of mining revenue.

In Apr., 2009, there were demonstrations and blockades in Peru's Amazonian region against laws passed by decree in 2007–8 that governed the economic development of government lands; indigenous peoples feared that the laws would permit businesses to gain control of their lands. In June, following a deadly clash between government forces and protesters in which dozens died, the laws were repealed, and the prime minister resigned in July. The incident was the worst of a series of confrontations with indigenous groups over resource development that marked the last half of García's second term.

In Apr., 2011, Humala again won the first round of the presidential election, with about one third of the vote; Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the former president, placed second. In the June runoff, Humala defeated Fujimori by a relatively narrow margin. The new government subsequently faced massive antimining protests that turned violent and deadly, and led to a declaration of a state of emergency. One of Humala's two vice presidents, Omar Chehade, resigned in Jan., 2012, after he faced impeachment over corruption charges; Chehade had resisted Humala's call that he resign. In Apr., 2012, the government said a remnant Shining Path group operating in central Peru had been defeated; other remnants, in SE Peru, were more successful in resisting government forces.

Peru in 2004

Peru Area: 1,285,216 sq km (496,225 sq mi) Population (2004 est.): 27,544,000 Capital: Lima Head of state and government: President Alejandro Toledo In 2004 Peru exemplified a classic case of a less ...[Peru in 2004|>>>Read On<<<]]


Disclaimer

This is not the official site of this country. Most of the information in this site were taken from the U.S. Department of State, The Central Intelligence Agency, The United Nations, [1],[2], [3], [4], [5],[6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14],[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24],[25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30],[31], [32], [33], [34], and the [35].

Other sources of information will be mentioned as they are posted.