Peru

Peru

Overview
Peru officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, on the east by Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, on the southeast by Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, on the south by Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

.

Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization
Norte Chico civilization
The Norte Chico civilization was a complex pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru...

, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

. The Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

, which included most of its South American colonies.
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Timeline

1535   Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the capital of Peru.

1540   Arequipa, Peru, is founded.

1551   National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, is founded in Lima, Peru.

1817   An army of 5,423 soldiers, led by General José de San Martín, crosses the Andes from Argentina to liberate Chile and then Peru.

1821   José de San Martín declares the independence of Peru from Spain.

1839   In the Battle of Yungay, Chile defeats an alliance between Peru and Bolivia.

1865   Chincha Islands War: Peru allies with Chile against Spain.

1866   Peruvian defenders fight off Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao.

1879   War of the Pacific is fought between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile takes over Arica and Tarapacá, leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

1879   Chile declares war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

 
Encyclopedia
Peru officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, on the east by Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, on the southeast by Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, on the south by Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

.

Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization
Norte Chico civilization
The Norte Chico civilization was a complex pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru...

, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

. The Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence
Independence of Peru
The Peruvian War of Independence was a series of military conflicts beginning in 1809 that culminated in the proclamation of the independence of Peru by José de San Martín on July 28, 1821. During the previous decade Peru had been a stronghold for royalists, who fought those in favor of...

 in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.

Peru is a representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic divided into 25 regions
Administrative divisions of Peru
The administrative divisions of Peru have changed from time to time, since the nation gained independence from Spain in the early 19th century. The old territorial subdivisions have split or merged due to several reasons, the most common ones being the need for decentralization, and...

. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

. It is a developing country
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

 with a high Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 score and a poverty level around 31%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles.

The Peruvian population, estimated at 29.5 million, is multiethnic
Multiethnic society
A multiethnic society is one with members belonging to more than one ethnic group, in contrast to societies which are ethnically homogenous. In practice, virtually all contemporary national societies are multiethnic...

, including Amerindians
Indigenous peoples in Peru
Indigenous people in Peru comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country's present territory prior to its discovery by Europeans around 1500...

, Europeans
White Latin American
White Latin Americans are the people of Latin America who are white in the racial classification systems used in individual Latin American countries. Persons who are classified as White in one Latin American country may be classified differently in another country...

, Africans, and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

 or other native languages
Indigenous languages of the Americas
Indigenous languages of the Americas are spoken by indigenous peoples from Alaska and Greenland to the southern tip of South America, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. These indigenous languages consist of dozens of distinct language families as well as many language...

. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Etymology


The word Peru is derived from Birú, the name of a local ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel
Bay of San Miguel
The Bay of San Miguel is located on the Pacific coast of Darién, a district of eastern Panama. Bay is located at . It is fed by the Tuira River. At its southern end is Cape Garachiné , and at its northern end is Punta San Lorenzo ....

, Panama, in the early 16th century. When his possessions were visited by Spanish explorers in 1522, they were the southernmost part of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 yet known to Europeans. Thus, when Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro González, Marquess was a Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Incan Empire, and founder of Lima, the modern-day capital of the Republic of Peru.-Early life:...

 explored the regions farther south, they came to be designated Birú or Peru. The Spanish Crown
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

 gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

 as the province of Peru. Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, which became Republic of Peru after the Peruvian War of Independence.

History



The earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to approximately 9,000 years BCE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

. The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization
Norte Chico civilization
The Norte Chico civilization was a complex pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru...

, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BCE. These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures such as Cupisnique
Cupisnique
Cupisnique was a pre-Columbian culture which flourished from ca. 1000 to 200 BC along what is presently Peru's Pacific Coast. The culture had a distinctive style of adobe clay architecture but shared artistic styles and religious symbols with the later Chavin culture which arose in the same area at...

, Chavin
Chavín culture
The Chavín were a civilization that developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru from 900 BC to 200 BC. They extended their influence to other civilizations along the coast. The Chavín were located in the Mosna Valley where the Mosna and Huachecsa rivers merge...

, Paracas
Paracas culture
The Paracas culture was an important Andean society between approximately 800 BCE and 100 BCE, with an extensive knowledge of irrigation and water management. It developed in the Paracas Peninsula, located in what today is the Paracas District of the Pisco Province in the Ica Region...

, Mochica, Nazca
Nazca culture
The Nazca culture was the archaeological culture that flourished from 100 to 800 CE beside the dry southern coast of Peru in the river valleys of the Rio Grande de Nazca drainage and the Ica Valley...

, Wari
Huari Culture
The Wari were a Middle Horizon civilization that flourished in the south-central Andes and coastal area of modern-day Peru, from about CE 500 to 1000...

, and Chimú
Chimú Culture
The Chimú were the residents of Chimor, with its capital at the city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city in the Moche Valley of present-day Trujillo, Peru. The culture arose about 900 AD. The Inca ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui led a campaign which conquered the Chimú around 1470 AD,.This was just fifty...

. In the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

 in pre-Columbian America. Andean societies were based on agriculture, using techniques such as irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 and terracing
Terrace (agriculture)
Terraces are used in farming to cultivate sloped land. Graduated terrace steps are commonly used to farm on hilly or mountainous terrain. Terraced fields decrease erosion and surface runoff, and are effective for growing crops requiring much water, such as rice...

; camelid
Camelid
Camelids are members of the biological family Camelidae, the only living family in the suborder Tylopoda. Dromedaries, Bactrian Camels, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos are in this group....

 husbandry and fishing were also important. Organization relied on reciprocity
Reciprocity (cultural anthropology)
In cultural anthropology and sociology, reciprocity is a way of defining people's informal exchange of goods and labour; that is, people's informal economic systems. It is the basis of most non-market economies. Since virtually all humans live in some kind of society and have at least a few...

 and redistribution
Redistribution (cultural anthropology)
In cultural anthropology and sociology, redistribution is a system of economic exchange within a social group intended to alter the distribution of goods...

 because these societies had no notion of market or money.

In 1532, a group of conquistador
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

s
led by Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro González, Marquess was a Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Incan Empire, and founder of Lima, the modern-day capital of the Republic of Peru.-Early life:...

 defeated and captured Inca Emperor Atahualpa
Atahualpa
Atahualpa, Atahuallpa, Atabalipa, or Atawallpa , was the last Sapa Inca or sovereign emperor of the Tahuantinsuyu, or the Inca Empire, prior to the Spanish conquest of Peru...

. Ten years later, the Spanish Crown established the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of its South American colonies. Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the country in the 1570s with silver mining as its main economic activity and Amerindian forced labor
Mita (Inca)
Mit'a was mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire. Historians use the hispanicized term mita to distinguish the system as it was modified by the Spanish, under whom it became a form of legal servitude which in practise bordered slavery.Mit'a was effectively a form of tribute to...

 as its primary workforce. Peruvian bullion provided revenue for the Spanish Crown and fueled a complex trade network that extended as far as Europe and the Philippines. However, by the 18th century, declining silver production and economic diversification greatly diminished royal income. In response, the Crown enacted the Bourbon Reforms
Bourbon Reforms
The Bourbon Reforms were a set of economic and political legislation introduced by the Spanish Crown under various kings of the House of Bourbon throughout the 18th century. The reforms were intended to stimulate manufacturing and technology in order to modernize Spain...

, a series of edicts that increased taxes and partitioned the Viceroyalty of Peru. The new laws provoked Túpac Amaru II
Túpac Amaru II
Túpac Amaru II was a leader of an indigenous uprising in 1780 against the Spanish in Peru...

's rebellion and other revolts, all of which were defeated.

In the early 19th century, while most of South America was swept by wars of independence
South American Wars of Independence
The Latin American Wars of Independence were the various revolutions that took place during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and resulted in the creation of a number of independent countries in Latin America. These revolutions followed the American and French Revolutions, which had profound...

, Peru remained a royalist stronghold. As the elite hesitated between emancipation and loyalty to the Spanish Monarchy, independence
Independence of Peru
The Peruvian War of Independence was a series of military conflicts beginning in 1809 that culminated in the proclamation of the independence of Peru by José de San Martín on July 28, 1821. During the previous decade Peru had been a stronghold for royalists, who fought those in favor of...

 was achieved only after the military campaigns of José de San Martín
José de San Martín
José Francisco de San Martín, known simply as Don José de San Martín , was an Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain.Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes , he left his mother country at the...

 and Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

. During the early years of the Republic, endemic struggles for power between military leaders caused political instability. National identity was forged during this period, as Bolivarian projects for a Latin American Confederation
Congress of Panama
The Congress of Panama was a congress organized by Simón Bolívar in 1826 with the goal of bringing together the new republics of Latin America to develop a unified policy towards Spain...

 floundered and a union with Bolivia
Peru-Bolivian Confederation
The Peru–Bolivian Confederation was a short-lived confederate state that existed in South America between 1836 and 1839. Its first and only head of state, titled Supreme Protector, was the Bolivian president, Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz....

 proved ephemeral. Between the 1840s and 1860s, Peru enjoyed a period of stability
Guano Era (Peru)
The Guano Era refers to a period of stability and prosperity in Peru during the mid-19th century. It was sustained on the substantial revenues generated by the export of guano and the strong leadership of president Ramón Castilla. The starting date for the guano era is commonly considered to be...

 under the presidency of Ramón Castilla
Ramón Castilla
Ramón Castilla y Marquesado was a Peruvian caudillo and President of Peru four times. His earliest prominent appearance in Peruvian history began with his participation in a commanding role of the army of the Libertadores that helped Peru become an independent nation...

 through increased state revenues from guano
Guano
Guano is the excrement of seabirds, cave dwelling bats, and seals. Guano manure is an effective fertilizer due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and also its lack of odor. It was an important source of nitrates for gunpowder...

 exports. However, by the 1870s, these resources had been squandered, the country was heavily indebted, and political in-fighting was again on the rise.


Peru was defeated by Chile in the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific
War of the Pacific
The War of the Pacific took place in western South America from 1879 through 1883. Chile fought against Bolivia and Peru. Despite cooperation among the three nations in the war against Spain, disputes soon arose over the mineral-rich Peruvian provinces of Tarapaca, Tacna, and Arica, and the...

, losing the provinces of Arica
Arica Province
Arica Province is one of two provinces of Chile's northernmost and most recently created region, Arica and Parinacota . The province is bordered on the north by the Tacna Province of Peru, on the south by the Tamarugal Province in the Tarapacá Region, on the east the Parinacota Province and on the...

 and Tarapacá
Tarapacá Region
The I Tarapacá Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions. It borders the Chilean Arica and Parinacota Region to the north, Bolivia's Oruro Department on the east, the Antofagasta Region on the south and the Pacific Ocean on the west. The port city of Iquique The I Tarapacá...

 in the treaties of Ancón
Treaty of Ancón
The Treaty of Ancón was signed by Chile and Peru on 20 October 1883, in the Ancón District near Lima. It was intended to settle the two nations' remaining territorial differences at the conclusion of their involvement in the War of the Pacific and to stabilise post-bellum relations between...

 and Lima
Treaty of Lima
The Treaty of Lima solved the dispute between Peru and Chile regarding the status of the Chilean administered territories of Tacna and Arica. According to the Treaty, the Tacna-Arica Territory was divided between both countries; Tacna being awarded to Peru and with Chile retaining sovereignty over...

. Internal struggles after the war were followed by a period of stability under the Civilista Party
Civilista Party
The Civilista Party was a conservative political party in Peru.Founded as a counter measure against the growing power of the military in Peru during the first half of the Republic, the party's sole purpose was to establish a civilian rule in the country...

, which lasted until the onset of the authoritarian regime of Augusto B. Leguía
Augusto B. Leguía
Augusto Bernardino Leguía y Salcedo was a Peruvian politician who twice occupied the Presidency of Peru, from 1908 to 1912 and from 1919 to 1930.-Early life:...

. The Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 caused the downfall of Leguía, renewed political turmoil, and the emergence of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance
American Popular Revolutionary Alliance
The Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana is a centre-left Peruvian political party.At the legislative elections held on 9 April 2006, the party won 22.6% of the popular vote and 36 out of 120 seats in the Congress of the Republic...

 (APRA). The rivalry between this organization and a coalition of the elite and the military defined Peruvian politics for the following three decades.

In 1968, the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado
Juan Velasco Alvarado
Juan Francisco Velasco Alvarado was a left-leaning Peruvian General who ruled Peru from 1968 to 1975 under the title of "President of the Revolutionary Government."- Early life :...

, staged a coup against president Fernando Belaunde
Fernando Belaúnde Terry
Fernando Belaúnde Terry was President of Peru for two non-consecutive terms . Deposed by a military coup in 1968, he was re-elected in 1980 after eleven years of military rule...

. The new regime undertook radical reforms aimed at fostering development but failed to gain widespread support. In 1975, General Francisco Morales Bermúdez
Francisco Morales Bermúdez
Francisco Morales Bermúdez Cerruti is a Peruvian general who came to power in Peru in 1975 after deposing his predecessor, General Juan Velasco. His grandfather and all his original family were from the old Peruvian department of Tarapacá, which is now part of the Chilean territory...

 forcefully replaced Velasco, paralyzed reforms, and oversaw the reestablishment of democracy. During the 1980s, Peru faced a considerable external debt, ever-growing inflation, a surge in drug trafficking, and massive political violence
Internal conflict in Peru
It has been estimated that nearly 70,000 people died in the internal conflict in Peru that started in 1980 and, although still ongoing, had greatly wound down by 2000. The principal actors in the war were the Shining Path , the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement and the government of Peru.A great...

. Under the presidency of Alberto Fujimori
Alberto Fujimori
Alberto Fujimori Fujimori served as President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 17 November 2000. A controversial figure, Fujimori has been credited with the creation of Fujimorism, uprooting terrorism in Peru and restoring its macroeconomic stability, though his methods have drawn charges of...

 (1990–2000), the country started to recover; however, accusations of authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights violations forced his resignation after the controversial 2000 elections. Since the end of the Fujimori regime, Peru has tried to fight corruption while sustaining economic growth.

Government




Peru is a presidential
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

 representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic with a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. Under the current constitution, the President is the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

; he or she is elected for five years and can only seek re-election after standing down for at least one full term. The President designates the Prime Minister and, with his advice, the rest of the Council of Ministers. Congress is unicameral
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

 with 130 members elected for a five-year term. Bills may be proposed by either the executive or the legislative branch; they become law after being passed by Congress and promulgated by the President. The judiciary is nominally independent, though political intervention into judicial matters has been common throughout history and arguably continues today.

The Peruvian government is directly elected, and voting is compulsory
Compulsory voting
Compulsory voting is a system in which electors are obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, he or she may be subject to punitive measures such as fines, community service, or perhaps imprisonment if fines are unpaid...

 for all citizens aged 18 to 70. General elections held in 2011
Peruvian general election, 2011
The Peruvian general election, 2011 took place on 10 April 2011. Since no candidate received more than half of all valid votes, a second round was necessary to determine the winner. This second round took place on 5 June and determined the successor of Alan García, as well as 130 members of the...

 ended in a second-round victory for presidential candidate Ollanta Humala
Ollanta Humala
Ollanta Moisés Humala Tasso is a Peruvian politician and the President of Peru. Humala, who previously served as an army officer, lost the presidential election in 2006 but won the 2011 presidential election in a run-off vote...

 of the Gana Perú alliance (51.4% of valid votes) over Keiko Fujimori
Keiko Fujimori
Keiko Sofía Fujimori Higuchi is a Peruvian Fujimorista politician, daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and Susana Higuchi. She served as First Lady, from 1994 to 2000, after her parents divorced, becoming the youngest First Lady in the history of the Americas...

 of Fuerza 2011
Fuerza 2011
Fuerza 2011 is a right-wing Fujimorista political party in Peru. The party is led by Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori and former congresswoman.-Peruvian elections 2011:Force 2011 supports the candidacy of:...

 (48.5%). Congress is currently composed of Gana Perú (47 seats), Fuerza 2011
Fuerza 2011
Fuerza 2011 is a right-wing Fujimorista political party in Peru. The party is led by Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori and former congresswoman.-Peruvian elections 2011:Force 2011 supports the candidacy of:...

 (37 seats), Alianza Parlamentaria (20 seats), Alianza por el Gran Cambio (12 seats), Solidaridad Nacional (8 seats) and Concertación Parlamentaria (6 seats).

Peruvian foreign relations have been dominated by border conflicts with neighboring countries, most of which were settled during the 20th century. Currently, Peru disputes its maritime limits with Chile
Chilean-Peruvian maritime dispute of 2006-2007
The Chilean–Peruvian maritime dispute is a dispute between the Republic of Peru and the Republic of Chile on the sovereignty of an area at sea of approximately in the Pacific Ocean, from the Peruvian version that boundary delimitation between the two countries is still not fixed...

 in the Pacific Ocean. Peru is an active member of several regional blocs and one of the founders of the Andean Community of Nations
Andean Community of Nations
The Andean Community is a customs union comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The trade bloc was called the Andean Pact until 1996 and came into existence with the signing of the Cartagena Agreement in 1969...

. It is also a participant in international organizations such as the Organization of American States
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

 and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. The Peruvian military is composed of an army, a navy and an air force; its primary mission is to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. The armed forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense
Ministry of Defence (Peru)
The Ministry of Defence of Peru is the agency of the Peruvian government responsible for safeguarding of national security on land, sea and air. For such purpose it exercises command over the Peruvian Armed Forces composed of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.-History:The Ministry of Defense of...

 and to the President as Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

. Conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 was abolished in 1999 and replaced by voluntary military service.

Regions


Peru is divided into 25 regions
Regions of Peru
The regions of Peru are the first-level administrative subdivisions of Peru. Since its 1821 independence, Peru had been divided into departments but faced the problem of an increasing centralization of political and economic power in its capital, Lima...

 and the province of Lima
Lima Province
Lima Province is located in the central coast of Peru and is the only province in the country not belonging to any of the twenty-five regions. Its capital is Lima, which is also the nation's capital....

. Each region has an elected government composed of a president and council that serve four-year terms. These governments plan regional development, execute public investment projects, promote economic activities, and manage public property. The province of Lima is administered by a city council.

Regions:
  • Amazonas
    Amazonas Region
    Amazonas is a department of northern Peru bordered by Ecuador on the north and west, Cajamarca Department on the west, La Libertad Department on the south, and Loreto Department and San Martín Department on the east. Its capital is the city of Chachapoyas....

  • Ancash
    Ancash Region
    Ancash is a region in northern Peru. It is bordered by the La Libertad region on the north, the Huánuco and Pasco regions on the east, the Lima region on the south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Its capital is the city of Huaraz, and its largest city and port is Chimbote...

  • Apurímac
    Apurímac Region
    Apurímac is a region in southern-central Peru. It is bordered on the east by the Cusco Region, on the west by the Ayacucho Region, and on the south by the Arequipa and Ayacucho regions...

  • Arequipa
    Arequipa Region
    Arequipa is a region in southwestern Peru. It is bordered by the Ica, Ayacucho, Apurímac and Cusco regions on the north; the Puno Region on the east; the Moquegua Region on the south; and the Pacific Ocean on the west...

  • Ayacucho
    Ayacucho Region
    Ayacucho is a region of Peru, located in the south-central Andes of the country. Its capital is the city of Ayacucho. The region was one of the hardest hit by terrorism during the 1980s during the guerrilla war waged by Shining Path known as the internal conflict in Peru.A referendum was held on...

  • Cajamarca
    Cajamarca Region
    Cajamarca is a region in Peru. The capital is the city of Cajamarca. It is located in the north part of the country and shares a border with Ecuador...

  • Callao
  • Cuzco
  • Huancavelica
    Huancavelica Region
    Huancavelica is a region in Peru. Area: 22,131.47 km². Population: 447,054 . The capital is the city of Huancavelica.It is bordered by Lima Region and Ica in the west, Junín in the north, and Ayacucho in the east....

  • Huánuco
    Huánuco Region
    Huánuco is a region in central Peru. It is bordered by the La Libertad, San Martín, Loreto and Ucayali regions on the north; the Ucayali Region on the east; the Pasco Region on the south; and the Lima and Ancash regions on the west. Its capital is the city of Huánuco.Huánuco has a rough topography...

  • Ica
    Ica Region
    Ica is a region in Peru. It borders the Pacific Ocean on the west; the Lima Region on the north; the Huancavelica and Ayacucho regions on the east; and the Arequipa Region on the south. Its capital is the city of Ica.- Geography :...

  • Junín
    Junín Region
    Junín is a region in the central highlands and westernmost Amazonia of Peru. Its capital is Huancayo.-Geography:The region has a very heterogeneous topography. The western cordillera located near the border with the Lima Region, has snowy and ice covered peaks. On the east, there are high glacier...

  • La Libertad
    La Libertad Region
    La Libertad is a region in northwestern Peru. Formerly it was known as the 'Department of La Libertad" , a political division that generally corresponds to a state in the United States of America...

  • Lambayeque
    Lambayeque Region
    Lambayeque is a region in northwestern Peru known for its rich Moche and Chimú historical past. The region's name originates from the ancient pre-Inca civilization of the Lambayeque.-Etymology:...

  • Lima
    Lima Region
    Lima Region, also known as Lima Provincias, is one of twenty-five regions of Peru. Located in the central coast of the country, its regional seat is Huacho....

  • Loreto
    Loreto Region
    Loreto is Peru's northernmost region. Covering almost one-third of Peru's territory, Loreto is by far the nation's largest region and also one of the most sparsely populated ones, due to its remote location in the Amazon Rainforest...

  • Madre de Dios
    Madre de Dios Region
    Madre de Dios is a region in southeastern Peru, bordering Brazil, Bolivia and the Peruvian regions of Puno, Cusco and Ucayali. Its capital is the city of Puerto Maldonado. The name of the region is a very common Spanish language designation for the Virgin Mary, literally meaning Mother of...

  • Moquegua
    Moquegua Region
    Moquegua is a small department in southern Peru that extends from the coast to the highlands. The region's name is of Quechua origin and means "quiet place". The regional capital is the city of Moquegua, but the port city of Ilo is more commercially active....

  • Pasco
    Pasco Region
    Pasco is a region in central Peru. Its capital is Cerro de Pasco.-Political division:The region is divided into 3 provinces , which are composed of 28 districts .-Provinces:...

  • Piura
    Piura Region
    Piura is a coastal region in northwestern Peru. The region's capital is Piura and its largest port cities, Paita and Talara, are also among the most important in Peru...

  • Puno
    Puno Region
    Puno is a region in southeastern Peru. It is bordered by Bolivia on the east, the Madre de Dios Region on the north, the Cusco and Arequipa regions on the west, the Moquegua Region on the southwest, and the Tacna Region on the south...

  • San Martín
    San Martín Region
    San Martín is a region in northern Peru. Most of the region is located in the upper part of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Its capital is Moyobamba and the largest city in the region is Tarapoto.-Boundaries:* North and East: Loreto Region...

  • Tacna
    Tacna Region
    Tacna is the southernmost region in Peru. Its name originates from the Quechua words taka and na , which would mean "a place to hit". This expression is thought to be related to the Quechua conquest of the Aymara people...

  • Tumbes
    Tumbes Region
    Tumbes is a coastal region in northwestern Peru and southwestern Ecuador. Due to the region's location near the Equator it has a warm climate, with beaches that are considered among the finest in Peru...

  • Ucayali
    Ucayali Region
    Ucayali is an inland region in Peru. Located in the Amazon rainforest, its name is derived from the Ucayali River. The regional capital is the city of Pucallpa.-Boundaries:...



  • Province:
    • Lima
      Lima Province
      Lima Province is located in the central coast of Peru and is the only province in the country not belonging to any of the twenty-five regions. Its capital is Lima, which is also the nation's capital....


    Geography



    Peru covers 1285216 km² (496,225 sq mi). It borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the southeast, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Andes
    Andes
    The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

     Mountains run parallel to the Pacific Ocean; they define the three regions traditionally used to describe the country geographically. The costa (coast), to the west, is a narrow plain, largely arid except for valleys created by seasonal rivers. The sierra (highlands) is the region of the Andes; it includes the Altiplano
    Altiplano
    The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

    plateau as well as the highest peak of the country, the 6768 m (22,205 ft) Huascarán
    Huascarán
    Huascarán or Nevado Huascarán is a mountain in the Peruvian province of Yungay, situated in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Western Andes. The highest southern summit of Huascarán is the highest point in Peru, and all the Earth's Tropics...

    . The third region is the selva (jungle), a wide expanse of flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest
    Amazon Rainforest
    The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

     that extends east. Almost 60% of the country's area is located within this region.
    Most Peruvian rivers originate in the peaks of the Andes and drain into one of three basins
    Drainage basin
    A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

    . Those that drain toward the Pacific Ocean are steep and short, flowing only intermittently. Tributaries of the Amazon River
    Amazon River
    The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined...

     are longer, have a much larger flow, and are less steep once they exit the sierra. Rivers that drain into Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...

     are generally short and have a large flow. Peru's longest rivers are the Ucayali
    Ucayali
    The Ucayali River arises about north of Lake Titicaca, in the Arequipa region of South America. The Amazon River takes its name close to Nauta city , in the confluence among Ucayali and Marañón rivers....

    , the Marañón, the Putumayo
    ICA
    - Business :* Empresas ICA , large construction company in Mexico* ICA AB, a Swedish corporate group in the food retail business, formerly named ICA Ahold AB....

    , the Yavarí, the Huallaga
    Huallaga River
    The Huallaga River is a tributary of the Marañón River, part of the Amazon Basin. Old names for this river include Guallaga and Rio de los Motilones. The Huallaga is born on the slopes of the Andes in central Peru and joins the Marañón before the latter reaches the Ucayali River to form the Amazon....

    , the Urubamba
    Urubamba River
    The Urubamba River is a river in Peru. A partially navigable headwater of the Amazon River, it rises in the Andes to the south-east of Cuzco near the Puno Region border, where it is called the Vilcanota River . In the Sacred Valley, between Písac and Ollantaytambo, it is also called the Wilcamayu...

    , the Mantaro
    Mantaro River
    The Mantaro River is a long river running through the central region of Peru. Its Quechua name means "great river".-Geography:The river has its source at Lake Junín at a height of 4.080 m and runs through Junín, Yauli, Jauja, Concepción and Huancayo provinces in Junín Region, then through...

    , and the Amazon.

    Peru, unlike other equator
    Equator
    An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

    ial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current
    Humboldt Current
    The Humboldt Current , also known as the Peru Current, is a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north-westward along the west coast of South America from the southern tip of Chile to northern Peru. It is an eastern boundary current flowing in the direction of the equator, and can extend...

     cause great climatic diversity within the country. The costa has moderate temperatures, low precipitations, and high humidity, except for its warmer, wetter northern reaches. In the sierra, rain is frequent during summer, and temperature and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The selva is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall. Because of its varied geography and climate, Peru has a high biodiversity with 21,462 species of plants and animals reported as of 2003; 5,855 of them endemic.

    Economy



    Peru is a developing country
    Developing country
    A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

     with a market-oriented economy; its 2010 per capita income is estimated by the IMF at US$5,195 and it has a high Human Development Index
    Human Development Index
    The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

     score of 0.723 based on 2010 data. Historically, the country's economic performance has been tied to exports, which provide hard currency
    Hard currency
    Hard currency , in economics, refers to a globally traded currency that is expected to serve as a reliable and stable store of value...

     to finance imports and external debt payments. Although they have provided substantial revenue, self-sustained growth and a more egalitarian distribution of income have proven elusive. According to 2010 data, 31.3% of its total population is poor, including 9.8% that is extremely poor.
    Peruvian economic policy has varied widely over the past decades. The 1968–1975 government of Juan Velasco Alvarado
    Juan Velasco Alvarado
    Juan Francisco Velasco Alvarado was a left-leaning Peruvian General who ruled Peru from 1968 to 1975 under the title of "President of the Revolutionary Government."- Early life :...

     introduced radical reforms, which included agrarian reform
    Agrarian reform
    Agrarian reform can refer either, narrowly, to government-initiated or government-backed redistribution of agricultural land or, broadly, to an overall redirection of the agrarian system of the country, which often includes land reform measures. Agrarian reform can include credit measures,...

    , the expropriation of foreign companies, the introduction of an economic planning system
    Economic interventionism
    Economic interventionism is an action taken by a government in a market economy or market-oriented mixed economy, beyond the basic regulation of fraud and enforcement of contracts, in an effort to affect its own economy...

    , and the creation of a large state-owned sector. These measures failed to achieve their objectives of income redistribution and the end of economic dependence on developed nations
    Dependency theory
    Dependency theory or dependencia theory is a body of social science theories predicated on the notion that resources flow from a "periphery" of poor and underdeveloped states to a "core" of wealthy states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former...

    . Despite these results, most reforms were not reversed until the 1990s, when the liberalizing
    Liberalization
    In general, liberalization refers to a relaxation of previous government restrictions, usually in areas of social or economic policy. In some contexts this process or concept is often, but not always, referred to as deregulation...

     government of Alberto Fujimori
    Alberto Fujimori
    Alberto Fujimori Fujimori served as President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 17 November 2000. A controversial figure, Fujimori has been credited with the creation of Fujimorism, uprooting terrorism in Peru and restoring its macroeconomic stability, though his methods have drawn charges of...

     ended price controls
    Price controls
    Price controls are governmental impositions on the prices charged for goods and services in a market, usually intended to maintain the affordability of staple foods and goods, and to prevent price gouging during shortages, or, alternatively, to insure an income for providers of certain goods...

    , protectionism
    Protectionism
    Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations designed to allow "fair competition" between imports and goods and services produced domestically.This...

    , restrictions on foreign direct investment
    Foreign direct investment
    Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

    , and most state ownership of companies. Reforms have permitted sustained economic growth since 1993, except for a slump after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

    Services
    Tertiary sector of industry
    The tertiary sector of the economy is one of the three economic sectors, the others being the secondary sector and the primary sector .The service sector consists of the "soft" parts of the economy, i.e...

     account for 53% of Peruvian gross domestic product, followed by manufacturing
    Secondary sector of industry
    The secondary sector of the economy or industrial sector includes those economic sectors that create a finished, tangible product: production and construction.-Function:...

     (22.3%), extractive industries
    Primary sector of industry
    The sector of an economy making direct use of natural resources. This includes agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining, and extraction of oil and gas. This is contrasted with the secondary sector, producing manufactures and other processed goods, and the tertiary sector, producing services...

     (15%), and taxes (9.7%). Recent economic growth has been fueled by macroeconomic stability, improved terms of trade
    Terms of trade
    In international economics and international trade, terms of trade or TOT is /. In layman's terms it means what quantity of imports can be purchased through the sale of a fixed quantity of exports...

    , and rising investment and consumption. Trade is expected to increase further after the implementation of a free trade agreement with the United States signed on April 12, 2006. Peru's main exports are copper, gold, zinc, textiles, and fish meal; its major trade partners are the United States, China, Brazil, and Chile.

    Demographics


    Peru is a multiethnic country
    Multiethnic society
    A multiethnic society is one with members belonging to more than one ethnic group, in contrast to societies which are ethnically homogenous. In practice, virtually all contemporary national societies are multiethnic...

     formed by different groups over five centuries. Amerindians
    Indigenous peoples in Peru
    Indigenous people in Peru comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country's present territory prior to its discovery by Europeans around 1500...

     inhabited Peruvian territory for several millennia before the Spanish Conquest
    Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire
    The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. This historic process of military conquest was made by Spanish conquistadores and their native allies....

     of the 16th century; according to historian David N. Cook their population decreased from nearly 5–9 million in the 1520s to around 600,000 in 1620 mainly because of infectious disease
    Infectious disease
    Infectious diseases, also known as communicable diseases, contagious diseases or transmissible diseases comprise clinically evident illness resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism...

    s. Spaniards and Africans
    Black people
    The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

     arrived in large numbers under colonial rule, mixing widely with each other and indigenous peoples. Gradual European
    European ethnic groups
    The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

     immigration from England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain followed independence. Chinese
    Overseas Chinese
    Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

     arrived in the 1850s, replacing slave workers, and have since greatly influenced Peruvian society.

    With about 29.5 million inhabitants, Peru is the fourth most populous country in South America. Its demographic growth rate declined from 2.6% to 1.6% between 1950 and 2000; population is expected to reach approximately 42 million in 2050. As of 2007, 75.9% lived in urban areas and 24.1% in rural areas. Major cities include Lima
    Lima
    Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

     (home to over 8 million people), Arequipa
    Arequipa
    Arequipa is the capital city of the Arequipa Region in southern Peru. With a population of 836,859 it is the second most populous city of the country...

    , Trujillo
    Trujillo, Peru
    Trujillo, in northwestern Peru, is the capital of the La Libertad Region, and the third largest city in Peru. The urban area has 811,979 inhabitants and is an economic hub in northern Peru...

    , Chiclayo
    Chiclayo
    Chiclayo is the capital city of the Lambayeque region in northern Peru. It is located 13 kilometers inland from the Pacific coast and 770 kilometers from the nation's capital, Lima...

    , Piura
    Piura
    Piura is a city in northwestern Peru. It is the capital of the Piura Region and the Piura Province. The population is 377,496.It was here that Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the third Spanish city in South America and first in Peru, San Miguel de Piura, in July 1532...

    , Iquitos
    Iquitos
    Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest, with a population of 370,962. It is the capital of Loreto Region and Maynas Province.Located on the Amazon River, it is only above sea level, although it is more than from the mouth of the Amazon at Belém on the Atlantic Ocean...

    , Cusco
    Cusco
    Cusco , often spelled Cuzco , is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cuzco Province. In 2007, the city had a population of 358,935 which was triple the figure of 20 years ago...

    , Chimbote
    Chimbote
    Chimbote is the largest city in the Ancash Region of Peru, and the capital of both Santa Province and Chimbote District.The city is located on the coast in Chimbote Bay, south of Trujillo and north of Lima on the North Pan-American highway. It is the start of a chain of important cities like...

    , and Huancayo
    Huancayo
    Huancayo with a rock') is the capital of the Junín Region, in the central highlands of Peru. It is located in Junín Province, of which it is also capital. Situated near the Mantaro Valley at an altitude of 3,271 meters, it has a population of 377,000 and is the fifth most populous city of the...

    ; all reported more than 250,000 inhabitants in the 2007 census
    Peru 2007 Census
    The Peru 2007 Census was a detailed enumeration of the Peruvian population. It was conducted by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática on Sunday October 21, 2007. Its full name in Spanish is XI Censo de Población y VI de Vivienda . The previous census performed in Peru was the 2005...

    .

    Spanish, the first language of 83.9% of Peruvians aged five and older in 2007, is the primary language of the country. It coexists with several indigenous languages, the most common of which is Quechua
    Quechua languages
    Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

    , spoken by 13.2% of the population. Other native and foreign languages were spoken at that time by 2.7% and 0.1% of Peruvians, respectively. In the 2007 census, 81.3% of the population over 12 years old described themselves as Catholic, 12.5% as Evangelical
    Evangelicalism
    Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

    , 3.3% as of other denominations, and 2.9% as non-religious. Literacy was estimated at 92.9% in 2007; this rate is lower in rural areas (80.3%) than in urban areas (96.3%). Primary and secondary education are compulsory
    Compulsory education
    Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all persons.-Antiquity to Medieval Era:Although Plato's The Republic is credited with having popularized the concept of compulsory education in Western intellectual thought, every parent in Judea since Moses's Covenant with...

     and free in public schools.

    Culture




    Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, though it has also been influenced by various African, Asian, and European ethnic groups. Peruvian artistic traditions date back to the elaborate pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture of Pre-Inca cultures. The Incas maintained these crafts and made architectural
    Architecture of Peru
    Peruvian architecture is the architecture carried out during any time in what is now modern-day Peru, and by Peruvian architects worldwide. Its diversity and long history spans from ancient Peru, the Inca Empire, Colonial Peru to the present day....

     achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu
    Machu Picchu
    Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for...

    . Baroque
    Baroque
    The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

     dominated colonial art, though modified by native traditions. During this period, most art focused on religious subjects; the numerous churches of the era and the paintings of the Cuzco School
    Cuzco School
    The Cuzco School was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition based in Cusco, Peru during the Colonial period, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries...

     are representative. Arts stagnated after independence until the emergence of Indigenismo
    Indigenismo
    Indigenismo is a Latin American idea and movement pressing for a greater social and political role for the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, and the revindication of indigenous rights and including compensation for past wrongdoings of the colonial and republican states...

    in the early 20th century. Since the 1950s, Peruvian art has been eclectic
    Eclecticism in art
    Eclecticism is a kind of mixed style in the fine arts: "the borrowing of a variety of styles from different sources and combining them" . Significantly, Eclecticism hardly ever constituted a specific style in art: it is characterized by the fact that it was not a particular style...

     and shaped by both foreign and local art currents.

    Peruvian literature
    Peruvian literature
    The term Peruvian literature not only refers to literature produced in the independent Republic of Peru, but also to literature produced in the Viceroyalty of Peru during the country's colonial period, and to oral artistic forms created by diverse ethnic groups that existed in the area during the...

     is rooted in the oral traditions of pre-Columbian
    Pre-Columbian
    The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

     civilizations. Spaniards introduced writing in the 16th century; colonial literary expression included chronicle
    Chronicle
    Generally a chronicle is a historical account of facts and events ranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the...

    s and religious literature
    Christian literature
    Christian Literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing.-Scripture:...

    . After independence, Costumbrism and Romanticism
    Romanticism
    Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

     became the most common literary genres, as exemplified in the works of Ricardo Palma
    Ricardo Palma
    Manuel Ricardo Palma Soriano was a Peruvian author, scholar, librarian and politician. His magnum opus is the Tradiciones peruanas.- Biography :...

    . The early 20th century's Indigenismo movement was led by such writers as Ciro Alegría
    Ciro Alegría
    Ciro Alegría Bazán was a Peruvian journalist, politician, and novelist.-Biography:Born in Huamachuco District, he exposed the problematic of the native Peruvians, learning about their way of life. This understanding of how they were oppressed was the focus for his novels...

     and José María Arguedas
    José María Arguedas
    José María Arguedas Altamirano was a Peruvian novelist, poet, and anthropologist who wrote mainly in Spanish, although some of his poetry is in Quechua...

    . César Vallejo
    César Vallejo
    César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza was a Peruvian poet. Although he published only three books of poetry during his lifetime, he is considered one of the great poetic innovators of the 20th century in any language. Thomas Merton called him "the greatest universal poet since Dante"...

     wrote modernist and often politically engaged verse. Modern Peruvian literature is recognized thanks to authors such as Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa
    Mario Vargas Llosa
    Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian-Spanish writer, politician, journalist, essayist, and Nobel Prize laureate. Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America's most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading authors of his generation...

    , a leading member of the Latin American Boom
    Latin American Boom
    The Latin American Boom was a literary movement of the 1960s and 1970s when the work of a group of relatively young Latin American novelists became widely circulated in Europe and throughout the world...

    .


    Peruvian cuisine
    Peruvian cuisine
    Peruvian cuisine reflects local cooking practices and ingredients—and, through immigration, influences from Spain, China, Italy, West Africa, and Japan. Due to a lack of ingredients from their home countries, immigrants to Peru modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients...

     blends Amerindian and Spanish food with strong influences from African, Arab, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese cooking. Common dishes include anticuchos
    Anticuchos
    Anticuchos are popular and inexpensive dishes that originated in Peru, and popular also in other Andean states consisting of small pieces of grilled skewered meat....

    , ceviche
    Ceviche
    Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers. Additional seasonings such as onion, salt,...

    , and pachamanca
    Pachamanca
    Pachamanca is a traditional Peruvian dish based on the baking, with the aid of hot stones , of lamb, mutton, pork, chicken or guinea pig, marinated in spices...

    . Peru's varied climate allows the growth of diverse plants and animals good for cooking. Peru's diversity of ingredients and cooking techniques is receiving worldwide acclaim.

    Peruvian music has Andean, Spanish, and African roots. In pre-Hispanic times, musical expressions varied widely in each region; the quena
    Quena
    The quena is the traditional flute of the Andes. Usually made of bamboo or wood, it has 6 finger holes and one thumb hole and is open on both ends. To produce sound, the player closes the top end of the pipe with the flesh between his chin and lower lip, and blows a stream of air downward, along...

    and the tinya
    Tinya
    The Tinya is a percussion instrument, a small hand-made drum of leather which is used in the traditional music of the Andean region, particularly Peru. The drum dates to the pre-Columbian era, and is used in traditional Peruvian dances, notably the Los Danzantes de Levanto where it is played by one...

    were two common instruments. Spaniards introduced new instruments, such as the guitar and the harp, which led to the development of crossbred instruments like the charango
    Charango
    The charango is a small Andean stringed instrument of the lute family, 66 cm long, traditionally made with the shell of the back of an armadillo. Primarily played in traditional Andean music, and is sometimes used by other Latin American musicians. Many contemporary charangos are now made with...

    . African contributions to Peruvian music include its rhythms and the cajón
    Cajón
    A cajón is a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, played by slapping the front face with the hands.-Origins and evolution:...

    , a percussion instrument. Peruvian folk dances include marinera
    Marinera
    Marinera is a coastal dance of Peru, generally called the "National Dance of Peru." Marinera is a graceful and romantic couple's dance that uses handkerchiefs as props. The dance is an elegant and stylized reenactment of a courtship, and it shows a blend of the different cultures of Peru...

    , tondero
    Tondero
    Tondero is a dance and guitar rhythm from the Peruvian north coast .-Geographical origin of tondero and cumananas:The Tondero is a Peruvian dance and rhythm born in the north coast adjacent to the eastern valleys of the Sierra or “yungas” of Piura, Sechura and Lambayeque...

    , zamacueca
    Zamacueca
    The Zamacueca is an ancient colonial dance that originated in the Viceroyalty of Peru, taking its roots from African, Spanish, and Andean rhythms...

    , and huayno
    Huayno
    Huayno is a genre of popular Andean Music and dance from Andean countries. It is especially common in Peru. It originated in Serrania, Peru as a combination of traditional rural folk music and popular urban dance music...

    .

    External links


    • Country Profile from BBC News
      BBC News
      BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    • Peru from the Encyclopædia Britannica
      Encyclopædia Britannica
      The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

    • Peru at UCB Libraries GovPubs
    • PeruLinks web directory Web portal of the Peruvian Government

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