Peru

Peru (/pəˈruː/ (listen); Spanish: Perú [peˈɾu]; Quechua: Piruw Republika [pʰɪɾʊw];[7] Aymara: Piruw Suyu [pɪɾʊw]), officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: República del Perú ), is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.[8]

Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE.

The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima. Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, and following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, and the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific with Chile. Throughout the 20th century, Peru endured armed territorial disputes, coups, social unrest, and internal conflicts, as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Alberto Fujimori was elected to the presidency in 1990; his government was credited with economically stabilizing Peru and successfully ending the Shining Path insurgency, though he was widely accused of human rights violations and suppression of political dissent. Fujimori left the presidency in 2000 and was charged with human rights violations and imprisoned until his pardon by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2017. Even after the president's regime, Fujimori's followers, called Fujimoristas, have caused political turmoil for any opposing faction in power, even causing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign in March 2018.

The sovereign state of Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is classified as an emerging market[9] with a high level of human development[10] and an upper middle income level[11] with a poverty rate around 19 percent.[12] It is one of the region's most prosperous economies with an average growth rate of 5.9%[12] and it has one of the world's fastest industrial growth rates at an average of 9.6%.[13] Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing; along with other growing sectors such as telecommunications and biotechnology.[14] The country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America's Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration. Peru ranks high in social freedom[15]; it is an active member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Alliance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the World Trade Organization; and is considered as a middle power.[16]

Peru has a population of 32 million,[17] which includes Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Coordinates: 10°S 76°W / 10°S 76°W

Republic of Peru

República del Perú  (Spanish)
Motto: 
"Firme y feliz por la unión" (Spanish)
"Firm and Happy for the Union"
Anthem: 
"Himno Nacional de Perú"  (Spanish)
"National Anthem of Peru"

National seal
Gran Sello de la República del Perú.svg
Gran Sello del Estado  (Spanish)
Great Seal of the State
PER orthographic
Location of Peru
Capital
and largest city
Lima
12°2.6′S 77°1.7′W / 12.0433°S 77.0283°W
Official languageSpanish
Co-official languages[a]
Ethnic groups
Religion
Demonym(s)Peruvian
GovernmentUnitary presidential republic[1][2]
• President
Martín Vizcarra
Mercedes Aráoz
Salvador del Solar
LegislatureCongress of the Republic
Independence 
• Declared
28 July 1821
9 December 1824
• Recognized
14 August 1879
Area
• Total
1,285,216 km2 (496,225 sq mi) (19th)
• Water (%)
0.41
Population
• 2019 estimate
32,495,510[3] (43rd)
• 2017 census
31,237,385
• Density
23/km2 (59.6/sq mi) (198th)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$458.389 billion[4] (36th)
• Per capita
$14,252[4] (85th)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$239.218 billion[4] (41nd)
• Per capita
$7,118[4] (80nd)
Gini (2016)Negative increase 43.8[5]
medium
HDI (2017)Increase 0.750[6]
high · 89th
CurrencySol (PEN)
Time zoneUTC−5 (PET)
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+51
ISO 3166 codePE
Internet TLD.pe

Etymology

The name of the country may be derived from Birú, the name of a local ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel, Panama City, in the early 16th century.[18] When his possessions were visited by Spanish explorers in 1522, they were the southernmost part of the New World yet known to Europeans.[19] Thus, when Francisco Pizarro explored the regions farther south, they came to be designated Birú or Perú.[20]

An alternative history is provided by the contemporary writer Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, son of an Inca princess and a conquistador. He said the name Birú was that of a common Indian happened upon by the crew of a ship on an exploratory mission for governor Pedro Arias de Ávila, and went on to relate more instances of misunderstandings due to the lack of a common language.[21]

The Spanish Crown gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru.[22] Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, which became Republic of Peru after independence.

History

Prehistory and pre-Columbian period

Nazca colibri
The Hummingbird of the Nazca Lines

The earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to approximately 9,000 BC.[23] Andean societies were based on agriculture, using techniques such as irrigation and terracing; camelid husbandry and fishing were also important. Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money.[24] The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BC.[25] These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures that developed mostly around the coastal and Andean regions throughout Peru. The Cupisnique culture which flourished from around 1000 to 200 BC[26] along what is now Peru's Pacific Coast was an example of early pre-Incan culture.

Moche portrait ceramic Quai Branly 71.1930.19.162 n2
A Moche ceramic vessel from the 5th century depicting a man's head.

The Chavín culture that developed from 1500 to 300 BC was probably more of a religious than a political phenomenon, with their religious centre in Chavín de Huantar.[27] After the decline of the Chavin culture around the beginning of the 1st century AD, a series of localized and specialized cultures rose and fell, both on the coast and in the highlands, during the next thousand years. On the coast, these included the civilizations of the Paracas, Nazca, Wari, and the more outstanding Chimu and Mochica. The Mochica, who reached their apogee in the first millennium AD, were renowned for their irrigation system which fertilized their arid terrain, their sophisticated ceramic pottery, their lofty buildings, and clever metalwork. The Chimu were the great city builders of pre-Inca civilization; as loose confederation of cities scattered along the coast of northern Peru and southern Ecuador, the Chimu flourished from about 1140 to 1450. Their capital was at Chan Chan outside of modern-day Trujillo. In the highlands, both the Tiahuanaco culture, near Lake Titicaca in both Peru and Bolivia, and the Wari culture, near the present-day city of Ayacucho, developed large urban settlements and wide-ranging state systems between 500 and 1000 AD.[28]

In the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America with their capital in Cusco.[29] The Incas of Cusco originally represented one of the small and relatively minor ethnic groups, the Quechuas. Gradually, as early as the thirteenth century, they began to expand and incorporate their neighbors. Inca expansion was slow until about the middle of the fifteenth century, when the pace of conquest began to accelerate, particularly under the rule of the great emperor Pachacuti. Under his rule and that of his son, Topa Inca Yupanqui, the Incas came to control most of the Andean region, with a population of 9 to 16 million inhabitants under their rule. Pachacuti also promulgated a comprehensive code of laws to govern his far-flung empire, while consolidating his absolute temporal and spiritual authority as the God of the Sun who ruled from a magnificently rebuilt Cusco.[30] From 1438 to 1533, the Incas used a variety of methods, from conquest to peaceful assimilation, to incorporate a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean mountain ranges, from southern Colombia to northern Chile, between the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Amazon rainforest in the east. The official language of the empire was Quechua, although hundreds of local languages and dialects were spoken. The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu which can be translated as "The Four Regions" or "The Four United Provinces." Many local forms of worship persisted in the empire, most of them concerning local sacred Huacas, but the Inca leadership encouraged the worship of Inti, the sun god and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama.[31] The Incas considered their King, the Sapa Inca, to be the "child of the sun."[32]

Conquest and colonial period

Atahualpa (also Atahuallpa), the last Sapa Inca became emperor when he defeated and executed his older half-brother Huáscar in a civil war sparked by the death of their father, Inca Huayna Capac. In December 1532, a party of conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated and captured the Inca Emperor Atahualpa in the Battle of Cajamarca. The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. After years of preliminary exploration and military conflicts, it was the first step in a long campaign that took decades of fighting but ended in Spanish victory and colonization of the region known as the Viceroyalty of Peru with its capital at Lima, which became known as "The City of Kings". The conquest of the Inca Empire led to spin-off campaigns throughout the viceroyalty as well as expeditions towards the Amazon Basin as in the case of Spanish efforts to quell Amerindian resistance. The last Inca resistance was suppressed when the Spaniards annihilated the Neo-Inca State in Vilcabamba in 1572.

Machu Picchu, Peru
The citadel of Machu Picchu, an iconic symbol of pre-Columbian Peru.

The indigenous population dramatically collapsed due to exploitation, socioeconomic change and epidemic diseases introduced by the Spanish.[33] Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the country in the 1570s with gold and silver mining as its main economic activity and Amerindian forced labor as its primary workforce.[34] With the discovery of the great silver and gold lodes at Potosí (present-day Bolivia) and Huancavelica, the viceroyalty flourished as an important provider of mineral resources. Peruvian bullion provided revenue for the Spanish Crown and fueled a complex trade network that extended as far as Europe and the Philippines.[35] Because of lack of available work force, African slaves were added to the labor population. The expansion of a colonial administrative apparatus and bureaucracy paralleled the economic reorganization. With the conquest started the spread of Christianity in South America; most people were forcefully converted to Catholicism, taking only a generation to convert the population. They built churches in every city and replaced some of the Inca temples with churches, such as the Coricancha in the city of Cusco. The church employed the Inquisition, making use of torture to ensure that newly converted Catholics did not stray to other religions or beliefs. Peruvian Catholicism follows the syncretism found in many Latin American countries, in which religious native rituals have been integrated with Christian celebrations.[36] In this endeavor, the church came to play an important role in the acculturation of the natives, drawing them into the cultural orbit of the Spanish settlers.

Exploring Cusco…Plaza de armas, Centro Historico (8443408703)
Cusco, capital of the Incan Empire.

By the 18th century, declining silver production and economic diversification greatly diminished royal income.[37] In response, the Crown enacted the Bourbon Reforms, a series of edicts that increased taxes and partitioned the Viceroyalty.[38] The new laws provoked Túpac Amaru II's rebellion and other revolts, all of which were suppressed.[39] As a result of these and other changes, the Spaniards and their creole successors came to monopolize control over the land, seizing many of the best lands abandoned by the massive native depopulation. However, the Spanish did not resist the Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian. The Treaty of Tordesillas was rendered meaningless between 1580 and 1640 while Spain controlled Portugal. The need to ease communication and trade with Spain led to the split of the viceroyalty and the creation of new viceroyalties of New Granada and Rio de la Plata at the expense of the territories that formed the viceroyalty of Peru; this reduced the power, prominence and importance of Lima as the viceroyal capital and shifted the lucrative Andean trade to Buenos Aires and Bogotá, while the fall of the mining and textile production accelerated the progressive decay of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

Basílica Catedral Metropolitana de Lima
Main façade of the Cathedral of Lima and the Archbishop's palace.

Eventually, the viceroyalty would dissolve, as with much of the Spanish empire, when challenged by national independence movements at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These movements led to the formation of the majority of modern-day countries of South America in the territories that at one point or another had constituted the Viceroyalty of Peru.[40] The conquest and colony brought a mix of cultures and ethnicities that did not exist before the Spanish conquered the Peruvian territory. Even though many of the Inca traditions were lost or diluted, new customs, traditions and knowledge were added, creating a rich mixed Peruvian culture.[36] Two of the most important indigenous rebellions against the Spanish were that of Juan Santos Atahualpa in 1742, and Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II in 1780 around the highlands near Cuzco.[41]

Independence

BattleofAyacucho
The Battle of Ayacucho was decisive in ensuring Peruvian independence.

In the early 19th century, while most South American nations were swept by wars of independence, Peru remained a royalist stronghold. As the elite vacillated between emancipation and loyalty to the Spanish Monarchy, independence was achieved only after the occupation by military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar.

The economic crises, the loss of power of Spain in Europe, the war of independence in North America and native uprisings all contributed to a favorable climate to the development of emancipating ideas among the criollo population in South America. However, the criollo oligarchy in Peru enjoyed privileges and remained loyal to the Spanish Crown. The liberation movement started in Argentina where autonomous juntas were created as a result of the loss of authority of the Spanish government over its colonies.

After fighting for the independence of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, José de San Martín created the Army of the Andes and crossed the Andes in 21 days, one of the greatest accomplishments in military history. Once in Chile he joined forces with Chilean army General Bernardo O'Higgins and liberated the country in the battles of Chacabuco and Maipú in 1818.[42] On 7 September 1820, a fleet of eight warships arrived in the port of Paracas under the command of general Jose de San Martin and Thomas Cochrane, who was serving in the Chilean Navy. Immediately on 26 October they took control of the town of Pisco. San Martin settled in Huacho on 12 November, where he established his headquarters while Cochrane sailed north blockading the port of Callao in Lima. At the same time in the north, Guayaquil was occupied by rebel forces under the command of Gregorio Escobedo. Because Peru was the stronghold of the Spanish government in South America, San Martin's strategy to liberate Peru was to use diplomacy. He sent representatives to Lima urging the Viceroy that Peru be granted independence, however all negotiations proved unsuccessful.

The Viceroy of Peru, Joaquín de la Pazuela named Jose de la Serna commander-in-chief of the loyalist army to protect Lima from the threatened invasion of San Martin. On 29 January, de la Serna organized a coup against de la Pazuela which was recognized by Spain and he was named Viceroy of Peru. This internal power struggle contributed to the success of the liberating army. In order to avoid a military confrontation San Martin met the newly appointed viceroy, Jose de la Serna, and proposed to create a constitutional monarchy, a proposal that was turned down. De la Serna abandoned the city and on 12 July 1821 San Martin occupied Lima and declared Peruvian independence on 28 July 1821. He created the first Peruvian flag. Alto Peru (Bolivia) remained as a Spanish stronghold until the army of Simón Bolívar liberated it three years later. Jose de San Martin was declared Protector of Peru. Peruvian national identity was forged during this period, as Bolivarian projects for a Latin American Confederation floundered and a union with Bolivia proved ephemeral.[43]

La Independencia del Perú
San Martín proclaiming the independence of Peru. Painting by Juan Lepiani.

Simon Bolivar launched his campaign from the north liberating the Viceroyalty of New Granada in the Battles of Carabobo in 1821 and Pichincha a year later. In July 1822 Bolivar and San Martin gathered in the Guayaquil Conference. Bolivar was left in charge of fully liberating Peru while San Martin retired from politics after the first parliament was assembled. The newly founded Peruvian Congress named Bolivar dictator of Peru giving him the power to organize the military.

With the help of Antonio José de Sucre they defeated the larger Spanish army in the Battle of Junín on 6 August 1824 and the decisive Battle of Ayacucho on 9 December of the same year, consolidating the independence of Peru and Alto Peru. Alto Peru was later established as Bolivia. During the early years of the Republic, endemic struggles for power between military leaders caused political instability.[44]

19th century

From the 1840s to the 1860s, Peru enjoyed a period of stability under the presidency of Ramón Castilla, through increased state revenues from guano exports.[45] However, by the 1870s, these resources had been depleted, the country was heavily indebted, and political in-fighting was again on the rise.[46] Peru embarked on a railroad-building program that helped but also bankrupted the country.

In 1879, Peru entered the War of the Pacific which lasted until 1884. Bolivia invoked its alliance with Peru against Chile. The Peruvian Government tried to mediate the dispute by sending a diplomatic team to negotiate with the Chilean government, but the committee concluded that war was inevitable. Chile declared war on 5 April 1879. Almost five years of war ended with the loss of the department of Tarapacá and the provinces of Tacna and Arica, in the Atacama region. Two outstanding military leaders throughout the war were Francisco Bolognesi and Miguel Grau. Originally Chile committed to a referendum for the cities of Arica and Tacna to be held years later, in order to self determine their national affiliation. However, Chile refused to apply the Treaty, and neither of the countries could determine the statutory framework. After the War of the Pacific, an extraordinary effort of rebuilding began. The government started to initiate a number of social and economic reforms in order to recover from the damage of the war. Political stability was achieved only in the early 1900s.

20th century

Protocolo de Río
The signing of the Rio Protocol in January 1942

Internal struggles after the war were followed by a period of stability under the Civilista Party, which lasted until the onset of the authoritarian regime of Augusto B. Leguía. The Great Depression caused the downfall of Leguía, renewed political turmoil, and the emergence of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA).[47] The rivalry between this organization and a coalition of the elite and the military defined Peruvian politics for the following three decades. A final peace treaty in 1929, signed between Peru and Chile called the Treaty of Lima, returned Tacna to Peru. Between 1932 and 1933, Peru was engulfed in a year-long war with Colombia over a territorial dispute involving the Amazonas department and its capital Leticia.

Later, in 1941, Peru and Ecuador fought the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War, after which the Rio Protocol sought to formalize the boundary between those two countries. In a military coup on 29 October 1948, Gen. Manuel A. Odría became president. Odría's presidency was known as the Ochenio. Momentarily pleasing the oligarchy and all others on the right, but followed a populist course that won him great favor with the poor and lower classes. A thriving economy allowed him to indulge in expensive but crowd-pleasing social policies. At the same time, however, civil rights were severely restricted and corruption was rampant throughout his régime. Odría was succeeded by Manuel Prado Ugarteche. However, widespread allegations of fraud prompted the Peruvian military to depose Prado and install a military junta, led by Ricardo Pérez Godoy. Godoy ran a short transitional government and held new elections in 1963, which were won by Fernando Belaúnde Terry who assumed presidency until 1968. Belaúnde was recognized for his commitment to the democratic process. In 1968, the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, staged a coup against Belaúnde. Alvarado's regime undertook radical reforms aimed at fostering development, but failed to gain widespread support. In 1975, General Francisco Morales-Bermúdez forcefully replaced Velasco, paralyzed reforms, and oversaw the reestablishment of democracy.

Zonas donde se ha registrado actividad de Sendero Luminoso
Areas where the Shining Path was active in Peru

Peru engaged in a brief successful conflict with Ecuador in the Paquisha War as a result of territorial dispute between the two countries. After the country experienced chronic inflation, the Peruvian currency, the sol, was replaced by the Inti in mid-1985, which itself was replaced by the nuevo sol in July 1991, at which time the new sol had a cumulative value of one billion old soles. The per capita annual income of Peruvians fell to $720 (below the level of 1960) and Peru's GDP dropped 20% at which national reserves were a negative $900 million. The economic turbulence of the time acerbated social tensions in Peru and partly contributed to the rise of violent rebel rural insurgent movements, like Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and MRTA, which caused great havoc throughout the country. Concerned about the economy, the increasing terrorist threat from Sendero Luminoso and MRTA, and allegations of official corruption, Alberto Fujimori assumed presidency in 1990. Fujimori implemented drastic measures that caused inflation to drop from 7,650% in 1990 to 139% in 1991.

Faced with opposition to his reform efforts, Fujimori dissolved Congress in the auto-golpe ("self-coup") of 5 April 1992. He then revised the constitution; called new congressional elections; and implemented substantial economic reform, including privatization of numerous state-owned companies, creation of an investment-friendly climate, and sound management of the economy. Fujimori's administration was dogged by insurgent groups, most notably the Sendero Luminoso, who carried out terrorist campaigns across the country throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Fujimori cracked down on the insurgents and was successful in largely quelling them by the late 1990s, but the fight was marred by atrocities committed by both the Peruvian security forces and the insurgents: the Barrios Altos massacre and La Cantuta massacre by Government paramilitary groups, and the bombings of Tarata and Frecuencia Latina by Sendero Luminoso. Those incidents subsequently came to symbolize the human rights violations committed in the last years of violence.

During early 1995, once again Peru and Ecuador clashed in the Cenepa War, but in 1998 the governments of both nations signed a peace treaty that clearly demarcated the international boundary between them. In November 2000, Fujimori resigned from office and went into a self-imposed exile, avoiding prosecution for human rights violations and corruption charges by the new Peruvian authorities.[48]

21st century

Since the end of the Fujimori regime, Peru has tried to fight corruption while sustaining economic growth.[48] In spite of human rights progress since the time of insurgency, many problems are still visible and show the continued marginalization of those who suffered through the violence of the Peruvian conflict.[49] A caretaker government presided over by Valentín Paniagua took on the responsibility of conducting new presidential and congressional elections. Afterwards Alejandro Toledo became president in 2001 to 2006.

On 28 July 2006 former president Alan García became President of Peru after winning the 2006 elections. In May 2008, Peru became a member of the Union of South American Nations. In April 2009 former president Alberto Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by the Grupo Colina death squad during his government's battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s.[50] On 5 June 2011, Ollanta Humala was elected President. During his presidency, Prime Minister Ana Jara and her cabinet were successfully censured, which was the first time in 50 years that a cabinet had been forced to resign from the Peruvian legislature.[51] In 2016, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected, though his government was short lived as he resigned in 2018 amid various controversies surrounding his administration. Vice president Martín Vizcarra then assumed office in March 2018 with generally favorable approval ratings.[52]

Government and politics

Government

Peru is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system.[1][2] Under the current constitution, the President is both head of state and government; he or she is elected for five years and cannot serve consecutive terms.[53] The President designates the Prime Minister and, on his or her advice, the rest of the Council of Ministers.[54] The Congress of the Republic is unicameral with 130 members elected for five-year terms.[55] 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.[56] The judiciary is nominally independent,[57] though political intervention into judicial matters has been common throughout history and arguably continues in modern day.[58]

The Peruvian government is directly elected, and voting is compulsory for all citizens aged 18 to 70.[59] Congress is currently composed of Fuerza Popular (59 seats), Peruanos Por el Kambio (17 seats), Frente Amplio (10 seats), New Peru (10 seats), Alianza para el Progreso (9 seats), Acción Popular (5 seats) and APRA (5 seats) and 18 not grouped.[60]

Law

The law of Peru includes the constitution, and a number of codes and decrees.

Foreign relations

Foreign ministers representing member states of the Lima Group, with Peru taking a leadership role in the process.

Peruvian foreign relations have historically been dominated by border conflicts with neighboring countries, most of which were settled during the 20th century.[61] Recently, Peru disputed its maritime limits with Chile in the Pacific Ocean.[62] Peru is an active member of several regional blocs and one of the founders of the Andean Community of Nations. It is also a participant in international organizations such as the Organization of American States and the United Nations. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar served as UN Secretary General from 1981 to 1991. Former President Fujimori's tainted re-election to a third term in June 2000 strained Peru's relations with the United States and with many Latin American and European countries, but relations improved with the installation of an interim government in November 2000 and the inauguration of Alejandro Toledo in July 2001 after free and fair elections.

Peru is planning full integration into the Andean Free Trade Area. In addition, Peru is a standing member of APEC and the World Trade Organization, and is an active participant in negotiations toward a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

During the crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela, Peru participated in a leading role to help mediate the situation in Venezuela by being active within the Lima Group.

Military and law enforcement

Peruvian Navy Ceremony 2016
Aircraft and ships of the Peruvian Navy

The Peruvian Armed Forces are the military services of Peru, comprising independent Army, Navy and Air Force components. Their primary mission is to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. As a secondary mission they participate in economic and social development as well as in civil defense tasks.[63] Conscription was abolished in 1999 and replaced by voluntary military service.[64] The armed forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense and to the President as Commander-in-Chief.

The National Police of Peru is often classified as a part of the armed forces. Although in fact it has a different organization and a wholly civil mission, its training and activities over more than two decades as an anti-terrorist force have produced markedly military characteristics, giving it the appearance of a virtual fourth military service with significant land, sea and air capabilities and approximately 140,000 personnel. The Peruvian armed forces report through the Ministry of Defense, while the National Police of Peru reports through the Ministry of Interior.

Administrative divisions

Peru is divided into 24 departments and the Constitutional Province of El Callao. Each region has an elected government composed of a president and council that serve four-year terms.[65] These governments plan regional development, execute public investment projects, promote economic activities, and manage public property.[66] The province of Lima is administered by a city council.[67] The goal of devolving power to regional and municipal governments was among others to improve popular participation. NGOs played an important role in the decentralization process and still influence local politics.[68]

Departments

Constitutional Province

  • El Callao Province

Metropolitan areas

Several metropolitan areas are defined for Peru – these overlap the district areas, and have limited authority. The largest of them, the Lima metropolitan area, is the seventh-largest metropolis in the Americas.

Geography

Manu riverbank
Alpamayo

Peru is located on the central western coast of South America facing the Pacific Ocean. It lies wholly in the Southern Hemisphere, its northernmost extreme reaching to 1.8 minutes of latitude or about 3.3 kilometres (2.1 mi) south of the equator, covers 1,285,216 km2 (496,225 sq mi) of western South America. 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 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 plateau as well as the highest peak of the country, the 6,768 m (22,205 ft) Huascarán.[69] The third region is the selva (jungle), a wide expanse of flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest that extends east. Almost 60 percent of the country's area is located within this region.[70]The country has fifty-four hydrographic basins, fifty-two of which are small coastal basins that discharge their waters into the Pacific Ocean. The other two are the Amazon basin, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean, and the endorheic basin of Lake Titicaca, both delimited by the Andes mountain range. In the second of these basins, the giant Amazon River is born, which, with its 6872 km, is the longest and mightiest river in the world, with 75% of the Peruvian territory. Peru contains 4% of the planet's fresh water.

Most Peruvian rivers originate in the peaks of the Andes and drain into one of three basins. Those that drain toward the Pacific Ocean are steep and short, flowing only intermittently. Tributaries of the Amazon River have a much larger flow, and are longer and less steep once they exit the sierra. Rivers that drain into Lake Titicaca are generally short and have a large flow.[71] Peru's longest rivers are the Ucayali, the Marañón, the Putumayo, the Yavarí, the Huallaga, the Urubamba, the Mantaro, and the Amazon.[72]

The largest lake in Peru, Lake Titicaca between Peru and Bolivia high in the Andes, is also the largest of South America.[73] The largest reservoirs, all in the coastal region of Peru, are the Poechos, Tinajones, San Lorenzo, and El Fraile reservoirs.[74]

Climate

Peru map of Köppen climate classification
Peru map of Köppen climate classification.

The combination of tropical latitude, mountain ranges, topography variations, and two ocean currents (Humboldt and El Niño) gives Peru a large diversity of climates. The coastal region has moderate temperatures, low precipitations, and high humidity, except for its warmer, wetter northern reaches.[75] In the mountain region, rain is frequent in summer, and temperature and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes.[76] The Peruvian Amazon is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.[77]

Wildlife

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.,[78] and is one of the megadiverse countries.

Peru has over 1,800 species of birds (120 endemic), and 500 species of mammals and over 300 species of reptiles.[79] The hundreds of mammals include rare species like the puma, jaguar and spectacled bear. The Birds of Peru produce large amounts of guano, an economically important export. The Pacific holds large quantities of sea bass, flounder, anchovies, tuna, crustaceans, and shellfish, and is home to many sharks, sperm whales, and whales.[80]

Peru also has an equally diverse flora. The coastal deserts produce little more than cacti, apart from hilly fog oases and river valleys that contain unique plant life.[81] The Highlands above the tree-line known as puna is home to bushes, cactus, drought-resistant plants such as ichu, and the largest species of bromeliad – the spectacular Puya raimondii.

The cloud-forest slopes of the Andes sustain moss, orchids, and bromeliads, and the Amazon rainforest is known for its variety of trees and canopy plants.[80]

Economy and infrastructure

Lima - Perú
Buildings in Lima's financial district of San Isidro.
Puerto de Callao
The Callao seaport, Peru's main export outlet.

The economy of Peru is the 48th largest in the world (ranked by PPP),[82] and the income level is classified as upper middle by the World Bank.[11] Peru is, as of 2011, one of the world's fastest-growing economies owing to the economic boom experienced during the 2000s.[83] It has an above-average Human Development Index of 0.74 which has seen steady improvement over the last 25 years.[10] Historically, the country's economic performance has been tied to exports, which provide hard currency to finance imports and external debt payments.[84] Although they have provided substantial revenue, self-sustained growth and a more egalitarian distribution of income have proven elusive.[85] According to 2015 data, 19.3% of its total population is poor, including 9% that lives in extreme poverty.[86] Inflation in 2012 was the lowest in Latin America at only 1.8%, but increased in 2013 as oil and commodity prices rose; as of 2014 it stands at 2.5%.[87] The unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent years, and as of 2012 stands at 3.6%.

Peruvian economic policy has varied widely over the past decades. The 1968–1975 government of Juan Velasco Alvarado introduced radical reforms, which included agrarian reform, the expropriation of foreign companies, the introduction of an economic planning system, 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.[88]

Despite these results, most reforms were not reversed until the 1990s, when the liberalizing government of Alberto Fujimori ended price controls, protectionism, restrictions on foreign direct investment, and most state ownership of companies.[89] Reforms have permitted sustained economic growth since 1993, except for a slump after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.[90]

Services account for 53% of Peruvian gross domestic product, followed by manufacturing (22.3%), extractive industries (15%), and taxes (9.7%).[91] Recent economic growth has been fueled by macroeconomic stability, improved terms of trade, and rising investment and consumption.[92] Trade is expected to increase further after the implementation of a free trade agreement with the United States signed on 12 April 2006.[93] Peru's main exports are copper, gold, zinc, textiles, and fish meal; its major trade partners are the United States, China, Brazil, and Chile.[94]

Demographics

Ethnic groups

Juan Mauricio Rugendas - Study for Lima’s Main Square - Google Art Project
Lima's main square, c. 1843. Throughout its history, Peruvian society has been diverse.

Peru is a multiethnic nation formed by successive waves of different peoples over five centuries. Amerindians inhabited Peruvian territory for several millennia before Spanish Conquest in the 16th century; according to historian Noble David Cook, their population decreased from nearly 5–9 million in the 1520s to around 600,000 in 1620 mainly because of infectious diseases.[96]

Spaniards and Africans arrived in large numbers under colonial rule, mixing widely with each other and with indigenous peoples. After independence, there was gradual immigration from England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.[97] Peru freed its black slaves in 1854.[98] Chinese and Japanese arrived in the 1850s as laborers following the end of slavery, and have since become a major influence in Peruvian society, forming the largest population of Asians in Latin America after Brazil.[99]

Population

With about 31.5 million inhabitants, Peru is the fourth most populous country in South America.[17] The demographic growth rate of Peru declined from 2.6% to 1.6% between 1950 and 2000; with the population being expected to reach approximately 42 million in 2050.[100] According to the 1940 Peruvian census, Peru had a population at the time of 7 million residents.[101]

As of 2007, 75.9% lived in urban areas and 24.1% in rural areas.[102] Major cities include the Lima metropolitan area (home to over 9.8 million people), Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Iquitos, Cusco, Chimbote, and Huancayo; all reported more than 250,000 inhabitants in the 2007 census.[103] There are 15 uncontacted Amerindian tribes in Peru.[104]

Language

According to the Peruvian Constitution of 1993, Peru's official languages are Spanish and Quechua, Aymara and other indigenous languages in areas where they predominate. Spanish is spoken natively by 84.1% of the population and Quechua by 13%, Aymara by 1.7% while other languages are spoken by the remaining 1.2%.[82]

Spanish is used by the government and is the mainstream language of the country, which is used by the media and in educational systems and commerce. Amerindians who live in the Andean highlands speak Quechua and Aymara and are ethnically distinct from the diverse indigenous groups who live on the eastern side of the Andes and in the tropical lowlands adjacent to the Amazon basin. Peru's distinct geographical regions are mirrored in a language divide between the coast where Spanish is more predominant over the Amerindian languages, and the more diverse traditional Andean cultures of the mountains and highlands. The indigenous populations east of the Andes speak various languages and dialects. Some of these groups still adhere to traditional indigenous languages, while others have been almost completely assimilated into the Spanish language. There has been an increasing and organized effort to teach Quechua in public schools in the areas where Quechua is spoken. In the Peruvian Amazon, numerous indigenous languages are spoken, including Asháninka, Bora, and Aguaruna.[105]

Religion

Coricancha, Cusco, Perú, 2015-07-31, DD 68
Quri Kancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo

Roman Catholicism has been the predominant faith in Peru for centuries, albeit with a high degree of syncretism with indigenous traditions. As of the 2017 census, 76% of the population over 12 years old described themselves as Catholic, 14.1% as Evangelical, 4.8% as Protestant, Jewish, Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah's Witness, and 5.1% as nonreligious.[106]

Amerindian religious traditions continue to play a major role in the beliefs of Peruvians. Catholic festivities like Corpus Christi, Holy Week and Christmas sometimes blend with Amerindian traditions. Amerindian festivities from pre-Columbian remain widespread; Inti Raymi, an ancient Inca festival, is still celebrated, especially in rural communities.

The majority of towns, cities, and villages have their own official church or cathedral and patron saint.

Education

Peru's literacy rate is estimated at 92.9% as of 2007; this rate is lower in rural areas (80.3%) than in urban areas (96.3%).[107] Primary and secondary education are compulsory and free in public schools.[82][108]

Health

Peru has a life expectancy of 75.0 years (72.4 for males and 77.7 for females) according to the latest data for the year 2016 from the World Bank.[109]

Toponyms

Many of the Peruvian toponyms have indigenous sources. In the Andes communities of Áncash, Cusco and Puno Quechua or Aymara names are overwhelmingly predominant. Their Spanish-based orthography, however, is in conflict with the normalized alphabets of these languages. According to Article 20 of Decreto Supremo No 004-2016-MC (Supreme Decree) which approves the Regulations to Law 29735, published in the official newspaper El Peruano on 22 July 2016, adequate spellings of the toponyms in the normalized alphabets of the indigenous languages must progressively be proposed with the aim of standardizing the namings used by the National Geographic Institute (Instituto Geográfico Nacional, IGN) The National Geographic Institute realizes the necessary changes in the official maps of Peru.[110]

Culture

Anonymous, Cuzco School, Peru - The Virgin of the Pilgrims and Child - Google Art Project
The Virgin of the Pilgrims and Child, Anonymous Colonial Cusco School painting, 18th century

Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions,[111] though it has also been influenced by various Asian, African, and other 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 achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu. Baroque dominated colonial art, though modified by native traditions.[112]

During this period, most art focused on religious subjects; the numerous churches of the era and the paintings of the Cusco School are representative.[113] Arts stagnated after independence until the emergence of Indigenismo in the early 20th century.[114] Since the 1950s, Peruvian art has been eclectic and shaped by both foreign and local art currents.

Pre-Columbian art

Peruvian art has its origin in the Andean civilizations. These civilizations rose in the territory of modern Peru before the arrival of the Spanish. Peru's earliest artwork came from the Cupisnique culture, which was concentrated on the Pacific coast, and the Chavín culture, which was largely north of Lima between the Andean mountain ranges of the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca. Decorative work from this era, approximately the 9th century BCE, was symbolic and religious in nature. The artists worked with gold, silver and ceramics to create a variety of sculpture and relief carvings. These civilizations were also known for their architecture and wood sculpture.

Colonial art

Peruvian sculpture and painting began to define themselves from the ateliers founded by monks, who were strongly influenced by the Sevillian Baroque School. In this context, the stalls of the Cathedral choir, the fountain of the Main Square of Lima both by Pedro de Noguera, and a great part of the colonial production were registered. The first center of art established by the Spanish was the Cuzco School that taught Quechua artists European painting styles. Diego Quispe Tito (1611-1681) was one of the first members of the Cuzco school and Marcos Zapata (1710-1773) was one of the last.[115]

Painting of this time reflected a synthesis of European and indigenous influences, as is evident in the portrait of prisoner Atahualpa, by D. de Mora or in the canvases of the Italians Mateo Pérez de Alesio and Angelino Medoro, the Spaniards Francisco Bejarano and J. de Illescas and the Creole J. Rodriguez.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque Style also dominated the field of plastic arts.

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 prehispanic period, such as the Quechua, the Aymara and the Chanka South American native groups.

Peruvian literature is rooted in the oral traditions of pre-Columbian civilizations. Spaniards introduced writing in the 16th century; colonial literary expression included chronicles and religious literature. After independence, Costumbrism and Romanticism became the most common literary genres, as exemplified in the works of Ricardo Palma.[116] The early 20th century's Indigenismo movement was led by such writers as Ciro Alegría[117] and José María Arguedas.[118] César Vallejo wrote modernist and often politically engaged verse. Modern Peruvian literature is recognized thanks to authors such as Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, a leading member of the Latin American Boom.[119]

Ceviche de caballa
Ceviche is a popular lime marinated seafood dish which originated in Peru.

Cuisine

Due to the Spanish expedition and discovery of the Americas, the explorers started the Columbian Exchange which included food unheard of in the Old World, such as potato, tomato, and maize. Modern indigenous Peruvian food mainly consists of corn, potatoes, and chilies. There are now more than 3,000 kinds of potatoes grown on Peruvian terrain, according to Peru's Instituto Peruano de la Papa.[120] Modern Peruvian cuisine blends Amerindian and Spanish food with strong influences from Chinese, African, Arab, Italian, and Japanese cooking.[121] Common dishes include anticuchos, ceviche, and pachamanca. Peru's varied climate allows the growth of diverse plants and animals good for cooking.[122] Peru's diversity of ingredients and cooking techniques is receiving worldwide acclaim.[123]

Peruvian cuisine reflects local practices and ingredients—including influences from the indigenous population including the Inca and cuisines brought in with colonizers and immigrants. Without the familiar ingredients from their home countries, immigrants modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients available in Peru. The four traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes and other tubers, Amaranthaceaes (quinoa, kañiwa and kiwicha) and legumes (beans and lupins). Staples brought by the Spanish include rice, wheat and meats (beef, pork and chicken). Many traditional foods—such as quinoa, kiwicha, chili peppers, and several roots and tubers have increased in popularity in recent decades, reflecting a revival of interest in native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques. Chef Gaston Acurio has become well known for raising awareness of local ingredients.

Music

Marinera Norteña

Peruvian music has Andean, Spanish, and African roots.[124] In pre-Hispanic times, musical expressions varied widely in each region; the quena and the tinya were two common instruments.[125] Spaniards introduced new instruments, such as the guitar and the harp, which led to the development of crossbred instruments like the charango.[126] African contributions to Peruvian music include its rhythms and the cajón, a percussion instrument. Peruvian folk dances include marinera, tondero, zamacueca, diablada and huayno.[127]

Peruvian music is dominated by the national instrument, the charango. The charango is member of the lute family of instruments and was invented during the Viceroyalty of Peru by musicians imitating the Spanish vihuela. In the Canas and Titicaca regions, the charango is used in courtship rituals, symbolically invoking mermaids with the instrument to lure the woman to the male performers. Until the 1960s, the charango was denigrated as an instrument of the rural poor. After the revolution in 1959, which built upon the Indigenismo movement (1910–1940), the charango was popularized among other performers. Variants include the walaycho, chillador, chinlili, and the larger and lower-tuned charangon.

While the Spanish guitar is widely played, so too is the Spanish-in-origin bandurria. Unlike the guitar, it has been transformed by Peruvian players over the years, changing from a 12-string, 6-course instrument to one having 12 to 16 strings in a mere 4 courses. Violins and harps, also of European origin, are also played.

Cinema

While the Peruvian film industry has not been nearly as prolific as that of some other Latin American countries, some Peruvian movies produced enjoyed regional success. Historically, the cinema of Peru began in Iquitos in 1932 by Antonio Wong Rengifo (with a momentous, initial film billboard from 1900) because the rubber boom and the intense arrival of foreigners with technology to the city, and thus continued an extensive, unique filmography, with a different style than the films made in the capital, Lima.

Peru also produced the first animated 3-D film in Latin America, Piratas en el Callao. This film is set in the historical port city of Callao, which during colonial times had to defend itself against attacks by Dutch and British privateers seeking to undercut Spain's trade with its colonies. The film was produced by the Peruvian company Alpamayo Entertainment, which made a second 3-D film one year later: Dragones: Destino de Fuego.

In February 2006, the film Madeinusa, produced as a joint venture between Peru and Spain and directed by Claudia Llosa, was set in an imaginary Andean village and describes the stagnating life of Madeinusa performed by Magaly Solier and the traumas of post-civil war Peru.

Llosa, who shared elements of Gabriel García Márquez's magic realism, won an award at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Llosa's second feature, The Milk of Sorrow ("La Teta Asustada"), was nominated for the 82nd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Picture, the first Peruvian film in the Academy's history to be nominated. The Milk of Sorrow ("La Teta Asustada"), won the Golden Bear award at the 2009 Berlinale.

See also

Notes and references

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  2. ^ The 2017 National Census included, for the first time, a question of ethnic self-identification that was addressed to people aged 12 and over considering elements such as their ancestry, their customs and their family origin in order to visualize and better understand the cultural reality of the country.
  3. ^ The question about religion included in the 2017 National Census was addressed to people aged 12 and over.
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  101. ^ "First results of the Peruvian population census conducted last year". The Peru Telegraph. 26 June 2018.
  102. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática, Perfil sociodemográfico del Perú, p. 13.
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  104. ^ "Isolated Peru tribe threatened by outsiders. USATODAY.com. 31 January 2012
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Bibliography

  • Bailey, Gauvin Alexander. Art of colonial Latin America. London: Phaidon, 2005, ISBN 0714841579.
  • Constitución Política del Perú. 29 December 1993.
  • Custer, Tony. The Art of Peruvian Cuisine. Lima: Ediciones Ganesha, 2003, ISBN 9972920305.
  • Garland, Gonzalo. "Perú Siglo XXI", series of 11 working papers describing sectorial long-term forecasts, Grade, Lima, Peru, 1986–1987.
  • Garland, Gonzalo. Peru in the 21st Century: Challenges and Possibilities in Futures: the Journal of Forecasting, Planning and Policy, Volume 22, No. 4, Butterworth-Heinemann, London, England, May 1990.
  • Gootenberg, Paul. (1991) Between silver and guano: commercial policy and the state in postindependence Peru. Princeton: Princeton University Press ISBN 0691023425.
  • Gootenberg, Paul. (1993) Imagining development: economic ideas in Peru's "fictitious prosperity" of Guano, 1840–1880. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, 0520082907.
  • Higgins, James (editor). The Emancipation of Peru: British Eyewitness Accounts, 2014. Online at https://sites.google.com/site/jhemanperu
  • Instituto de Estudios Histórico–Marítimos del Perú. El Perú y sus recursos: Atlas geográfico y económico. Lima: Auge, 1996.
  • Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. "Perú: Compendio Estadístico 2005" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2007. (8.31 MB). Lima: INEI, 2005.
  • Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. Perfil sociodemográfico del Perú. Lima: INEI, 2008.
  • Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. Perú: Estimaciones y Proyecciones de Población, 1950–2050. Lima: INEI, 2001.
  • Ley N° 27178, Ley del Servicio Militar .docx icon.svgDOC. 28 September 1999.
  • Ley N° 27867, Ley Ley Orgánica de Gobiernos Regionales. 16 November 2002.
  • Martin, Gerald. "Literature, music and the visual arts, c. 1820–1870". In: Leslie Bethell (ed.), A cultural history of Latin America. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 1998, pp. 3–45.
  • Martin, Gerald. "Narrative since c. 1920". In: Leslie Bethell (ed.), A cultural history of Latin America. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 1998, pp. 133–225.
  • Porras Barrenechea, Raúl. El nombre del Perú. Lima: Talleres Gráficos P.L. Villanueva, 1968.
  • Scheina, Robert (2003), Latin America's Wars: The Age of the Caudillo, 1791–1899, Brassey’s, ISBN 978-1-57488-450-0
  • Thorp, Rosemary and Geoffrey Bertram. Peru 1890–1977: growth and policy in an open economy. New York: Columbia University Press, 1978, ISBN 0231034334

Further reading

Economy
  • (in Spanish) Banco Central de Reserva. Cuadros Anuales Históricos.
  • (in Spanish) Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. Perú: Perfil de la pobreza por departamentos, 2004–2008. Lima: INEI, 2009.
  • Concha, Jaime. "Poetry, c. 1920–1950". In: Leslie Bethell (ed.), A cultural history of Latin America. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 1998, pp. 227–260.

External links

Amazon River

The Amazon River (US: , UK: ; Spanish and Portuguese: Amazonas) in South America is the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world, and by some definitions it is the longest.The headwaters of the Apurímac River on Nevado Mismi had been considered for nearly a century as the Amazon's most distant source, until a 2014 study found it to be the Cordillera Rumi Cruz at the headwaters of the Mantaro River in Peru. The Mantaro and Apurímac join, and with other tributaries form the Ucayali River, which in turn meets the Marañón River upstream of Iquitos, Peru, to form what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon. Brazilians call this section the Solimões River above its confluence with the Rio Negro to form what Brazilians call the Amazon at the Meeting of Waters (Portuguese: Encontro das Águas) at Manaus, the river's largest city.

At an average discharge of about 209,000 cubic metres per second (7,400,000 cu ft/s; 209,000,000 L/s; 55,000,000 USgal/s)—approximately 6,591 cubic kilometres per annum (1,581 cu mi/a), greater than the next seven largest independent rivers combined—the Amazon represents 20% of the global riverine discharge to the ocean. The Amazon basin is the largest drainage basin in the world, with an area of approximately 7,050,000 square kilometres (2,720,000 sq mi). The portion of the river's drainage basin in Brazil alone is larger than any other river's basin. The Amazon enters Brazil with only one-fifth of the flow it finally discharges into the Atlantic Ocean, yet already has a greater flow at this point than the discharge of any other river.

Andes

The Andes or Andean Mountains (Spanish: Cordillera de los Andes) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America. This range is about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, about 200 to 700 km (120 to 430 mi) wide (widest between 18° south and 20° south latitude), and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

Along their length, the Andes are split into several ranges, separated by intermediate depressions. The Andes are the location of several high plateaus – some of which host major cities such as Quito, Bogotá, Arequipa, Medellín, Sucre, Mérida and La Paz. The Altiplano plateau is the world's second-highest after the Tibetan plateau. These ranges are in turn grouped into three major divisions based on climate: the Tropical Andes, the Dry Andes, and the Wet Andes.

The Andes Mountains are the world's highest mountain range outside Asia. The highest mountain outside Asia, Argentina's Mount Aconcagua, rises to an elevation of about 6,961 m (22,838 ft) above sea level. The peak of Chimborazo in the Ecuadorian Andes is farther from the Earth's center than any other location on the Earth's surface, due to the equatorial bulge resulting from the Earth's rotation. The world's highest volcanoes are in the Andes, including Ojos del Salado on the Chile-Argentina border, which rises to 6,893 m (22,615 ft).

The Andes are also part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.

Chinchilla

Chinchillas are either of two species (Chinchilla chinchilla and Chinchilla lanigera) of crepuscular rodents of the parvorder Caviomorpha. They are slightly larger and more robust than ground squirrels, and are native to the Andes mountains in South America. They live in colonies called "herds" at high elevations of up to 4,270 m (14,000 ft). Historically, chinchillas lived in an area that included parts of Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile, but today, colonies in the wild are known only in Chile. Along with their relatives, viscachas, they make up the family Chinchillidae. They are also related to the chinchilla rat.

The chinchilla has the densest fur of all mammals that live on land. In the water, the sea otter has a denser coat. The chinchilla is named after the Chincha people of the Andes, who once wore its dense, velvet-like fur. By the end of the 19th century, chinchillas had become quite rare after being hunted for their ultra-soft fur. Most chinchillas currently used by the fur industry for clothing and other accessories are farm-raised. Domestic chinchillas descended from C. lanigera are sometimes kept as pets, and may be considered a type of pocket pet.

Copa América

CONMEBOL Copa América (CONMEBOL America Cup), known until 1975 as the South American Football Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano de Fútbol in Spanish and Campeonato Sul-americano de Futebol (Portugal) ou Copa Sul-Americana de Futebol (Brazil) in Portuguese), is a men's international football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL. It is the oldest international continental football competition. The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to participate.

Since 1993, the tournament has generally featured 12 teams – all 10 CONMEBOL teams and two additional teams from other confederations. Mexico has participated in every tournament since 1993, with one additional team drawn from CONCACAF, except for 1999, when AFC team Japan filled out the 12-team roster. The 2016 version of the event, Copa América Centenario, featured sixteen teams, with six teams from CONCACAF in addition to the 10 from CONMEBOL. Mexico's two runner-up finishes are the highest for a non-CONMEBOL side.

Eight of the ten CONMEBOL national teams have won the tournament at least once in its 45 stagings since the event's inauguration in 1916, with only Ecuador and Venezuela yet to win. Uruguay has the most championships in the tournament's history, with 15 cups, while the current champion, Chile, has two cups. Argentina, which hosted the inaugural edition in 1916, has hosted the tournament the most times (nine). The United States is the only non-CONMEBOL country to host, having hosted the event in 2016. On three occasions (in 1975, 1979, and 1983), the tournament was held in multiple South American countries.

The highest finishing member of CONMEBOL has the right to participate in the next edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, but is not obliged to do so.

Cusco

Cusco (Spanish: Cuzco [ˈkusko]; Quechua: Qusqu, Qosqo [ˈqʊsqʊ], [ˈqɔsqɔ]), 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 and of the Cusco Province. In 2017, the city had a population of 428,450. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft).

The site was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th-century Spanish conquest. In 1983 Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO with the title "City of Cuzco". It has become a major tourist destination, hosting nearly 2 million visitors a year. The Constitution of Peru designates it as the Historical Capital of Peru.

Districts of Peru

The districts of Peru (Spanish: distritos) are the third-level country subdivisions of Peru. They are subdivisions of the provinces, which in turn are subdivisions of the larger regions or departments. There are 1,838 districts in total.

Ecuador

Ecuador ( (listen) EK-wə-dor, Spanish: [ekwaˈðoɾ]) (Quechua: Ikwayur; Shuar: Ecuador or Ekuatur), officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechua: Ikwadur Ripuwlika), is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito and the largest city as well.What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 16.4 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European, Amerindian, and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar.

The sovereign state of Ecuador is a middle-income representative democratic republic with a developing economy that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. It is governed as a democratic presidential republic. One of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights. It also has the second lowest homicide rate in South America.

Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro González (; Spanish: [fɾanˈθisko piˈθaro]; c. 1471 – 26 June 1541) was a Spanish conquistador who led an expedition that conquered the Inca Empire. He captured and killed Incan emperor Atahualpa, and claimed the lands for Spain.

Inca Empire

The Inca Empire (Quechua: Tawantinsuyu, lit. "The Four Regions"), also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Its political and administrative structure is considered by most scholars to have been the most developed in the Americas before Columbus' arrival. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in the city of Cusco. The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. Its last stronghold was conquered by the Spanish in 1572.

From 1438 to 1533, the Incas incorporated a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean Mountains, using conquest and peaceful assimilation, among other methods. At its largest, the empire joined Peru, southwest Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, northern Chile and a small part of southwest Colombia into a state comparable to the historical empires of Eurasia. Its official language was Quechua. Many local forms of worship persisted in the empire, most of them concerning local sacred Huacas, but the Inca leadership encouraged the sun worship of Inti – their sun god – and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama. The Incas considered their king, the Sapa Inca, to be the "son of the sun."The Inca Empire was unique in that it lacked many features associated with civilization in the Old World. In the words of one scholar,

The Incas lacked the use of wheeled vehicles. They lacked animals to ride and draft animals that could pull wagons and plows... [They] lacked the knowledge of iron and steel... Above all, they lacked a system of writing... Despite these supposed handicaps, the Incas were still able to construct one of the greatest imperial states in human history.

Notable features of the Inca Empire include its monumental architecture, especially stonework, extensive road network reaching all corners of the empire, finely-woven textiles, use of knotted strings (quipu) for record keeping and communication, agricultural innovations in a difficult environment, and the organization and management fostered or imposed on its people and their labor.

The Incan economy has been described in contradictory ways by scholars:

... feudal, slave, socialist (here one may choose between socialist paradise or socialist tyranny)

The Inca empire functioned largely without money and without markets. Instead, exchange of goods and services was based on reciprocity between individuals and among individuals, groups, and Inca rulers. "Taxes" consisted of a labour obligation of a person to the Empire. The Inca rulers (who theoretically owned all the means of production) reciprocated by granting access to land and goods and providing food and drink in celebratory feasts for their subjects.

Internal conflict in Peru

The internal conflict in Peru is an ongoing armed conflict between the Government of Peru, the Communist Party of Peru (also known as Shining Path or "PCP-SL"), and the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. The conflict began on May 17, 1980. It is estimated that there have been nearly 70,000 deaths, making it the bloodiest war in Peruvian history since the European colonization of the country.

The high death toll includes many civilian casualties due to deliberate targeting by many factions. Since 2000, the number of deaths has dropped significantly and recently the conflict has become dormant. There were low-level resurgences of violence in 2002 and 2014 when conflict erupted between the Peruvian Army and guerrilla remnants in the VRAEM region. The conflict has lasted for over 38 years, making it the second longest internal conflict in the history of Latin America, after the Colombian armed conflict.

Lima

Lima (, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlima], Quechua: [ˈlɪma], Aymara: [ˈlima]) 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 coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the third-largest city in the Americas (as defined by "city proper"), behind São Paulo and Mexico City.

Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes in the agricultural region known by the Indians as Limaq, name that acquired over time. It became the capital and most important city in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru (República del Perú). Around one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area.

Lima is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551, during the Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.

Nowadays the city is considered as the political, cultural, financial and commercial center of the country. Internationally, it is one of the thirty most populated urban agglomerations in the world. Due to its geostrategic importance, it has been defined as a "beta" city.

Jurisdictionally, the metropolis extends mainly within the province of Lima and in a smaller portion, to the west, within the constitutional province of Callao, where the seaport and the Jorge Chávez airport are located. Both provinces have regional autonomy since 2002.

In October 2013, Lima was chosen to host the 2019 Pan American Games. It also hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2014 and the Miss Universe 1982 contest.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu (English: or , Spanish: [ˈmatʃu ˈpi(k)tʃu]; Quechua: Machu Pikchu [ˈmatʃʊ ˈpɪktʃʊ]) is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows, cutting through the Cordillera and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas" (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues.Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

National University of San Marcos

The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is a public research university in Lima, capital of Peru. Also known as the "Dean university of the Americas", it is the first officially established (privilege by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) and the longest continuously operating university in the Americas.It is widely regarded as an influential institution of higher-education in the country. It consistently ranks among the top two universities in the country. Its main campus, the University City, is located in Lima. It was chartered on May 12, 1551, by a royal decree signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, which makes it the oldest officially established university in the Americas.

San Marcos has 60 academic-professional schools, organized into 20 faculties, and 6 academic areas. All of the faculties offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The student body consists of over 30,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students from all the country, as well as some international students. The university has a number of public institutions under its government such as the San Marcos Cultural Center and the Museum of Natural History of Lima.

It is also the only university in Peru with a Nobel Prize laureate among its alumni: Mario Vargas Llosa (Literature). San Marcos is also recognized for the quality of its curricular contents, a competitive admissions process, as well as for being a center of scientific research. Several Peruvian and Latin American influential thinkers, researchers, scientists, politicians and writers have studied there, which underscores San Marcos' leading role as an educational institution in the history of Peru and the world.

Peru national football team

The Peru national football team is organised, since 1927, by the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) to represent Peru in international association football. The FPF constitutes one of the 10 members of FIFA's South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL). Peru has won the Copa América twice and qualified for FIFA World Cup finals five times (last appearing in 2018); it also participated in the 1936 Olympic football competition and has reached the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The team plays most of its home matches at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, the country's capital.

The Peruvian team is well-known for its white shirts adorned with a diagonal red stripe, which combine Peru's national colours. This basic design has been used continuously since 1936, and gives rise to the team's common Spanish nickname, la Blanquirroja ("the white-and-red"). Peruvian football fans are known for their distinctive cheer ¡Arriba Perú! ("Onward Peru!"). Peru has longstanding rivalries with Chile and Ecuador.The Peruvian national team enjoyed its most successful periods in the 1930s and the 1970s. In the 1930s, Peru took part in the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930 and enjoyed victories in the 1938 Bolivarian Games and the 1939 Copa América, with goalkeeper Juan Valdivieso and forwards Teodoro Fernández and Alejandro Villanueva playing important roles. In the 1970s, Peru qualified for three World Cups and won the Copa América in 1975, attaining worldwide recognition; the team then notably included defender Héctor Chumpitaz and the forward partnership of Hugo Sotil and Teófilo Cubillas, often regarded as Peru's greatest player.

The national team's all-time top goalscorer is Paolo Guerrero, with 35 goals, and its most-capped player is Roberto Palacios, with 128 appearances. Under manager Ricardo Gareca, Peru earned third at the 2015 Copa América, reached the quarterfinals of the Copa América Centenario, and participated in the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

Peruvians

Peruvians (Spanish: Peruanos) are the citizens of the Republic of Peru or their descendants abroad. Peru is a multiethnic country formed by the combination of different groups over five centuries, so people in Peru usually treat their nationality as a citizenship rather than an ethnicity. Amerindians inhabited Peruvian territory for several millennia before Spanish Conquest in the 16th century; according to historian David N. Cook their population decreased from an estimated 5–9 million in the 1520s to around 600,000 in 1620 mainly because of infectious diseases. Spaniards and Africans arrived in large numbers under colonial rule, mixing widely with each other and with indigenous peoples. During the Republic, there has been a gradual immigration of European people (specially from Spain and Italy, and in a less extent from France, the Balkans, Portugal, Great Britain and Germany). Japanese and Chinese arrived in large numbers at the end of nineteenth century.

With 31.2 million inhabitants according to the 2017 Census, Peru is the fifth 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 46 - 51 million in 2050. As of 2017, 79.3% lived in urban areas and 20.7% in rural areas. Major cities include Lima, home to over 9.5 million people, Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Iquitos, Huancayo, Cusco and Pucallpa, all of which reported more than 250,000 inhabitants.

The largest expatriate Peruvian communities are in the United States (Peruvian Americans), South America (Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Brazil), Europe (Spain, Italy, France and the United Kingdom), Japan, Australia and Canada.

Provinces of Peru

The provinces of Peru (Spanish: provincias) are the second-level administrative subdivisions of the country. They are divided into districts (Spanish: distritos). There are 196 provinces in Peru, grouped into 25 regions except for the Lima Province which does not belong to any region. This makes an average of seven provinces per region. The region with the fewest provinces is Callao (one) and the region with the most is Ancash (twenty).

While provinces in the sparsely populated Amazon rain forest of eastern Peru tend to be larger, there is a large concentration of them in the north-central area of the country. The province with the fewest districts is Purús Province, with just one district. The province with the most districts is Lima Province, with 43 districts. The most common number of districts per province is eight, a total of 29 provinces share this number of districts.

Regions of Peru

The regions (Spanish: regiones) of Peru are the first-level administrative subdivisions of Peru. Since its 1821 independence, Peru had been divided into departments (Spanish: departamentos) but faced the problem of an increasing centralization of political and economic power in its capital, Lima. After several unsuccessful decentralization attempts, the legal figure of region became official and regional governments were elected to manage the departments on November 20, 2002, until their planned fusion into real regions.

Under the new arrangement, the former 24 departments plus the Callao Province have become regional circumscriptions. The province of Lima has been excluded from this process and does not form part of any department. Unlike the earlier departments, regions have an elected government and have a wide array of responsibilities within their jurisdiction. Under the 2002 Organic Law of Regional Governments (Spanish: Ley Orgánica de Gobiernos Regionales), there is an ongoing process of transfer of functions from the central government to the regions. A 2005 referendum for the merger of several departments failed to get the necessary electoral support.

Peruvian departments are subdivided into provinces and districts.

South America

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions (like Latin America or the Southern Cone) has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics (in particular, the rise of Brazil).It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie to the northwest. It includes twelve sovereign states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela), a part of France (French Guiana), and a non-sovereign area (the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory though this is disputed by Argentina). In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama may also be considered part of South America.

South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi). Its population as of 2016 has been estimated at more than 420 million. South America ranks fourth in area (after Asia, Africa, and North America) and fifth in population (after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America). Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and Peru. In recent decades Brazil has also concentrated half of the region's GDP and has become a first regional power.Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America is dominated by the Andes mountains; in contrast, the eastern part contains both highland regions and vast lowlands where rivers such as the Amazon, Orinoco, and Paraná flow. Most of the continent lies in the tropics.

The continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish, and societies and states reflect Western traditions.

Viceroyalty of Peru

The Viceroyalty of Peru (Spanish: Virreinato del Perú) was a Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained modern-day Peru and most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. The Viceroyalty of Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

The Spanish did not resist the Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian established by the Treaty of Tordesillas. The treaty was rendered meaningless between 1580 and 1640 while Spain controlled Portugal. The creation during the 18th century of Viceroyalties of New Granada and Río de la Plata (at the expense of Peru's territory) reduced the importance of Lima and shifted the lucrative Andean trade to Buenos Aires, while the fall of the mining and textile production accelerated the progressive decay of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Eventually, the viceroyalty would dissolve, as with much of the Spanish Empire, when challenged by national independence movements at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These movements led to the formation of the modern-day countries of Peru, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Guyana and Venezuela in the territories that at one point or another had constituted the Viceroyalty of Peru.

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