Peru

About the country

Geography
History
Economy
Culture
Policy
Guide
History
Geography
Economy
Culture
Political system, law and government
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Peru -- Geography --

Capital City: Lima
Largest City: Lima
Languages: Spanish
Official Currency: Nuevo Sol
GDP (nominal) $127.462 billion
Population: 29,132,013
Land Area: 1,285,220 km2
It neighbors 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, dividing the country into three geographic regions. 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 Huascaran. The third region is the selva (jungle), a wide expanse of flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest that extends east. Almost 60% of the country's area is located within this region, giving Peru the fourth largest area of tropical forest in the world. Most Peruvian rivers originate in the Andes and drain into one of three basins. Peru's longest rivers are the Ucayali, the Maranon, the Yavari, the Huallaga, the Mantaro, and the Amazon. The largest lake is Titikaka,located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Climate - Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes cause˙ great climatic diversity within the country. 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. The Peruvian government has established several protected areas for their preservation

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Peru -- History --

The earliest evidence of human presence in Peruvian territory has been dated to approximately 9,000 BCE.
15th century - the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.
1542 - the Spanish Crown established the Viceroyalty of Peru.
19th century - most of South America was swept by wars of independence.
1810 – 1826 - independence was achieved only after the military campaigns of Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar.
1845 - 1862 presidency of Ramon Castilla However, by the 1870s, these resources had been squandered, the country was heavily indebted, and political in-fighting was again on the rise.
1879 - 1883 - in the War of the Pacific Peru was defeated by Chile
1879-81, 1895-99 - Nicolas de Pierola is the President of the Republic of Peru; reconstruction of a devastated Peru by initiating fiscal, military, religious, and civil reforms; monetary stability
1945 - Peru joined the Allies in declaring war on Germany and Japan
1945-68 – Peru is ruled by presidents dictators
1968 - the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, staged a coup against president Fernando Belaunde. The new regime undertook radical reforms aimed at fostering development but failed to gain widespread support.
1980-85 the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) won the presidential election, bringing Alan Garcia to office.
1990 - Alberto Fujimori is president; he dissolved Congress, revised the constitution, called new congressional election
2000 - Fujimori's constitutionally questionable decision to seek a third term and subsequent tainted victory in June 2000 brought political and economic turmoil; new elections had been called in which he would not run.
2001 -Alejandro Toledo is president; the Toledo Administration managed to restore some degree of democracy to Peru following the authoritarianism and corruption that plagued both the Fujimori and Garcia governments.
2006 - former president Alan Garcia became the current President of Peru

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Peru -- Economy --

Peru's economy has experienced significant growth in the last 15 years. It is consired an Emerging Market according to the MSCI. 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. In the 1990s the liberalizing government of Alberto Fujimori ended price controls, protectionism, restrictions on foreign direct investment, and most state ownership of companies. Reforms have permitted sustained economic growth since 1993. Services account for 53% of Peruvian gross domestic product, followed by manufacturing (22.3%), extractive industries (15%), and taxes (9.7%). Recent economic growth has been fueled by macroeconomic stability, improved terms of trade, 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.

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Peru -- 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 achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu. 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 achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu. Baroque 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 are representative. Arts stagnated after independence until the emergence of Indigenismo in the early 20th century. Since the 1950s, Peruvian art has been eclectic and shaped by both foreign and local art currents.

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Peru -- Political system, law and government --

Peru is a presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. Under the current constitution, the President is the head of state and government; he or she is elected for five years and cannot seek immediate re-election, he or she must stand down for at least one full constitutional term before reelection. The President designates the Prime Minister and, with his advice, the rest of the Council of Ministers. There is a unicameral Congress with 120 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 Peruvian government is directly elected, and voting is compulsory for all citizens aged 18 to 70. General elections held in 2006 ended in a second round victory for presidential candidate Alan Garcia of the Peruvian Aprista Party. Peruvian foreign relations have been dominated by border conflicts with neighboring countries, most of which were settled during the 20th century. There is still an ongoing dispute with Chile over maritime limits in the Pacific Ocean. 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. Peru is divided into 25 regions and the province of Lima. Each region has an elected government composed of a president and a council, which serves for a four-year term.

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