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Flag of Peru
Map of Peru
Introduction Peru
Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadores in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency. President Alberto FUJIMORI's election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president's increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime. FUJIMORI won reelection to a third term in the spring of 2000, but international pressure and corruption scandals led to his ouster by Congress in November of that year. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO as the new head of government.
Geography Peru
Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador
Geographic coordinates:
10 00 S, 76 00 W
Map references:
South America
total: 1,285,220 sq km
water: 5,220 sq km
land: 1.28 million sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries:
total: 5,536 km
border countries: Bolivia 900 km, Brazil 1,560 km, Chile 160 km, Colombia 1,496 km (est.), Ecuador 1,420 km
2,414 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 NM
territorial sea: 200 NM
varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes
western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m
Natural resources:
copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 2.85%
permanent crops: 0.38%
other: 96.77% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
11,950 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
Environment - current issues:
deforestation (some the result of illegal logging); overgrazing of the slopes of the costa and sierra leading to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake, with Bolivia; remote Lake McIntyre is the ultimate source of the Amazon River
People Peru
27,949,639 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 34% (male 4,820,892; female 4,671,205)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 8,598,328; female 8,492,830)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 627,601; female 738,783) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.66% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
23.36 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
5.74 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
38.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.59 years
female: 73.12 years (2002 est.)
male: 68.18 years
Total fertility rate:
2.89 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.35% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
48,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
4,100 (1999 est.)
noun: Peruvian(s)
adjective: Peruvian
Ethnic groups:
Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
Roman Catholic 90%
Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.3%
male: 94.5%
female: 83% (1995 est.)
Government Peru
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Peru
conventional short form: Peru
local long form: Republica del Peru
local short form: Peru
Government type:
constitutional republic
Administrative divisions:
24 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 constitutional province* (provincia constitucional); Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao*, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Ucayali
note: the 1979 constitution mandated the creation of regions (regiones, singular - region) to function eventually as autonomous economic and administrative entities; so far, 12 regions have been constituted from 23 of the 24 departments - Amazonas (from Loreto), Andres Avelino Caceres (from Huanuco, Pasco, Junin), Arequipa (from Arequipa), Chavin (from Ancash), Grau (from Tumbes, Piura), Inca (from Cusco, Madre de Dios, Apurimac), La Libertad (from La Libertad), Los Libertadores-Huari (from Ica, Ayacucho, Huancavelica), Mariategui (from Moquegua, Tacna, Puno), Nor Oriental del Maranon (from Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Amazonas), San Martin (from San Martin), Ucayali (from Ucayali); formation of another region has been delayed by the reluctance of the constitutional province of Callao to merge with the department of Lima; because of inadequate funding from the central government and organizational and political difficulties, the regions have yet to assume major responsibilities; the 1993 constitution retains the regions but limits their authority; the 1993 constitution also reaffirms the roles of departmental and municipal governments
28 July 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 28 July (1821)
31 December 1993
Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique (since 28 July 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; additionally two vice presidents are provided for by the constitution, First Vice President Raul DIEZ Canseco (since 28 July 2001) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN (since 28 July 2001)
head of government: President Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique (since 28 July 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; additionally two vice presidents are provided for by the constitution, First Vice President Raul DIEZ Canseco (since 28 July 2001) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN (since 28 July 2001)
note: Prime Minister Luis SOLARI DE LA FUENTE (since 12 July 2002) does not exercise executive power; this power is in the hands of the president; DANINO resigned 11 July 2002 and was replaced by Luis SOLARI
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; special presidential and congressional elections held 8 April 2001, with runoff election held 3 June 2001; next to be held 9 April 2006
election results: President Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique 53.1%, Alan GARCIA 46.9%
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Legislative branch:
unicameral Congress of the Republic of Peru or Congresso de la Republica del Peru (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - Peru Posible 26.3%, APRA 19.7%, Unidad Nacional 13.8%, FIM 11.0%, others 29.2%; seats by party - Peru Posible 47, APRA 28, Unidad Nacional 17, FIM 11, others 17
elections: last held 8 April 2001 (next to be held 9 April 2006)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary)
Political parties and leaders:
American Popular Revolutionary Alliance or APRA (now Peruvian Aprista Party or PAP as of April 2001) [Alan GARCIA]; Independent Moralizing Front or FIM [Fernando OLIVERA Vega]; National Unity (Unidad Nacional) or UN [Lourdes FLORES Nano]; Peru Posible or PP [Luis SOLARI]; Popular Action or AP [Javier DIAZ Orihuela]; Solucion Popular [Carlos BOLANA]; Somos Peru or SP [Alberto ANDRADE]; Union for Peru or UPP [Roger GUERRA Garcia]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
leftist guerrilla groups include Shining Path [Abimael GUZMAN Reynoso (imprisoned), Gabriel MACARIO (top leader at-large)]; Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement or MRTA [Victor POLAY (imprisoned), Hugo AVALLENEDA Valdez (top leader at-large)]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto DANINO
chancery: 1700 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paterson (New Jersey), San Francisco, Washington (DC)
FAX: [1] (202) 659-8124
telephone: [1] (202) 833-9860 through 9869
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John R. DAWSON
embassy: Avenida La Encalada, Cuadra 17s/n, Surco, Lima 33
mailing address: P. O. Box 1995, Lima 1; American Embassy (Lima), APO AA 34031-5000
telephone: [51] (1) 434-3000
FAX: [51] (1) 434-3037
Flag description:
three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), white, and red with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a shield bearing a vicuna, cinchona tree (the source of quinine), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out gold coins, all framed by a green wreath
Economy Peru
Economy - overview:
Thanks to strong foreign investment and the cooperation between the government and the IMF and World Bank, growth was strong in 1994-97 and inflation was brought under control. In 1998, El Nino's impact on agriculture, the financial crisis in Asia, and instability in Brazilian markets undercut growth. And 1999 was another lean year for Peru, with the aftermath of El Nino and the Asian financial crisis working its way through the economy. Political instability resulting from the presidential election and FUJIMORI's subsequent departure from office limited growth in 2000. The downturn in the global economy further depressed growth in 2001. President TOLEDO, who assumed the presidency in July 2001, is working to reinvigorate the economy and reduce unemployment. Economic growth in 2002 is projected to be 3 to 3.5%.
purchasing power parity - $132 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-0.3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $4,800 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 35%
services: 55% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
50% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 35% (1996) (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
46 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
7.5 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, construction, transport, services
Unemployment rate:
9%; widespread underemployment (2001 est.)
revenues: $10.4 billion
expenditures: $10.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.) (2002 est.)
mining of metals, petroleum, fishing, textiles, clothing, food processing, cement, auto assembly, steel, shipbuilding, metal fabrication
Industrial production growth rate:
1.5% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
19.679 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 18%
hydro: 81%
other: 1% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
18.301 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, plantains, coca; poultry, beef, dairy products, wool; fish
$7.3 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
fish and fish products, gold, copper, zinc, crude petroleum and byproducts, lead, coffee, sugar, cotton
Exports - partners:
US 28%, UK 8%, Switzerland 8%, China 6%, Japan, Chile, Brazil (2000)
$7.4 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners:
US 27%, Chile 8%, Spain 6%, Venezuela 4%, Colombia, Brazil, Japan (2000)
Debt - external:
$33.1 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$895.1 million (1995) (1995)
nuevo sol (PEN)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
nuevo sol per US dollar - 3.4400 (November 2001), 3.509 (2001), 3.4900 (2000), 3.3833 (1999), 2.9300 (1998), 2.6642 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Peru
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.8 million (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
504,995 (1998)
Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate for most requirements
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); Pan American submarine cable
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 472, FM 198, shortwave 189 (1999)
6.65 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
13 (plus 112 repeaters) (1997)
3.06 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
10 (2000)
Internet users:
3 million (2002)
Transportation Peru
total: 2,102 km
standard gauge: 1,695 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 407 km 0.914-m gauge (2001)
total: 72,900 km
paved: 8,700 km
unpaved: 64,200 km (1999 est.)
8,808 km
note: 8,600 km of navigable tributaries of Amazon system and 208 km of Lago Titicaca
crude oil 800 km; natural gas and natural gas liquids 64 km
Ports and harbors:
Callao, Chimbote, Ilo, Matarani, Paita, Puerto Maldonado, Salaverry, San Martin, Talara, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas
note: Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are all on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries
Merchant marine:
total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 29,470 GRT/45,451 DWT
note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: United States 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type: cargo 4, petroleum tanker 1
239 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 49
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 184
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 61
under 914 m: 100 (2002)
Military Peru
Military branches:
Army (Ejercito Peruano), Navy (Marina de Guerra del Peru; includes Naval Air, Marines, and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea del Peru; FAP), National Police (includes General Police, Security Police, and Technical Police)
Military manpower - military age:
17 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 7,356,395 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 4,944,952 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 276,458 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$1 billion (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.8% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Peru
Disputes - international:
dispute with Chile over the economic zone delimited by the maritime boundary; Colombian drug activities penetrate Peruvian border area
Illicit drugs:
until 1996 the world's largest coca leaf producer; emerging opium producer; cultivation of coca in Peru increased by 8% to 36,600 hectares between 2001 and the end of 2002; much of the cocaine base is shipped to neighboring Colombia for processing into cocaine, while finished cocaine is shipped out from Pacific ports to the international drug market; increasing amounts of base and finished cocaine, however, are being moved to Brazil and Bolivia for use in the Southern Cone or transshipped to Europe and Africa

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003