Peru is a country located in the western part of South America, bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. It has an area of 1.285 million square kilometers and a population of approximately 32 million people. Spanish is the official language of Peru, although indigenous languages such as Quechua and Aymara are also spoken by many people. Roman Catholicism is the main religion in Peru, although other religious denominations are also present. The currency used is the nuevo sol (PEN). The capital city of Peru is Lima, and other major cities include Arequipa and Trujillo.
According to homosociety, Peru has a rich cultural heritage that can be seen through its traditional music and dance styles as well as its unique art forms such as pottery making and weaving. It also has some stunning natural landscapes including lush green rainforests, pristine white sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, and crystal clear lagoons.
Traces of hunters and collectors in the caves of Guitarrero in the north and Pikimachay in the south go back to at least about 10,000 BC; a close to twice as high dating for the latter site has been strongly questioned. The prey was among other things. wild horse, camel, deer and sloth. Cultivation of beans and peppers may have begun in the Andes about 8000 BC There were early settlements in the coastal region. With the increasing importance of agriculture, they were moved from about 1800 BC. inland (compare Kotosh); now ceramics were also produced, and in the Ayacucho region, llama care is covered from this time.
About 1000–900 BC appeared in the north chavín culture, a high culture characterized by organized religion, specialized crafts and large monumental centers (see Chavín de Huántar). Southern equivalents were the paracas culture and the pucaras culture.
From about 200 BC to 600 AD dominated diverse cultures in the north and south (see Moche and the NASA culture). The south came from about 600 AD under the influence of the dynamic Tiahuanaco (in present-day Bolivia). In the north, similar cultural traditions were represented by the kingdom of Huari, from about 1000 followed by the Chimu kingdom. The Chimú people also built extensive urban complexes; their capital Chan Chan is Peru’s largest pre-Hispanic settlement. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Peru.
From about 1430 to 1532, the Inca empire, with its center in southern Peru, spread from northern Ecuador to southern Chile (see Inca).
The Spaniards heard about the Incarik in the 1520s (see Inca). Francisco Pizarro marched in 1532 with a small Spanish here to the kingdom’s core areas, and the same year, the Inca ruler Atahualpa was capturedin Cajamarca. Cuzco, the capital of the Incarceration, was captured and looted the following year, and the Spanish capital Ciudad de los Reyes (now Lima) was created in 1535. Following the conquest, almost twenty years of bloody settlements followed, between various Spanish phalanges, in which almost all the conquerors of the Incarcer went a violent death to meet. In 1542 Peru was elevated to the Viceroy, and three years later the silver mountain Potosí was discovered in Alto Perú – now Bolivia. During the colonial era, Peru was dominated by a wealthy class of landlords, mining magnates, traders and high-ranking Spanish officials. A predator population grew up alongside the Native American majority, and an African element was the result of the importation of black slaves to the plantation agriculture in the coastal areas. The most dramatic event of the colonial era occurred in 1780–81, when the mistress José Gabriel Condorcanqui,Tupac Amaru, led an extensive Native American uprising, which ended with his defeat and execution.
Peru’s break with Spain came in the 1820s as a result of other Spanish South America’s liberation struggles. In 1820, Peru was invaded by the Argentine general José de San Martín, who declared the country independent the following year. The Spanish resistance continued until 1824, when Simón Bolívar’s army from Gran Colombia (Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador) finally defeated the Spaniards at Junín and Ayacucho. The year before, Bolívar had been proclaimed Peru’s head of state, but in 1827 the Peruvians revolted and, under Augustín Gamarra’s leadership, set themselves free from Gran Colombia. An attempt to form a federation with Bolivia (1836–39) was shattered by Chilean military intervention.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Provides latest population data about Peru. Lists by Year from 1950 to 2020. Also includes major cities by population.
At the beginning of the 1840s, conditions in Peru changed due to a new export product, guano, the Pacific bird droppings, which for thousands of years gathered in the Chincha Islands. Between 11 and 12 million tonnes of this fertilizer was exported over the next 40 years, and a significant import of Chinese labor took place. Huge incomes poured into Peru during this period, but the riches did not lead the country into any development phase but into a devastating spiral of internal conflicts, corruption, indebtedness and decay. Guanoepoken left an extremely fragmented and weakened the country, which was a humiliating defeat to the meeting of the so-called salpeterkriget against Chile (1879-83). As a result of this war, during which Lima was occupied and plundered, Peru lost its salt-rich province of Tarapacá.
After a few difficult years after the defeat in the war against Chile, Peru entered a more favorable development phase. A certain degree of political stability reached the country under Presidents Nicolás de Piérola (1895–99), José Pardo (1904–08 and 1915–19), and Augusto Leguía (1908–12 and 1919–30). At the same time, a dynamic export economy was developed, based on sugar, cotton, silver, rubber, wool, copper and oil, among others. In the 1920s, new political trends emerged in the country, and the old Peruvian society was subjected to widespread criticism. The young Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre became the main advocate of social reform and formed the mass party Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana in 1924(Apra). The international economic crisis that began in 1929 hit Peru hard and led the country into a dramatic political development. A military revolt led by young Colonel Luis Sánchez Cerro deposed Leguía in 1930. In the presidential election the following year, Sánchez Cerro succeeded in defeating Haya de la Torre. In 1932 APRA revolted and occupied the provincial capital Trujillo. A bloodbath and deep mistrust between APRA and the army was the result of this failed uprising. In 1933, Sánchez Cerro was assassinated by an APRA supporter.
During the years 1933–48, Peru’s development became more inward; the state’s economic role increased, and significant industrial investments were made. General Manuel Odría took power in 1948 and oriented Peru’s economy towards a more export-oriented development. A military coup in 1962 prevented Haya de la Torre from taking office, and in 1963 Fernando Belaúnde Terry from Acción Popular (AP) was elected president.
A turning point in the country’s development came in 1968, when General Juan Velasco deposed Belaúnde Terry. A radical reform program was initiated with extensive land reform and nationalization of several foreign-owned companies. Increasing financial difficulties and growing dissatisfaction led to Velasco being replaced by General Francisco Morales Bermúdez in 1975. The military surrendered power in 1980 to the re-elected Belaúnde Terry. He was faced with a critical economic situation, growing poverty and severe social conflicts. Peruvian society simply began to falter under the pressure of avalanche population growth and chaotic urbanization. At the same time, the Maoist guerrilla movement launched Sendero Luminoso(“The Brilliant Path”) a ruthless armed struggle against the government, and the military responded with an equally ruthless guerrilla fight. Cocaine smuggling increased and became one of the country’s major problems. From 1985–90, APRA, through the young Alan García, was given the opportunity to rule Peru for the first time. His unbridled populism, however, led the country’s economy to a near total collapse.
Alberto Fujimori, a political outsider, unexpectedly defeated renowned author Mario Vargas Llosain the 1990 presidential election. To clean up the economy through a neoliberal reform program and fight terrorism became Fujimori’s main goal. Supported by the military, he dissolved parliament in April 1992 and gave himself dictatorial powers. A major success for Fujimori was the arrest of Sendero Luminoso’s leader Abimael Guzmán in September 1992. However, the military’s harsh methods aroused strong protests from various civil rights organizations. Fujimori was re-elected in 1995 by a large majority, and the same year a short border war with Ecuador opened fire. Despite successes in guerrilla fighting and a strengthened economy, his popularity began to decline; his authoritarian populism became too clear. In 2000, Fujimori was forced to resign as a result of a scandal, and he went into exile in Japan.
Fujimori’s successor Alejandro Toledo was elected by a good margin in 2001 and became Peru’s first president with Native American outrage. However, despite good economic growth figures, his presidency became increasingly problematic with repeated strikes and protests against the government’s economic policies. In 2005, Fujimori arrived in Chile with the intention of running for the 2006 Peruvian presidential election, but he was arrested in 2007 by the Chilean police and extradited to Peru, where he was tried for corruption and abuse of power and sentenced to 25 years in prison. In the dramatic presidential election in June 2006, Alan García returned to power after defeating Ollanta Humala of the leftist Nationalist PNUP (Partido Nacionalista – Unión por el Perú).
García promised not to repeat his previous policy, which led to hyperinflation, but largely continued his representative line. Efforts to further expand the mining industry, which accounted for a large part of the economic growth, intensified despite extensive protests in connection with new mines that led to the government introducing local emergency permits in several provinces. The conflicts surrounding mines and gas projects dominated García’s tenure and his popularity declined rapidly. Several ministers were revealed to have received bribes from foreign companies in exchange for contracts for new oil and gas projects.
In 2011, the former Colonel Humala won the presidential election after a fierce fight against Alberto Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori. Humala was also a candidate in the 2006 election, but became closely associated with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, which scared away many voters. By 2011, he had changed the political role model to Lula da Silva in Brazil and toned down his harsh rhetoric against the foreign mining companies. However, Humala promised that the indigenous people would have more to say about the exploitation of new mines. He also promised great efforts to reduce poverty and reduce the gaps in society.
Already after a few months after the change of power, new conflicts arose around a mining project in northern Peru, and Humala announced a state of emergency in the region. At the same time, the Prime Minister resigned, and the President was forced to form a new government. In connection with this, one of the parties that supported Humala jumped and the government lost its majority in Parliament.
The following years were characterized by continued conflicts around mining projects and widespread rural protests against the policies pursued.
Humala implemented changes in the tax system and other measures to facilitate foreign investment in the mining sector, in particular by changing the environmental requirements for new oil and gas exploration. He hoped that the measures would lead to increased growth, but falling prices for raw materials from the mining industry slowed the expansion and also prompted the government to push for promises of social reform. At the same time, the unrest in the country increased for crime and the president’s popularity continued to decline. Although Humala created new institutions to fight corruption, his own government was involved in several corruption scandals. In April 2015, former Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano (1958–) was appointed new Prime Minister, the seventh in Humala’s time as President.
Ahead of the 2016 presidential election, former leader Alberto Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori, reelected and counted as the favorite to win the election. She was challenged by several candidates, but during the election campaign, the electoral authority disqualified two of the candidates closest to Fujimori in the polls. Former Finance and Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, candidate for the Liberal Party Peruvians for Change (PPK), instead emerged as Fujimori’s strongest rival.
In the first round, Fujimori won 40 percent of the vote, while Kuczynski received support of 21 percent and they both went on to a second round. After a prolonged vote count, Kuczynski finally won the election with very little margin. He resigned on his own after the parliament in 2018 opened to a vote of no confidence in him, after which Vice President Martín Vizcarra took over the presidency.