Peru, at the arrival of the Spaniards in the
16th century, was the center of the mighty
Incarceration, which comprised almost a third of South
America. The colonizers became rich in huge silver
deposits and the mining industry has continued to be
central. Fighting between the Maoist guerrillas Sendero
Luminoso and the military claimed nearly 70,000 lives in
the 1980s and 1990s. Corruption accusations led
President Alberto Fujimori to flee the country in 2000
and he was later sentenced to 25 years in prison for
human rights violations.
Brief profiles of Peru, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Peru is almost three times the size of Sweden
and the third largest state in South America. The Andes
mountain range extends from north to south and divides
the country into three geographical zones: the coast,
the highlands and the rainforest. The climate varies
widely between different parts of the country.
The coastal region towards the Pacific (La Costa)
is desert-like. Over 50 smaller rivers the coastal plain
passes towards the sea, and along some of these the
earth is more fertile. The coastal region is often
covered by moist fog clouds from the sea but normally
does not receive any rainfall at all. The temperature is
constant around the clock and all year round.
Less than 15 miles inside the coast, the plain is
broken by the slopes that are the beginning of the
highlands (La Sierra). Between the mountain
ranges with snow-covered, often volcanic peaks over
6,000 meters above sea level, river valleys, mountains
and barren plains spread between 2000 and 4000 meters in
height. The highlands have a cool climate with abundant
rainfall during the winter season (October – April). The
temperature varies greatly with the height above the sea
as well as between day and night.
East of the forests of the Andes, the Amazon
rainforest spreads (La Selva). There, Peru's
longest rivers merge with the Amazon River. The eastern
slopes of the Andes and the rainforest occupy almost
two-thirds of the country's surface, but only house
about ten percent of the population. On the eastern
slopes of the Andes the climate is almost subtropical
and transitions to the lowlands in the northeast in
tropical climate with more or less heavy rainfall more
than 200 days a year.
At the border with Bolivia in the south-east lies
South America's largest and highest lake, Lake Titicaca.
During some years, the weather changes completely in
large parts of Peru. It occurs when the warm surface
water from the Pacific Ocean changes direction and flows
along the equator toward the coast of South America. The
water pushes back the cold Humboldt stream off the coast
of Peru. The changing currents and winds cause
torrential rain along the western slopes of the
mountains and severe drought in the southern parts of
the highlands. The weather phenomenon, called El
Niño, was unusually strong in 1982–1983, 1997–1998
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
1 285 216 km2 (2018)
Swedish –6 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile
Capital with number of inhabitants
Lima 8 617 000 1
Other major cities
Arequipa (861 100 inhabitants), Trujillo (788 200),
Chiclayo (594 750), Piura (413 300), Cuzco (420 100)
Huascarán (6768 m asl)
Average Precipitation / year
Lima 40-50 mm 3
Average / day
Lima 24 °C (Feb), 16 °C (Aug) 4
- estimate 2013
2. estimate 2014
3. Cuzco 800 mm
4. Cuzco 13 °C (Jan), 10 °C (July)Sources
The Minister for the Environment receives recognition at the UN meeting
The UN is holding a two-week climate summit in Lima. The final document sets
out how the countries will report on their climate commitments ahead of the big
climate summit in Paris in December 2015. Peru and Environment Minister Manuel
Pulgar Vidal receive some recognition that there will be no agreement at all on
the complex issue.
Regional movements take place in elections
The large national parties are doing poorly when regional and local elections
are held. In most places, regional anchored movements are progressing strongly.
Many of them are critical of existing systems and opponents of mining.
Activists are murdered
Four environmental activists belonging to the ashaninka people are murdered
while on their way to a meeting in Brazil on illegal logging. Shortly
thereafter, the government decides to set up a commission to investigate the
extensive illegal activities along the border, including land rights. The World
Bank has estimated that 80 percent of the timber exported by Peru comes from
Humala's last original minister resigns
Finance Minister Luis Miguel Castilla resigns, the last to remain in the
government since Humala was elected. Castilla is a technocrat and helped to
reassure foreign investors who, upon Humala's entry, worried about possible
nationalizations. However, the business community seems to give the thumbs up to
his replacement, Alonso Segura Vasi.
Another new chief minister is appointed
Humala once again undertakes a refurbishment in the government. Ana Jara has
been appointed as the sixth chief minister since the president took office.
However, Congress did not approve of her in the third attempt, in August. This
is done with hardly any conceivable margin; the President may cast his vote. The
Minister of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Communications is also replaced.
Only since the start is there only the Minister of Finance.
Suspected guerrilla members are arrested
The police arrest 28 members of the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental
Rights (Movadef) and the government says they have evidence that the group is
the guerrilla Sendero Luminoso's political arm. Movadef was founded in 2009 and
calls itself Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. The arrests come after two years of
mapping, says Interior Minister Walter Albán. Among the arrested are a cousin of
New refurbishment in the government
Chief Minister César Villanueva resigns after failing to overcome widespread
criticism of a decision by the government to raise ministerial salaries as part
of the ongoing restructuring of the state apparatus. Villanueva is replaced by
Housing Minister René Cornejo. Seven other ministers are also replaced and
several posts are occupied by technocrats.
Court decides boundary dispute at sea
The International Court of Justice decides on a lengthy dispute about where
the border should go in the fishing waters between Peru and Chile (see Foreign
Policy and Defense). The verdict results in a compromise: most of the disputed
area goes to Peru while Chile may retain a smaller, but more fishy, portion.