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Information about 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 of Peru

Location: Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 76 00 W

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

Coastline: 2,414 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200 NM
territorial sea: 200 NM

Climate: varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes

Terrain: 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 activityEnvironment - 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; a remote slope of Nevado Mismi, a 5,316 m peak, is the ultimate source of the Amazon River

Population of Peru

Population: 27,544,305 (July 2004 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 32.1% (male 4,496,146; female 4,340,580)
15-64 years: 62.8% (male 8,709,098; female 8,594,351)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 660,734; female 743,396) (2004 est.)

Median age: total: 24.6 years
male: 24.4 years
female: 24.9 years (2004 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.39% (2004 est.)

Birth rate: 21.27 births/1,000

Death rate: 6.29 deaths/1,000

Net migration rate: -1.05 migrant(s)/1,000

Infant mortality rate: total: 32.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 30.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 35.57 deaths/1,000 live birthsLife expectancy at birth: total population: 69.22 years
male: 67.48 years
female: 71.03 years (2004 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.61 children born/woman (2004 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.4% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 53,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 3,900 (2001 est.)

Nationality: noun:

adjective: Peruvian Ethnic groups: Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%

Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.2%
female: 86.8% (2003 est.)


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

Capital: Lima

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: some reports indicate that the 24 departments and 1 constitutional province are now being referred to as regions; Peru is implementing a decentralization program whereby these 25 administrative divisions will begin to exercise greater governmental authority over their territories; in November 2002, voters chose their new regional presidents and other regional leaders; the authority that the regional government will exercise has not yet been clearly defined, but it will be devolved to the regions over the course of several years

Independence: 28 July 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 28 July (1821)

Constitution: 31 December 1993

Legal system: based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 70; note - members of the military may not vote

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 (vacant) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN (since 28 July 2001); note - Raul DIEZ Canseco resigned as First Vice President on 30 January 2004
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 (vacant) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN (since 28 July 2001); note - Raul DIEZ Canseco resigned as First Vice President on 30 January 2004
note: Prime Minister Carlos FERRERO Costa (since 15 December 2003) does not exercise executive power; this power is in the hands of the president; note - Beatriz MERINO was asked to resign on 12 December 2003 and was replaced by Carlos FERRERO Costa three days later
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 Congreso 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: Peruvian Aprista Party or PAP (also referred to by its original name Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana or APRA) [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)]


Peru's economy reflects its varied geography - an arid coastal region, the Andes further inland, and tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. Abundant mineral resources are found in the mountainous areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. However, overdependence on minerals and metals subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices, and a lack of infrastructure deters trade and investment. After several years of inconsistent economic performance, the Peruvian economy was one of the fastest growing in Latin America in 2002 and 2003, growing by 5% and 4%, respectively, with the exchange rate stable and an annual inflation lower than 2%. Foreign direct investment also was strong, thanks to the ongoing Camisea natural gas pipeline project (scheduled to begin operations in 2004) and investments in gold mining. Risk premiums on Peruvian bonds on secondary markets reached historically low levels in late 2003, reflecting investor optimism and the government's fiscal restraint. Despite the strong macroeconomic performance, political intrigue and allegations of corruption continued to swirl in 2003, with the TOLEDO administration growing increasingly unpopular, and local and foreign concern rising that the political turmoil could place the country's hard-won fiscal and financial stability at risk. Moreover, as of late 2003, unemployment had yet to respond to the strong growth in economic activity, owing in part to rigid labor market regulations that act as an impediment to hiring.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $146.9 billion (2003 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2003 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,200 (2003 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9.6%
industry: 26%
services: 64.4% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line: 54% (2003 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 35.4% (1996)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 46.2 (1996)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.2% (2003 est.)

Labor force: 7.5 million (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, construction, transport, services

Unemployment rate: 13.4%; widespread underemployment (2003 est.)

Budget: revenues: $10.4 billion
expenditures: $10.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)

Industries: mining of metals, petroleum, fishing, textiles, clothing, food processing, cement, auto assembly, steel, shipbuilding, metal fabrication

Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (2002 est.)

Electricity - production: 20.59 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 14.5%
hydro: 84.7%
other: 0.8% (2001)
nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption: 19.15 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)

Oil - production: 95,100 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - consumption: 161,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - proved reserves: 614.7 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production: 370 million cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 370 million cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 245.1 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Agriculture - products: coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, plantains, coca; poultry, beef, dairy products, wool; fish

Exports: $8.954 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)

Exports - commodities: fish and fish products, gold, copper, zinc, crude petroleum and byproducts, lead, coffee, sugar, cotton

Exports - partners: US 26.1%, UK 11.6%, China 7.9%, Switzerland 7.5%, Japan 4.9% (2002)

Imports: $8.244 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners: US 27.5%, Spain 8.3%, Chile 7.9%, Brazil 4.7%, Colombia 4.6% (2002)

Debt - external: $29.2 billion (2002 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $895.1 million (1995)

Currency: nuevo sol (PEN)

Currency code: PEN

Exchange rates: nuevo sol per US dollar - 3.48 (2003), 3.52 (2002), 3.51 (2001), 3.49 (2000), 3.38 (1999)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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