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Peru

Background:

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

Location:

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

Geographic coordinates:

10 00 S, 76 00 W

Map references:

South America

Area:

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 left (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; a remote slope of Nevado Mismi, a 5,316 m peak, is the ultimate source of the Amazon River

People

Population:

28,409,897 (July 2003 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 33.5% (male 4,828,531; female 4,678,008)
15-64 years: 61.5% (male 8,794,799; female 8,689,072)
65 years and over: 5% (male 652,375; female 767,112) (2003 est.)

Median age:

total: 23.5 years
male: 23.2 years
female: 23.7 years (2002)

Population growth rate:

1.61% (2003 est.)

Birth rate:

22.81 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate:

5.69 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:

-1.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 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 (2003 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 36.97 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 31.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 42.04 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 70.88 years
male: 68.45 years
female: 73.43 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.81 children born/woman (2003 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Peruvian(s)
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

Literacy:

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

Government

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

Source: CIA World Factbook