Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by Spanish conquistadors in 1533.
Peru declared its independence in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces were 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, which led to his resignation in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw a new election in the spring of 2001, which installed Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique as the new head of government – Peru’s first democratically elected president of indigenous ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA Perez who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, oversaw a robust economic rebound. Former army officer Ollanta HUMALA Tasso was elected president in June 2011, and carried on the sound, market-oriented economic policies of the three preceding administrations. Poverty and unemployment levels have fallen dramatically in the last decade, and today Peru boasts one of the best performing economies in Latin America.
Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI Godard won a very narrow presidential runoff election in June 2016. Facing impeachment after evidence surfaced of his involvement in a vote-buying scandal, President KUCZYNSKI offered his resignation on 21 March 2018. Two days later, First Vice President Martin Alberto VIZCARRA Cornejo was sworn in as president. On 30 September 2019, President VIZCARRA invoked his constitutional authority to dissolve Peru’s Congress after months of battling with the body over anticorruption reforms. New congressional elections are scheduled for 26 January 2020.
Languages: This entry provides a listing of languages spoken in each country and specifies any that are official national or regional languages. When data is available, the languages spoken in each country are broken down according to the percent of the total population speaking each language as a first language. For those countries without available data, languages are listed in rank order based on prevalence, starting with the most-spoken language.Languages field listing
Spanish (official) 82.9%, Quechua (official) 13.6%, Aymara (official) 1.6%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.8%, other (includes foreign languages and sign language) 0.2%, none .1%, unspecified .7% (2017 est.)
Religions: This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population. The core characteristics and beliefs of the world’s major religions are described below. Baha’i – Founded by Mirza Husayn-Ali (known as Baha’u’llah) in Iran in 1852, Baha’i faith emphasizes monotheism and believes in one eternal transcendent God. Its guiding focus is to encourage the unity of all peoples on the earth so that justice and peace m . . . moreReligions field listing
Roman Catholic 60%, Christian 14.6% (includes evangelical 11.1%, other 3.5%), other .3%, none 4%, unspecified 21.1% (2017 est.)
Judicial branch: This entry includes three subfields. The highest court(s) subfield includes the name(s) of a country’s highest level court(s), the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law. A number of countries have separate constitutional courts.
Supreme Court (consists of 16 judges and divided into civil, criminal, and constitutional-social sectors)
judge selection and term of office: justices proposed by the National Board of Justice (a 7-member independent body), nominated by the president, and confirmed by the Congress; justices can serve until mandatory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Court of Constitutional Guarantees; Superior Courts or Cortes Superiores; specialized civil, criminal, and mixed courts; 2 types of peace courts in which professional judges and selected members of the local communities preside.
Economy: Peru’s economy reflects its varied topography – an arid lowland coastal region, the central high sierra of the Andes, and the dense forest of the Amazon. A wide range of important mineral resources are found in the mountainous and coastal areas, and Peru’s coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. Peru is the world’s second largest producer of silver and copper.
The Peruvian economy grew by an average of 5.6% per year from 2009-13 with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. This growth was due partly to high international prices for Peru’s metals and minerals exports, which account for 55% of the country’s total exports. Growth slipped from 2014 to 2017, due to weaker world prices for these resources. Despite Peru’s strong macroeconomic performance, dependence on minerals and metals exports and imported foodstuffs makes the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices.
Peru’s rapid expansion coupled with cash transfers and other programs have helped to reduce the national poverty rate by over 35 percentage points since 2004, but inequality persists and continued to pose a challenge for the Ollanta HUMALA administration, which championed a policy of social inclusion and a more equitable distribution of income. Poor infrastructure hinders the spread of growth to Peru’s non-coastal areas. The HUMALA administration passed several economic stimulus packages in 2014 to bolster growth, including reforms to environmental regulations in order to spur investment in Peru’s lucrative mining sector, a move that was opposed by some environmental groups. However, in 2015, mining investment fell as global commodity prices remained low and social conflicts plagued the sector.
Peru’s free trade policy continued under the HUMALA administration; since 2006, Peru has signed trade deals with the US, Canada, Singapore, China, Korea, Mexico, Japan, the EU, the European Free Trade Association, Chile, Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Honduras, concluded negotiations with Guatemala and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and begun trade talks with El Salvador, India, and Turkey. Peru also has signed a trade pact with Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, called the Pacific Alliance, that seeks integration of services, capital, investment and movement of people. Since the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in February 2009, total trade between Peru and the US has doubled. President Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI succeeded HUMALA in July 2016 and is focusing on economic reforms and free market policies aimed at boosting investment in Peru. Mining output increased significantly in 2016-17, which helped Peru attain one of the highest GDP growth rates in Latin America, and Peru should maintain strong growth in 2018. However, economic performance was depressed by delays in infrastructure mega-projects and the start of a corruption scandal associated with a Brazilian firm. Massive flooding in early 2017 also was a drag on growth, offset somewhat by additional public spending aimed at recovery efforts.
Based on CIA Factbook