THE PERU PORTAL
Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the country in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Peru is a presidential representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon basin. It is a developing country with a medium Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 40%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles. The Peruvian population, estimated at 28 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages.
The regions of Peru (Spanish: Regiones del Perú) are the first-level administrative subdivisions of Peru. Since its 1821 independence, Peru had been divided into departments (Spanish: departamentos) but faced the problem of an increasing centralization of political and economic power in its capital, Lima. After several unsuccessful decentralization attempts, departments were replaced by regions and regional governments elected on November 20, 2002.
Under the new arrangement, the former 24 departments plus the Callao Province have become regions. The province of Lima has been excluded of this process and does not form part of any region. Unlike the earlier departments, regions have an elected government and have a wide array of responsibilities within their jurisdiction. Under the 2002 Organic Law of Regional Governments (Spanish: Ley Orgánica de Gobiernos Regionales), there is an ongoing process of transfer of functions from the central government to the regions. A 2005 referendum for the merger of several regions failed to get the necessary electoral support. (more...)
Photo credit: Ericbronder
The district of Santa Anita is one of 43 districts in the city of Lima, which are administered by the Metropolitan Lima Municipal Council. Each district has its own council and mayor (Spanish: Municipalidad distrital). The town hall in each district is the seat of the district council. (more...)
The Battle of Callao (in Spanish, sometimes called el Combate del Dos de Mayo in South America, or Guerra del Pacífico in Spain) occurred on May 2, 1866 between a Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez and an alliance of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, in the Peruvian port city of Callao during the Chincha Islands War. The Spanish fleet bombarded the port of Callao (or El Callao), but eventually withdrew without any major damage to the city structures. (more...)
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