Peru ( ( listen); Spanish: Perú [peˈɾu]; Quechua: Piruw Republika [pʰɪɾʊw]; Aymara: Piruw Suyu [pɪɾʊw]), officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: República del Perú (help·info)), is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is an extremely biodiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.
Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures, ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas, to the Inca Empire, the largest and most sophisticated state in pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima. Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, and following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, and the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific with Chile. Throughout the 20th century, Peru endured armed territorial disputes, coups, social unrest, and internal conflicts, as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Alberto Fujimori was elected to the presidency in 1990; his government was credited with economically stabilizing Peru and successfully ending the Shining Path insurgency, though he was widely accused of human rights violations and suppression of political dissent. Fujimori left the presidency in 2000 and was charged with human rights violations and imprisoned until his pardon by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2017.
Photo credit: Oliver Etchebarne
The city of Ica is the capital of the Ica Region in southern Peru. It was founded in 1563 by Spanish conquistador Gerónimo Luis de Cabrera. According to the 2005 census, it had a population of over 200,000, however, the city suffered extensive damage and loss of life during the 2007 Peru earthquake. (more...)
The Cenepa War (January 26 – February 28, 1995), also known as the Alto Cenepa War, was a brief and localized military conflict between Ecuador and Peru, fought over control of a disputed area on the border between the two countries. The indecisive outcome of the conflict — with both sides claiming victory — along with the mediation efforts of the United States of America, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, paved the way for the opening of diplomatic negotiations that ultimately led to the signing of a definitive peace agreement in 1998, putting an end to one of the longest territorial disputes in the Western Hemisphere. (more...)
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