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...)
The Independence of Peru was proclaimed in Lima by José de San Martín on July 28, 1821. San Martín occupied the city a few days before after Royalist troops retreated towards the Andes. Despite this proclamation the Peruvian War of Independence lasted three more years as Patriot forces lacked the necessary strength to defeat Viceroy José de la Serna. Eventually San Martín left the country and was replaced by Simón Bolívar, under whose guidance the Royalist army was decisively defeated at the Battle of Ayacucho. (more...)
The Battle of Tacna, also known as the Battle of the Halt of the Alliance (Spanish: Batalla del Alto de la Alianza), effectively destroyed the Peru-Bolivian alliance against Chile, forged by a secret treaty between both countries signed on 1873. On May 26, 1880, the Chilean northern operations army led by General Manuel Baquedano Gonzalez, conclusively defeated a Peru-Bolivian army commanded by the Bolivian President General Narciso Campero, after almost five hours of fierce combat. This battle took place at the Intiorko hill plateau, a few miles north of the Peruvian city of Tacna. As a result of this battle, the Bolivian army returned to its country, and never participated in the conflict again, leaving Peru to fight the rest of the war by themselves . Also, this victory consolidated the Chilean domain over the Tarapacá Province, territory definitively annexed to Chile after the sign of the Tratado de Ancón (English: Treaty of Ancon), on 1884, which ended the war. (more...)
In this month
- December 24, 1971 - Flight LANSA 508 crashes en route from Lima to Pucallpa killing all crew members and all but one of 87 passengers.
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