Background: After years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic rule in 1980. In recent years, a bold reform program and significant successes in the fight against guerrillas and drug mafia have led to steady economic growth.
Location: West of South America, Pacific coast between Chile and Ecuador. See franciscogardening.com to know more about Peru Geography.
Geographical coordinates: 10° 00′ S. latitude, 76° 00′ W
Reference map: South America.
Area: total: 1,285,220 km2; land surface area: 1.28 million square kilometers; water surface area: 5,220 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Alaska.
Land borders: total: 5,536 km; with neighboring states: with Bolivia 900 km, with Brazil 1,560 km, with Chile 160 km, with Colombia 1,496 km (est.), with Ecuador 1,420 km.
Coastline: 2,414 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 200 nautical miles.
Climate: varies from tropical in the east to dry desert in the west; temperate to cold in the Andes.
Relief: western coastal plain (Costa), high sheer Andes mountains in the center (Sierra), lowland jungle in the Amazon (Selva).
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Huascaran 6,768 m.
Natural resources: copper, silver, gold, oil, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphates, potash, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 3%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 21%; forests and plantations: 66%; others: 10% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 12,800 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, moderate volcanic activity.
Current environmental issues: deforestation (sometimes as a result of illegal logging); overgrazing on the slopes of the costa and sierra leads to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters by runoff from municipal services and mining enterprises.
International agreements on environmental protection: party to: Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Waste, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical timber 1994, Wetlands, Whaling; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol.
Geography Note: Shares with Bolivia control of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world (3,805 m).
Population: 27,483,864 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 34.41% (male 4,803,464; female 4,654,890); 15 to 64 years old: 60.8% (male 8,408,210; female 8,302,943); over 65: 4.79% (male 603,309; female 711,048) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.7% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 23.9 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 5.78 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -1.08 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.01 male/female; over 65: 0.85 male/female; for the general population: 1.01 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 39.39 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 70.3 years; men: 67.9 years; women: 72.81 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 2.96 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.35% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 48,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 4,100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Peruvian; adjective: Peruvian.
Ethnic groups: Indians 45%, mestizos (descendants of Indians and whites) 37%, whites 15%, blacks, Japanese, Chinese, other 3%.
Believers: Catholics 90%.
Languages): Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 88.7%; men: 94.5%; women: 83% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of Peru;
conventional short form: Peru; local long form: Republica del Peru; local short form: Peru
State structure: constitutional republic.
Administrative division: 24 departments and 1 constitutional province*: Amazonas, An Cache, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Ica, Callao’, Cajamarca, Cusco, Lambaeque, Libertad, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Puno, Piura, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Huankaveli-ka, Ucayali, Huanuco, Junin; note: according to the 1979 constitution, regions were formed with the powers of autonomous economic and administrative entities; thus, instead of 23 out of 24 departments, 12 regions were created: Amazonas (Loreto), Andres-Avelino-Caceres (Huanuco, Pasco, Junin), Arequipa (Arequipa), Chavin (Ancash), Grau (Tumbes, Piura), Inca (Cusco), Madre de Dios, Apurimac), Libertad (Libertad), Los Libertado res Huari (Ica, Ayacucho, Huancavelica), Mariate Gui (Mokegua, Tacna, Puno), Nor Oriental del Maranon (Lambaeque, Cajamarca, Amazonas), San Martin (San Martin), Ucayali (Ucayali); the formation of another region was delayed due to the unwillingness of the constitutional province of Capiao to merge with the department of Lima; due to insufficient funding from the central government, as well as organizational and political difficulties, the regions had to take on more responsibility; the 1993 constitution retains the regions but limits their powers; the 1993 constitution also reaffirms the role of departmental and municipal governments.
Independence: from July 28, 1821 (until 1821 – a colony of Spain).
National holiday: Independence Day, July 28 (1821)
Constitution: adopted December 31, 1993
Legal system: based on the civil law system; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
head of state: President Alejandro TOLEDO (since July 28, 2001); note – the president is both head of state and head of government; the constitution also provides for two vice presidents, First Vice President Raul DIEZ Conseco (since July 28, 2001) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN (since July 28, 2001);
head of the government: President Alejandro TOLEDO (since July 28, 2001); note – the president is both head of state and head of government; the constitution also provides for two vice presidents, First Vice President Raul DIES Conseco (since July 28, 2001) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN; note: Prime Minister Roberto DANINO (since 28 July 2001) has no executive power; this power is in the hands of the president;
government: the council of ministers is appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term; elections last held 8 April 2001, runoff held 3 June 2001 (next to be held in 2006); election results: President of TOLEDO elected in second round; distribution of votes: Alejandro TOLEDO 53.1%, Alan GARCIA (Alan GARCIA) 46.9%.
Legislature: unicameral Democratic Legislative Congress (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote for five years); elections: elections last held on 9 April 2000 (next to be held on 8 April 2001); note: many congressmen elected from former president FUJIMORI’s coalition in 2000 defected to his political opponents; election results: distribution of votes between parties: Peru 2000 42.16%, Possible Peru 23.34%, FIM 7.56%, SP 7.2%, APRA 5.5%, other parties 14.24%; distribution of seats among parties: Peru 2000 52, Possible Peru 29, FIM 9, other parties 30.
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges appointed by the National Council of Justice.
Political parties and leaders: American People’s Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) (Alan GARCIA); Andean Renaissance (Ciro GALVEZ Herreria [Ciro GALVEZ Herreria]); Avancemos (leader – no data); The common cause of democracy (Jorge SANTISTEVAN [Jorge SANTISTEVAN]); Front Independent for the Correction of Morals (FIM) (Fernando OLIVERA Vega); National Solidarity (SN) (Luis CASTANEDA Lossio [Luis CASTANEDA Lossio]); National Unity (Lourdes FLORES Nano [LourdesFLORESNano]); Peru-2000 (leader – no data); Possible Peru (Alejandro TOLEDO); People’s Action (AR) (leader – no data); People’s Peasant Front of Peru (Frepap) (leader – no data); Popular decision (Carlos BOLONA Behr [Carlos BOLONA Behr]); Project for the country (Mario Antonio ARRUNATEGUI [Mario Antonio ARRUNATEGUI]); “Somos Peru” (Somos Peru; SP) (Alberto ANDRADE [Alberto ANDRADE]); Union for Peru (UPP) (leader – NA); Vamos Vecinos (VV) (Absalon VAS-KES [Absalon VASQUEZ]).
Political influence groups and their leaders: leftist guerrilla groups: Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) (Abimael GUZMAN Reynoso, imprisoned, Gabriel MACA-RIO); Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) (Victor POLAY, imprisoned, Hugo AVALLENEDA Valdez).
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, APEC, CAN, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA, MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNTAET, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the United States: Head of Mission: Ambassador Alfonso RIVERO Monsalve (Alfonso RIVERO Monsalve); office: 1700 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036; phone:  (202) 833-9860 to 833-9869; fax:  (202) 659-8124; consulates general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paterson (New Jersey), San Francisco.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador John HAMILTON; embassy: Avenida Encalada, Cuadra 17, Surco, Lima 33; mailing address: P. O. Box 1995, Lima 1; American Embassy (Lima), APO AA 34031-5000; phone:  (1) 434-3000; fax:  (1) 434-3037.
Flag Description: three equal vertical bands of red (left), white and red with the coat of arms in the center of the white band; the coat of arms depicts a shield with a llama, a cinchona tree and a yellow cornucopia, from which golden coins are pouring, the coat of arms is surrounded by a green wreath.