Peru (12/03)

For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.


Republic of Peru

Area: 1.28 million sq. km. (496,225 sq. mi.); three times larger than California.
Cities: Capital--Lima/Callao metropolitan area (pop. 8.27 million, 2000).
Other cities--Arequipa, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Huancayo, Truujillo, Ayacucho, Piura, Iquitos, Chimbote.
Terrain: Western coastal plains, central rugged mountains (Andes), eastern lowlands with tropical forests.
Climate: Coastal area, arid and mild; Andes, temperate to frigid; eastern lowlands, tropically warm and humid.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Peruvian(s).
Population (2003 est.): 28.4 million.
Annual growth rate (2003 est.): 1.61%.
Ethnic groups (1961): Indian 45%. Mestizo 37%. White 15%. Black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%.
Religion (2003): Roman Catholic (90%).
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara and a large number of minor Amazonian languages.
Education (2003): Years compulsory--11. Literacy--about 90.9%.
Health (2003): Infant mortality rate--36.97/1,000. Life expectancy—68.45 male; 73.43 female.
Work force (2001, 12.2 million): Manufacturing--12.6%; commerce--27.8%; agriculture--8.4%; mining--0.6%; construction--4.4%; hotels and restaurants--7.8%; transportation and communications--8.4%; other services--29.1% (including government).

Type: Constitutional republic.
Independence: 1821.
Constitution: December 1993.
Branches: Executive--president, two vice presidents, Council of Ministers. Legislative--unicameral Congress. Judicial--Supreme Court and lower courts, Tribunal of Constitutional Guarantees.
Administrative subdivisions: 25 regions subdivided into provinces and districts.
Political parties and movements: Peru Possible, National Unity, We Are Peru, Change 90/New Majority/Let's Go Neighbor/People's Solution, Union For Peru (UPF), American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), Independent Moralizing Front (FIM), Popular Christian Party (PPC), Popular Action (AP).
Suffrage: Universal over 18; compulsory until age 70 (members of the military may not vote).

Flag: Peru flag

Economy (2002)
GDP (est.): $56.9 billion (current dollars).
Annual growth rate: 5.3%.
Per capita GDP: $2,126 (current dollars).
Inflation rate: 0.2% (annual average).
Natural resources: Minerals, metals, fish, petroleum, natural gas, and forests.
Agriculture (10% of GDP): Products--sugar, potatoes, rice, yellow corn, cotton, coffee, poultry, beef, milk.
Manufacturing (26.5% of GDP): Types--fish meal, nonferrous ores and metals, steel, textiles, chemicals, wood, nonmetallic minerals, cement, paper, petroleum products.
Trade: 14.2% of GDP. Other services: 40.9% of GDP Exports--$7.6 billion f.o.b.: gold, copper, fishmeal, textiles, zinc, lead, coffee, and petroleum products. Major markets--US 25.8%, U.K .11.5%, China 7.9%, Switzerland 7.4%, Japan 4.9%, Germany 3.3%, Chile 3.3%, Spain 3.1%. Imports--$7.5 billion c.i.f.: machinery and parts, cereals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, crude oil and petroleum products, mining equipment, household appliances and automobiles. Major suppliers--U.S. 18.9%, Chile 5.6%, Argentina 8.0%, Brazil 6.5%, China 6.2%, Colombia 6.1%, Ecuador 5.9%,Japan 5.4%. (2001).

Most Peruvians are "mestizo," a term that usually refers to a mixture of Amerindians and Peruvians of European descent. Peruvians of European descent make up about 15% of the population; there also are smaller numbers of persons of African, Japanese, and Chinese descent. In the past decade, Peruvians of Asian heritage have made significant advancements in business and political fields; a past president, several past cabinet members, and several members of the Peruvian congress are of Japanese or Chinese descent. Socioeconomic and cultural indicators are increasingly important as identifiers. For example, Peruvians of Amerindian descent who have adopted aspects of Hispanic culture also are considered "mestizo." With economic development, access to education, intermarriage, and largescale migration from rural to urban areas, a more homogeneous national culture is developing, mainly along the relatively more prosperous coast.

Peru has two official languages--Spanish and the foremost indigenous language, Quechua. Spanish is used by the government and the media and in education and commerce. Amerindians who live in the Andean highlands speak Quechua and Aymara and are ethnically distinct from the diverse indigenous groups who live on the eastern side of the Andes and in the tropical lowlands adjacent to the Amazon basin.

Peru's distinct geographical regions are mirrored in a socioeconomic divide between the coast's mestizo-Hispanic culture and the more diverse, traditional Andean cultures of the mountains and highlands. The indigenous populations east of the Andes speak various languages and dialects. Some of these groups still adhere to traditional customs, while others have been almost completely assimilated into the mestizo-Hispanic culture.

Under the 1993 Constitution, primary education is free and compulsory. The system is highly centralized, with the Ministry of Education appointing all public school teachers. Eighty-three percent of Peru's students attend public schools at all levels.

School enrollment has been rising sharply for years, due to a widening educational effort by the government and a growing school-age population. The illiteracy rate is estimated at 9.59% (13.2% for women). Elementary and secondary school enrollment is approximately 7.5 million. Peru's 74 universities (2001), 42% public and 58% private institutions, enrolled about 415,000 students in 2001.

The relationship between Hispanic and Indian cultures has shaped the face of Peru. During pre-Columbian times, Peru was one of the major centers of artistic expression in America, where pre-Inca cultures, such as Chavin, Paracas, Wari, Nazca, Chimu, and Tiahuanaco developed high-quality pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture. Drawing upon earlier cultures, the Incas continued to maintain these crafts but made even more impressive achievements in architecture. The mountain town of Machu Picchu and the buildings at Cuzco are excellent examples of Inca architectural design.

Peru has passed through various intellectual stages--from colonial Hispanic culture to European Romanticism after independence. The early 20th century brought "indigenismo," expressed in a new awareness of Indian culture. Since World War II, Peruvian writers, artists, and intellectuals have participated in worldwide intellectual and artistic movements, drawing especially on U.S. and European trends.

During the colonial period, Spanish baroque fused with the rich Inca tradition to produce mestizo or Creole art. The Cuzco school of largely anonymous Indian artists followed the Spanish baroque tradition with influence from the Italian, Flemish, and French schools. Painter Francisco Fierro made a distinctive contribution to this school with his portrayals of typical events, manners, and customs of mid-19th-century Peru. Francisco Lazo, forerunner of the indigenous school of painters, also achieved fame for his portraits. Peru's 20th-century art is known for its extraordinary variety of styles and stunning originality.

In the decade after 1932, the "indigenous school" of painting headed by Jose Sabogal dominated the cultural scene in Peru. A subsequent reaction among Peruvian artists led to the beginning of modern Peruvian painting. Sabogal's resignation as director of the National School of Arts in 1943 coincided with the return of several Peruvian painters from Europe who revitalized "universal" and international styles of painting in Peru. During the 1960s, Fernando de Szyszlo, an internationally recognized Peruvian artist, became the main advocate for abstract painting and pushed Peruvian art toward modernism. Peru remains an art-producing center with painters such as Gerardo Chavez, Alberto Quintanilla, and Jose Carlos Ramos, along with sculptor Victor Delfin, gaining international stature. Promising young artists continue to develop now that Peru's economy allows more promotion of the arts.

When the Spanish landed in 1531, Peru's territory was the nucleus of the highly developed Inca civilization. Centered at Cuzco, the Inca Empire extended over a vast region from northern Ecuador to central Chile. In search of Inca wealth, the Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, who arrived in the territory after the Incas had fought a debilitating civil war, conquered the weakened people. The Spanish had captured the Incan capital at Cuzco by 1533 and consolidated their control by 1542. Gold and silver from the Andes enriched the conquerors, and Peru became the principal source of Spanish wealth and power in South America.

Pizarro founded Lima in 1535. The viceroyalty established at Lima in 1542 initially had jurisdiction over all of South America except Portuguese Brazil. By the time of the wars of independence (1820-24), Lima had become the most distinguished and aristocratic colonial capital and the chief Spanish stronghold in America.

Peru's independence movement was led by Jose de San Martin of Argentina and Simon Bolivar of Venezuela. San Martin proclaimed Peruvian independence from Spain on July 28, 1821. Emancipation was completed in December 1824, when Gen. Antonio Jose de Sucre defeated the Spanish troops at Ayacucho, ending Spanish rule in South America. Spain made futile attempts to regain its former colonies, but in 1879 it finally recognized Peru's independence.

After independence, Peru and its neighbors engaged in intermittent territorial disputes. Chile's victory over Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific (1879-83) resulted in a territorial settlement. Following a clash between Peru and Ecuador in 1941, the Rio Protocol--of which the United States is one of four guarantors--sought to establish the boundary between the two countries. Continuing boundary disagreement led to brief armed conflicts in early 1981 and early 1995, but in 1998 the governments of Peru and Ecuador signed a historic peace treaty and demarcated the border. In late 1999, the governments of Peru and Chile likewise finally implemented the last outstanding article of their 1929 border agreement.

The military has been prominent in Peruvian history. Coups have repeatedly interrupted civilian constitutional government. The most recent period of military rule (1968-80) began when Gen. Juan Velasco Alvarado overthrew elected President Fernando Belaunde Terry of the Popular Action Party (AP). As part of what has been called the "first phase" of the military government's nationalist program, Velasco undertook an extensive agrarian reform program and nationalized the fishmeal industry, some petroleum companies, and several banks and mining firms.

Because of Velasco's economic mismanagement and deteriorating health, he was replaced by Gen. Francisco Morales Bermudez Cerruti in 1975. Morales Bermudez moved the revolution into a more pragmatic "second phase," tempering the authoritarian abuses of the first phase and beginning the task of restoring the country's economy. Morales Bermudez presided over the return to civilian government in accordance with a new constitution drawn up in 1979. In the May 1980 elections, President Belaunde Terry was returned to office by an impressive plurality.

Nagging economic problems left over from the military government persisted, worsened by an occurrence of the "El Ni�o" weather phenomenon in 1982-83, which caused widespread flooding in some parts of the country, severe droughts in others, and decimated the schools of ocean fish that are one of the country's major resources. After a promising beginning, Belaunde's popularity eroded under the stress of inflation, economic hardship, and terrorism.

During the 1980s, cultivation of illicit coca was established in large areas on the eastern Andean slope. Rural terrorism by Sendero Luminoso (SL) and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) increased during this time and derived significant financial support from alliances with the narcotraffickers. In 1985, the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) won the presidential election, bringing Alan Garcia Perez to office. The transfer of the presidency from Belaunde to Garcia on July 28, 1985, was Peru's first exchange of power from one democratically elected leader to another in 40 years.

Economic mismanagement by the Garcia administration led to hyperinflation from 1988 to 1990. Concerned about the economy, the increasing terrorist threat from Sendero Luminoso, and allegations of official corruption, voters chose a relatively unknown mathematician-turned-politician, Alberto Fujimori, as president in 1990. Fujimori implemented drastic orthodox measures that caused inflation to drop from 7,650% in 1990 to 139% in 1991. Faced with opposition to his reform efforts, Fujimori dissolved Congress in the "auto-coup" of April 4, 1992. He then revised the constitution; called new congressional elections; and implemented substantial economic reform, including privatization of numerous state-owned companies, creation of a more investment-friendly climate, and much improved management of the economy. Fujimori's constitutionally questionable decision to seek a third term and subsequent tainted victory in June 2000 brought political and economic turmoil. A bribery scandal that broke just weeks after he took office in July forced Fujimori to call new elections in which he would not run. Fujimori fled the country and resigned from office in November 2000. He currently resides in his parents' native Japan, amid controversy regarding his involvement in corruption scandals and human rights violations during his tenure as President. A caretaker government presided over new presidential and congressional elections, held in April 2001, which observers considered to be free and fair. The new elected government, led by President Alejandro Toledo, took office July 28, 2001. Regional and Municipal elections were held in November 2002, a majority of which were won by opposition or independent parties.

The Toledo government has restored a high degree of democracy to Peru following the authoritarianism and corruption of the Fujimori years. Suspects tried by military courts during the war against terrorism (1980-2000) are now set to receive new trials in civilian courts. Trials of those accused of corruption and collusion in the corrupt dealings of the Fujimori years are underway. On August 28, 2003, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR), which had been charged with studying the roots of the violence of the 1980-2000 period, presented its formal report to the President. The Government of Peru is now weighing its response to the CVR's recommendations that human rights violators be tried and that the government take measures to, in some fashion, indemnify parts of the population that suffered during those years, chiefly rural Peruvians of ethnically Indian descent. President Toledo has made a number of cabinet changes, partly in response to scandals but also to create a more effective government. His recently appointed Prime Minister, Beatriz Merino, is not from Toledo's party, nor are a majority of other ministers. Toledo's governing coalition has a plurality in Congress and must negotiate on an ad hoc basis with other parties to form majorities on legislative proposals. Toledo's popularity in the polls has suffered throughout the past year, due in part to scandals and in part to dissatisfaction amongst workers with their share of benefits from Peru's macroeconomic success. After strikes by teachers and agricultural producers led to nationwide road blockages in May 2003, Toledo declared a state of emergency that suspended some civil liberties and gave the military power to enforce order in 12 departments. The state of emergency has since been reduced to only the few areas where the Shining Path terrorist group was operating. Potential candidates and their parties are already beginning to maneuver with an eye on the 2006 elections.

The president is popularly elected for a 5-year term, and the 1993 Constitution permits one consecutive re-election. The first and second vice presidents also are popularly elected but have no constitutional functions unless the president is unable to discharge his duties. The principal executive body is the Council of Ministers, headed by a prime minister, all appointed by the president. All presidential decree laws or draft bills sent to Congress must be approved by the Council of Ministers.

The legislative branch consists of a unicameral Congress of 120 members. In addition to passing laws, Congress ratifies treaties, authorizes government loans, and approves the government budget. The president has the power to block legislation with which the executive branch does not agree.

The judicial branch of government is headed by a 16-member Supreme Court seated in Lima. The Constitutional Tribunal interprets the constitution on matters of individual rights. Superior courts in departmental capitals review appeals from decisions by lower courts. Courts of first instance are located in provincial capitals and are divided into civil, penal, and special chambers. The judiciary has created several temporary specialized courts, in an attempt to reduce the large backlog of cases pending final court action. In 1996 a Human Rights Ombudsman's office was created to address human rights issues. Peru is divided into 25 regions. The regions are subdivided into provinces, which are composed of districts. High authorities in the regional and local levels are elected.

Principal Government Officials
President—Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique
First Vice President—Raul DIEZ CANSECO
Second Vice President—David WAISMAN Rjavinsthi

President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister)—Carlos FERRERO
Foreign—Manuel RODRIGUEZ
Defense—Roberto CHIABRA
Economy and Finance—Jaime QUIJANDRIA Salmon
Interior—Fernando ROSPIGLIOSI Capurro
Justice—Fausto ALVARADO
Education—Carlos MALPICA Faustar
Health--Alvaro VIDAL
Agriculture—Jose LEON Rivera
Labor—Jesus ALVARADO
Trade and Tourism—Alfredo FERRERO
Production--Javier REATEGUI Rosello Transport and Communications—Eduardo IRIARTE Jimenez
Energy and Mines—Hans Albert FLURY
Women's Ministry—Nidia CUELLES
Ambassador to the United States—Charg� Nestor POPOLIZIO
Permanent Representative to the United Nations—Oswaldo DE RIVERO
Ambassador to the Organization of American States—Eduardo FERRERO

Peru maintains an embassy in the United States at 1700 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-833-9860/67, consular section: 202-462-1084). Peru has consulates in New York; Paterson, NJ; Miami; Chicago; Houston; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Boston; Denver and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Gvernment of Peru is in a state of democratization. Led by President Alejandro Toledo, the executive branch is becoming more transparent and accountable. Previously a rubber-stamp body, the Congress is emerging as a strong counter-balance to the once dominant executive branch, with increased oversight and investigative powers. The executive branch and Congress in conjunction are attempting to reform the judicial branch, which is antiquated and rife with corruption. Peruvians, whose expectations were raised during the campaign, are frustrated at the slow pace of economic recovery and job creation. As discontent rises, the Toledo administration is in a race to strengthen the economy so that popular pressures do not force a shift to more populist measures. So far, the Toledo government remains committed to orthodox economic policies and structural reform, which, over time, should attract sufficient international investment to generate high growth and job creation. Establishment of an impartial, efficient judiciary probably will be the most difficult goal to achieve. Other important political currents stem from the ongoing investigation of Fujimori era corruption and continued subversive activities by terrorist group Sendero Luminoso. Regarding the latter, the Toledo government has been forced to consider putting resources back into the security forces which they had been hoping to use to fund social programs.

During the 1990s, Peru was transformed by market-oriented economic reforms and privatizations, and met many conditions for long-term growth. From 1994 through 1997, the economy recorded robust growth driven by foreign direct investment. The economy stagnated from 1998 through 2001, the result of an "El Ni�o" weather phenomenon, global financial turmoil, and other factors. Growth strengthened to 3.1% in 2000. The collapse of the Fujimori government and ensuing political instability deterred investment, however, and GDP grew only .2% in 2001. Upon taking office, President Alejandro Toledo , maintained largely orthodox economic policies, and took measures to attract investment. The government brought the deficit down to 2.5% of GDP in 2001, and 2.2% of GDP for 2002. Peru's economy recovered dynamically in 2002, which saw GDP growth of 5.2%. This growth has continued into 2003, with GDP likely to expand 4.0% for the year. GDP currently is $61 billion, in a country of 27.1 million. Banking, retail services, agriculture, mining and manufacturing are key sectors. Inflation is under 2%, with a stable currency and 9.1% unemployment. The fiscal deficit is in control, and likely to meet the IMF target of 1.9% of GDP. Foreign reserves grew over $1 billion in 2002, and are near $9.8 billion. External debt equals 48.5% of GDP.

Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments
The current account deficit dropped in 2002 to about 2.1% of GDP ($1.2 billion. Minerals and metals exports recorded large gains in 2001 and 2002, mostly as a result of the opening of the Antamina copper-zinc mine. By mid-2002, most sectors of the economy were showing gains. Peruvian exports reached $7.65 billion in 2002, with imports of $7.44 billion, producing the country's first trade surplus in 11 years. U.S. Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) benefits may propel exports above $8.4 billion in 2003. Peru's major trading partners are the U.S., EU, Japan, Colombia, Brazil, China and Venezuela. Over 25% of Peruvian exports are destined for the U.S. and 30% of Peruvian imports come from the U.S. Exports include fish, copper, zinc, gold, petroleum, coffee, and textiles and apparel. Imports include machinery, vehicles, processed food, petroleum and steel. Peru belongs to APEC and the WTO, actively participates in FTAA negotiations and seeks a free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S. Net international reserves at the end of October 2003 stood at $9.81 billion, up from $9.6 billion at the end of 2002.

Foreign Investment
The Peruvian Government actively seeks to attract both foreign and domestic investment in all sectors of the economy. International investment was spurred by the significant progress Peru made during the 1990s toward economic, social, and political stability, but it slowed again after the government delayed privatizations and as political uncertainty increased in 2000. President Alejandro Toledo has made investment promotion a priority of his government. While Peru was previously marked by terrorism, hyperinflation, and government intervention in the economy, the Government of Peru under former President Alberto Fujimori took the steps necessary to bring those problems under control. Democratic institutions, however, and especially the judiciary, remain weak.

The Government of Peru's economic stabilization and liberalization program lowered trade barriers, eliminated restrictions on capital flows, and opened the economy to foreign investment, with the result that Peru now has one of the most open investment regimes in the world. Between 1992 and 2001, Peru attracted $10 billion in foreign direct investment in Peru, after negligible investment during the 1980s, mainly from the United Kingdom, Spain, the United States, Panama, and Chile. The basic legal structure for foreign investment in Peru is formed by the 1993 Constitution, the Private Investment Growth Law, and the November 1996 Investment Promotion Law. Although Peru does not have a bilateral investment treaty with the United States, it has signed an agreement (1993) with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation concerning OPIC-financed loans, guarantees, and investments. Peru also has committed itself to arbitration of investment disputes under the auspices of ICSID (the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes) or other international or national arbitration tribunals.

Economic Outlook
Growth in 2003 has been driven by construction, investment, domestic demand, and ATPDEA-related exports. Peru's economy is one of the better-managed in Latin America, but challenges remain. Better tax collection and growth are hiking revenues, but government expenditures are keeping pace. Peru secured its $750 million external financing requirement for 2003 with international bond issuances early in the year and raised more than $400 million via a new domestic bond program. However, the government may need $1 billion in external finance in 2004. The government faces continuing strong social pressures to reduce poverty of 54% (under $58/month) and extreme poverty of 24% (under $32/month). Unemployment and underemployment levels total 56%, and growth is insufficient to generate strong new employment. The government lacks revenues for adequate social investment. Boosting long-term growth will require improving the investment climate, reducing corruption, and completing other reforms. Over the next few years, the country is likely to attract both domestic and foreign investment in the tourism, agriculture, mining, petroleum and natural gas, and power industries.

Peru remains the second-largest producer of coca leaf in the world despite an unprecedented 70% reduction in the number of acres of illegal coca leaf under cultivation since 1995. Over 30,000 hectares are currently cultivated in Peru according to the CNC. Ninety percent of all coca leaf grown in Peru is diverted into the illicit narcotics trade. As a result, Peru is a major exporter of high-purity cocaine and cocaine base to markets in South America, Mexico, the United States, and Europe,

The impact of this illicit industry to the national economy is difficult to measure, but estimates range from $300-$600 million. An estimated 200,000 Peruvians are engaged in the production, refining, or distribution of the narcotic. Many economists believe that large flows of dollars into the banking system contribute to the traditional depression in the dollar exchange rate vis-�-vis the sol, and create a climate in which money-laundering can flourish. The Central Bank engages in open market activities to prevent the price of the sol from rising to levels that would otherwise hurt Peruvian exports.

In response to changes in the dynamic of the cocaine trade in the 1990s caused by market forces and interdiction efforts, drug traffickers in Peru have diversified and are now using land, sea and river routes, and likely aircraft as well, to transport cocaine paste and, increasingly, cocaine hydrochloride (HCL) around and out of the country. As part of a possible renewal of the airbridge denial interdiction program, suspended in April 2001, the embassy is working with the Government of Peru to establish a joint counter-narcotics coordination center in Pucallpa, Peru. Aerial interdiction of drug traffickers may resume if it is determined through the work of this center that such traffic exists and once adequate training and safety measures have been instituted by the U.S. and Peruvian Governments. Peru continues to arrest drug traffickers and seize drugs and precursor chemicals, destroy coca labs, disable clandestine airstrips, and prosecute officials involved in narcotics corruption.

In both 2002 and 2003, the Peruvian Government has tended to avoid action that could spark civil unrest in the major coca growing areas. Notwithstanding that preoccupation, the government eradicated 7,200 hectares of coca in 2002 and over 8,000 hectares, so far, in 2003. Until early in 2003, all eradication was done by government workers from the Ministry of the Interior supported by NAS. After that date, the Peruvian Government has worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to offer development assistance in coca-growing areas to farmers who eradicate their coca fields voluntarily.

In October 1998, Peru and Ecuador signed a peace accord which definitively resolved border differences which over the years had resulted in armed conflict. Peru and Ecuador are now jointly coordinating an internationally sponsored border integration project. The U.S. Government, as one of four guarantor states, was actively involved in facilitating the 1998 peace accord between Peru and Ecuador and remains committed to its implementation. The United States has pledged $40 million to the Peru-Ecuador border integration project and another $4 million to support Peruvian and Ecuadorian demining efforts along their common border.

In November 1999, Peru and Chile signed three agreements that put to rest the remaining obstacles holding up implementation of the 1929 Border Treaty. (The 1929 Border Treaty officially ended the 1879 War of the Pacific.) In December 1999, President Fujimori made the first visit ever to Chile by a Peruvian head of state.

Peru has been a member of the United Nations since 1949, and Peruvian Javier Perez de Cuellar served as UN Secretary General from 1981 to 1991. Former President Fujimori's tainted re-election to a third term in June 2000 strained Peru's relations with the United States and with many Latin American and European countries, but relations improved with the installation of an interim government in November 2000 and the inauguration of Alejandro Toledo in July 2001 after free and fair elections. Peru is planning full integration into the Andean Free Trade Area. In addition, Peru is a standing member of APEC and the WTO, and is an active participant in negotiations toward a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The United States enjoys strong and cooperative relations with Peru. Relations were strained following the tainted re-election of former President Fujimori in June 2000, but improved with the installation of an interim government in November 2000 and the inauguration of the government of Alejandro Toledo in July 2001. The United States continues to promote the strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights safeguards in Peru and the integration of Peru into the world economy.

The United States and Peru cooperate on efforts to interdict the flow of narcotics, particularly cocaine, to the United States. Bilateral programs are now in effect to reduce the flow of drugs on Peru's extensive river system and to perform ground interdiction in tandem with successful law enforcement operations. The United States is considering whether to resume cooperation on an aerial interdiction program. The United States and Peru cooperate on promoting programs of alternative development in coca-growing regions.

U.S. investment and tourism in Peru have grown substantially in recent years. U.S. exports to Peru were valued at $2.0 billion in 2001, accounting for about 30% of Peru's imports. In the same year, Peru exported $1.9 billion in goods to the United States, accounting for about 27% of Peru's exports to the world.

About 200,000 U.S. citizens visit Peru annually for business, tourism , and study. About 16,000 Americans reside in Peru, and more than 400 U.S. companies are represented in the country.

U.S. Assistance
U.S. bilateral assistance to Peru, including food aid and disaster relief and rehabilitation, totaled nearly $1.4 billion during the 1990-2001 period. The USAID program in Peru is its second largest in Latin America. Since 1962, USAID has provided approximately $2.7 billion to Peru in grants and loans, including $264 million in grants over the last two years. USAID's programs are designed to expand the sustainable opportunities for employment, higher incomes and improved quality of life for all Peruvians .

U.S. assistance to Peru is focused on six strategic objectives: Strengthening democratic processes and institutions; increasing economic opportunities for the poor in selected economic corridors; improving health for Peruvians at high risk; strengthening environmental management to address priority problems; supporting sustained reduction of illicit drug crops in target areas; and expanding opportunities for girls' basic education in targeted rural areas. Improving the quality of life of Peruvians along the Peru-Ecuador border area is an additional objective of U.S. Government development assistance.

Democracy. U.S. assistance seeks to strengthen democratic institutions; promote more effective regional and local governments; promote and protect human rights; foster citizen participation; promote the rule of law to protect rights of the people; fight corruption and adjudicate commercial disputes; and strengthen women's participation in decisionmaking processes. USAID is supporting the efforts of the Government of Peru and Peruvian civil society—at the local, regional and national levels—to achieve a system of governance that is more participative, transparent, and effective. Through USAID, the United States provided more than $24 million in 2002, and is providing more than $10 million in 2003 to support these goals. USAID provided approximately 80% of donor funding to date for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, allowing the Commission to collect more than 7,000 testimonies related to the political violence occurring over the last two decades.

Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth. USAID aims to improve the policy environment for private sector-led growth; expand access to markets; improve production; improve access to and distribution of food resources; and improve access to public utilities in poverty areas. U.S. food assistance programs reach about 1.8 million poor Peruvians annually in rural highlands and jungle areas, where the majority of the extreme poverty is found. From 1997-2002, USAID provided more than $200 million in food aid. Since 1995, USAID-assisted enterprises and producers have increased sales by approximately $150 million and created more than 38,000 full-time equivalent jobs. USAID microfinance initiatives have provided loans valuing more than $50 million to approximately 100,000 low-income clients. To improve the trade and investment climate, USAID programs are designed to improve fiscal management, government procurement, commercial law and property (including intellectual) rights, sanitary/phytosanitary systems, and customs in order to work better with the World Trade Organization. USAID is increasing productivity and market access of private enterprises through Economic Service Centers located throughout the country.

Health. U.S. assistance is improving child survival and maternal health services--such as immunization, diarrhea control, and prenatal care--and strengthening and expanding the participation of public and private sector entities in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria prevention. USAID programs are designed to increase productivity of the work force as well as reduce the potential for social conflict. In family planning, activities with the non-governmental organization (NGOs) sector include efforts to strengthen the capacity of NGOs to supply voluntary family planning methods in urban and rural areas; increase the sustainability of the supply of contraceptives; and disseminate information on family planning methods and services. USAID's support to the Ministry of Health has made substantial improvements in this area. The infant mortality rate fell from 57 per 1,000 births in 1991 to 33 in 2000 while immunization campaigns for children younger than one year of age reached 97.5% coverage. The child mortality rate (children under 5 years old) declined from 91 to 47 per thousand live births.

Environment and Natural Resources Management. USAID's strategy focuses on improving the legal, policy, regulatory, and normative environment and natural resource framework; promoting pollution prevention in selected pre-urban and industrial settings; raising environmental awareness; and protecting natural resources, including sustainable forest management, biological diversity, and fragile ecosystems. USAID has provided important assistance to the Peruvian Government to improve the legal, regulatory, and policy framework that established clearer rules on environmentally sustainable natural resource use. Among the improved frameworks were the National Environmental Council's Structural Framework for Environmental Management, the Ministry of Industry's Environmental Regulation, the Framework Law for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, and the Pollution Prevention Oriented Environmental Framework Legislation for the Fisheries and related industries.

Alternative development. USAID seeks to reduce coca leaf cultivation through alternative development and environmental protection programs, as well as to reduce drug use and addition through prevention, awareness, and rehabilitation programs. It also seeks to increase the commitment of farmers and communities to reduce illicit coca production voluntarily. USAID, together with Peruvian and U.S. law enforcement actions, has contributed to a 70% reduction of hectares (Ha) devoted to coca cultivation (from 115,300 Ha in 1995 to 31,150 Ha in 2003). From 2002 to 2003 alone there was a 15% reduction in coca cultivation. As a result, over the same period the capacity of Peru to produce cocaine hydrochloride, or HCl, declined from 525 tons to 145 tons. As of 2000, the total gross agricultural production value of the alternative crops in targeted areas outweighed the total gross production value of coca leaf by 39%. As a result of this and other social infrastructure projects (e.g., schools, health clinics, potable water systems, and farm-to-market roads and bridges), the living conditions of over 80,000 families in 1,600 communities were improved. In Peru's coca-growing areas, USAID's Alternative Development Program has provided assistance to about 18,000 families to grow licit crops on more than 32,000 hectares; given credit to 4,800 clients; completed 1,800 community infrastructure projects; and rehabilitated and maintained more than 1,400 kilometers of roads.

Education. This strategic objective is aimed at assisting the Government of Peru and civil society organizations to improve and decentralize primary education, especially for girls. As a result, USAID has contributed to the establishment of a National Network for Girls' Education in Peru, with the participation of government sectoral ministries, NGOs, universities, the business community, and donors. This national network has been very active in increasing consciousness about the importance of girls' education in Peru. In addition, Peru has been chosen as the South America site of the Centers of Excellence in Teacher Training (CETT) that grew out of the 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec. USAID is financing the CETT, whose purpose is to improve the practices of classroom teachers so that they become more effective reading instructors in the early primary grades.

Regional Programs. USAID is promoting the economic and social development of Peru-Ecuador border region, in order to provide tangible benefits from the October 1998 Peace Accords signed by the two countries. USAID's assistance to the Peru-Ecuador Bi-National Plan has contributed to improved social and economic conditions for 2,500 families in border areas in Piura and Condorcanqui.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador—J. Curtis Struble
Charge—John P. Caulfield
Director, USAID Mission—Patricia Buckles
Counselor for Political Affairs—Alexander H. Margulies
Counselor for Economic Affairs—Timothy M. Stater
Counselor for Narcotics Affairs (NAS)—James H. Benson
Counselor for Public Affairs—Josie Shumake
Counselor for Management Affairs--Elizabeth Hinson
Counselor for Consular Affairs—Buentello David
Commercial Attach�—Rebecca K. Armand
Naval and Defense Attach�--Capt. Raymond Anderson
Army Attach�--Col. Dan Meyer
Air Attach�--Col. Robert Mitchell
Chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG)--Col. Bruce P. Yost
Consular Agent, Cuzco--Olga Villagarcia

The U.S. embassy in Peru is located at Avenida Encalada, Cuadra 17 s/n, Monterrico (Surco), Lima 33 (tel. (511) 434-3000; fax. (511) 434-3037. Home page:

The embassy is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except U.S. and some Peruvian holidays. The mailing address from the United States is American Embassy Lima, APO AA 34031 (use U.S. domestic postage rates). The American Citizen Services section is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The Consular Agency in Cuzco is located at Anda Tullamayu 125 (tel. (51) (84) 224112 or (51) (84) 239451; fax. (51) (84) 233541). The USAID Building is located at Av. Encalada cdra. 17 s/n, Monterrico (Surco) Lima 33, (tel. (511) 618-1200.

Other Contact Information
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Office of Andean Affairs (Room 5906)
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520-6263
Tel: 202-647-3360
Fax: 202-647-2628
Home Page: //

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
14th and Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: (202) 482-0475
Fax: (202) 482-0464
Home Page:

American Chamber of Commerce of Peru
Avenida Ricardo Palma 836, Miraflores
Lima 18, Peru
Tel: (511) 241-0708
Fax: (511) 241-0709
Home Page:

For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.