Peru (; Perú ; Piruw ;Quechua name used by government of Peru is Perú (see Quechua-language version of Peru Parliament website and Quechua-language version of Peru Constitution but common Quechua name is Piruw Piruw ), officially the Republic of Peru (), 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 south and west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river. At 1.28 million km2 (0.5 million mi2), Peru is the 19th largest country in the world, and the third largest in South America.
Peruvian territory was home to several Ancient Peru. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization starting in 3500 BCE, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in the pre-Columbian Americas, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE.
The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American territories, with its capital in Lima. Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, and following the foreign military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, and the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru completed its independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative Guano Era, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific (1879–1884) 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. Even after the president's regime, Fujimori's followers, called Fujimorism, have caused political turmoil for any opposing faction in power. The last elected president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned in March 2018 after a corruption scandal went public and to avoid impeachment by a congress dominated by Fujimoristas.
The sovereign state of Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Peru is a developing country, ranking 82nd on the Human Development Index, with a high level of human development with an upper middle income level and a poverty rate around 19 percent. It is one of the region's most prosperous economies with an average growth rate of 5.9% and it has one of the world's fastest industrial growth rates at an average of 9.6%. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing; along with other growing sectors such as telecommunications and biotechnology. The country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America's Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration. Peru ranks high in social freedom; "Freedom in the World 2017 – Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy" by Freedom House, 31 January 2017 it is an active member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Alliance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the World Trade Organization; and is considered as a middle power.
Peru has a population of 32 million, which includes Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other indigenous languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.
An alternative history is provided by the contemporary writer Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, son of an Inca princess and a conquistador. He said the name Birú was that of a common Amerindian who was happened upon by the crew of a ship on an exploratory mission for governor Pedro Arias de Ávila, and went on to relate more instances of misunderstandings due to the lack of a common language.Vega, Garcilasco, Commentarios Reales de los Incas, Editorial Mantaro, Lima, ed. 1998. pp. 14–15. First published in Lisbon in 1609.
The Spanish Empire gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru.Raúl Porras Barrenechea, El nombre del Perú, p. 87. Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, which became Republic of Peru after independence.
The Moche, who reached their apogee in the first millennium CE, were renowned for their irrigation system which fertilized their arid terrain, their sophisticated ceramic pottery, their lofty buildings, and clever metalwork. The Chimu were the great city builders of pre-Inca civilization; as loose confederation of walled cities scattered along the coast of northern Peru, the Chimu flourished from about 1140 to 1450.Keatinge, Richard W., and Geoffrey W. Conrad. 1983. Imperialist expansion in peruvian prehistory: Chimu administration of a conquered territory. Journal of Field Archaeology 10, (3) (Autumn): 255-83. Their capital was at Chan Chan outside of modern-day Trujillo. In the highlands, both the Tiwanaku Empire culture, near Lake Titicaca in both Peru and Bolivia,Blom, Deborah E. and John W. Janusek. "Making Place: Humans as Dedications in Tiwanaku", World Archaeology (2004): 123–41. and the Wari culture, near the present-day city of Ayacucho, developed large urban settlements and wide-ranging state systems between 500 and 1000 CE. Pre-Inca Cultures . countrystudies.us., an iconic symbol of pre-Columbian Peru|alt=|left]]In the 15th century, the Inca Empire emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the Inca Empire in the pre-Columbian Americas with their capital in Cusco. The Incas of Cusco originally represented one of the small and relatively minor ethnic groups, the Quechua people. Gradually, as early as the thirteenth century, they began to expand and incorporate their neighbors. Inca expansion was slow until about the middle of the fifteenth century, when the pace of conquest began to accelerate, particularly under the rule of the emperor Pachacuti.
Eventually, the viceroyalty would dissolve, as with much of the Spanish empire, when challenged by national independence movements at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These movements led to the formation of the majority of modern-day countries of South America in the territories that at one point or another had constituted the Viceroyalty of Peru.Peru Peru . Retrieved 27 July 2014. The conquest and colony brought a mix of cultures and ethnicities that did not exist before the Spanish conquered the Peruvian territory. Even though many of the Inca traditions were lost or diluted, new customs, traditions and knowledge were added, creating a rich mixed Peruvian culture. Two of the most important indigenous rebellions against the Spanish were that of Juan Santos Atahualpa in 1742, and Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II in 1780 around the highlands near Cuzco.
The economic crises, the loss of power of Spain in Europe, the war of independence in North America, and native uprisings all contributed to a favorable climate to the development of emancipation ideas among the Criollo people population in South America. However, the Criollo oligarchy in Peru enjoyed privileges and remained loyal to the Spanish Crown. The liberation movement started in Argentina where autonomous juntas were created as a result of the loss of authority of the Spanish government over its colonies.
After fighting for the independence of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, José de San Martín created the Army of the Andes and crossed the Andes in 21 days. Once in Chile, he joined forces with Chilean army General Bernardo O'Higgins and liberated the country in the battles of Chacabuco and Maipú in 1818.Scheina, 2003, Latin America's Wars: The Age of the Caudillo, 1791–1899, p. 58. On 7 September 1820, a fleet of eight warships arrived in the port of Paracas under the command of General José de San Martin and Thomas Cochrane, who was serving in the Chilean Navy. Immediately on 26 October, they took control of the town of Pisco. San Martin settled in Huacho on 12 November, where he established his headquarters while Cochrane sailed north and blockaded the port of Callao in Lima. At the same time in the north, Guayaquil was occupied by rebel forces under the command of Gregorio Escobedo. Because Peru was the stronghold of the Spanish government in South America, San Martin's strategy to liberate Peru was to use diplomacy. He sent representatives to Lima urging the Viceroy that Peru be granted independence, however all negotiations proved unsuccessful.
.|alt=|220x220px|left]]The Viceroy of Peru, Joaquín de la Pazuela named José de la Serna commander-in-chief of the loyalist army to protect Lima from the threatened invasion by San Martin. On 29 January, de la Serna organized a coup against de la Pazuela, which was recognized by Spain and he was named Viceroy of Peru. This internal power struggle contributed to the success of the liberating army. In order to avoid a military confrontation, San Martin met the newly appointed viceroy, José de la Serna, and proposed to create a constitutional monarchy, a proposal that was turned down. De la Serna abandoned the city, and on 12 July 1821 San Martin occupied Lima and declared Peruvian independence on 28 July 1821. He created the first Peruvian flag. Upper Peru (Bolivia) remained as a Spanish stronghold until the army of Simón Bolívar liberated it three years later. José de San Martin was declared Protector of Peru. Peruvian national identity was forged during this period, as Bolivarian projects for a Latin American Confederation floundered and a union with Bolivia proved ephemeral.Gootenberg (1991) p. 12.
Simon Bolivar launched his campaign from the north, liberating the Viceroyalty of New Granada in the Battles of Carabobo in 1821 and Pichincha a year later. In July 1822, Bolivar and San Martin gathered in the Guayaquil Conference. Bolivar was left in charge of fully liberating Peru while San Martin retired from politics after the first parliament was assembled. The newly founded Peruvian Congress named Bolivar dictator of Peru, giving him the power to organize the military.
With the help of Antonio José de Sucre, they defeated the larger Spanish army in the Battle of Junín on 6 August 1824 and the decisive Battle of Ayacucho on 9 December of the same year, consolidating the independence of Peru and Alto Peru. Alto Peru was later established as Bolivia. During the early years of the Republic, endemic struggles for power between military leaders caused political instability.Discover Peru (Peru cultural society). War of Independence . Retrieved 28 July 2014
In 1879, Peru entered the War of the Pacific which lasted until 1884. Bolivia invoked its alliance with Peru against Chile. The Peruvian Government tried to mediate the dispute by sending a diplomatic team to negotiate with the Chilean government, but the committee concluded that war was inevitable. Chile declared war on 5 April 1879. Almost five years of war ended with the loss of the department of Tarapacá and the provinces of Tacna Province and Arica, in the Atacama region. Two outstanding military leaders throughout the war were Francisco Bolognesi and Miguel Grau. Originally Chile committed to a referendum for the cities of Arica and Tacna to be held years later, in order to self determine their national affiliation. However, Chile refused to apply the Treaty, and neither of the countries could determine the statutory framework. After the War of the Pacific, an extraordinary effort of rebuilding began. The government started to initiate a number of social and economic reforms in order to recover from the damage of the war. Political stability was achieved only in the early 1900s.
Later, in 1941, Peru and Ecuador fought the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War, after which the Rio Protocol sought to formalize the boundary between those two countries. In a military coup on 29 October 1948, General Manuel A. Odría became president. Odría's presidency was known as the Ochenio. Momentarily pleasing the oligarchy and all others on the right, but followed a Populism course that won him great favor with the poor and lower classes. A thriving economy allowed him to indulge in expensive but crowd-pleasing social policies. At the same time, however, civil rights were severely restricted and corruption was rampant throughout his regime. Odría was succeeded by Manuel Prado Ugarteche. However, widespread allegations of fraud prompted the Peruvian military to depose Prado and install a military junta, led by Ricardo Pérez Godoy. Godoy ran a short transitional government and held new elections in 1963, which were won by Fernando Belaúnde Terry who assumed presidency until 1968. Belaúnde was recognized for his commitment to the Democracy process. In 1968, the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, staged a coup against Belaúnde. Alvarado's regime undertook radical reforms aimed at fostering development, but failed to gain widespread support. In 1975, General Francisco Morales-Bermúdez forcefully replaced Velasco, paralyzed reforms, and oversaw the reestablishment of democracy.
Peru engaged in a brief successful conflict with Ecuador in the Paquisha War as a result of territorial dispute between the two countries. After the country experienced chronic inflation, the Peruvian currency, the sol, was replaced by the Peruvian inti in mid-1985, which itself was replaced by the Peruvian sol in July 1991, at which time the new sol had a cumulative value of one billion old soles. The per capita annual income of Peruvians fell to $720 (below the level of 1960) and Peru's GDP dropped 20% at which national reserves were a negative $900 million. The economic turbulence of the time acerbated social tensions in Peru and partly contributed to the rise of violent rebel rural insurgent movements, like Shining Path (Shining Path) and MRTA, which caused great havoc throughout the country. Concerned about the economy, the increasing terrorist threat from Sendero Luminoso and MRTA, and allegations of official corruption, Alberto Fujimori assumed presidency in 1990. Fujimori implemented drastic 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 Self-coup ("self-coup") of 5 April 1992. He then revised the constitution; called new congressional elections; and implemented substantial economic reform, including privatization of numerous state-owned companies, creation of an investment-friendly climate, and sound management of the economy. Fujimori's administration was dogged by Insurgency groups, most notably the Sendero Luminoso, who carried out terrorist campaigns across the country throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Fujimori cracked down on the insurgents and was successful in largely quelling them by the late 1990s, but the fight was marred by atrocities committed by both the Peruvian security forces and the insurgents: the Barrios Altos massacre and La Cantuta massacre by Government paramilitary groups, and the bombings of Tarata bombing and Frecuencia Latina by Sendero Luminoso. Those incidents subsequently came to symbolize the human rights violations committed in the last years of violence.
During early 1995, once again Peru and Ecuador clashed in the Cenepa War, but in 1998 the governments of both nations signed a peace treaty that clearly demarcated the international boundary between them. In November 2000, Fujimori resigned from office and went into a self-imposed exile, avoiding prosecution for human rights violations and corruption charges by the new Peruvian authorities.
On 28 July 2006, former president Alan García became President of Peru after winning the 2006 elections. In May 2008, Peru became a member of the Union of South American Nations. In April 2009, former president Alberto Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by the Grupo Colina death squad during his government's battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s. On 5 June 2011, Ollanta Humala was elected president. During his presidency, Prime Minister Ana Jara and her cabinet were successfully censured, which was the first time in 50 years that a cabinet had been forced to resign from the Peruvian legislature. In 2016, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected, though his government was short lived as he resigned in 2018 amid various controversies surrounding his administration. Vice president Martín Vizcarra then assumed office in March 2018 with generally favorable approval ratings. Alan García was involved in the Operation Car Wash scandal and as police tried to arrest him, he committed suicide on 17 April 2019. Later that year, in July, police arrested Alejandro Toledo in California. Amid the crisis, on 30 September 2019, President Vizcarra dissolved the congress, and elections were held on 26 January 2020.
COVID-19 pandemic in Peru
The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 6 March 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru, most Peruvians were under a stay-at-home order by president Martin Vizcarra. As of December 2020, there are more than 1 million cases confirmed in Peru.
The Peruvian government is separated into three branches:
In the Congress of Peru, there are 130 Members of Congress from 25 administrative divisions, determined by respective population, elected to five-year terms. Constitución Política del Perú, Article No. 90. Bills are proposed by the executive and Legislature powers and become law by through a Plurality voting vote in Congress. Constitución Política del Perú, Articles No. 107–108. The judiciary is nominally independent, Constitución Política del Perú, Article No. 146. though political intervention into judicial matters has been common throughout history.Clark, Jeffrey. Building on quicksand. Retrieved 24 July 2007. The Congress of Peru can also pass a motion of no confidence, censure ministers, as well as initiate and convict executives, in an effort to balance power between the executive and Legislature branches. The Legislature in recent times has passed semi-successful impeachments, including that of Alberto Fujimori in 2000 and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2018, causing Kuczynski to resign., in Lima|alt=]]
Peru's electoral system uses compulsory voting for citizens from the age of 18 to 70, including dual-citizens and Peruvians.
Peru uses a multi-party system for and . Major groups that have formed governments, both on a federal and legislative level, are parties that have historically adopted economic liberalism, progressivism, right-wing populism (specifically Fujimorism), nationalism, and reformism. Congreso de la República del Perú, Grupos Parlamentarios . Retrieved 27 August 2011.
The most recent general election was held on 5 June 2016 and resulted in the election of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as president and Martín Vizcarra as vice president. The most recent congressional election was a snap election held on 26 January 2020 in response to the dissolution of congress, in which Popular Action, Alliance for Progress, and FREPAP secured a majority in congress.
The Governor constitutes the executive body, proposes , and creates Decree, and regional programs. The Regional Council, the region's Legislature, debates and votes on budgets, supervises regional officials, and can vote to remove the governor, deputy governor, or any member of the council from office. The Regional Governor and the Regional Council serve a term of four years, without immediate reelection. These governments plan regional development, execute public investment projects, promote economic activities, and manage public property. Ley N° 27867, Ley Orgánica de Gobiernos Regionales, Article No. 10.
Provinces, such as the province of Lima, are administered by a municipal council, headed by a mayor. Ley N° 27867, Ley Orgánica de Gobiernos Regionales, Article No. 66. The goal of devolving power to regional and municipal governments was among others to improve popular participation. played an important role in the decentralization process and still influence local politics.
Some areas of Peru are defined as metropolitan areas which overlap district areas. The largest of them, the Lima metropolitan area, is the seventh-largest metropolis in the Americas.
Peru has planned to be fully integrated into the OECD (OECD) by 2021, attributing its economic success and efforts to strengthen institutions as meeting factors to be a part of the OECD. Peru is a member of the World Trade Organization, and has pursued multiple major free trade agreements, most recently the Peru—United States Free Trade Agreement, the China—Peru Free Trade Agreement, the European Union Free Trade Agreement, free trade agreements with Japan, and many others.
Peru maintains an integrated relationship with other South American nations, and is a member of various South American intergovernmental agreements, more recently the Organization of American States, Mercosur, the Andean Community, the Pacific Alliance, and the APEC. Peru has historically experienced stressed relations with Chile, including the Peru v Chile international court resolution and the Chilean-Peruvian maritime dispute, but the two countries have agreed to work in improving relations.BBC News (4 November 2005), Peru–Chile border row escalates . Retrieved 16 May 2007.
Additionally, Peru has participated in taking a leading role in addressing the crisis in Venezuela through the establishment of the Lima Group.
Their functions are separated by branch:
The military is governed by both the Commander in Chief, Ministry of Defense, and Joint Command of the Armed Forces (CCFFAA). The CCFFAA has subordinates to the Operational Commands and Special Commands, with which it carries out the military operations that are required for the defense and the fulfillment of the tasks that the executive power provides.Ministerio de Defensa, Libro Blanco de la Defensa Nacional. Ministerio de Defensa, 2005, 90. Conscription was abolished in 1999 and replaced by voluntary military service. Ley N° 27178, Ley del Servicio Militar, Articles No. 29, 42 and 45. The National Police of Peru is often classified as a part of the armed forces. Although in fact it has a different organization and a wholly civil mission, its training and activities over more than two decades as an anti-terrorist force have produced markedly military characteristics, giving it the appearance of a virtual fourth military service with significant land, sea and air capabilities and approximately 140,000 personnel. The Peruvian armed forces report through the Ministry of Defense, while the National Police of Peru reports through the Ministry of Interior.
Since the end of the crisis in Peru in 2000, the federal government has significantly reduced annual spending in defense. In the 2016—2017 budget, defense spending has constituted 1.1% of GDP ($2.3 billion), the second lowest spending relative to GDP in South America following Argentina. More recently, the Armed Forces of Peru have been used in civil defense. In 2020, Peru used its military personnel and even reservists to enforce the strict quarantine measures placed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The costa (coast), to the west, is a narrow plain, largely arid except for valleys created by seasonal rivers. The sierra (highlands) is the region of the Andes; it includes the Altiplano plateau as well as the highest peak of the country, the Huascarán.Andes Handbook, Huascarán . 2 June 2002. The third region is the selva (jungle), a wide expanse of flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest that extends east. Almost 60 percent of the country's area is located within this region.Instituto de Estudios Histórico–Marítimos del Perú, El Perú y sus recursos: Atlas geográfico y económico, p. 16. The country has fifty-four hydrographic basins, fifty-two of which are small coastal basins that discharge their waters into the Pacific Ocean. The other two are the Amazon basin, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Endorheic basin basin of Lake Titicaca, both delimited by the Andes mountain range. In the second of these basins, the giant Amazon River begins, which, with its 6872 km, is the longest river in the world, with 75% of the Peruvian territory. Peru contains 4% of the planet's fresh water.
Most Peruvian rivers originate in the peaks of the Andes and drain into one of three drainage basin. Those that drain toward the Pacific Ocean are steep and short, flowing only intermittently. Tributaries of the Amazon River have a much larger flow, and are longer and less steep once they exit the sierra. Rivers that drain into Lake Titicaca are generally short and have a large flow.Instituto de Estudios Histórico–Marítimos del Perú, El Perú y sus recursos: Atlas geográfico y económico, p. 31. Peru's longest rivers are the Ucayali, the Marañón, the Putumayo, the Yavarí, the Huallaga River, the Urubamba River, the Mantaro River, and the Amazon.Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática, Perú: Compendio Estadístico 2005, p. 21.
The largest lake in Peru, Lake Titicaca between Peru and Bolivia high in the Andes, is also the largest of South America. The largest reservoirs, all in the coastal region of Peru, are the Poechos, Tinajones, San Lorenzo, and El Fraile reservoirs.
Peru has over 1,800 species of birds (120 Endemism), and 500 species of and over 300 species of . The hundreds of mammals include rare species like the puma, jaguar and spectacled bear. The of Peru produce large amounts of guano, an economically important export. The Pacific holds large quantities of sea bass, flounder, anchovies, tuna, , and shellfish, and is home to many , , and .
Peru also has an equally diverse flora. The coastal deserts produce little more than cacti, apart from hilly lomas and river valleys that contain unique plant life. The Highlands above the tree-line known as Puna grassland is home to bushes, cactus, drought-resistant plants such as Jarava ichu, and the largest species of bromeliad – the spectacular Puya raimondii.
The cloud-forest slopes of the Andes sustain moss, , and bromeliads, and the Amazon rainforest is known for its variety of trees and canopy plants. Peru had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 8.86/10, ranking it 14th globally out of 172 countries.
Peruvian economic policy has varied widely over The 1968–1975 government of Juan Velasco Alvarado introduced radical reforms, which included agrarian reform, the expropriation of foreign companies, the introduction of an economic planning system, and the creation of a large state-owned sector. These measures failed to achieve their objectives of income redistribution and the end of economic dependence on developed nations.Thorp, pp. 318–319.
Despite these results, most reforms were not reversed until the 1990s, when the liberalization government of Alberto Fujimori ended price controls, protectionism, restrictions on foreign direct investment, and most state ownership of companies. Reforms have permitted sustained economic growth since 1993, except for a slump after the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Banco Central de Reserva, Producto bruto interno por sectores productivos 1951–2006 . Retrieved 27 December 2010.
Services account for 53% of Peruvian gross domestic product, followed by manufacturing (22.3%), extractive industries (15%), and taxes (9.7%).2006 figures. Banco Central de Reserva, Memoria 2006 , p. 204. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Recent economic growth has been fueled by Macroeconomics stability, improved terms of trade, and rising investment and consumption. Banco Central de Reserva, Memoria 2006 , pp. 15, 203. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Trade is expected to increase further after the implementation of a free trade agreement with the United States signed on 12 April 2006.Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, United States and Peru Sign Trade Promotion Agreement, 12 April 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Peru's main exports are copper, gold, zinc, textiles, and fish meal; its major trade partners are the United States, China, Brazil, and Chile.2006 figures. Banco Central de Reserva, Memoria 2006 , pp. 60–61. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
The 2017 census for the first time included a question on ethnic self-identification. According to the results, 60.2% of the people identified themselves as mestizo, 22.3% identified themselves as Quechua people, 5.9% identified themselves as White Peruvians, 3.6% identified themselves as Afro-Peruvians, 2.4% identified themselves as Aymara people, 2.3% identified themselves as other ethnic groups, and 3.3% didn't declare their ethnicity.
Spaniards and Africans arrived in large numbers under colonial rule, mixing widely with each other and with indigenous peoples. After independence, there was gradual immigration from England, France, Germany, and Italy.Vázquez, Mario (1970) "Immigration and mestizaje in nineteenth-century Peru", pp. 79–81 in Race and class in Latin America. Columbia Univ. Press. Peru freed its black slaves in 1854." Peru apologises for abuse of African-origin citizens". BBC News. 29 November 2009 Chinese and Japanese arrived in the 1850s as laborers following the end of slavery, and have since become a major influence in Peruvian society, forming one of the Asian Peruvians in Latin America.Mörner, Magnus (1967), Race mixture in the history of Latin America, p. 131.
, 79.3% lived in urban areas and 20.7% in rural areas. Major cities include the Lima metropolitan area (home to over 9.8 million people), Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Iquitos, Cusco, Chimbote, and Huancayo; all reported more than 250,000 inhabitants in the 2007 census.Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática, Perfil sociodemográfico del Perú, p. 24. There are 15 uncontacted Amerindian tribes in Peru." Isolated Peru tribe threatened by outsiders. USATODAY.com. 31 January 2012
Spanish language is used by the government and is the mainstream language of the country, which is used by the media and in educational systems 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 language divide between the coast where Spanish is more predominant over the Amerindian languages, 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 indigenous languages, while others have been almost completely assimilated into the Spanish language. There has been an increasing and organized effort to teach Quechua in public schools in the areas where Quechua is spoken. In the Peruvian Amazon, numerous indigenous languages are spoken, including Asháninka, Bora language, and Aguaruna. Resonancias.org – Aboriginal languages of Peru
Amerindian religious traditions continue to play a major role in the beliefs of Peruvians. Catholic festivities like Corpus Christi, Holy Week and Christmas sometimes blend with Amerindian traditions. Amerindian festivities from pre-Columbian remain widespread; Inti Raymi, an ancient Inca festival, is still celebrated, especially in rural communities.
The majority of towns, cities, and villages have their own official church or cathedral and patron saint.
Peru is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on 12 May 1551, during the Viceroyalty of Peru, is the first officially established and the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
During this period, most art focused on religious subjects; the numerous churches of the era and the paintings of the Cusco School are representative.Bailey, p. 263. Arts stagnated after independence until the emergence of Indigenismo in the early 20th century. Since the 1950s, Peruvian art has been eclectic and shaped by both foreign and local art currents.
Between the 9th century BCE and the 2nd century CE, the Paracas culture Cavernas and Paracas Necropolis cultures developed on the south coast of Peru. Paracas Cavernas produced complex polychrome and monochrome ceramics with religious representations. Burials from the Paracas Necropolis also yielded complex textiles, many produced with sophisticated geometric patterns.
The 3rd century BCE saw the flowering of the urban culture, Moche, in the Lambayeque region. The Moche culture produced impressive architectural works, such as the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna and the Huaca Rajada of Sipán. They were experts at cultivation in terraces and hydraulic engineering and produced original ceramics, textiles, pictorial and sculptural works.
Another urban culture, the Huari Culture, flourished between the 8th and 12th centuries in Ayacucho. Their centralized town planning was extended to other areas, such as Pachacamac, Cajamarquilla and Wari Willka.
Between the 9th and 13th centuries CE, the military urban Tiwanaku empire rose by the borders of Lake Titicaca. Centered around a city of the same name in modern-day Bolivia, the Tiwanaku introduced stone architecture and sculpture of a monumental type. These works of architecture and art were made possible by the Tiwanaku's developing bronze, which enabled them to make the necessary tools.
Urban architecture reached a new height between the 14th and 15th centuries in the Chimú Culture. The Chimú built the city of Chan Chan in the valley of the Moche River, in La Libertad. The Chimú were skilled and created remarkable works of hydraulic engineering.
The Inca Empire, which united Peru under its hegemony in the centuries immediately preceding the Spanish conquest, incorporated into their own works a great part of the cultural legacy of the civilizations which preceded it. Important relics of their artwork and architecture can be seen in cities like Cusco, architectural remains like Sacsahuamán and Machu Picchu and stone pavements that united Cusco with the rest of the Inca Empire.
Painting of this time reflected a synthesis of European and indigenous influences, as is evident in the portrait of prisoner Atahualpa, by D. de Mora or in the canvases of the Italians Mateo Pérez de Alesio and Angelino Medoro, the Spaniards Francisco Bejarano and J. de Illescas and the Creole J. Rodriguez.
Peruvian literature is rooted in the oral traditions of pre-Columbian civilizations. Spaniards introduced writing in the 16th century; colonial literary expression included and religious literature. After independence, Costumbrism and Romanticism became the most common literary genres, as exemplified in the works of Ricardo Palma.Martin, "Literature, music and the visual arts, c. 1820–1870", pp. 37–39. The early 20th century's Indigenismo movement was led by such writers as Ciro AlegríaMartin, "Narrative since c. 1920", pp. 151–152. and José María Arguedas.Martin, "Narrative since c. 1920", pp. 178–179. César Vallejo wrote modernist and often politically engaged verse. Modern Peruvian literature is recognized thanks to authors such as Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, a leading member of the Latin American Boom.Martin, "Narrative since c. 1920", pp. 186–188.'' is a popular lime marinated seafood dish which originated in Peru.]]
Peruvian cuisine reflects local practices and ingredients—including influences from the indigenous population including the Quechua people and cuisines brought in with colonizers and immigrants. Without the familiar ingredients from their home countries, immigrants modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients available in Peru. The four traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are Maize, and other , (quinoa, kañiwa and kiwicha) and (beans and lupins). Staples brought by the Spanish include rice, wheat and meats (beef, pork and chicken). Many traditional foods—such as quinoa, kiwicha, , and several roots and have increased in popularity in recent decades, reflecting a revival of interest in native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques. It is also common to see traditional cuisines being served with a modern flair in towns like Cusco, where tourists come to visit. Chef Gaston Acurio has become well known for raising awareness of local ingredients.
Peruvian music is dominated by the national instrument, the charango. The charango is member of the lute family of instruments and was invented during colonial times by musicians imitating the Spain vihuela. In the Canas and Titicaca regions, the charango is used in courtship rituals, symbolically invoking with the instrument to lure the woman to the male performers. Until the 1960s, the charango was denigrated as an instrument of the rural poor. After the revolution in 1959, which built upon the Indigenismo movement (1910–1940), the charango was popularized among other performers. Variants include the walaycho, chillador, chinlili, and the larger and lower-tuned charangon.
While the Spanish guitar is widely played, so too is the Spanish-in-origin bandurria. Unlike the guitar, it has been transformed by Peruvian players over the years, changing from a 12-string, 6-course instrument to one having 12 to 16 strings in a mere four courses. Violins and harps, also of European origin, are also played.
Peru also produced the first animated 3-D film in Latin America, Piratas en el Callao. This film is set in the historical port city of Callao, which during colonial times had to defend itself against attacks by Dutch and British privateers seeking to undercut Spain's trade with its colonies. The film was produced by the Peruvians company Alpamayo Entertainment, which made a second 3-D film one year later: Dragones: Destino de Fuego.
In February 2006, the film Madeinusa, produced as a joint venture between Peru and Spain and directed by Claudia Llosa, was set in an imaginary Andean village and describes the stagnating life of Madeinusa performed by Magaly Solier and the traumas of post-civil war Peru.
Llosa, who shared elements of Gabriel García Márquez's magic realism, won an award at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Llosa's second feature, The Milk of Sorrow ("La Teta Asustada"), was nominated for the 82nd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Picture, the first Peruvian film in the Academy's history to be nominated. The Milk of Sorrow ("La Teta Asustada"), won the Golden Bear award at the 2009 Berlinale.