South America: Peru

About Peru

After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980. In recent years, bold reform programs and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity and drug trafficking have resulted in solid economic growth.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Lima
Population: 27,483,864 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 49% (1994 est.)
Language: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara
Date of independence: 28 July 1821 (from Spain)
Form of government: constitutional republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower
Environmental Issues: deforestation (some the result of illegal logging); overgrazing of the slopes of the costa and sierra leading to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes
Agricultural Products: coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, wheat, potatoes, plantains, coca; poultry, beef, dairy products, wool; fish
Imports: machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Exports: fish and fish products, copper, zinc, gold, crude petroleum and byproducts, lead, coffee, sugar, cotton
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: US 32%, EU 21%, Andean Community 6%, Mercosur 8%, Japan 5% (1999)
EXPORTS: US 29%, EU 25%, Andean Community 6%, Japan 4%, Mercosur 3% (1999)


Peru Headlines


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