U.S. Department of State 
Background Notes: Peru, October 1998
Released by the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. 


Official Name: Republic of Peru 


PROFILE 

Geography

Area: 1.28 million sq. km. (496,225 sq. mi.); three times larger than 
California.
Cities: Capital--Lima/Callao metropolitan area (pop. 7 million, 1996). 
Other cities--Arequipa, Chiclayo, 
Cuzco, Huancayo, Trujillo, 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. 

People 

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Peruvian(s). 
Population (1997 est.): 24.9 million (70% urban).
Annual growth rate (1997 est.): 1.7%. 
Ethnic groups: Indian 45%; Mestizo 37%; White 15%; Black, Japanese, 
Chinese, and other 3%. 
Religion: Roman Catholic (90%). 
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), and Aymara. 
Education: Years compulsory--11. Literacy--about 89%. 
Health: Infant mortality rate (1997 est.)--43/1,000. Life expectancy 
(1997)--67 yrs. male; 71 yrs. female.
Work force (1995, 7.6 million): Manufacturing--22%. Commerce--14%. 
Agriculture--12%. Mining--11%. 
Construction--9%. Government--5%. Other services--27%.

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: 12 regions, 24 departments, 1 
constitutional province.
Political parties and movements: Change 90/New Majority, Union For Peru 
(UPF), American Popular 
Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), Independent Moralizer Front (FIM), 
Popular Christian Party (PPC), 
Popular Action (AP). 
Suffrage: Universal over 18; compulsory until age 70 (members of the 
military may not vote). 

Economy (1997) 

GDP (est.): $54.0 billion. 
Annual growth rate: 7.4%.
Per capita GDP: $2,150. 
Inflation rate: 6.5%.
Natural resources: Minerals, metals, petroleum, forests, and fish. 
Agriculture (12% of GDP): Products--sugar, potatoes, rice, plantain, 
milk, yellow corn, cotton, coffee.
Industry (22% of GDP): Types-plastics, soft drinks, paper, varnishes and 
lacquers, non-metallic minerals, 
cement.
Trade: Exports--$6.8 billion: petroleum, fish meal, textiles, zinc, 
gold, coffee, sugar, petroleum products. 
Major markets--U.S. (23%), China (7.3%), Switzerland (6.1%), Germany 
(5.7%). Imports--$8.6 billion: 
machinery, cereals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum and mining 
equipment. Major suppliers--U.S. 
(25%), Andean Pact countries, Argentina, EU, and Japan.
Official exchange rate (new soles per dollar, March 1998): 3.00=U.S.$1.

PEOPLE 

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 are also 
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; the president, a cabinet 
member, and several members of the Peruvian Congress are of Japanese or 
Chinese descent. Socio-
economic and cultural indicators are increasingly important as 
identifiers. For example, Peruvians of 
Amerindian descent who have adopted aspects of Hispanic culture are also 
considered mestizo. With 
economic development, access to education, intermarriage, and large-
scale 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 socio-economic 
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. 

Education

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-four 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 
25.3 % (37.5% for women) in rural 
areas and is estimated at 5.3% (8.1% for women) in urban areas. 
Elementary and secondary school 
enrollment is approximately 6.l million. Peru's 65 universities (1997), 
roughly divided between public and 
private institutions, enrolled about 380,000 students in 1996. 

Culture

The relationship between Hispanic and Indian cultures determines much of 
the nation's cultural expression. 
During pre-Columbian times, Peru was one of the major centers of 
artistic expression in America. Pre-Inca 
cultures, such as Chavin, Paracas, Nazca, Chimu, and Tiahuanaco, 
developed high quality pottery, textiles, 
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 Peruvian (Cuzco) school followed the Spanish baroque tradition 
with influence from the Italian, 
Flemish, and French schools. Painter Francisco Fierro made a distinctive 
contribution 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, as 
did others. Peru's 20th century art is 
widely known for its extraordinary variety of styles and originality. 

In the decade after 1932, the "indigenous school" of painting headed by 
Jose Sabogal dominated the 
cultural scene in Peru. Nevertheless, a 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 continues 
to be 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. 

HISTORY

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 General 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. 

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 General 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 fish 
meal industry, some petroleum 
companies, and several banks and mining firms. 

Because of Velasco's economic mismanagement and deteriorating health, he 
was replaced by General 
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 Nino" 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 their 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.
 
Extreme 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. 

GOVERNMENT 

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. The prime minister and the 
Cabinet are 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 is empowered to approve treaties, authorize government loans, 
and approve 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 24 departments and the constitutional province of 
Callao, the country's chief port, 
adjacent to Lima. The departments are subdivided into provinces, which 
are composed of districts. Local 
authorities below the departmental level are elected. 

Principal Government Officials 

President--Ing. Alberto FUJIMORI Fujimori
First Vice President--Ing. Ricardo MARQUEZ Flores
Second Vice President--Dr. Cesar PAREDES Canto

Ministers:

Prime Minister--Ing. Alberto PANDOLFI Arbulu 
Foreign Minister--Fernando de TRAZEGNIES
Defense--Julio SALAZAR Monroe
Economy and Finance--Ing. Jorge BACA Campodonico
Interior--Gen. Jose VILLANUEVA Ruesta
Justice--Dr. Alfredo QUISPE Correa
Education--Ing. Domingo PALERMO Cabrejos
Health--Dr. Marino COSTA Bauer
Agriculture and Food--Ing. Rodolfo MUNANTE Sanguinetti
Labor--Econ. Jorge GONZALEZ Izquierdo
Industry, Commerce, Tourism, and Integration--Ing. Gustavo CAILLAUX 
Zazzali 
Transportation and Communications--Ing. Antonio PAUCAR Carbajal 
Energy and Mines--Ing. Daniel HOKAMA Tokashiki
Fisheries--Sr. Ludwig MEIER Cornejo
Promotion of Women & Human Resources Development--Dra. Miriam SCHENONE 
Ordinola
Minister of the Presidency--Ing. Tomas GONZALES Reategui
Ambassador to the United States--Ricardo LUNA Mendoza
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Fernando GUILLEN Salas
Ambassador to the Organization of American States--Dra. Beatriz 
RAMACCIOTTI 

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; and 
San Juan, Puerto Rico.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS 

Peru is a republic with a dominant executive branch headed by President 
Alberto Fujimori. President 
Fujimori won re-election to a second five year term in 1995, and his 
"Change 90/New Majority" supporters 
enjoy a substantial majority in Congress. In 1996, the Congress passed 
legislation interpreting the 
Constitutional term limits for president, making it possible for 
President Fujimori to seek re-election in 
2000. 

In April 1992, two years after his election, President Fujimori carried 
out an "auto-coup," dissolving 
Congress and regional governments and assuming control over the 
judiciary. There was broad popular 
support for the coup, which reflected deep public frustration with 
politicians' inefficiency and corruption. 
The president subsequently convened elections for a constituent congress 
on November 1992, and won 
public approval of the new constitution in an October 1993 referendum. 

The Fujimori Government has substantially reduced the terrorist threat 
of Shining Path (SL) and the 
MRTA. Although greatly weakened since the 1992 capture of its leader 
Abimael Guzman, Shining Path 
remains capable of launching violent attacks, particularly in the coca-
producing Upper Huallaga Valley 
and occasionally in Lima. Elements of SL are reported to be actively 
recruiting in some of Lima's 
shantytowns. Despite the December 1995 arrest of MRTA leader Miguel 
Rincon Rincon and others at a 
safe house in a Lima suburb, remaining armed militants of the MRTA were 
able to carry out an attack on a 
diplomatic reception at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Peru 
in December 1996. More than 
500 guests were initially held captive by the MRTA, which demanded the 
release of all MRTA members 
being held in Peruvian prisons. On April 22, 1997, after 126 days, 
Peruvian commandos stormed the 
residence and freed 71 of the remaining 72 hostages. One hostage, two 
commandos and all of the hostage-
takers were killed. 

Human rights violations by the security forces dropped considerably over 
the last four years, although their 
use of torture, and the lack of accountability and due process remain 
areas of concern. In 1995, the 
Peruvian Congress passed a law which granted amnesty from prosecution to 
those who committed human 
rights abuses during the war on terrorism from May 1980 to June 1995. 
The Peruvian Government 
established in 1996 the Human Rights Ombudsman's office to address human 
rights issues and an ad hoc 
commission to review and recommend for presidential pardon those 
unjustly detained for terrorism or 
treason. 

ECONOMY 

Peru's economy rebounded in 1997, spurred mainly by a growth in exports 
(especially, so-called "non-
traditional" exports). GDP grew 7.4% in 1997, much improved from the 
previous year's slump, during 
which the economy grew only 2.8%, and much better than most observers 
predicted. January 1998's output 
grew only 0.2%--clearly affected by "El Nino." The Lima Stock Exchange 
had an extraordinary year in 
1997, despite significant declines in October (along with most other 
stock exchanges worldwide). The 
general index rose 25.5% in nominal terms in 1997; the selective ("blue 
chip") index rose 32.2%. Both 
experienced severe declines since the end of 1997.

1997's inflation rate was at a 25-year low, at 6.5%. This measure far 
exceeded expectations, which at the 
beginning of the year were that inflation might reach 9% under optimal 
conditions. Due to the two 
exogenous shocks--the "El Nino" weather phenomenon and the Asian 
economic and financial crisis--1998 
inflation is officially predicted at 8%, due to supply bottlenecks 
domestically (especially on food items) 
and higher dollar costs of imports (due to faster depreciation of the 
sol vis-a-vis the dollar). Although 
accumulated inflation for January and February was 2.2%, inflation is 
predicted to slow significantly in the 
second half of the year, after the effects of "El Nino" are expected to 
have moderated.

Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments

After falling between 1995 and 1996, Peru's merchandise trade deficit 
was expected to rise slightly in 
1997. Instead, the deficit narrowed significantly, as exports grew much 
faster than did imports. Overall, 
export revenues rose 14.5% (compared to early 1997 estimates of 2%) to 
$6.8 billion. Imports also rose 
faster than expected (8.5% vs. 2.0%) to $8.6 billion. Peru's total 
capital inflows (including estimated illicit 
narcotics earnings of $300 million to $600 million) are forecast to be 
more than enough to cover the 
country's 1997 current account deficit (equal to about 5.2% of GDP.) The 
effects of "El Nino" and the 
Asian crisis are expected to cause the current account deficit to 
increase to about 6% of GDP in 1998.

During 1997, Peru re-inserted itself into the international financial 
system, beginning with a Brady debt 
restructuring in March. In December, it also completed a debt swap with 
the United States Government, by 
which it repaid part of its debt (part of which had already been 
written-off by the U.S.) in return for using 
part of the funds for environmental projects or projects that will 
enhance child survival.

Net international reserves of the Central Bank stood at $10.2 billion at 
the end of 1997, $1.6 billion higher 
than at the end of the previous year. 

Foreign Investment

The Peruvian Government actively seeks to attract both foreign and 
domestic investment in all sectors of 
the economy. International investment has been spurred by the 
significant progress Peru has made over the 
last seven years toward economic, social, and political stability. While 
Peru was previously marked by 
terrorism, hyperinflation, and government intervention in the economy, 
the Government of Peru under 
President Alberto Fujimori has taken the steps necessary to bring those 
problems under control. However, 
democratic institutions, especially the judiciary, remain weak.

The Government of Peru's economic stabilization and liberalization 
program has 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 1991 and 1997, Peru 
attracted over $7 billion in foreign direct investment in Peru, mainly 
from Spain (34%), the United States 
(21%), the United Kingdom (13%), and Panama and the Netherlands (7% 
each). The basic legal structure 
for foreign investment in Peru is formed by the 1993 Constitution, the 
Private Investment Growth Law, and 
the Investment Promotion Law of November 1996. While Peru has neither a 
bilateral investment treaty nor 
a bilateral taxation 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 has 
also committed itself to arbitration of government-to-government 
investment disputes under the auspices of 
ICSID--the World Bank's International Centre for the Settlement of 
Investment Disputes.

Economic Outlook

Although 1997 was a good year for Peru's macroeconomy, 1998 will be 
substantially more difficult. The 
Asian economic and financial crisis and the unexpectedly harsh effects 
of the "El Nino" weather 
phenomenon will both adversely affect Peru's economy, which is not 
likely to meet 1997's 7.4% GDP 
growth rate and 6.5% inflation rate. Official forecasts are for 3% 
output growth and 8% inflation. Forecasts 
for the medium- and long-term remain bright, as the country continues to 
attract both domestic and foreign 
investment in the tourism, mining, petroleum and natural gas, and 
electric power industries.

Narcotics

The fight against narcotics trafficking in Peru has resulted in an 
unprecedented 40% decline in the number 
of acres of illegal coca leaf under production in the past two years: 
however, most of the world's cocaine 
supply still originates from coca leaf grown in Peru. The contribution 
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-a-vis the sol, prompting the Central Bank to engage in 
open market activities to prevent 
the price of the sol from rising to levels that would otherwise hurt 
Peruvian exports.

Confronted by effective Peruvian Air Force interdiction efforts, drug 
traffickers are increasingly using land 
and river routes to transport cocaine paste around the country. Peru 
continues to seize drug traffickers and 
drugs, destroy coca labs, disable clandestine airstrips, and prosecute 
security officers involved in narcotics 
corruption. 

Working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the 
Peruvian Government has 
begun alternative development programs in the leading coca-growing areas 
in an effort to convince coca 
farmers not to grow that crop. The government also has programs to 
eradicate coca seed beds and is 
working to eliminate precursor chemicals. In 1996, the Fujimori 
Administration created a new office--
"Contradrogas"--to facilitate coordination among Peruvian Government 
agencies working on 
counternarcotics issues.

FOREIGN RELATIONS 

Armed conflict broke out between Peru and Ecuador in January 1995 over 
an undemarcated portion of 
their border. Both countries agreed to a cease-fire in February 1995. 
The United States, along with 
Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, are guarantors of the 1942 Rio Protocol 
and supported Peruvian and 
Ecuadorian efforts to find a permanent viable solution to the border 
demarcation issue. In April 1997, 
Peruvian and Ecuadorian delegations began substantive discussions aimed 
at this objective, and reached 
agreement on a treaty of commerce and navigation, and agreement on 
border integration, and an agreement 
on confidence- and security-building measures. In October 1998, 
Presidents Fujimori and Mahuad 
requested that the Rio Protocol Guarantors propose a solution to the 
remaining unresolved border issues. 
As a condition for proposing a solution, the Guarantors asked that the 
Ecuadorian and Peruvian congresses 
agree to accept the Guarantors' proposal as binding. The Guarantors' 
decision led to the signing of a border 
demarcation agreement, and the other agreements, in Brasilia on October 
26, 1998.

President Fujimori is increasing Peru's ties to Japan and other 
countries on the Pacific Rim. In 1996, the 
Prime Minister of Japan and the President of South Korea visited Peru. 
In the wake of the December 1996 
hostage-taking by MRTA terrorists at the Japanese ambassadorial 
residence in Lima, the Japanese and 
Peruvian Governments consulted closely on the means of resolving the 
crisis. Prime Minister Hashimoto of 
Japan visited Lima in April 1997 to express gratitude for the rescue 
operation by Peruvian security 
personnel which claimed the life of only one of the 72 remaining 
hostages.

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. The April 1992 auto-coup 
strained Peru's relations with many 
Latin American and European countries, but relations improved as the 
government returned to democratic 
processes. Peru recently reached agreement with the other members of the 
Andean community on full 
integration into the Andean Free Trade Area, and is joining APEC at the 
November summit in Kuala 
Lumpur. 

U.S.-PERUVIAN RELATIONS 

The United States enjoys friendly relations with Peru. Relations were 
strained after the 1992 auto-coup, but 
improved subsequently as Peru undertook steps to restore democratic 
institutions and to address human 
rights problems related to its counter-terrorism efforts. The United 
States continues to promote the 
strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights safeguards in 
Peru.

The United States and Peru cooperate on efforts to interdict the flow of 
narcotics, particularly cocaine, to 
the United States. The Peruvian Air Force has successfully interdicted 
narcotics trafficking aircraft, and 
appears to have significantly curbed the flow of narcotics through 
Peruvian air space. In tandem with 
successful law enforcement operations, the United States and Peru 
cooperate on promoting programs of 
alternative development in coca-growing regions. 

The United States has supported Peru's efforts to become more integrated 
with the international financial 
community. Those efforts, together with increased economic and social 
stability, have resulted in a 
substantial increase in U.S. investment and tourism in Peru in recent 
years. U.S. exports to Peru (1997) 
were valued at $1.96 billion, accounting for about 25% of Peru's 
imports. In the same year, Peru exported 
$1.77 billion in goods to the United States ($1.58 billion according to 
Peruvian statistics), accounting for 
about 23% of Peru's exports to the world.

In 1997, approximately 140,000 U.S. citizens visited Peru for business, 
tourism, and study. About 10,000 
Americans reside in Peru and over 200 U.S. companies are represented in 
the country.

U.S. Economic Assistance

U.S. bilateral assistance to Peru, including food aid and disaster 
relief and rehabilitation, totaled more than 
$950 million during the 1990-97 period. The Agency for International 
Development's largest South 
American program is in Peru. USAID has provided resources for priority 
development projects at a time 
when Peru's own domestic resources have been severely restricted by the 
need for austerity in public 
spending.
 
U.S. assistance to Peru is focused on achieving five strategic 
objectives: broader citizen participation and 
more responsive government; increased incomes for Peru's poor; improved 
health of high risk populations; 
improved environmental conditions; and, perhaps most importantly, 
reduced production of illicit narcotics.

Broader Citizen Participation. The United States Government, through 
USAID, provides support to 
Government of Peru electoral bodies and non-governmental organizations 
(NGO's) to strengthen the 
electoral system, to the Controller General to improve public 
accountability, and to local NGO's to promote 
greater civic action and public interest in governmental affairs. A 
significant amount of funding is given to 
the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office and NGO's working in the human 
rights field. USAID also has a 
program to strengthen local governments and promote community 
participation in targeted areas. 

Increased Incomes. USAID has sought to provide much needed services to 
the 20% of Peru's population 
characterized as "extremely poor." Working principally through private 
sector and not-for-profit 
organizations, USAID has provided assistance to 270,000 nutritionally 
at-risk children and 200,000 heads 
of households in poor areas.

Improved Health. The United States Government supports immunization, 
family planning, prenatal care, 
safe childbearing, and oral rehydration programs in Peru. USAID 
assistance has contributed to decreases in 
infant and child mortality over the past decade.

Improved Environmental Conditions. USAID provides assistance to help 
Peru (a) improve its legal, policy, 
and regulatory framework governing environmental protection; (b) prevent 
pollution in selected settings; 
and (c) protect biologically diverse areas. 

Alternative Development. The United States Government provides 
integrated development services to 
farmers in five target areas in order to wean them from coca production. 
USAID hopes to reduce coca 
cultivation by 50% in the targeted areas within several years.

Principal U.S. Officials

Ambassador--Dennis C. Jett
Deputy Chief of Mission--Heather M. Hodges 
Director, AID Mission--Thomas Geiger 
Counselor for Political Affairs--Arnold Chacon
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Krishna R. Urs 
Counselor for Narcotics Affairs (NAS)--Candis Cunningham
Counselor for Public Affairs (USIS)--John S. Dickson
Counselor for Administrative Affairs--James Williard
Counselor for Consular Affairs--Annette L. Veler
Naval and Defense Attache--Capt. Francis G. Satterthwaite
Army Attache--Col. Samuel K. Stouffer
Air & Defense Attache--Col. Michael McCarthy
Chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG)--Col. Manuel Fuentes
Consular Agent, Cuzco--Dr. Olga Villagarcia 

The U.S. Embassy in Peru is located at Avendia la Encalada, Cuadra 17 
s/n, Monterrico (Surco), Lima 33 
(tel. (511) 434-3000; fax. (511) 434-3037). Home page: 
http://ekeko.rcp.net.pe/usa/ 

The embassy is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except U.S. and 
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).

OTHER CONTACT INFORMATION:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Inter-American Affairs
Office of Andean Affairs (Room 5906)
2201 "C" Street NW
Washington, DC 20520-6263
Tel: 202-647-3360
Fax: 202-647-2628
Home Page: http://www.state.gov

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
(800) USA-TRADE
Fax: (202) 482-0464
Home Page: http://www.ita.doc.gov 

American Chamber of Commerce of Peru
Avenida Ricardo Palma 836, Miraflores
Lima 18, Peru
Tel: (511) 241-0708
Fax: (511) 241-0709
E-Mail: amcham@amcham.tci.net.pe
Home Page: http://www.amcham.org.pe 

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION 

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides 
Travel Warnings and Consular 
Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department 
recommends that Americans 
avoid travel to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for 
all countries and include 
information on immigration practices, currency regulations, health 
conditions, areas of instability, crime 
and security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. 
posts in the country. Public 
Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly 
about terrorist threats and other 
relatively short-term conditions overseas which pose significant risks 
to the security of American travelers. 
Free copies of this information are available by calling the Bureau of 
Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or 
via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular 
Information Sheets also are 
available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page:  
http://travel.state.gov and the Consular Affairs 
Bulletin Board (CABB). To access CABB, dial the modem number: 301-946-
4400 (it will accommodate 
up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program to N-8-1(no 
parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and 
terminal emulation to VT100. The login is travel and the password is 
info. (Note: Lower case is required). 
The CABB also carries international security information from the 
Overseas Security Advisory Council 
and Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.  Consular Affairs Trips 
for Travelers publication series, 
which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a safe 
trip abroad, can be purchased from 
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. 
Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 
15250-7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be 
obtained from the Office of 
Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours 
emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 
202-647-4000.

Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-
day a week automated system 
($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday 
($1.05 per minute). The number 
is 1-900-225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a 
flat rate of $4.95) may call 1-
888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648).

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention 
in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at (404) 332-4559 gives the most recent 
health advisories, immunization 
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water 
safety for regions and countries. 
A booklet entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS 
publication number CDC-95-8280) is 
available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 
20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.

Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and 
customs regulations, legal holidays, and 
other items of interest to travelers also may be obtained before your 
departure from a country's embassy 
and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal 
Government Officials" listing in this 
publication).

U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas 
are encouraged to register at the 
U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country (see "Principal U.S. Embassy 
Officials" listing in this publication). 
This may help family members contact you in case of an emergency.

Further Electronic Information

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, 
DOSFAN provides timely, global 
access to official U.S. foreign policy information. Updated daily, 
DOSFAN includes Background Notes; 
Dispatch, the official magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press 
briefings; Country Commercial Guides; 
directories of key officers of foreign service posts; etc. DOSFAN's 
World Wide Web site is at 
http://www.state.gov.

U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on an annual basis by 
the U.S. Department of 
State, USFAC archives information on the Department of State Foreign 
Affairs Network, and includes an 
array of official foreign policy information from 1990 to the present. 
Contact the Superintendent of 
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, 
PA 15250-7954. To order, 
call (202) 512-1800 or fax (202) 512-2250.

National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of 
Commerce, the NTDB contains a 
wealth of trade-related information. It is available on the Internet 
(www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. 
Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information.


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