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Portal:Peru

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Introduction

Flag of Peru (state).svg

Peru (/pəˈr/ (About this sound listen); Spanish: Perú [peˈɾu]; Quechua: Piruw Republika [pʰɪɾʊw]; Aymara: Piruw Suyu [pɪɾʊw]), officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: About this sound República del Perú ), 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 west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is an extremely biodiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures, ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas, to the Inca Empire, the largest and most sophisticated state in pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima. Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, and following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, and the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific 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 until his pardon by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2017.

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Graphic impression of the battle of Ollantaytambo

The Battle of Ollantaytambo took place in January 1537 between the forces of the Inca emperor Manco Inca and a Spanish expedition led by Hernando Pizarro during the Spanish conquest of Peru. A former ally of the Spaniards, Manco Inca rebelled in May 1536 and laid siege to a Spanish garrison in the city of Cusco. To end the stand-off, the besieged mounted a raid against the emperor headquarters, located in the town of Ollantaytambo. The expedition was commanded by Hernando Pizarro and included 100 Spaniards and some 30,000 Indian auxiliaries against an Inca army of more than 30,000.

There is some controversy over the actual location of the battle, according to John Hemming it took place in the town itself while Jean-Pierre Protzen argues that the nearby plain of Mascabamba is better match for the descriptions of the encounter. In any case, the Inca army managed to hold the Spanish forces from a set of high terraces and flood their position to hinder their cavalry. Unable to advance and severely pressed, the Spaniards withdrew by night to Cusco. Despite this victory, the arrival of Spanish reinforcements to Cusco forced Manco Inca to abandon Ollantaytambo and seek refuge in the heavily forested region of Vilcabamba where an independent Inca state survived until 1572. (more...)

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Battle of Arica

The Battle of Arica took place on June 7, 1880 during the War of the Pacific when Chilean forces led by Colonel Pedro Lagos attacked the port city of Arica, defended by a Peruvian garrison under the command of Colonel Francisco Bolognesi. After heavy fighting the battle ended with a Chilean victory and the death of several Peruvian high-ranking officers including Bolognesi and Alfonso Ugarte. This oil painting by Peruvian artist Juan Lepiani depicts Bolognesi's final moments. (more...)

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The Cenepa War (January 26 – February 28, 1995), also known as the Alto Cenepa War, was a brief and localized military conflict between Ecuador and Peru, fought over control of a disputed area on the border between the two countries. The indecisive outcome of the conflict — with both sides claiming victory — along with the mediation efforts of the United States of America, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, paved the way for the opening of diplomatic negotiations that ultimately led to the signing of a definitive peace agreement in 1998, putting an end to one of the longest territorial disputes in the Western Hemisphere. (more...)

In this month

  • August  9, 1970 - Flight LANSA 502 crashes en route from Lima to Cusco killing all but one of the 100 crew and passengers on board.
  • August 15, 2007 - A major earthquake originating off the coast of Peru destroys the city of Pisco.

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History: Ancient civilizations • Inca Empire • Spanish conquest • Viceroyalty • War of independence • War of the Pacific • Demographic • Economic • More...

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Other: Chifa • Guinea pig • Inca Kola • Llama • Machu Picchu • People • More...

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