Pucallpa - PeruPucallpa was founded in the 1840s by Franciscan missionaries who settled several families of the Shipibo-Conibo ethnic group. For several decades it remained a small settlement as it was isolated from the rest of the country by the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes mountain range. From the 1880s through the 1920s a railway project to connect Pucallpa with the rest of the country via the Ferrocarril Central Andino was started and dropped several times until it was finally abandoned. Pucallpa's isolation finally ended in 1945 with the completion of a highway to Lima through Tingo Maria. The highway allowed the commercialization of regional products to the rest of the country, thus improving the economic outlook of the region and its capital, Pucallpa. However, the heavy rainfalls of the Amazon Rainforest remain a problem as they erode the highway and can even undermine it by causing flash floods. Pucallpa is served by air through the Captain Rolden International Airport and by river through its port Pucallpillo near the center of the city. During the high water season, the floating ports of La Hoyada and Puerto Italia are used for riverine communications. Pucallpa is connected by road to Lima via the cities Huánuco and Cerro de Pasco. The San Lorenzo Megaport Project proposes to connect Lima with the Atlantic via a rail connection to Pucallpa and the Amazon.
Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca became emperor when he defeated and executed his older half-brother Huascar in a civil war sparked by the death of their father, Inca Huayna Capac. In December 1532, a party of conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated and captured the Inca Emperor Atahualpa in the Battle of Cajamarca. The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. After years of preliminary exploration and military conflicts, it was the first step in a long campaign that took decades of fighting but ended in Spanish victory and colonization of the region known as the Viceroyalty of Peru with its capital at Lima, which became known as "The City of Kings". The conquest of the Inca Empire led to spin-off campaigns throughout the viceroyalty as well as expeditions towards the Amazon Basin as in the case of Spanish efforts to quell Amerindian resistance. The last Inca resistance was suppressed when the Spaniards annihilated the Neo-Inca State in Vilcabamba in 1572.
The indigenous population dramatically collapsed due to exploitation, socioeconomic change and epidemic diseases introduced by the Spanish. Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the country in the 1570s with gold and silver mining as its main economic activity and Amerindian forced labor as its primary workforce. With the discovery of the great silver and gold lodes at Potosí (present-day Bolivia) and Huancavelica, the viceroyalty flourished as an important provider of mineral resources. Peruvian bullion provided revenue for the Spanish Crown and fueled a complex trade network that extended as far as Europe and the Philippines. Because of lack of available work force, African slaves were added to the labor population. The expansion of a colonial administrative apparatus and bureaucracy paralleled the economic reorganization. With the conquest started the spread of Christianity in South America; most people were forcefully converted to Catholicism, taking only a generation to convert the population. They built churches in every city and replaced some of the Inca temples with churches, such as the Coricancha in the city of Cusco. The church employed the Inquisition, making use of torture to ensure that newly converted Catholics did not stray to other religions or beliefs. Peruvian Catholicism follows the syncretism found in many Latin American countries, in which religious native rituals have been integrated with Christian celebrations. In this endeavor, the church came to play an important role in the acculturation of the natives, drawing them into the cultural orbit of the Spanish settlers.
The Viceroy of Peru, Joaquin de la Pazuela named Jose de la Serna commander-in-chief of the loyalist army to protect Lima from the threatened invasion of 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, Jose 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. Alto Peru (Bolivia) remained as a Spanish stronghold until the army of Simón Bolívar liberated it three years later. Jose 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.
Later, in 1941, Peru became involved in 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, Gen. 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 populist 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 régime. 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 democratic 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 is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. Under the current constitution, the President is both head of state and government; he or she is elected for five years and cannot serve consecutive terms. The President designates the Prime Minister and, on his or her advice, the rest of the Council of Ministers. The Congress of the Republic is unicameral with 130 members elected for five-year terms. Bills may be proposed by either the executive or the legislative branch; they become law after being passed by Congress and promulgated by the President. The judiciary is nominally independent, though political intervention into judicial matters has been common throughout history and arguably continues in modern day.
The Peruvian government is directly elected, and voting is compulsory for all citizens aged 18 to 70. Congress is currently composed of Fuerza Popular (59 seats), Peruanos Por el Kambio (17 seats), Frente Amplio (10 seats), New Peru (10 seats), Alianza para el Progreso (9 seats), Acción Popular (5 seats) and APRA (5 seats) and 18 not grouped.
The economy of Peru is the 48th largest in the world (ranked by PPP), and the income level is classified as upper middle by the World Bank. Peru is, as of 2011, one of the world's fastest-growing economies owing to the economic boom experienced during the 2000s. It has an above-average Human Development Index of .74 which has seen steady improvement over the last 25 years. Historically, the country's economic performance has been tied to exports, which provide hard currency to finance imports and external debt payments. Although they have provided substantial revenue, self-sustained growth and a more egalitarian distribution of income have proven elusive. According to 2015 data, 19.3% of its total population is poor, including 9% that lives in extreme poverty. Inflation in 2012 was the lowest in Latin America at only 1.8%, but increased in 2013 as oil and commodity prices rose; as of 2014 it stands at 2.5%. The unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent years, and as of 2012 stands at 3.6%.
Peruvian economic policy has varied widely over the past decades. 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.
Despite these results, most reforms were not reversed until the 1990s, when the liberalizing 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.
Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, though it has also been influenced by various Asian, African, and other European ethnic groups. Peruvian artistic traditions date back to the elaborate pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture of Pre-Inca cultures. The Incas maintained these crafts and made architectural achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu. Baroque dominated colonial art, though modified by native traditions.
During this period, most art focused on religious subjects; the numerous churches of the era and the paintings of the Cusco School are representative. 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.
Peruvian literature is rooted in the oral traditions of pre-Columbian civilizations. Spaniards introduced writing in the 16th century; colonial literary expression included chronicles and religious literature. After independence, Costumbrism and Romanticism became the most common literary genres, as exemplified in the works of Ricardo Palma. The early 20th century's Indigenismo movement was led by such writers as Ciro Alegría and José María Arguedas. 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.
Ceviche is a popular lime marinated seafood dish which originated in Peru
Peruvian cuisine blends Amerindian and Spanish food with strong influences from Chinese, African, Arab, Italian, and Japanese cooking. Common dishes include anticuchos, ceviche, and pachamanca. Peru's varied climate allows the growth of diverse plants and animals good for cooking. Peru's diversity of ingredients and cooking techniques is receiving worldwide acclaim.