Peru. On October 3, the trend of recent years in Peru was confirmed, namely that national parties have a very difficult time winning elections at the regional level. In 18 of the country’s 25 regions, local and regional parties instead won. The traditional party that made the most of it was the Conservative PPC (Partido Popular Cristiano), whose mayoral candidate in the capital, Lima, Lourdes Flores, was declared victorious in early November after an unusually slow vote. She thus became Lima’s first female mayor ever. The office is considered very important as no less than half of Peru’s population lives in or around Lima.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Peru has a population of 31.99 million (2018). The ruling party PAP (Partido Aprista Peruano) was shaken by corruption scandals at central level during the year. At the end of April, it was revealed that the two party secretaries Jorge del Castillo and Omar Quesada both took bribes and misappropriated public funds. Castillo was thus considered to be without a chance in the April 2011 presidential election, which he intended to run for.
The exploitation of natural resources is causing more and more political protest movements with ethnic dimensions. Peru’s Indians became increasingly militant during the year, notably AIDESEP (the Association of Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana), which organizes Native American people in the Peruvian Amazon and, among other things, demanded respect for ethnic rights and protested that the government’s promises were not kept. Particularly infected was the issue of the legal consequences of the massacre in Bagua in June 2009, when 33 protesting Indians were killed by police.
In early October, the Swedish Academy announced that Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature of the Year. 74-year-old Vargas Llosa is also known for his political commitment, which led him, among other things, to run for president in Peru in 1990 on a conservative agenda.
Peru – Lima
Lima, the capital of Peru; 9. 6 million residents (2018) in the metropolitan area (including the port city of Callao). Lima, located about 5 km inside the Pacific coast of central Peru, dominates the country’s social life and is the center of administration, business, education, culture and communications. The city’s industry consists of, among other things, chemical, automotive and food, textile and consumer goods industries. Most are located in the area between old Lima and the port city of Callao. The informal sector of business is significant; for example, there are estimated to be more than 200,000 street vendors. Pan-American Highway passes Lima, which is also the starting point for one of the world’s highest railway lines (to Cerro de Pasco). Lima’s International Airport is located in Callao. The city has many universities, colleges, museums and cultural institutions. The University of San Marcos was founded in 1551 and is the oldest in South America.
Despite severe earthquakes (including 1746 and 1970), the old city has partially retained its colonial character. The ever-moving population has led to the creation of many slum cities (barriadas), which together with the inner city’s slums occupy several million residents. The overpopulation poses major problems with the water and food supply as well as with the infrastructure. The city also has major problems with air pollution.
Lima was founded in 1535 under the name Ciudad de los Reyes by Francisco Pizarro. The city developed into a major religious, cultural and administrative center and was the capital of the Spanish Viceroys until 1821, when Peru declared itself independent from Spain. During the so-called nitpicking war, the city was occupied by Chile in 1881–83 and severe damage was inflicted.