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Peru (04/01)


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For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.

PROFILE

Official Name:
Republic of Peru

Geography
Area: 1.28 million sq. km. (496,225 sq. mi.); three times larger than California.
Cities: Capital--Lima/Callao metropolitan area (pop. 8.27 million, 2000).
Other cities--Arequipa, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Huancayo, Truujillo, 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 (2000 est.): 25.7 million (72.3 % urban).
Annual growth rate (2000 est.): 1.7%.
Ethnic groups (1961): Indian 45%. Mestizo 37%. White 15%. Black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%.
Religion (1993): Roman Catholic (89%).
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara and a large number of minor Amazonian languages.
Education: Years compulsory--11. Literacy--about 87.5% (1999).
Health (2000): Infant mortality rate--37/1,000. Life expectancy--67 male; 72 female.
Employed work force (1999, 7.2 million): Manufacturing--12.7%; commerce--26.4%; agriculture--5.8%; mining--0.4%; construction--5.2%; government--9.1% (est.); other services--40.4%.

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: Peru Possible, National Unity, We Are Peru, Change 90/New Majority/Let's Go Neighbor/People's Solution, Union For Peru (UPF), American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), Independent Moralizing Front (FIM), Popular Christian Party (PPC), Popular Action (AP).
Suffrage: Universal over 18; compulsory until age 70 (members of the military may not vote).

Flag:Peru flag

 

Economy (2000)
GDP (est.): $53.9 billion.
Annual growth rate: 3.6%.
Per capita GDP: $2,101.
Inflation rate: 3.8%.
Natural resources: Minerals, metals, fish, petroleum, natural gas, and forests.
Agriculture (7% of GDP): Products--sugar, potatoes, rice, yellow corn, cotton, coffee, poultry, beef, milk.
Manufacturing (15% of GDP): Types--fish meal, nonferrous metals, steel, textiles, chemicals, wood, nonmetallic minerals, cement, paper.
Trade: Exports--$7.0 billion: gold, copper, fishmeal, textiles, zinc, lead, coffee, petroleum products. Major markets--U.S. (29%), U.K. (9%), Switzerland (9%), Japan (4%) Germany (4%). Imports--$7.3 billion: machinery and parts, cereals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, crude oil and petroleum products, mining equipment, household appliances and automobiles. Major suppliers--U.S. (27%), Andean Pact countries (16%), Argentina (3%), EU (16%), and Japan (7%).

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 also are 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; a past president, several past cabinet members, and several members of the Peruvian congress are of Japanese or Chinese descent. Socioeconomic and cultural indicators are increasingly important as identifiers. For example, Peruvians of Amerindian descent who have adopted aspects of Hispanic culture also are considered "mestizo." With economic development, access to education, intermarriage, and largescale 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 socioeconomic 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-three 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 estimated at 12.5% (17.4% for women), 28.0% in rural areas and 5.6% in urban areas. Elementary and secondary school enrollment is approximately 7.7 million. Peru's 74 universities (1999), 39% public and 61% private institutions, enrolled about 322,000 students in 1999.

Culture
The relationship between Hispanic and Indian cultures has shaped the face of Peru. During pre-Columbian times, Peru was one of the major centers of artistic expression in America, where pre-Inca cultures, such as Chavin, Paracas, Wari, Nazca, Chimu, and Tiahuanaco developed high-quality pottery, textiles, jewelry, 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 Cusco school of largely anonymous Indian artists followed the Spanish baroque tradition with influence from the Italian, Flemish, and French schools. Painter Francisco Fierro made a distinctive contribution to this school 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. Peru's 20th-century art is known for its extraordinary variety of styles and stunning originality.

In the decade after 1932, the "indigenous school" of painting headed by Jose Sabogal dominated the cultural scene in Peru. A subsequent 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 remains 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 Gen. 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, but in 1998 the governments of Peru and Ecuador signed a historic peace treaty and demarcated the border. In late 1999, the governments of Peru and Chile likewise finally implemented the last outstanding article of their 1929 border agreement.

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 Gen. 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 Gen. 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 Ni�o" 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 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.

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. Fujimori implemented drastic orthodox measures that caused inflation to drop from 7,650% in 1990 to 139% in 1991. Faced with opposition to his reform efforts, Fujimori dissolved Congress in the "auto-coup" of April 4, 1992. He then revised the constitution; called new congressional elections; and implemented substantial economic reform, including privatization of numerous state-owned companies, creation of an investment-friendly climate, and sound management of the economy.

Fujimori's constitutionally questionable decision to seek a third term and subsequent tainted victory in June 2000 brought political and economic turmoil. A bribery scandal that broke just weeks after he took office in July forced Fujimori to call new elections in which he would not run. Fujimori fled the country and resigned from office in November 2000. A caretaker government presided over by Valentin Paniagua Corazao took on the responsibility of conducting new presidential and congressional elections, scheduled for April 2001. The new elected government will take office July 28, 2001.

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, all 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 ratifies treaties, authorizes government loans, and approves 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. Authorities below the departmental level are elected.

Principal Government Officials
President--Valentin PANIAGUA Corazao
First Vice President--none in interim government
Second Vice President--none in interim government

Ministers
President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister)--Javier PEREZ DE CUELLAR
Foreign Relations Minister--Javier PEREZ DE CUELLAR
Defense--Walter LEDESMA
Economy and Finance--Javier SILVA Ruete
Interior--Antonio KETIN Vidal
Justice--Diego GARCIA Sayan
Education--Marcial RUBIO Correa
Health--Eduardo PRETELL Zarate
Agriculture--Carlos AMAT Y LEON
Labor--Jaime ZAVALA Costa
Industry, Tourism, Integration and International Trade Negotiations--Juan INCHAUSTEGUI Vargas
Transportation and Communications--Luis ORTEGA Navarrete
Energy and Mines--Carlos HERRERA Descalzi
Fisheries--Ludwig MEIER
Promotion of Women and Human Development--Susana VILLARAN de la Puente
Presidency--Emilio NAVARRO Casta�eda
Ambassador to the United States--Carlos ALZAMORA
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Jorge VALDEZ Carrillo
Ambassador to the Organization of American States--Manuel RODRIGUEZ Cuadros

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. Congress President Valentin Paniagua was selected according to Peru's constitution to head an interim government after President Alberto Fujimori fled the country and resigned in November 2000 in the wake of a bribery scandal and political turmoil resulting from his tainted re-election to a third term in June 2000.

The Paniagua government's principal objective is to conduct free and fair presidential and congressional elections in April 2001. A new 5-year government will take office in July 2001. The interim government is also investigating a web of corruption under the Fujimori administration run by Fujimori's closest adviser, Vladimiro Montesinos, and involving a wide range of government, political and business leaders.

Human rights violations by the security forces dropped considerably over the last several years, although there have been numerous accusations of human rights infractions. Reports of torture, and the lack of accountability and due process remain areas of concern. In 1995, the Peruvian congress passed a law that 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
From 1994 through 1997, the economy recorded robust growth driven by foreign direct investment, almost 40% of which was related to the privatization program. In 1998, real GDP fell 0.4%, largely as a result of the "El Ni�o" weather phenomenon, which led to sharp declines in fishmeal exports, disrupted agriculture, and damaged infrastructure. A stalled privatization program, increased government intervention in markets, and worsening terms of trade also contributed to the poor economic performance. Financial turmoil in Asia, Russia, and Brazil added to the problem, leading to a sharp decline in privatization-related foreign direct investment and dramatic outflows of short-term capital. The economy recovered somewhat in 1999 and 2000, registering growth rates of 1.4% and 3.5%, respectively. But political turmoil dampened growth and investment, and the economy is expected to grow less than 2% in 2001. The Lima Stock Exchange general index fell 34.5% in 2000, but had recovered somewhat by the end of the first quarter of 2001. Inflation remained at record lows, registering about 3.7% in 1999 and 2000. The government's overall budget deficit rose sharply in 1999 and 2000 to about 3.0% of GDP, the result of hikes in government salaries, expenditures related to the 2000 election campaign, higher foreign debt service payments, and lower tax revenues. Peru's macroeconomic stability brought about a substantial reduction in underemployment, from and average of 74% from the late 1980s through 1994 to 43% in the 1995-2000 period. The poverty rate has fallen slightly over the years but remained at 54% in 2000.

Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments
The current account deficit dropped in 2000 to about 2.3% of GDP ($1.3 billion)--from 3.0% in 2000--while merchandise trade registered a small surplus of $100 million compared to a $2.5 billion deficit (4.3% of GDP) in 1998. Exports grew by 7.6% to $7.54 billion, while imports grew 1.7% to $7.46 billion. After being hit hard by El Ni�o in 1998, fisheries exports have recovered, and minerals and metals exports should record an increase of about 10% in 2001. Imports may register a small increase in all categories in 2001. After several years of substantial growth, foreign direct investment not related to privatization has fallen dramatically to levels not seen in a decade. Short-term capital and portfolio investment are expected to register a combined outflow of $600 million, continuing a trend that began in 1998 with the Russian financial crisis. Net international reserves at the end of March 2001 stood at $8.0 billion, down from $8.2 billion at the end of 2000.

Foreign Investment
The Peruvian Government actively seeks to attract both foreign and domestic investment in all sectors of the economy. International investment was spurred by the significant progress Peru made during the 1990s toward economic, social, and political stability, but it slowed again after the government delayed privatizations and as political uncertainty increased in 2000. While Peru was previously marked by terrorism, hyperinflation, and government intervention in the economy, the Government of Peru under former President Alberto Fujimori took the steps necessary to bring those problems under control. Democratic institutions, especially the judiciary, remain weak.

The Government of Peru's economic stabilization and liberalization program 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 1990 and 2000, Peru attracted more than $15 billion in foreign direct investment in Peru, after negligible investment during the 1980s, mainly from Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Panama, and Netherlands. The basic legal structure for foreign investment in Peru is formed by the 1993 constitution, the Private Investment Growth Law, and the November 1996 Investment Promotion Law. Although Peru does not have a bilateral investment 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 also has committed itself to arbitration of government-to-government investment disputes under the auspices of ICSID--the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Economic Outlook
Forecasts for the medium- and long-term remain bright, as political uncertainty diminishes with the inauguration of a new government. In the near term, real GDP is expected to grow 1.5% in 2001. Inflation is likely to fall again slightly, to about 3.6%, while the budget deficit is expected to fall to about 1.9% of GDP as the result of a reduced government spending. Private investment is estimated to drop further, by some 1.5% in 2001, also as a result of near-term political uncertainty, but is likely to increase after the new government takes office in July 2001. Exports are expected to rise by 4.6%. The unemployment and underemployment indexes (7.4 % and 42.9%, respectively, in the third quarter of 2000) are expected to rise in 2001. However, the country is likely to attract both domestic and foreign investment in the tourism, mining, petroleum and natural gas, and electric power industries once the new government takes office.

Narcotics
The fight against narcotics trafficking in Peru has resulted in an unprecedented 70% reduction since 1995 in the number of acres of illegal coca leaf under cultivation. The impact 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, and create a climate in which money-laundering can flourish. The Central Bank engages in open market activities to prevent the price of the sol from rising to levels that would otherwise hurt Peruvian exports.

Hurt economically by successful Peruvian Air Force interdiction efforts in the mid-1990s, drug traffickers are now using land and river routes as well as aircraft to transport cocaine paste and, increasingly, cocaine hydrochloride (HCL) around and out of the country. Peru continues to arrest drug traffickers and seize drugs and precursor chemicals, destroy coca labs, disable clandestine airstrips, and prosecute officials involved in narcotics corruption.

Working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peruvian Government carries out alternative development programs in the leading coca-growing areas in an effort to convince coca farmers not to grow that crop. Although the government previously eradicated only coca seed beds, in 1998 and 1999 it began to eradicate mature coca being grown in national parks and elsewhere in the main coca growing valleys. In 1999 the government eradicated over 15,000 hectares of coca; this figure declined to 6,500 hectares in 2000, due largely to political instability. The government agency "Contradrogas," founded in 1996, facilitates coordination among Peruvian Government agencies working on counternarcotics issues.

FOREIGN RELATIONS
In October 1998, Peru and Ecuador signed a peace accord which definitively resolved border differences which had, over the years, resulted in armed conflict. Peru and Ecuador are now jointly coordinating an internationally sponsored border integration project. The United States Government, as one of four guarantor states, was actively involved in facilitating the 1998 peace accord between Peru and Ecuador and remains committed to its implementation. The United States has pledged $40 million to the Peru-Ecuador border integration project and another
$4 million to support Peruvian and Ecuadorian demining efforts along their common border.

In November 1999, Peru and Chile signed three agreements which put to rest the remaining obstacles holding up implementation of the 1929 Border Treaty. (The 1929 Border Treaty officially ended the 1879 War of the Pacific.) In December 1999, President Fujimori made the first visit ever to Chile by a Peruvian head of state.

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. Former President Fujimori's tainted re-election to a third term in June 2000 strained Peru's relations with the United States and with many Latin American and European countries, but relations improved with the installation of an interim government determined to ensure free and fair elections in 2001. Peru is planning full integration into the Andean Free Trade Area. In addition, Peru is a standing member of APEC and the WTO, and is an active participant in negotiations toward a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

U.S.-PERUVIAN RELATIONS
The United States enjoys strong and cooperative relations with Peru. Relations were strained following the tainted re-election of former President Fujimori in June 2000, but improved with the installation of an interim government committed to holding free and fair presidential and congressional elections in April 2001. 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 via air to surrounding countries. Bilateral programs are now in effect to reduce the flow of drugs on Peru's extensive river system and to perform ground interdiction in tandem with successful law enforcement operations. The United States and Peru cooperate on promoting programs of alternative development in coca-growing regions.

U.S. investment and tourism in Peru have grown substantially in recent years. U.S. exports to Peru were valued at $2.4 billion in 2000, accounting for about 30% of Peru's imports. In the same year, Peru exported $2 billion in goods to the United States, accounting for about 30% of Peru's exports to the world.

About 200,000 U.S. citizens visit Peru annually for business, tourism , and study. About 10,000 Americans reside in Peru, and more than 400 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 $1.3 billion during the 1990-2000 period. The USAID program in Peru is its second-largest in Latin America.

U.S. assistance to Peru is focused on six strategic objectives: broader citizen participation in democratic processes; increased incomes of the poor; improved health of high-risk populations, including family planning; improved environmental management; reduced illicit coca production in target areas of Peru; and expanded educational opportunities for women. Additionally, a new initiative is being developed to support the consolidation of the peace agreement signed between Peru and Ecuador. The initiative would contribute to improved living conditions of the population in the border region and thus show tangible benefits of the peace accords.

Democracy. U.S. assistance seeks to strengthen democratic institutions; promote more effective local governments; promote and protect human rights; foster citizen participation; and strengthen women's participation in decisionmaking processes. Through USAID, the United States is providing more than $7 million to support the 2001 election process.

Reducing poverty. USAID aims to improve the policy environment for private sector-led growth; expand access to markets; improve production; improve access to and distribution of food resources; and improve access to public utilities in poverty areas. U.S. food assistance programs reach about 1.7 million poor Peruvians annually in rural highlands and jungle areas, where the majority of the extreme poverty is found.

Health. U.S. assistance is improving child survival and maternal health services--such as immunization, diarrheal control, and prenatal care--and strengthening and expanding the participation of public and private sector entities in HIV/AIDS prevention. In family planning, activities with the NGO sector include efforts to strengthen the capacity of NGOs to supply family planning methods in urban and rural areas; increase the sustainability of the supply of contraceptives; and disseminate information on family planing methods and services. USAID's support to the Ministry of Health has made substantial improvements in this area. Infant mortality rate fell from 57 per 1,000 births in 1991 to 42 in 1997 while immunization campaigns for children younger than 1 reached 97.5% coverage.

Environment. USAID's strategy focuses on improving the legal, policy, regulatory, and normative environment and natural resource framework; promoting pollution prevention in selected peri-urban and industrial settings; and protecting natural resources, including biological diversity and fragile ecosystems. USAID has provided important assistance to the Peruvian Government to improve the legal, regulatory, and policy framework that established clearer rules on environmentally sustainable natural resource use. Among these were the National Environmental Council's Structural Framework for Environmental Management, the Ministry of Industry's Environmental Regulation, the Framework Law for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, and the Pollution Prevention Oriented Environmental Framework Legislation for the Fisheries and related industries.

Alternative development. USAID seeks to reduce coca leaf cultivation through alternative development and environmental protection programs, as well as to reduce drug use and addition through prevention, awareness and rehabilitation programs. It also seeks to increase the commitment of farmers and communities to reduce illicit coca production voluntarily. USAID, together with Peruvian and U.S. law enforcement actions, has contributed to a 70% reduction of hectares devoted to coca cultivation (from 115,300 Ha in 1995 to 34,000 Ha) in 2000. As a result, over the same period the capacity of Peru to produce cocaine hydrochloride, or HCl, declined from 525 tons to 145 tons. As of 1998, the total gross agricultural production value of the alternative crops in targeted areas outweighed the total gross production value of coca leaf by 39%. As a result, over 2,600 new jobs were created and more than 20,000 farmers were assisted in production, quality improvement, processing and marketing for licit crops such as coffee, cacao, livestock, and agroforestry, on nearly 25,000 hectares.

Education. This strategic objective is aimed at assisting the Government of Peru and civil society organizations to develop initiatives that address critical constraints to basic education of girls in rural areas in Peru. As a result, USAID has contributed to the establishment of a National Network for Girls' Education in Peru, with the participation of GOP sectoral ministries, NGOs, universities, the business community, and donors. This national network has been very active in increasing consciousness about the importance of girls' education in Peru.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--John R. Hamilton
Deputy Chief of Mission--Roberta S. Jacobson
Director, USAID Mission--Thomas Geiger
Counselor for Political Affairs--Abelardo A. Arias
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Stephen Liston
Counselor for Narcotics Affairs (NAS--James Williard
Counselor for Public Affairs--Douglas Barnes
Counselor for Administrative Affairs--Elizabeth Hinson
Counselor for Consular Affairs--Barbara Cummings
Commercial Attache--Andrew Wylegala
Naval and Defense Attache--Capt. William Espinosa
Army Attache--Col. Dan Meyer
Air Attache--Col. Robert Mitchell
Chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG)--Col. Gilberto Perez
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://usembassy.state.gov/lima

The embassy is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except U.S. and some 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 Western Hemisphere Affairs
Office of Andean Affairs (Room 5906)
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 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



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