Key Facts About Peru

Associated Press -- 20 November 2000

Facts about Peru, which faces political uncertainty after President Alberto Fujimori announced Sunday he will resign:



Peru is the third-largest country in South America. Flanked by the Pacific Ocean to the west, it is bordered by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. More than 30 percent of the population of 25 million lives in the capital, Lima. Peru is divided into three geographical regions: the coastal desert, the Andean highlands, and the Amazon jungle.


In the early 1990s, Fujimori tamed hyperinflation, reversed Peru's pariah image with international lenders and implemented neoliberal, free-market policies with remarkable success. Growth averaged more than 7 percent annually, but the trend ended in his second term, as Asian financial turmoil spread throughout Latin America, and Peru was rocked by the El Nino weather phenomenon. About half the population lives in poverty and only one in two people in the labor force has steady work.