Peru

Peru

Peru After some three centuries of Spanish rule, Peru became independent after armed struggle involving the forces of both the two great South American independence movements in the early 19th century. Independent Peru was proclaimed in 1821 after the army of Argentine José de San Martín took control of Lima, but it took another three years until the army led by Venezuelans' Simon Bolívar and Antionio José du Sucre had forced the Spanish to withdraw from all of the territory of present-day Peru. Following initial political turmoil, Peru eventually developed an administrative system characterised by political power-sharing within a small oligarchic elite and the leadership of the armed forces.

Criticism of the uneven distribution of land ownership and income led to growing opposition to the government in the countryside during the 1950s and early 1960s. Inspired by the example of Fidel Castro in Cuba, several left-wing groups formed and fought an intrastate conflict against the government in 1965-66. The government defeated the guerrillas but following a bloodless coup, a military junta during 1968-80 imposed some land reforms in the country whilst at the same time oppressing dissent and left-wing leaders.

Disappointment with the impact of the land reforms and a deteriorating economy contributed to the development of other left-wing armed opposition groups. The intrastate conflict over government power resumed in 1981 and continued until 1999, after which it again became active in 2007. This episode of the conflict was more violent than in the 1960s and was accompanied by human rights abuses by all sides, including one-sided violence by the rebel group SL (Sendero Luminoso, Shining Path).

In 1995, Peru fought a brief interstate conflict with Ecuador over the border demarcation at the Cordillera del Condor area. After a few weeks, the parties signed a ceasefire even though tension remained high until the two countries signed a peace agreement resolving the conflict in 1998.

Since 1946 Peru has experienced the interstate, intrastate, and one-sided categories of UCDP organised violence.