World Country Peru

About the world country Peru, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: West coast of South America, between Ecuador and Chile.

Size: 496,222 sq. mi. (1,285,216 sq. km.). Population: 18,304,000.

Who Really Rules: In 1980 an elected regime headed by President Fernando Belaunde Terry took the reins of power from the Peruvian military, which had overthrown Belaunde in 1968. The original military leadership had nationalized key industries and carried out an extensive, expensive land reform program. But in the late 1970s a new military government agreed to economic controls by U.S. banks and the International Monetary Fund as it increased Peru's foreign debt to more than $8 billion.

Those controls further impoverished the Peruvian working class, sparked a series of general strikes, and forced the military to schedule elections for a constitutional convention and eventually a new government.

During military rule Belaunde and many of his associates lived in exile in the U.S., where they developed links to the American banking community. They can be expected to continue the bank-imposed austerity program, so more labor unrest is likely.

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