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Peru: A short History

By Cj Cutrone

Modern Peru is unquestionably a dichotomy. In remote regions the Incan language and customs (from music to religion) remain. In the city nonetheless , there are more emerging ways of life, much of which springs from the holiday maker trade. Visitors to Machu Picchu are one forceful example that brings money to Peru's wrestling economy. And even though folk are thankful for the work, they worry that much of their heritage may get lost in the shuffle.

Prior to agrarian reform in Peru the majority of folk lived in what could be called a feudal environment. It was General Velasco-Alvarado who implemented the reforms, but they didn't have the sweeping effect for which most people hoped. Nonetheless the start of modern Peru lies in these years (from 1969 - 1975).

In the 1980s a guerrilla organization called the Shining Trail appeared. Founded by Abimael Guzman, violent Maoist philosophy drove operations that sought a new order. They made the southern part of Peru their mainstay, even to having a robust presence in Lima by 1990. The conflicts during these years resulted in the deaths of some 70,000 folks. Internally, the vast majority of South America was in collapse. Inflation soared to over 1,000 p.c and Peru defaulted on its debt, a situation that would not be resolved till Alberto Fujimori's election. His adjustments helped adjust the economy so that inflation returned to single digits. He succeeded in capturing the leader of the Shining Path in 1992 although not without countless human rights violations. This situation would not be determined until 2001 when democracy returned to Peru.

Fujimori stepped down under stress from the military and left the country never to return. Following his exit, recovery has been nice and steady with relatively low inflation. The sole struggle remains the business interests in Peru regularly clash with the goals of the native population wishing to protect their culture, particularly natural marvels and resources.

In 2011 Ollanta Humala became president in Peru. His goals were simple: spur commercial growth while fighting the appalling conditions of the poor throughout the country. As a result, Peru developed a sophisticated micro-finance industry alongside various fair trade agricultural initiatives that can, in turn, begin a grass roots metamorphosis for Peru's needy communities, of which there are too many to count.

It will take a little time and concerted effort to elevate Peru out of the darkness of poverty that continues to end in social unrest and human civil rights issues. Nonetheless, to have come so far in just 40 years is a magnificent testament to the meaning of the Peruvian folk.

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Ditulis oleh: Faisal Reza Siregar - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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