The defense of Peru has switched from military service to professional defense and comprises 80,000 men with 188,000 men in reserve (2008). The army, 40,000 men, is organized into 13 terrain-adapted brigades. The fleet comprises 25,000 men, including coastal surveillance of 1,000 men, and has six submarines, nine large surface combat vessels, 13 patrol boats, four amphibious vessels, a naval infantry brigade and a naval aircraft with twelve armed helicopters. The Air Force comprises 15,000 men with 100 fighter aircraft and 16 armed helicopters. Semi-military security forces amount to about 77,000 men. The material is semi-modern. Soviet, American and French origin.
Defense costs fell from 4.5% to 1.4% of GDP in 1985-2005. Peru participates in the UN peacekeeping operations, including 210 people in Haiti. Two armed guerrilla movements, Sendero Luminoso and Tupac Amaro, comprise 1,500 and 100 men respectively. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that PER stands for Peru.
In November 97, Defense Minister César Saucedo stated that MRTA and Sendero had implemented 534 actions during the year against 660 in 96 and 4476 in 92. The following month, Sendero stated that its peace proposal made to the Fujimi government in 93 remained valid.
Three years after the armed conflict between Peru and Ecuador, on October 23, 1998, the two countries agreed to sign a peace agreement. This happened the following week in the capital of Brazil. The agreement included a new definition of the border between the two countries proposed by Argentina, Chile, Brazil and the United States.
- COUNTRYAAH: Do you know where is Peru on the world map? Come to see the location and all bordering countries of Peru.
Throughout 1999, speculation surrounding the president’s possible run-up to a third term continued, despite the Constitution’s ban. In December, Fujimori then announced his candidacy. On April 9, 2000, the Peruvians went to the polls without much enthusiasm. A few days before, it had been revealed in the press that Fujimori’s political apparatus (Movimiento Independiente Perú 2000) had handed over 1 million false signatures in support of his candidacy. The first election results showed that opposition candidate, economist Alejandro Toledo had gained 41% of the vote against Fujimori’s 48.7%. Toledo now stated that Fujimori had illegally used state funds to fund his election campaign and had hindered Toledo’s access to public and private media.
Only a few days before the second round of elections, Toledo declared that he would only take part in the elections when sufficient guarantees existed that it would be fair. At the same time, OAS election observers withdrew from the country, declaring that they could not guarantee the results, as they had had sufficient time to investigate the computers used for the election and because a number of other problems existed.
Without the presence of international election observers and without a counter candidate, on May 28, 2000, Fujimori was declared president of the country’s top electoral commission. The canceled ballot papers which, at Toledo’s request, had been marked “no to electoral fraud” accounted for 30% of the votes cast, while those who voted for Toledo – who had excluded himself – made up 24%. A total of 54% of the population had thus voted against Fujimori, who was severely criticized by the OAS and the United States.
The widespread protests at the deployment of Fujimori during his 3rd term and the subsequent repression cost 6 people his life. The OAS put pressure on the country to adopt a list of institutional changes – including reforms to guarantee freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary, changes to the electoral system, and civilian control over the military and intelligence. In a meeting with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in September, Fujimori declared herself ready to implement these reforms.
Only a few days later, an extensive scandal involving the director of intelligence, Vladimiro Montesinos, broke out. On a TV station, a video was shown revealing Montesinos in the process of bribing an opposition politician. According to many observers, Montesino’s Peru was a real strong man with enormous control over both the military and political life. The unveiling prompted Montesinos to flee to Panama, prompting Fujimori to print new elections, in which he would not stand for himself. In October, Fujimori and the opposition agreed to hold elections in April 2001.
In November, Fujimori resigned from the presidential post, seeking refuge in his family’s country of origin, Japan. Parliament then appointed Valentín Paniagua of Acción Popular as interim president of a transitional government. A congressional committee voted in February 2001 to accuse Fujimori of leaving the post, paving the way to deprive him of his parliamentary immunity.
Alejandro Toledo Manrique found the spring presidential election and was inducted as president on July 28. It was the cleanest election for many years, and Toledo distinguished himself by being the first Peruvian president of Native American origin. He took over a country that was heavily indebted, was in deep economic crisis and where 54% of the population lived in poverty. Acc. Toledo’s own economic advisers, poverty in the capital increased from 35% to 45% in the period 1997-2000.
In November, a Truth Commission began investigating thousands of cases of suspected human rights violations in the previous two decades. In December, authorities issued the 2nd international arrest warrant against Fujimori for corruption and human rights violations. The first arrest warrant had been issued 3 months earlier.
A few days before George W. Bush’s visit to Peru in March 2002, 9 people were killed when a bomb exploded in front of the United States Embassy in Lima. Acc. the Peruvian government’s visit was to support the government of Toledo in its plans for the development of the free market economy. It was the first state visit to Peru from the United States ever.
In late June 2002, Minister of Health Fernando Carbone published a report by a commission of inquiry that had investigated the sterilization campaigns under the Fujimori government. The report showed that forced sterilization campaigns had been carried out in many rural areas of the country. It is believed that around 283,000 were sterilized during Fujimori’s 1996-2000 campaigns. Most Indians, and most against their will or for food.