4 Ancient Cultures We Bet You’ve Never Heard Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

4 Ancient Cultures We Bet You’ve Never Heard Of

Unless you magically skipped world history in school, you’ve probably learned of the biggest ancient cultures over the years. Whether it was the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans, or the aboriginal peoples of Australia, we know that this world has served as a home to shifting civilizations over the centuries. But while some cultures like those mentioned above tend to get consistent attention, others are lesser-known and are usually limited to academic communities. If you thought you knew about ancient cultures, here are four often-overlooked civilizations to expand your knowledge even further.

Caral Supe

Credit: Rudimencial / iStock

Location: Modern-day Peru

When you think of ancient cultures based in modern Latin America, we usually think of the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations. And maybe if you’re more well-read on the topic, you might know of the Olmec. But the region is rich in distinctive Pre-Columbian civilizations, including the Caral Supe. This culture dates back to 5,000 BCE and is centralized around the Supe River in Peru. The Caral Supe are also known as the Note Chico. So, what makes this civilization so unique?

Even though the culture pre-dates the ceramic age, archeologists were able to find a major site called the Sacred City of Caral-Supe with intact structures that included six massive pyramids, numerous temples, various plazas, and an amphitheater. While the site was first “discovered” by earlier archeologists in 1905, it was left untouched until a 1994 excavation because it didn’t contain gold, silver, or pottery. In fact, those six pyramids are so massive that they were initially mistaken for hills. Today the Sacred City of Caral-Supe is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you can visit.

Indus/Harappan

Credit: CRS PHOTO / Shutterstock.com

Location: Modern-day Pakistan & India

The Indus or Harappan civilization is one of the earliest recorded on the Indian subcontinent. However, not much is known about them since researchers have yet to crack their ancient language to translate any of their writings, drawings, or stone carvings. The culture existed between 3300 and 1600 BCE and occupied a region that stretched between Pakistan and India in the Indus Valley—hence their name.

Even though archeologists and anthropologists have been unable to decipher their language, the Harappan left behind structures that provide clear insight into their capabilities and ingenuity. This culture is best known for its advanced sewage and drainage systems, well-built granaries, and impressive walls. And according to artifacts, the Harappan believed in dentistry, too. So what happened to this culture? Experts believe climate change was the culprit that caused sustained rainfall reduction. This led to population decline as groups left in search of wetter regions.

Sanxingdui

Credit: bleakstar / iStock

Location: Modern-day China

Ancient cultures can be found nearly anywhere in the world. It can be hard to believe, in some cases, that there could be anything from pre-civilizations to long-standing cultures. But even in a country like China—which has a rich and ancient history—the current culture wasn’t the first. The Sanxingdui is a Bronze Age culture that lived in what is now the Sichuan province of China. So what do we know about this culture? Sadly, aside from beautiful artwork that has been discovered over the years, the Sanxingdui is a bit of an enigma. To date, no written words have ever been found from the archeological sites.

The culture is best known for creating massive carvings out of bronze and intricate engravings on delicate materials like jade. Artifacts from their settlements were first discovered in 1929 with later discoveries in 1986 unearthing eight-foot-tall statues. Experts theorize that geological events led to the settlement’s abandonment somewhere between 1200 to 1100 BCE. Geologic evidence shows that a possible earthquake and landslide took place 2,800 to 3,000 years ago that could have cut off their access to the Minjiang River. But a nearby settlement, Jinsha, features nearly identical artifacts that point to the possibility that the Sanxingdui relocated there.

The Bell-Beakers

Credit: nicolamargaret / iStock

Location: Modern-day Europe & northern Africa

Who built Stonehenge? Experts have proof that the Bell-Beakers heavily contributed to creating this unique structure. However, the culture is so obscure that they’re named purely for their most commonly-found artifact—shaped pottery that looks like an upside down bell. The Bell-Beakers are believed to have lived between 2800 and 1800 BCE and occupied lands across Europe from the present-day United Kingdom to the Czech Republic and as far south as northern Africa.

More recent research has shown that the Bell-Beakers weren’t the first people who inhabited the present-day U.K., but they ultimately became the dominant genetic contributors. DNA evidence of prehistoric skeletons reveal that a massive migration occurred over the course of hundreds of years, nearly replacing the previous Neolithic cultures. Present-day Brits have more in common genetically with the Bell-Beakers than the Neolithic peoples.

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5 Tallest Waterfalls in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Tallest Waterfalls in the World

Determining waterfall heights is not an easy feat, especially since accessing some of the highest ones is a challenge. Given that there is no universal standard, comparing the measurements is also difficult. If you’re wondering what waterfalls are the biggest, here are the most generally accepted five tallest waterfalls in the world.

Yumbilla Falls

Credit: Julius Knerr/Shutterstock

Yumbilla Falls is in the northern part of Peru and stands at 2,938 feet tall. It is a recent entry to the list, only earning recognition in 2007 when Peru’s National Geographic Institute published its report surveying the falls. There are over 20 other waterfalls in the same valley, including Gocta Waterfall, Chinata Waterfall and Pavilion Waterfall. Yumbilla Falls is smaller in regard to water flow compared to others, but it is the tallest and earns the distinction of currently being named the 5th tallest waterfall in the world.

Olo’upena Falls

Credit: WikimediaCommons

Olo’upena Falls is located in Hawaii, on the island of Molokai, and stands at 2,953 feet in height. They are located at the Haloku Cliffs, which are the same cliffs where Pu’uka’oku Falls start from. Pu’uka’oku Falls also rank in the top 10 of tallest waterfalls in the world. If you want to visit Olo’upena Falls, you’ll need to book an aerial excursion or a boat tour since there are no access trails to hike up or drive to the falls. The best time to visit is from November to March, which is the rainy season. During the dry season, there is not nearly as much water, which makes for small streams.

 

Tres Hermanas Falls

Tres Hermanas Falls

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Tres Hermanas Falls, or the Three Sister Falls, is another entry from Peru. The waterfalls are located in the remote Ayacucho region inside Otishi National Park and stand at around 3,000 feet. The falls earned their name because of the three distinct steps. The first two tiers lead into a natural catch basin while the third tier is barely visible as it falls into the Cutivireni river. The falls are surrounded by massive tropical rainforest trees that can grow up to 100 feet tall. It’s also nearby to Pavirontsi Natural Bridge, said to be one of the largest natural bridges in the world. There are some remote and rough trails that lead to the falls, but you really need to book an aerial tour to best see Tres Hermanas Falls.

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Tugela Falls

Tugela Falls

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Tugela Falls are located in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa, inside the limits of the Royal Natal National Park. The source of the Tugela River is nearby, and the falls themselves are 3,110 feet tall. Some people believe Tugela Falls might actually be the tallest falls in the world. Unlike some waterfalls that fall in one sheet, Tugela Falls make five consecutive drops down. The falls aren’t constant year-round and are best seen after heavy rainfall. When it’s extremely cold, the upper section of the falls can freeze and form pillars of ice.

Angel Falls

Angel Falls

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Located in Venezuela, Angel Falls earns the honor as the highest waterfall in the world. It towers over the others at 3,230 feet in height and has an uninterrupted drop of 2,647 feet. Angel Falls are in Canaima National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the state of Bolivar that borders Brazil and Guyana.

The falls were named after Jimmie Angel, who was the first person to fly over the falls. After he passed away in 1960, his ashes were spread over the falls. You’ll hear many people refer to the falls by their Spanish name, Salto del Ángel. In 2009, President Hugo Chávez renamed Angel Falls to Kerepakupai-Merú, an indigenous Pemon term for a waterfall of the deepest place.

6 Bridges Only the Bravest Travelers Would Cross

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 Bridges Only the Bravest Travelers Would Cross

Bridges can be symbols of engineering and innovation. Not every bridge is a modern marvel, however. There are places where travelers will find bridges that are downright dangerous. Take a look at the following six bridges and question whether you’d even want to take the first step to cross.

Trift Bridge, Switzerland

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This bridge allows you to see and appreciate the Trift glacier in all of its glory. Trift bridge was built in 2004, when it was no longer possible to cross from one side of the glacier to the other after the loss of ice in the region. While it was replaced by a more secure structure in 2009, the bridge is still only for the bravest of the brave.

The Trift Bridge is currently one of the longest cable suspension bridges in the world, as it runs 560 feet and sits 330 feet high above the glacier lake. Travelers who are brave enough to cross take an average of 223 steps to reach the other side. Safe or not, one wrong step and…

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

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While the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge is only 66 feet long, the first warning you will receive upon arrival is to make sure there are less than eight people in your group. This bridge is feeble enough that it has to restrict the amount of people crossing, so make sure you develop nerves of steel before visiting.

If you do visit this somewhat popular local attraction, try to look at the scenery around you. Even though you’ll be in Northern Ireland’s territory, you’ll be able to catch glimpses of Scotland while crossing. It’s definitely better to keep your eyes up than look down at the rocks below.

Q’eswachaka Rope Bridge, Peru

Credit: Joerg Steber/Shutterstock

This bridge is among the last that the Incas built. It crosses over the Apurimac Canyon, and it’s made entirely from woven grass and straw. Although the arrival of the Spaniards caused many of the bridges to be abandoned, the Q’eswachaka Rope Bridge, which is about 60 miles south of Cuzco, can be appreciated as it was 500 years ago.

If you dare, you could venture to Peru and walk the 118 feet as you look down on a ferocious river from about 60 feet above.

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada

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This Canadian bridge is 214 feet above sea level and 460 feet long. It makes the list because it actually has some dark history. To start, back in June 2010, a 17-year-old boy fell off the Capilano Suspension Bridge and died.

That’s not all, in 2012, a 30-year-old Canadian died while trying to retrieve the debit card he had dropped on the bridge.

With these deathly stories, it’s surprising this metal bridge is still an attraction in Vancouver.

Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado, U.S.

Credit: Daniel Mullins/Shutterstock

Travelers describe crossing this Colorado bridge as an adrenaline-pumping adventure. It’s 1247 feet in length, so it’s definitely meant for the bravest of souls looking for a thrill. It may be tempting to look down at the Arkansas River, but perhaps you should focus on crossing to the other side.

While no accidents or deaths have come from crossing the Royal Gorge Bridge, there are enough restrictions placed to make everybody understand that this is a dangerous construction. For example, regular cars are allowed to cross, but only when it’s verified that there are no pedestrians crossing. Heavy goods vehicles are prohibited.

Hussaini Suspension Bridge, Pakistan

Credit: TripDeeDee Photo/Shutterstock

At the top of the list of the most nerve-wracking bridges is the terrifying Hussaini Suspension Bridge, found in the small town of Hussaini. It’s high above the Borit Lake, and is long and poorly maintained. Travelers who have been brave enough to cross often say it’s “hanging by a thread.

The village dwellers on both sides of the Hunza region built this suspension bridge with materials from the area. Even though it’s dangerous, it is the only means the villagers have to see each other from time to time. Nobody knows how long this bridge will last, but those who have had the guts to cross do highlight the view of the beautiful Himalayan Mountains.

4 Most Beautiful Views in South America

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

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4 Most Beautiful Views in South America

There is absolutely no shortage of picturesque vistas among the vast and varied landscapes that make up South America, nearly 7,000 square miles of them. Many of the most stunning views happen to be in places of wide-ranging biodiversity and high cultural importance, and they are thriving as destinations through eco-tourism and preservation practices. From epic mountain landscapes in Patagonia to paradise-found beach scenes in Columbia and nature’s tallest cascade in Venezuela, South America holds a rich trove of travel-worthy sights to behold.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia

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Sitting beneath the shade of a palm tree, enjoy endless views of magical blue lagoons and protected coves ringed by bight white beaches, themselves surrounded by hills carpeted in lush, deep-green tropical rainforest. Bring together those ocean and forest biomes, and you have a recipe for boundless biodiversity. Both the breathtaking scenery and the flora and fauna are on view at Tayrona National Park, in northern Colombia. The large preserve area spreads throughout the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a mountain range that comes down to recede into the Caribbean coastline. The plant and animal protections within the park provide the perfect ecotourism opportunity, all while allowing trekkers to take in some pretty paradisiacal views. A great overall resource is Columbiatravel.en.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

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Known by adventurers and thrill seekers as a pristine Patagonia outdoor playground, Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile’s Patagonia region, features soaring mountains, bright-blue glaciers, and golden pampas grasslands that seem endless. With such varied ecology, the views are endless as well. The various environments shelter rare wildlife species, some found only here, such as the llama-like guanacos. Three prominent, towing spires of granite — called Cuernos del Paine — give the park its name. The epic terrain draws climbers, sea kayakers, mountain bikers, and other outdoors adventure types.

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Credit: Alice Nerr/Shutterstock

Plunging over the cliff edge of Auyán-tepui mountain in Canaima National Park and dropping more than 3,200 feet, Angel Falls is the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall. The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State, Venezuela. Some 60 percent of the park is made up of table mountain formations, whose flat tops are a unique geological formation that lends itself to the sheer cliffs and attendant waterfalls that make for such jaw-dropping natural grandeur. Rising from surrounding grassy savannas below, the tops of the towering table mountains are frequently shrouded in misty fog, making for ethereal, otherworldly views.

Machu Picchu, Peru

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With its verdant green terraces set amidst stark stone walls and surrounding sheer peaks of the Andes Mountains, the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu makes for magical views. Its precarious perch in its mountain fortress makes the site seem surreal, almost defying gravity. The ancient builders not only managed to balance altars and living accommodations on a cliff edge, but did it so well that the structure is still standing much as it was when it was built in the 15th century. American explorer Hiram Bingham was led to the site in 1911, and it has been a bucket-list site for travelers ever since. Due to such heavy use, it has become a prime example of working eco-tourism. Even with so much archaeological attention paid to the discovery over the years, Machu Picchu’s exact original use still isn’t known.

6 Most Remote Places That Aren’t Islands

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

6 Most Remote Places That Aren’t Islands

Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Whether it’s a crazy workload or just the desire for some real peace and quiet, it’s only natural that occasionally you’ll want to escape. And sometimes you want to go somewhere remote where you aren’t likely to run into anyone you know. If you’re dying for an escape, these six places are so remote you’ll wonder how you even get there.

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Siwa Oasis, Egypt

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Giza and Cairo might get all the attention when you mention Egypt, but the country is home to one of the most remote places in the world—Siwa Oasis. The Siwa Oasis is located within the Great Sand Sea and is full of lush olive and palm trees, along with mud-baked structures. But before you get any ideas that this place is abandoned, it’s not. Siwa Oasis is a thriving small town that is one of the most eastern areas to encapsulate the North African Amazigh Berber culture. To reach Siwa Oasis, the best option is to catch an eight- to 10-hour bus ride from surrounding cities like Cairo or Alexandria.

Changtang, Tibet

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Some regions just sound remote by default, and Tibet is the perfect example. In addition to being remote, the Changtang Plateau is home to the world’s second largest nature preserve. The preserve protects snow leopards, brown bears and black necked cranes along with other wildlife species. The locale is known as “The Roof of the World” because it is two and a half miles above sea level. The inhabitants of this region are nomadic and known as Changpa. According to a 1989 census, roughly half a million Changpa live in this area. However, if you’re thinking of braving the elements to get here, come prepared. Changtang is extremely remote and you’ll have to bring everything you need.

Supai Village, Arizona

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You don’t have to go abroad if you’re looking for a remote escape. Just head to the Grand Canyon. This might seem counterintuitive because of the park’s popularity, but the Havasupai Reservation is located within the canyon and includes the Supai Village. Supai Village can be reached if you’re up to the challenge of an 8-mile hike below the Grand Canyon rim. Note that while the village and the reservation are located within the Grand Canyon, they are not controlled by the National Park system, but rather by their tribal government.

To plan a trip to Supai Village, book a reservation through their tribal website. You can opt for a campground or lodge reservation. The campground allows you to camp anywhere along designated camping areas while the lodge is for those who don’t like “roughing it.” You can’t drive to Supai Village. Even the mail is delivered via pack mule. To access this remote town, either hike, take a helicopter to Hualapai Hilltop, or rent a pack horse or mule.

Longyearbyen, Norway

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Did you know that the world’s northernmost city is in Norway? If you’re up for the challenge, the isolated town of Longyearbyen is the perfect vacation spot. The town was founded by an American, John Longyear, in 1906 as a mining encampment. Between October 25 and March 8, the town experiences perpetual darkness because of its northern location.

You might be surprised to find that this Norwegian town is quite diverse. Longyearbyen is a popular haven for nature enthusiasts and scientists from around the world. Unlike other places in Norway—or even on this list—Longyearbyen “residents” are transient. People stay to complete work projects for a few years or even just months before returning to their permanent homes. To reach Longyearbyen, you can catch a flight from other locations directly to their local airport.

La Rinconada, Peru

Credit: Hildegard Willer / CC BY-SA 4.0

Longyearbyen isn’t the only remote mining town. La Rinconada is one of the highest elevation cities in the world, sitting 16,728 feet above sea level. This city of 50,000 people saw a massive population boom in the last decade because of gold prospecting. But its population growth exploded beyond their infrastructure means, so inhabitants often don’t have access to running water, paved roads or electricity. Of all of the locales on this list, La Rinconada is one of the hardest to reach. Because it’s high in the Andes, visitors risk altitude sickness to reach La Rinconada. And since there’s no consistent transit access, tourists must reach the town on their own.

Oymyakon, Russia

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Do you like cold weather? Have you ever wanted to visit a place so cold it makes your eyelashes freeze? If you’re thinking “sign me up!” then Oymyakon is the perfect place to plant your flag. We’re really not kidding when we say it gets cold: Temperatures can drop to as low as 88 degrees below Fahrenheit. The cold is such a concern that residents often leave their cars running to prevent the batteries from dying.

Oymyakon is a small settlement of 500 people located in the Yakutia region of Russia. This freezing town does get at least three hours of daylight in the winter. Still, if you’re planning on visiting this inhospitable land, dress warmly as frostbite is a serious concern here. Traveling to Oymyakon is a test of your patience. After a seven-hour flight from Moscow, you must somehow find a connecting ride on your own to reach the remote town.

Peru: The Truth Knowledge And The History Of This Great People

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)

 

Peru

Introduction Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency. President Alberto FUJIMORI’s election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president’s increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime, which led to his ouster in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO as the new head of government – Peru’s first democratically elected president of Native American ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, returned to the presidency with promises to improve social conditions and maintain fiscal responsibility.
History The earliest evidence of human presence in Peruvian territory has been dated to approximately 11,000 years BCE.[5] The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3000 and 1800 BCE.[6] These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures such as Chavin, Paracas, Mochica, Nazca, Wari, and Chimu. In the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.[7] Andean societies were based on agriculture, using techniques such as irrigation and terracing; camelid husbandry and fishing were also important. Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money.[8]

In 1532, a group of conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated Inca Emperor Atahualpa and imposed Spanish rule. Ten years later, the Spanish Crown established the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of its South American colonies.[9] Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the country in the 1570s with silver mining as its main economic activity and Indian forced labor as its primary workforce.[10] Peruvian bullion provided revenue for the Spanish Crown and fueled a complex trade network that extended as far as Europe and the Philippines.[11] However, by the 18th century, declining silver production and economic diversification greatly diminished royal income.[12] In response, the Crown enacted the Bourbon Reforms, a series of edicts that increased taxes and partitioned the Viceroyalty of Peru. The new laws provoked Túpac Amaru II’s rebellion and other revolts, all of which were defeated.

In the early 19th century, while most of South America was swept by wars of independence, Peru remained a royalist stronghold. As the elite hesitated between emancipation and loyalty to the Spanish Monarchy, independence was achieved only after the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar. During the early years of the Republic, endemic struggles for power between military leaders caused political instability. National identity was forged during this period, as Bolivarian projects for a Latin American Confederation foundered and a union with Bolivia proved ephemeral. Between the 1840s and 1860s, Peru enjoyed a period of stability under the presidency of Ramón Castilla due to increased state revenues from guano exports. However, by the 1870s, these resources had been squandered, the country was heavily indebted, and political in-fighting was again on the rise.

Peru was defeated by Chile in the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, losing the provinces of Arica and Tarapacá in the treaties of Ancón and Lima. Internal struggles after the war were followed by a period of stability under the Civilista Party, which lasted until the onset of the authoritarian regime of Augusto B. Leguía.[20] The Great Depression caused the downfall of Leguía, renewed political turmoil, and the emergence of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA).[21] The rivalry between this organization and a coalition of the elite and the military defined Peruvian politics for the following three decades.

In 1968, the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, staged a coup against president Fernando Belaunde. The new regime undertook radical reforms aimed at fostering development but failed to gain widespread support.[23] In 1975, Velasco was forcefully replaced as president by General Francisco Morales Bermúdez, who paralyzed reforms and oversaw the reestablishment of democracy.[24] During the 1980s, Peru faced a considerable external debt, ever-growing inflation, a surge in drug trafficking, and massive political violence. Under the presidency of Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000), the country started to recover; however, accusations of authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights violations forced his resignation after the controversial 2000 elections. Since the end of the Fujimori regime, Peru has tried to fight corruption while sustaining economic growth; as of 2008 the president is Alan García.

Geography Location: Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 76 00 W
Map references: South America
Area: total: 1,285,220 sq km
land: 1.28 million sq km
water: 5,220 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries: total: 7,461 km
border countries: Bolivia 1,075 km, Brazil 2,995 km, Chile 171 km, Colombia 1,800 km, Ecuador 1,420 km
Coastline: 2,414 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate: varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes
Terrain: western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m
Natural resources: copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas
Land use: arable land: 2.88%
permanent crops: 0.47%
other: 96.65% (2005)
Irrigated land: 12,000 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 1,913 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 20.13 cu km/yr (8%/10%/82%)
per capita: 720 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
Environment – current issues: deforestation (some the result of illegal logging); overgrazing of the slopes of the costa and sierra leading to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes
Environment – international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: shares control of Lago Titicaca, world’s highest navigable lake, with Bolivia; a remote slope of Nevado Mismi, a 5,316 m peak, is the ultimate source of the Amazon River
Politics Peru is a presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. Under the current constitution, the President is the head of state and government; he or she is elected for five years and may not immediately be re-elected.[28] The President designates the Prime Minister and, with his advice, the rest of the Council of Ministers.[29] There is a unicameral Congress with 120 members elected for a five-year term.[30] Bills may be proposed by either the executive or the legislative branch; they become law after being passed by Congress and promulgated by the President.[31] The judiciary is nominally independent,[32] though political intervention into judicial matters has been common throughout history and arguably continues today.[33]

The Peruvian government is directly elected, and voting is compulsory for all citizens aged 18 to 70.[34] General elections held in 2006 ended in a second round victory for presidential candidate Alan García of the Peruvian Aprista Party (52.6% of valid votes) over Ollanta Humala of Union for Peru (47.4%).[35] Congress is currently composed of the Peruvian Aprista Party (36 seats), Peruvian Nationalist Party (23 seats), Union for Peru (19 seats), National Unity (15 seats), the Fujimorista Alliance for the Future (13 seats), the Parliamentary Alliance (9 seats) and the Democratic Special Parliamentary Group (5 seats).[36]

Peruvian foreign relations have been dominated by border conflicts with neighboring countries, most of which were settled during the 20th century.[37] There is still an ongoing dispute with Chile over maritime limits in the Pacific Ocean.[38] Peru is an active member of several regional blocs and one of the founders of the Andean Community of Nations. It is also a participant in international organizations such as the Organization of American States and the United Nations. The Peruvian military is composed of an army, a navy and an air force; its primary mission is to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.[39] The armed forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense and to the President as Commander-in-Chief. Conscription was abolished in 1999 and replaced by voluntary military service.

People Population: 29,180,900 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.7% (male 4,409,227/female 4,253,836)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 9,501,597/female 9,381,139)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 770,389/female 864,711) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 25.8 years
male: 25.5 years
female: 26.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.264% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 19.77 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 6.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 29.53 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 32.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.44 years
male: 68.61 years
female: 72.37 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.42 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 82,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 4,200 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever, malaria, Oroya fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)
Nationality: noun: Peruvian(s)
adjective: Peruvian
Ethnic groups: Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3% (2003 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87.7%
male: 93.5%
female: 82.1% (2004 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures: 2.5% of GDP (2006)

Canadian Man Lynched in the Amazon After Being Accused of Murdering a Shaman

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By CASEY QUACKENBUSH

5:16 AM EDT

A Canadian man was reportedly killed in the Peruvian Amazon after indigenous community members blamed him for the death of a spiritual leader.

According to Peruvian prosecutors, the body of Sebastian Woodroffe, 41, was found by police after a video of his lynching surfaced on social media Friday, Reuters reports. Video footage reportedly shows a man in a puddle before another man wraps a rope around his neck and dragged him as onlookers watched.

Woodroffe’s body was found 0.6 miles away from the home of Olivia Arévalo, the spiritual leader of the Shipibo-Conibo tribe and an indigenous rights activist. The 81-year-old died Thursday after being shot twice, and some members of the outraged community blamed her apparent murder on Woodroffe, who was believed to have been one of her clients.

Canada’s foreign affairs department offered its “deepest condolences following the reported assassination of Olivia Arévalo Lomas, an indigenous elder and human rights defender,” Reuters reports.

Arévalo’s death follows a slew of unresolved murders of indigenous activists who were threatened for opposing illegal loggers and palm oil growers, according to Reuters. There is little oversight in the Peruvian Amazon where local communities often punish suspected criminals according to local customs without official state involvement.

“We will not rest until both murders, of the indigenous woman as well as the Canadian man, are solved,” Ricardo Palma Jimenez, the head prosecutor in Ucayali, told Reuters.

Deadly earthquake shakes southern Peru

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Deadly earthquake shakes southern Peru

(CNN)Two people were killed when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook Peru on Sunday, according to a regional governor.

One of the two victims was a 55-year-old man crushed by a rock in Yauca, tweeted Yamila Osorio, governor of the Arequipa region in southern Peru. The other victim died in the same region, Hernando Tavera, president of the Geophysics Institute of Peru, told TV Peru, without providing further details.

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of southern Peru.

At least 65 people have been injured in the cities of Arequipa, Ica and Ayacucho, also in southern Peru, the National Civil Defense Institute reported.
The earthquake was centered near the coast of Peru, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south-southwest of Acari, according to the US Geological Survey. Acari is about an eight-hour drive down the coast from Lima, the capital.
The quake produced no tsunami threat, the USGS said.

At least 48 dead in Peru bus crash

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

At least 48 dead in Peru bus crash

Rescue personnel work at the site of a bus accident north of Lima, capital of Peru, on Tuesday.

(CNN)At least 48 people were killed Tuesday when a bus went over a cliff north of Lima, said Lewis Mejia, a top Peruvian fire official.

The Ministry of the Interior said the bodies were found in the bus, the Pacific Ocean and on the rocky beach.
Six people were hospitalized with injuries.
The accident occurred when a tractor-trailer collided with the bus, Peru transport chief Dino Escudero told state television agency Andina.

Rescue personnel transfer an injured person to a helicopter after the accident.

The back of the bus was hit by the truck, which caused the bus to fall off a cliff, Escudero said.
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The preliminary investigation indicated that GPS showed both vehicles were going too fast, a tweet from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said.
More than 100 firefighters were involved in rescue efforts at the crash scene, a fire official told Andina.
The crash occurred on the coastal road of Serpentin Pasamayo, Andina reported.
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski tweeted his solidarity with relatives of the victims of the crash and called it a “tragic accident.”

Uproar continues in Peru after ex-president is pardoned

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Uproar continues in Peru after ex-president is pardoned

Peruvian demonstrators protest against pardon of former President Alberto Fujimori in Lima, Peru, on Monday, with posters reading in Spanish: "Murderer, Thief, No to pardon."

Story highlights

  • Three lawmakers from current president’s party announce their resignations
  • Alberto Fujimori was serving 25 years for human rights abuses

(CNN)Hundreds of angry Peruvians packed streets for a second night to protest the release of ailing former President Alberto Fujimori from prison.

Chanting “traitor” and “the pardon has got to go,” opponents of Fujimori continued their demonstration outside the Lima clinic where the former leader is currently being treated.
Until his release Sunday, Fujimori was serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuses. The son of Japanese immigrants, he served as Peru’s leader from 1990 to 2000.

Police and protesters face off during a rally against the pardoning of Alberto Fujimori on Monday.

Protesters clashed with police Monday as authorities attempted to quell the demonstration with tear gas canisters thrown at the crowd.
The jailed former leader was granted a pardon on Christmas Eve by current President Pedro Pablo Kucyznski, who citied Fujimori’s failing health as the reason for clemency.
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Fujimori is a divisive figure in Peru — credited with both stabilizing the country’s economic crisis and brutally repressing his opponents.
In addition to the two days of street protests, the move was met with condemnation from some lawmakers, who questioned whether there was a political deal behind what Kucyznski’s office described as a humanitarian gesture.

3 congressmen to resign

Three congressmen from Kuczynski’s party announced their intention to resign following the announcement of the pardon.
Congressman Gino Costa posted on his personal Facebook page Monday that he agreed with the “prerogative of the president to grant a humanitarian pardon,” but added, “I don’t support the way in which it was done. I regret to inform that in the next few days I will formalize my resignation from the Peruvians for Change party.”
Congressmen Vicente Zeballos and Alberto de Belaunde made similar announcements via social media on Sunday.
On Monday, Kuczynski defended his decision to grant the pardon through an announcement broadcast on state TV. He called the move a “complex and difficult one.”
Fujimori “suffers from a progressive, degenerative and incurable disease,” according to a statement from Kuczynski’s office. “Prison conditions mean a serious risk to his life, health and integrity.”

Demonstrators march in Lima on Monday to protest the presidential pardon for Fujimori.

Kuczynski’s pardon of Fujimori comes less than a week after the current president survived an impeachment hearing stemming from a corruption scandal that has swept Latin America.
Fujimori’s son, Kenji Fujimori, was among several lawmakers who abstained from last week’s vote to remove Kuczynski from office. Kuczynski survived, in part, because a total of 10 lawmakers from Kenji Fujimori’s party abstained, breaking ranks with their own leadership. Members of the party, Popular Force, are known as “Fujimoristas” because of their support of the former president.
Local media reports chronicled how the split vote caused friction within the group, including one party spokesman who alleged that those who abstained did so as part as a pact with Kuczynski to pardon Alberto Fujimori.

An authoritarian figure

Fujimori is credited with defeating the Shining Path terrorists who destabilized the country, and his austere economic policies reined in hyperinflation.
But the former president had an authoritarian streak and used security forces to repress opponents. In 2009, a special supreme court tribunal sentenced the former president to 25 years in prison for authorizing the operation of a death squad responsible for killing civilians.
Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director for the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch, denounced the pardon and also alluded to a pact.
“Instead of reaffirming that in a state with rule of law there is no room for special treatment for anyone, the thought that will persist forever is that his freedom was a crude political negotiation in exchange for (Kuczynski) to remain in power,” Vivanco tweeted.
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