Peru. According to Countryaah, President Ollanta Humala’s political problems grew during the year. In July, it was revealed that Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano had been illegally intercepted and that in a recording, he indicated that he was taking orders from President’s wife Nadine Heredia rather than from the President himself. The accusation of Heredia’s character of gray eminence in the government has been raised several times by the opposition. The same week, a former congressman and party mate of President Humala was arrested for meddling in drug smuggling, and in November it was revealed that he had contact with a politician sitting in jail, convicted of illegal interception and corruption.
|Land area||1,285,216 km²|
|Residents per km²||24.8|
|Official language||Spanish and Quechua|
|Income per capita||$ 13,500|
|ISO 3166 code||PE|
|Time zone UTC||-5|
|Geographic coordinates||10 00 S, 76 00 W.|
The scandals did not exactly improve on President Humala’s opinion figures. By August, the proportion of voters who supported him had almost halved from 50% in April to just 29%. At the same time, Peru’s country organization went into massive protests against a bill to amend the terms of public employment that the government presented to streamline public administration. A minor government reshuffle took place at the same time, and in late October, Prime Minister Juan Jiménez Mayor was dismissed and replaced by César Villanueva, Peru’s fourth prime minister in two years.
The increasingly serious crime forced the president to create a special police force, Genesis, in particular to deal with organized crime. Several politicians and journalists were murdered during the year.
One of few humble successes for Humala was the discovery in August by the Maoist guerrilla group Sendero Luminoso’s two main leaders, Orlando Alejandro Borda Casafranca (“Camarada Alípio”) and Martín Quispe Palomino (“Camarada Gabriel”) in the southern part of the Ayacuchi region. Both were killed in an attack carried out by Peru’s special intelligence brigade. Sendero Luminoso, who has long suffered a thinning existence, was greatly weakened by their death.
PERU, BOLIVIA AND ECUADOR – ANDITES
Those interested in Andean Indian cultures follow the sun god India to Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. The first children of the sun, the Incas, were said to have been landed on the Sun Island of Lake Titicaca and from there they began to spread to the Andes in the 13th century. Cusco became their capital. The Incas raised llamas and alpacas, were good farmers and great stonemasons. The messages ran along paved road networks carried by couriers. The empire created by the Incas collapsed not only in mutual controversy, but also in the advent of the Spanish colonial conquerors, the conquistadors, five hundred years ago. These brought the Ketchuan language alongside Spanish, alongside sun worship to the golden treasures of the Catholic religion and, above all, their immense lust.
Peru did not become independent from Spanish grip until 1824. Its modern capital, Lima, was founded by the most powerful of the Conquistadors, Francisco Pizarro, because he wanted the capital to be located on the coast. Numerous churches and monasteries give a colonial stamp to the modern metropolis known for its museums. The world-famous Gold Museum is part of the program for all travelers. The Palomino Islands off Lima are a kingdom of birds and Pacific seals. The ancient capital, the red-roofed Cusco built on top of the ruins of Inca culture, tells of the glory of the Inca state: the Koricancha Temple and the nearby Sacsayhuaman Fortress represent a high standard of stone construction. The sacred valley of the Incas is the area along the Urubamba River, Ollantaytambo is reminiscent of the battles against the Spaniards, and in the Pisac market you can still see the traditional dress of the Andean highlanders: brightly colored skirts and beanies for women and woven headgear and ponchos for men. However, for the explorer of Peru, the absolute highlight of the trip is the long-lost ruined city of Machu Picchu. The Spanish conquerors never lost sight of Machu Picchu, even though its existence was known. It was not until 1911 that archaeologist Hiram Bingham brought this fortress and ceremonial center to world consciousness.
The Altiplano plateau connects neighboring Peru and Bolivia. By train or bus you can reach the shores of Lake Titicaca in Puno, from where the route takes you further and higher to the Bolivian side. Titicaca is the highest lake in the world at 3,800 meters with commercial traffic. In its catamarans sailing its waves, you can watch boats and floating islands made of Tataras and also stay overnight.