Peru Recent History

Peru Recent History

Years after the war

Defeated and amputated of a part of its territory, ruined by the years of war and internal dissent, Peru then tried to reorganize itself in a period known as “National Reconstruction”.

Reconstruction was slow and was done largely with the help of foreign capital, mainly from the United States, under the presidency of Augusto Leguía and Salcedo, who remained in power for eleven years. After his first mandate (1908 – 1912), he took power again in 1919, thanks to a military coup, and exercised an almost dictatorial authority.

This period, known as the Oncenio, ended in 1930 with the coup d’état of Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro, which began a period of military governments and the emergence of popular movements – such as the APRA or the PCP – on the political scene.

In the 1930s, despite the adoption of a democratic Constitution (1933), APRA, a movement with a Marxist tendency, influenced by the Mexican Revolution, was subjected to bloody repression and the elections that gave it victory were annulled..

According to Youremailverifier, the presidency then returned to Manuel Prado Ugarteche, who wanted to continue the modernization of the country, but also had to count on the powerful reformist will, initiated by APRA.

Revolution of the Armed Forces

During the 1960s, after several military coups and some short-lived governments, the political crisis became apparent, which caused the revolution of the armed forces, in 1968, under the command of General Juan Velasco Alvarado.

This government would undertake profound changes, from agrarian or educational reform to the resizing of the State and power structures. Relying on the nationalist classes of the Army and the bourgeoisie, he carried out a reformist policy of an anti-imperialist character. He nationalized the North American and British oil companies. In 1970 he carried out important reforms in various sectors.

He also reformed the judiciary, banking, mining and industry, seeking greater popular participation in the economic and political life of the country, until a new military coup, promoted by the US embassy, ​​overthrew the Peruvian government on 29 August of 1975 and the economy put back into the hands of the IMF. The next day, General Francisco Morales Bermúdez, nicknamed a felon by Jorge Basadre, who had been Prime Minister and Minister of War under Velasco, became president.

Internal conflicts

During the 1980s, Peru faced a strong economic and social crisis, due to uncontrolled fiscal spending, considerable external debt and rising inflation, along with the internal armed conflict.

The struggle against the Shining Path groups, an organization with a Maoist tendency, and the MRTA, obtained an excessive repressive response from the armed forces, the police first and the army later. The fighting between both sides meant the death of about 70 thousand people, including combatants, peasants and city dwellers.

The crisis reached its most critical phase at the end of the decade, during the first government of Alan García Pérez, when Peru entered a strong economic crisis due to the lack of control of fiscal spending and the consequent hyperinflation that reached a maximum of 7,649% in 1990, while the Shining Path had already ventured into the large cities of the country.

In the midst of growing unpopularity, the first government of Alan García ended, with Alberto Fujimori being the winner in the 1990 elections, who from the beginning of his term encountered strong opposition in Congress from APRA and FREDEMO.

Neoliberalism and corruption

Alberto Fujimori, the son of Japanese immigrants, who assumed power in 1990. In 1992, with the support of the army, he gave a state “self-coup”, dissolved the Congress of the Republic and inaugurated an authoritarian regime that ruled until 2000.

During his government, there was a process of corruption of the State in conjunction – which came to be classified as kleptocracy – with the then Head of the National Intelligence Service, Vladimiro Montesinos.

The 17 of December of 1996, a group of 14 guerrillas of the Revolutionary Tupac Amaru Movement, headed by its leader, former union leader Nestor Cerpa Cartolini, achieved the seizure of the embassy of Japan in Lima, during a reception participating members of the diplomatic corps, business managers and senior officials. The rebels had about 600 hostages under their control, but gradually they released about 500, until finally 74 people were held.

The occupation remained unchanged for several weeks. The initial position of “not negotiating with terrorists” assumed by Fujimori, was censured from different sectors, both inside and outside Peru. In an apparent change, the then Peruvian president agreed to establish a “guarantor commission” charged with negotiating. This seemed to happen, with the entry of these mediators into the embassy to dialogue with the guerrillas. Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani joined this process .

When the expectations were in the agreement that would allow the peaceful resolution of the occupation, specially trained commandos for almost three months, entered the embassy with fire and blood when the unsuspecting “tupacamaristas” were mostly playing a game of “fulbito” inside.

Subsequent complaints indicated that the alleged negotiation was a diversionary maneuver arranged by Fujimori and his adviser Montesinos. In that operation, not all negotiators were aware of his sad role. But Cardinal Cipriano would have been, who is credited with having introduced electronic devices that made it possible to establish the right moment for the attack.

The violent operation consisted of the simultaneous attack by several open entrances with explosives, and in a few minutes the attacking force achieved control of the situation and the release of the hostages, with the exception of the Chief of the Supreme Court of Justice, Carlos Giusti, who he bled to death due to lack of medical attention, after receiving a bullet whose perpetrator was not specified. Judge Giusti had prestige for his independence and for having voted in his day for the military accused of human rights violations to be tried by a civil court.

The 14 guerrillas occupying the embassy were killed. On their riddled bodies, President Fujimori appeared smiling hours later, receiving praise from the United States and other governments for his “steadfastness.”

Fujimori was reelected in a controversial 2000 election. That same year he resigned from the Presidency while in Japan during an official tour after the scandals that demonstrated the corruption network headed by Vladimiro Montesinos. Congress elected then-Congressman Valentín Paniagua as interim President, who carried out the 2001 elections.

Peru Recent History