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The Americas

South American States

 

Modern Peru
1821 - Present Day
Incorporating Heads of State (1821-2022), the North Peruvian State, the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation, & the South Peruvian State

The modern republic of Peru is located in central-western South America. It is neighboured by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the south-east, and Chile to the south, with a sizable Pacific coastline to the west. Farther west sits the South-Americas-dominated Easter Island.

As part of the general exploration of the New World, Spanish conquistadors set out on various expeditions in the early sixteenth century. One such expedition was led by Francisco Pizarro in 1533 who discovered the vast Inca empire just as it was reaching the end of a damaging civil war. With few troops at his disposal, Pizarro still quickly conquered much of the empire to set up the foundations of Spanish Colonial Peru.

Just a decade later, in 1542, the viceroyalty of Peru was created to rival New Spain in terms of the territory and potential wealth it controlled. At its height it ruled all of western, central, and southern South America, often through governors such as that of the captaincy general of Chile.

Initial wealth was brought about through the mining and textile trades, but when Spain controlled Portugal between 1580-1640, there was no restriction on Portuguese settlement in early Brazil. In the eighteenth century, the creation of the viceroyalties of New Granada and Rio de la Plata reduced the importance of the Peruvian capital at Lima and removed a great swathe of territory from Peru's control. It also served to move some of the lucrative Andean trade to Buenos Aires. Added to the decline in productivity from the mining trade and textile production, this combination of events saw Peru lose much of its initial importance to the Spanish empire.

On 8 September 1820, the 'Liberation Expedition of Peru' landed under the command of Jose de San Martin. Lima was occupied on 21 July 1821 after negotiations failed with the viceroy. The independence of Peru from Bourbon Spain was proclaimed on 28 July 1821, with the viceroy retiring to Cusco with a sizable armed force under his command.

The early years of the new republic were marked by power struggles. A provisional government was formed between 1821-1822, with a republic being declared in 1822. Elected president in 1824, the former nationalist leader Simon Bolivar created a dictatorship four years later, but his governance was also very short-lived. In fact, Peru's nineteenth century history was scarred by repeated dictatorships, and it wasn't until after a major war in 1879 that a truly modern Peru began to emerge.

The name 'Peru' originates from that of a native ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama in the earliest days of exploration into South America. In 1522 this Birú was visited by Spanish explorers who were venturing into new territory for the colonists, and the name came to be used to designate all of the initial conquests to the south. In modern times the country's population is a reflection of that colonial period, consisting of the descendants of European settlers, African slaves, native Amerindians, and Asians.


Torres del Paine, Chile

(Information by Peter Kessler, John De Cleene, and the John De Cleene Archive, with additional information from From jail, Peru's Castillo says he's still president (Washington Post, 14 December 2022), from Political Culture in Nineteenth-century Peru: The Rise of the Partido Civil, Ulrich Mücke (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004), from El expediente Prado, Víctor Andrés García Belaunde (Asociación Civil Mercurio Peruano, 2016, in Spanish), from Historia de la República del Perú, Jorge Basadre Grohmann (Ediciones Historia, Fifth Edition, Volume VIII, 1963, in Spanish), and from External Links: History of the United Nations, and Peru's first female president (The Guardian), and Peru and the Falkland Islands, James Dauris, and Peru protests (The Guardian).)

1821 - 1822

José Francisco de San Martín

Protector. Military general. Stepped down.

1822

Francisco Xavier de Luna Pizarro

President of the 'Constituent Congress', 20-22 Sep.

1822 - 1823

José La Mar

President of the 'Supreme Governing Junta', 22 Sep-27 Feb.

1823

José de la Riva Agüero

President. Deposed. Brief military rule created new president.

1823 - 1824

José Bernardo de Tagle y Portocarrero

President.

1822 - 1824

After the provisional government creates a republic on 19 December 1822 out of the former viceroyalty of Peru, the Peruvian congress names the president of Gran Colombia, Simon Bolivar, president of Peru on 10 February 1824. He is able to reorganise the armed forces and decisively defeat the Spanish at the Battle of Ayacucho in 1824.

Simon Bolivar
Simon Bolivar was proclaimed 'the Liberator' for his work in freeing much of South America from Spanish colonial control, although his attempts to forge a new 'super-state' from the former colonies came to nothing

1824 - 1830

Simon Bolivar

Dictator of Peru. Also president of Bolivia & Gran Colombia.

1824 - 1829

During Bolivar's 'presidency', in 1825 the 'Congress of Upper Peru' creates the republic of Bolivia, which is named after him. Trying to prevent the break-up of Gran Colombia, he proclaims himself dictator on 27 August 1828, but in the following year Peru fights Gran Colombia over the latter's claim that its territory extends beyond the Andes mountain range to the Amazon, and includes the Amazonian basin.

1827

Andrés de Santa Cruz

Acting president, Jan-Jun.

1827

Manuel Salazar y Baquíjano

Acting president, Jun-Aug.

1827 - 1829

José La Mar

President, Aug-Jun.

1829

Antonio Gutiérrez de La Fuente

President, Jun-Sep.

1829 - 1830

The war with Gran Colombia is ended with the Battle of Tarqui and the Gual-Larrea Treaty being signed on 22 September. The treaty specifies that the Colombian-Peruvian border is to retain the line which it had carried under Spanish colonial control (and the peace lasts until 1859). Bolivar resigns the post of dictator on 27 April 1830 after an assassination attempt dents his confidence.

Map of Central America in the 1830s
The Federal Republic of Central America was formed of Chiapas, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This lasted from 1823-1841, by which time Mexico had grabbed much of Chiapas and the republic itself dissolved into the separate nation states known today - although Nicaragua did not control the independent Mosquito Coast until the end of the century, and British troops occupied eastern Belize (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1829 - 1833

Agustín Gamarra

President, Sep-20 Dec.

1833 - 1836

A coup by Pedro Pablo Bermudez is succeeded by a second coup under Felipe Santiago Salaverry on 23 February 1835, leading to a further year of dictatorship. Even worse, both are opposed by the legal holder of the title of 'president', another dictator by the name of Luis José Orbegoso.

1833 - 1836

Luis José Orbegoso

'President', dictator, and opposition to Bermúdez & Salaverry.

1833 - 1835

Pedro Pablo Bermúdez

Dictator via a coup. Deposed in a second coup.

1835 - 1836

Felipe Santiago de Salaverry

Dictator. Deposed and executed.

1836 - 1841

The dictator of Peru is defeated and executed by Bolivian forces which invade the country in 1836. Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz (a former president of Peru himself, in 1827) has an assembly in southern Peru proclaim the South Peruvian State on 17 March 1836. Santa Cruz is declared its supreme protector.

On 11 August 1836 he obtains a similar proclamation in northern Peru, known as the North Peruvian State. Again he is proclaimed the new state's supreme protector. He deposes Luis José Orbegoso, dictator of Peru, and in October proclaims the 'Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation', which consists of Bolivia and both of the Peruvian states, with himself as the supreme protector of the confederation and also retaining his other titles, including that of president of Bolivia.

The new state creates tension between the confederation and Chile, leading to the latter declaring war on 28 December 1836. Chile's ally, the Argentine confederation, follows suit on 9 May 1837. Eventual defeat for Bolivia comes in 1839 and Santa Cruz flees to Ecuador. Peru is fully reunited and reconstituted.

Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz of Peru
Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz was briefly president of Peru (for half a year in 1827), but in 1836 he gained much more dictatorial powers when he oversaw the formation of two divisions of Peru, which he then reconstituted into a single entity, the 'Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation'

1838 - 1841

Agustín Gamarra

President again (provisional to 1840). Defeated & killed.

1841

A period of somewhat unusual stability within Peru has followed the end of the recent war. That is until, in 1841, the new Peruvian president attempts to return the favour by invading Bolivia, but he is defeated and killed.

1841 - 1842

Manuel Menéndez

Acting president until Oct 1842. Always opposed. Overthrown.

1842

Between August and October, Juan Francisco de Vidal rebels against Menéndez having opposed him since the beginning of his term of office. Vidal claims the title of president. At the same time, Juan Crisóstomo Torrico overthrows Menéndez and becomes president himself.

1842

Juan Crisóstomo Torrico

Acting president, Aug-Oct.

1842 - 1843

Juan Francisco de Vidal

Acting president, Oct-Mar. Also opposed Menéndez.

1843

Justo Figuerola

Acting president, 15-20 Mar only.

1843 - 1845

Political leadership within Peru remains as troubled as usual, with the many short-lived acting presidents being replaced by a provisional supreme governing junta of the 'Free Departments'. This period sees several supreme directors take and lose office, along with a rival supreme director to oppose some of them.

This is followed by three more acting presidents between 10 August 1844 and October 1845, before the country's very first truly elected president enters office in the form of Ramón Castilla.

President Ramón Castilla of Peru
Ramón Castilla was Peru's first genuinely democratically-elected president, taking office in 1845, although this did not prevent him following a time-honoured South American route to dictatorship and even civil war

1845 - 1851

Ramón Castilla

President. Dictator from 1845. In rebellion (1854-1855).

1851 - 1855

José Rufino Echenique

President. Opposed in 1854-1855. Overthrown.

1854 - 1855

Peruvian liberals who are intent on abolishing slavery persuade Ramón Castilla to lead another rebellion from Arequippa. Castilla proclaims himself rival president and, in 1855, defeats Echenique, his former lieutenant in the 1843-44 civil war between elements of the then-junta. Castilla regains the presidency.

1855 - 1862

Ramón Castilla

President for a second time (provisional to 1858).

1859 - 1860

Arguing that treaties which had been signed with Gran Colombia have been rendered void upon the dissolution of that federation, Peru fights another war over disputed territory bordering the Amazon, this time with the federation's successor in the region, Ecuador.

1862 - 1863

Miguel de San Román

President.

1862

Peruvian guano hunters raid Easter Island, killing much of the population and kidnapping most of the rest, including the nominal 'ariki henua, Maurata, and his father (and predecessor), Kai Mako'I iti. A few kidnapped survivors are later returned.

Easter Island moai heads
The Rapa Nui of Easter Island made or started to make a total of nine hundred moai to represent the incarnation of the spirit of their kings and chiefs, who were buried in the ahu, the elaborate stone altars on which the moai were placed

1863

Ramón Castilla

Acting president (third presidential term), 3-9 Apr.

1863

Pedro Diez Canseco Corbacho

Acting president, 9 Apr-August.

1863 - 1865

Juan Antonio Pezet

President. Opposed by Prado and then deposed.

1865

With the resources which had made the country stable since the 1830s having been squandered, Peru is now heavily indebted and political in-fighting is on the rise.

Spain sends a large fleet to demand sovereignty over the Chincha Islands. President Pezet capitulates, antagonizing General Mariano Ignacio Prado who, in April, sets up a rival government with himself as provisional supreme chief.

1865

Mariano Ignacio Prado

General, & provisional supreme chief in rebellion.

1865

In June 1865, Prado elevates Canseco, the former president, to the position of president in his rival government. In November, Prado completes the execution of his coup, replacing Pezet with Canseco. Canseco serves only for a month before Prado himself takes over as dictator, while at first holding the title of provisional supreme chief.

1865

Pedro Diez Canseco Corbacho

President in rebellion, Jun-Nov. President 2-28 Nov 1865.

1865 - 1867

Mariano Ignacio Prado

Dictator. Resigned.

1865 - 1868

Prado arranges an alliance with Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, so that when the Spanish fleet attacks Peru in 1866 he, with the support of his allies, is able to defeat it at the Battle of Dos de Mayo in Callao. Elections are held in 1867, and Prado wins to become president. The dissatisfied Canseco sets himself up as rival president. On 7 January 1867, Prado resigns and, on 8 January, Canseco returns to the legitimate presidency.

Provisional government of the Glorious Revolution 1868
The provisional government of Spain's very own Glorious Revolution of 1868 consisted of (from left to right) Figuerola, Ruiz Zorilla, Sagasta, Prim, Serrano, Topete, Lopez Ayala, Romero Ortiz, and Lorenzana

1867 - 1868

Pedro Diez Canseco Corbacho

President in rebellion. Opposed by Canseco.

1868

Luis La Puerta

Prime minister serving as head of state.

1868

Pedro Diez Canseco Corbacho

Acting president, Jan-Aug.

1868 - 1872

José Balta

President.

1872

Tomás Gutiérrez

Acting president, 22-26 Jul.

1872

Francisco Diez Canseco

Acting president, 26-27 Jul.

1872

Mariano Herencia Zevallos

Acting president, Jul-Aug.

1872 - 1876

Manuel Pardo

President.

1876 - 1879

Mariano Ignacio Prado

President. Overthrown while on a diplomatic trip.

1879

Spain recognises the independence of Peru, but Prado has found that his country's defences had been severely weakened during the previous presidency of Manuel Pardo. Prado leaves the country for New York where he hopes to negotiate for arms and naval vessels. Upon his arrival there he discovers that Nicolas de Pierola has occupied Lima and he has been overthrown.

1879 - 1881

Nicolas de Pierola

Dictator. Defeated by Chilean forces and resigned.

1879 - 1883

Nicolas de Pierola almost immediately forms another dictatorship but his Peru is defeated by Chile in the War of the Pacific between 1879-1883. After Lima is occupied, the country loses the southern provinces of Arica and Tarapaca to Chile. Internal struggles following the war result in frequent changes at the top.

Santiago in Chile
The twenty-first century Santiago in Chile, nestling in the shadow of the mountains, is one of South America's most modern cities

1881

Francisco Garcia Calderón

Provisional president, Mar-Sep.

1881

Nicolas de Pierola

Supreme chief in rebellion, Mar-Jul.

1881

Patricio Solo de Zaldivar

Chilean governor of part of Peru, May-Sep.

1881

Nicolás de Piérola

President in rebellion, Jul-Nov.

1881 - 1883

Patricio Solo de Zaldivar

Chilean governor of Peru.

1881 - 1883

Lizardo Montero

Acting president, rebelling against Chile.

1882 - 1884

Miguel Iglesias 'Regenerator'

Supreme chief against Chile (Aug-Dec) & rebel president.

1883 - 1885

Following the end of Chilean occupation there is a two-year period which features rival governments, followed by a period of stability. On 3 December 1885, Antonio Arenas, president of the council of ministers (prime minister), assumes the responsibilities of head of state in a government which unifies the country.

1883 - 1885

Andrés Avenlino Cáceras

Acting president in rebellion.

1884 - 1885

Miguel Iglesias 'Regenerator'

Provisional president in rebellion.

1885 - 1886

Antonio Arenas

Prime minister, acting as head of state.

1886 - 1890

Andrés Avenlino Cáceres

President (officially, for the first time).

1887

The Herrera-Garcia Treaty is negotiated by the king of Spain between Peru and Ecuador over their ongoing border dispute. However, the terms are not considered favourable to Peru so its parliament attempts to introduce amendments which Ecuador refuses. Ecuador subsequently pulls out of negotiations.

Spanish-American War 1898
The USA was seemingly goaded into war against Spain by feverish claims by the press that the Spanish were behind the loss of the USS Maine off the coast of Cuba, but it was a Central American war which Spain was unlikely to win

1890 - 1894

Remigio Morales Bermúdez

President.

1894

Justiniano Borgoños

Acting president, Apr-Aug.

1894 - 1895

Andrés Avenlino Cáceres

President for the second time (see 1886). Forced to resign.

1895

Andrés Avenlino Cáceres is forced to resign in March 1895. Manuel Candamo, one of the founders of the Civilista Party (which had been formed to eliminate military rule in Peru), takes control as head of a provisional junta which is created to sponsor new elections. Nicolás de Piérola, who allies himself with the Civilista Party, wins the presidential elections to become Peru's head of state for the second time.

1895

Manuel Candamo

President of the governing junta, Mar-Sep.

1895 - 1899

Nicolás de Piérola

President (returning to office after 1881).

1899 - 1903

Eduardo López de Romaña

President.

1903 - 1904

Serapio Calderón

Acting president.

1904 - 1908

José Pardo y Barreda

President.

1908 - 1912

Augusto B Leguia y Salcedo

President. Kidnapped, but rescued.

1909

On 29 May, supporters of the opposition Democratic Party force their way into the presidential palace to demand the president's resignation. However, Augusto Leguia refuses and is kidnapped and taken to the Bolivar monument where he repeats his refusal to resign. The police arrive and rescue the president by force of arms in a battle which results in over a hundred deaths.

Signees of the Treaty of Petropolis
During the rubber boom era, the then-Bolivian territory of Acre was much desired both by Brazil and Bolivia, with the latter ceding it to the former in return for a large sum of money and the concession of the construction of a new railway which would connect Brazil with Bolivia

During the same period the country's border with Brazil is settled with the signing of the Treaty of Velarde-Rio Branco. This sets the border along the rivers of Yaravi and Yaverija. In the case of Bolivia, the Treaty of Polo-Bustamante formally partitions Lake Titicaca, and also marks the boundary with Tacna (which until then has been part of Chile).

1912 - 1914

Guillermo E Billinghurst

President. Deposed in a coup.

1912 - 1913

Guillermo Billinghurst has strong worker support, which triggers opposition from much of congress. As a result Billinghurst plans to dissolve congress. A section of the army general staff supports an effort by some congressmen to depose him so he attempts to arm the population to fight the military. Colonel Óscar Raymundo Benavides Larrea decides to support the plotters in order to defend the armed forces and the constitutional order.

1914 - 1915

Benavides deposes Billinghurst in a coup, and Billinghurst is exiled to Chile where he dies a year later. Benavides becomes chief of staff and assumes chairmanship of a junta. In May 1914, the national congress makes him president. In 1915, Benavides calls general presidential elections, which are won by José Pardo y Barreda, a former president.

1914 - 1915

Óscar R Benavides

Military junta chairman to May 1914, then president.

1915 - 1919

José Pardo y Barreda

President for the second time (see 1904). Deposed in coup.

1917 - 1918

In October 1917, Peru declares for the allies in the First World War against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire, but the country plays no active part in the conflict.

Vienna in 1918
With the various peoples who made up its ethnically-diverse population pulling apart from it in 1918, Austria was left with a rump state which greatly reduced its power and significance in post-Austro-Hungarian empire Europe

1919

Leguia returns to office and, fearing the government will not recognise his re-election as president, launches a successful military coup. From there, a new parliament is convened which elects him constitutional president. Leguia then introduces a new, more liberal constitution and proceeds to ignore it, ruling in dictatorial style.

1919 - 1930

Augusto B Leguia y Salcedo

Dictator. Overthrown during world economic depression.

1922 - 1930

With the signing of the Treaty of Salomon-Lozano, Leguia agrees the borders with Colombia by seceding all territory between the Putumayo and Caqueta rivers, to the detriment both of Peru and Ecuador. The treaty is only published after the overthrow of Leguia on 22 August 1930. A turbulent political period follows.

1930

Manuel María Ponce Brouset

Chairman of the junta, 25-27 Aug.

1930 - 1931

Luis Sánchez Cerro

Lt-colonel. Junta chairman, 27-29 Aug, then president.

1931

Mariano Holguin Maldonado

Chairman of the transitional junta, 1 Mar.

1931

Ricardo Leoncio Elias Arias

Chairman of the transitional junta, 1-5 Mar.

1931

Gustavo A Jiménez

Chairman of the transitional junta, 5-11 Mar.

1931

David Samanez Ocampo

Chairman of the national junta, Mar-Dec.

1931 - 1933

Luis Sánchez Cerro

President (second time). Assassinated on the eve of war.

1932 - 1933

In March 1932 the president, Luis Sánchez, is the target of an attempted assassination as he leaves church. The assassin misses his target and the president almost shoots him in return, only being stopped by his bodyguards.

Luis Sánchez Cerro
President Luis Sánchez Cerro survived one assassination attempt during what seemed to be the build-up to an inevitable war with Colombia, but a second attempt killed him on the spot and changed the national mood

In June a minor revolt is put down, and in September a revolt seizes a whole town. By the end of that month, the Treaty of Salomon-Lozano has been declared null and void, and Peru and Colombia prepare for war, although it is never announced as such.

Before hostilities can commence, on 30 April 1933, Sanchez is shot through the heart as he finishes reviewing twenty thousand young army recruits. His replacement negotiates peace with Colombia (by 1934) and introduces a new constitution.

1933

José Matías Manzanilla

President, 30 Aug only.

1933 - 1939

Óscar R Benavides

President for a second time (see 1915).

1936

Peru signs an agreement with Ecuador which agrees that the territories they each control along the disputed border are recognised as de facto possessions, and the '1936 status quo border line' is confirmed.

1939 - 1945

Manuel Prado y Ugarteche

President.

1941 - 1942

The Ecuadorian-Peruvian War is fought between 5 July 1941 and 31 July 1942 as a continuation of the 1840 war. The Rio Protocol brings peace until 1960. In 1942 Peru also becomes the first South American nation to declare war against Germany and its allies.

1945

Representatives of fifty countries gather at the 'United Nations Conference on International Organization' in California's San Francisco, USA, between 25 April and 26 June 1945. In that time they draft and then sign the UN charter, which creates this new international organisation. It is hoped that it will be able to prevent another world war like the one just ended. Peru joins the United Nations on 31 October, seven days after its formation.

Founding of the United Nations
In San Francisco, USA, in summer 1945, representatives of fifty countries signed the United Nations charter to establish a new, international body which was tasked with upholding the human rights of citizens the world over

1945 - 1948

José Bustamante y Rivero

President. Deposed by coup.

1948

Despite having a president who has attempted to liberalise the country, in October 1948, rebel sailors and officers seize five warships, locking up or shooting their commanders, and send landing parties ashore under cover of a ragged bombardment. Sailors already on shore take over the Naval Academy, the Naval Armoury, and Real Felipe Fortress.

Troops loyal to the government crush the revolt and the president, Jose Bustamante, suspends all civil rights. This is not enough for the military cabinet which, in response to economic strife, stages a coup on 29 October. The coup leader takes over as president.

1948 - 1956

Manuel Apolinario Odria

Dictator. Arranged elections in 1956 and then stepped down.

1948 - 1950

Odria serves as the provisional president for two days before forming a military junta with himself as president. In June 1950 he steps down to run for president in elections in which he is the only candidate. He becomes president in July at the head of the Restorer Party.

1956 - 1962

Manuel Prado y Ugarteche

President for the second time (see 1939).

1960

President Velasco of Ecuador declares the Rio Protocol with Peru to be null and void, although little immediate impact is caused by the decision.

President José María Velasco Ibarra of Ecuador
President José María Velasco Ibarra of Ecuador held office no less than five times, only once completing a term of office, with military coups interrupting all of the others

1962

Another coup, this time by Ricardo Perez Godoy and Nicolas Lindley Lopez, both generals in the Peruvian army, delivers a year of government by military junta under Godoy. He is deposed by Lindley who delivers democratic elections to the country, turning over the office of president to election winner Fernando Belaunde.

1962 - 1963

Ricardo Perez Godoy

Dictator. Overthrown by his coup co-conspirators.

1963

Nicolas Lindley Lopez

Dictator. Arranged free elections for the same year.

1963 - 1968

Fernando Belaúnde Terry

President. Deposed by coup.

1968 - 1980

Fernando Belaunde is removed from office in a military coup. The country is ruled by the army under General Velasco, who manages to destroy the economy during the next twelve years.

1968 - 1975

Juan Velasco Alvarado

Dictator. Destroyed economy. Deposed by coup.

1975 - 1980

Francisco Morales Bermudez

Dictator. Stepped down after elections.

1979 - 1980

With the country in economic depression, the military allows an election to restore constitutional rule. Fernando Belaunde's return fails to halt the rise of internal conflict, especially by the left-wing Shining Path movement. However, he comes to be regarded as the father of Peru's modern democracy.

1980 - 1985

Fernando Belaúnde Terry

President for the second time (see 1963).

1981

Peru and Ecuador clash briefly in the Paquisha War or False War, little more than a border skirmish over three watchposts. Even so, both sides increase their military presence along the shared border as a result (conflict in 1995 is the eventual result of this).

The Paquisha War of 1981
The Paquisha War involved a brief military clash which took place between January-February 1981, with Ecuador and Peru fighting over control of three watchposts along their shared border

1982

Following the sudden and unexpected occupation by Argentina of the Falkland Islands, Peru promises support while Chile sides with Britain. Peru provides Argentina with arms to support its illegal military adventure (as per James Dauris).

1985 - 1990

Alan García Pérez

President. Left office with a questionable legacy.

1985 - 1990

President Alan Garcia's term of office leaves the country with hyperinflation and no progress against the growing Shining Path rebel movement. Garcia also has the question hanging over his head of his involvement in human rights abuses. He is replaced by the half-Japanese president, Alberto Fujimori.

1990 - 2000

Alberto Fujimori

President. Arrested in Chile on corruption charges.

1992 - 1993

When Fujimori assumes the right to rule by decree and dissolves congress in 1992, first Carlos García (the second vice-president) and then Maximo San Roman (the first vice-president) are sworn in by members of the dissolved congress. They claim the presidency for themselves but hold no real power. A new constitution is drafted in 1993.

1995 - 1998

The aftermath of the Cenepa War of 1995 between Peru and Ecuador sees one of the western hemisphere's longest territorial disputes reach a final conclusion. On 26 October 1998 both countries sign a definitive peace agreement.

San Francisco Convent, Lima
The Spanish neo-Classical San Francisco Convent in Lima, the capital of Peru, was completed in 1774 during the long Spanish colonial period between initial European arrival in South America and regional independence

2000 - 2005

Fujimori has fared little better than his predecessor on the human rights issue, although he has brought an end to Shining Path's fifteen year reign of terror and has noticeably improved the economy. Now facing a corruption scandal, he flees to Japan. Following a visit to Chile in 2005 he is arrested and faces deportation to Peru.

2000 - 2001

Valentin Paniagua

President.

2001 - 2006

Alejandro Toledo President

President.

2006 - 2007

Alan Garcia regains power, still with questions hanging over him regarding his conduct. However, he is regarded as the lesser of two evils by voters who are more worried by Venezuela gaining political influence over the country. In 2007, the former president, Fujimori, is handed over to Peru to face charges and imprisonment for six years.

2006 - 2011

Alan García Pérez

President for the second time (see 1985).

2011 - 2016

Ollanta Humala Tasso

President.

2016 - 2018

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

President. Resigned due to corruption charges.

2018

President Kuczynski resigns amid corruption charges. His first vice-president, Martin Vizcarra, also of the 'Peruvians for Change' party, is sworn in to finish Kuczynski's term of office.

2018 - 2020

Martin Vizcarra

President. Formerly vice-president.

2019

President Vizcarra dissolves congress on 30 September 2019, appointing Vicente Zeballos as the new president of the council of ministers (prime minister). The opposition, which controls congress, disputes the constitutional legality of the dissolution, and congress suspends Vizcarra for twelve months.

President Martin Vizcarra of Peru
President Martin Vizcarra of Peru eventually faced a motion by congress to start impeachment proceedings against him over leaked audio tapes and alleged ties to a singer who was involved in a fraud case

Although Vizcarra is still legally president, congress subsequently selects Vice-President Mercedes Aráoz as his rival president. The military, police, and other institutions, including the 'Organization of American States', continues to support Vizcarra.

2019

Mercedes Aráoz

Rival president (female), Sep-Oct. Stepped down.

2019 - 2020

Aráoz steps down as vice-president in October 2019, removing herself at the same time from the position of competing president. On 10 November 2020, congress officially removes Vizcarra from office for having failed to deal effectively enough with the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, and again due to the unproven bribery charges.

He has also offended congress by forcefully rooting out corruption activities amongst its members. With Vizarra's removal, Manuel Merino, the congress president, becomes president of Peru.

2020

Manuel Merino

President, 10-17 Nov. Formerly congress president. Resigned.

2020

President Merino and much of his cabinet resign on 15 November following nationwide protests against his taking office and the removal of the anti-corruption former President Vizcarra. Prime Minister Flores-Aráoz also resigns.

The new congress president, Luis Valdez who, under the terms of the nation's constitution, should succeed Merino, also resigns. Congress next elects Francisco Sagasti of the Purple Party as its new president. On 17 November, he is sworn in as president of Peru.

President Manuel Merino of Peru
Peru's interim president, Manuel Merino, resigned following the country's political parties demanding that he do so or face impeachment following the deaths of two people during protests

2020 - 2021

Francisco Sagasti

President.

2021 - 2022

Pedro Castillo

President, and rival president after 7 Dec.

2022

Just two hours, on 7 December, before congress is to debate for the third time whether to impeach President Pedro Castillo, he announces his decision to dissolve congress and rule by decree. Castillo, who had came to office as a member of the populist Free Peru party and then had served without party affiliation, has been plagued with corruption accusations for the entire seventeen months of his term, and the country's economy has suffered severely.

The constitution does not give Castillo the authority to dissolve congress, so several of his cabinet members resign, along with the solicitor who is defending him in his impeachment cases. Congress promptly impeaches him through a vote of 101-6 in favour, and declares the office of president vacant.

Castillo flees the presidential palace but is arrested. Vice-President Dina Boluarte is sworn in as the first (official) female president of Peru. Whilst in jail, Castillo continues to claim that he is president, and Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico all recognise him as still being in office. Brazil and Chile recognise the actions taken by congress to be constitutional. Castillo's removal causes such a violent reaction that the USA is forced to rescue American tourists at Machu Picchu who are threatened by mobs.

President Dina Boluarte of Peru
Peru's new president for 2022, Dina Boluarte, gained office following the disruption caused by former president, Pedro Castillo, and immediately vowed to fight the sort of corruption which has been dragging down Peru's politics for decades

2022 - On

Dina Boluarte

President (female). Formerly vice-president.

2022

Dina Boluarte is the first woman to hold the office of president in Peru's two hundred year history as an independent nation state (excluding Mercedes Aráoz who had served as a rival president for less than two months in 2019). She immediately takes a strong anti-corruption stance.

2023

Protests against Boluarte continue, especially in the country's south. Even in early January the combined death toll since Castillo's attempted coup has reached forty. Fighting on 9 January 2023 takes place near the city of Juliaca's airport, in the southern region of Puno, as demonstrators stage running battles with police. The rising death toll comes amid growing protests calling for President Dina Boluarte to resign, the country's congress to be shuttered, and Castillo to be freed from jail.

 
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