Global Issues: Republic of Peru
CPW4U1 Course Culminating Activity
As 2030 approaches, Peru will face detrimental problems. Ever since the coup in 1968, there has been constant conflict within the nation. By instilling a communist regime, they encountered high debt, high inflation rates as well as an unstable government. Recently in 2000, Peru was accused of authoritarianism, corruption and human rights violations. Since the end of the brutal regime, Peru has tried corruption while sustaining economic growth. Environmental issues, social conflict and the lack of social rights has put Peru in a difficult situation. As a result, the government is constantly trying to eliminate those problems for the better of society.
The principal environmental issues in Peru are water pollution, social erosion and pollution and deforestation. Although these issues are problematic and extremely destructive, the Peruvian Environmental Ministry has been developing regulation and laws to decrease the amount of pollution created in major cities and have been making policies in order to decrease the present deforestation rate. Even with the effort of the government, these issues still persist to this day. Deforestation is not only present in Peru, but in the rest of the world. This mainly concerns the Amazon Rainforest. Deforestation has been increasing in the recent years and now causes about 18% of greenhouse emissions. Over 250,000 hectares of tree are being cut down annually. The main reason is the subsistence farming in Peru, as it is a country that has a prominent tertiary economy. The Squatter’s Law allows citizens to obtain public land if they can prove that they have lived there for 5 years. Another problem is both the legal and illegal logging, mining, petroleum drilling and road development. As it is already, Peru is at a geographical disadvantage compared to other countries. It is an extremely warm country that is prone to droughts as well as extreme weather. The biggest concern that Peru faces is the diminishing water supply. About 70% of Peru’s population lives along the Pacific Coast. The ocean itself cannot supply much clean water so they rely on glaciers. But as global warming continues, glaciers are disappearing by the second. Glacier melt will eventually cut the water supply in Peru.
Violations of human rights throughout Peru became prominent when an internal armed conflict began in 1980 and raged for the next two decades. About 70,000 people have died because they did not have rights. Draconian Laws were introduced in the 1990s to contain and oppress the opposing side. As a result, many innocent people were imprisoned for long periods of time. These issues constituted one of the largest processes of systematic violence in Peru’s history. The biggest concern that remains today is the lack of human rights given to Andean men and women by government. The Communist Party of Peru, more commonly known as the Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla insurgent organization in Peru. It has been wide condemned for its brutality which includes violence deployed against peasants, trade union organizers, popularly elected officials and the general civilian population. Since the arrest of their leader, Abimael Guzman in 1992, their activity has declined. To this day, they operate highly efficient cocaine-smuggling operations with a parasitic relationship to villagers. One of the key obstacles to the prosecution of human rights cases is the opposition and oppression of the political elite and military. They heavily criticized Non-Government Organizations for defending the interests of “terrorists” and “persecuting” the armed forces. The military has frequently refused to provide information on the identification of alleged perpetrators and defense ministers have consistently supported the armed forces over victims in the legal process. Although the civil war is over, obtaining human rights for everyone is still a distant goal.
There are economic and political disparities evident in Peru today. Inequality can be brought all the way back to the highly hierarchical, Inca society. Distribution of wealth and power within the country became less equitable following the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. Much like what it was back then, centralized political authority is in the hands of a small elite in the capital. Following the trend of the rest of the world, there is social improvement. High economic growth have contributed to a decline in the poverty rate from 50% 8 years ago to 30% today. This is accompanied by a small drop in the level of income inequality in the country. The international trend for developing countries is that most of the wealth is concentrated within the large cities. Poverty in rural areas remain high and reaches up to 60% in some regions. On top of this, there are low literacy rates and access to water and sanitation is almost non-existent. For example: people who live in Lima, the capital city are anticipated to live 20 years longer than their rural counterparts. Although Peru’s economy is improving significantly, there is little to no effort to reduce the social inequalities.
As seen from the information above, Peru is slowly climbing out of the void it was once in. Although, it's growth is controversial and often criticized, they are making a progress when it comes to it's economy and politics. Similar to a number of other developing countries, Peru was recently ravaged with civil war and one party, the Shining Path, is still active but is slowly dying out. In the year 2030, we will expect to see significant improvements to Peru's economy and living standards but most importantly, the safety of it's citizens.
Global Issues in Context
Peru Support Group – An independent NGO with an international network to promote human rights. The site is accredited.