In the final comparisons in my two-volume work The World According to Aztecs and Incas: MYTHS AND STORIES FROM MEXICO AND PERU, I describe the development in todays Peru:

Perus economy has undergone tremendous development since the transition to the 21st century. Neoliberal reforms and corruption have made life hopeless hard for the many, fluctuating but reasonable for a growing middle class and luxurious for the few.

When Alan García became president in 1985, he assumed responsibility for an extreme foreign debt, and he declared that Peru would only spend 10% of the countrys export earnings to pay interest. Then Peru was exposed to an extensive boycott of foreign countries. Hyperinflation raged in 1989-1990, reaching 12377% in August 1990. Yes, unimaginable: 12377%!

For Peruvians with money, it was bad. For Peruvians in the cities without money, it was terrible. Self-sufficient farmers are almost independent of the monetary economy, but seeds, school uniforms and supplementary food products must be paid in cash. When harvest fails due to drought or is destroyed by unstoppable rain, they are met by HUNGER. And feel powerless.

The 1990 presidential election was won by Alberto Fujimori, who had appeared on the political scene a few months before. He carried out neoliberal reforms, fujichock, so many people experienced deteriorating living conditions, half the population was thrown into extreme poverty.

To raise money, Fujimori privatized the nationalized companies, and spent some money on farmers in southern Peru, where the most visible today are colored latrine houses scattered in the countryside, while fieldwork continued as before – ie. with human muscle power and some draft animals.

Since Fujimori did not have majority in parliament, he called it corrupt and committed coup d’etat in 1992 by dissolving it. The United States immediately interrupted the cooperation, but began shortly after new negotiations and the IMF approved his structural program.

That same year, Abimael Guzmán, head of Shining Path, was captured; terror and counter-terror had frozen public life. The country was in military state of emergency and the military forced farmers to defend them selves against the guerrillas and to attack the civilian population where the guerrillas had influence.

The government reintroduced a forced sterilization campaign in many rural areas. It is estimated that about 300,000 women were sterilized – most Indians, and most against their will or for food.

At the 1995 presidential election, Fujimori was re-elected and issued amnesty to all military and police officers who had been convicted since 1980 for human rights violations in the fight against the Shining Path.

The 1993-Constitution allowed a president to run for one re-election, but Fujimoris parliamentary supporters passed a law that allowed him to run for a third term and he was elected. Shortly thereafter, hidden footage of intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos was shown on television showing where he bribed an opposition politician to support Fujimori. The exposure forced Fujimori to call an election. He then flew to a summit abroad and from his ancestors Japan faxed a declaration of his resignation as President of Peru. Parliament rejected the statement because it demand impeachment. Fujimori sought shelter in traditionally hostile Chile, but was extradited to Peru.

In 2009, Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for human rights violations. He was to serve the sentence in the same top-level prison as Guzmán, the leader of the Shining Path. In 2015, Fujimoris sentence was extended by 8 years for misuse of public funds.


(pp. 476-478 in volume 2, reproduced without notes and illustrations):

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO AZTECS AND INCAS: MYTHS AND STORIES FROM MEXICO AND PERU. Edited, translated, retold and commented by Mikael Witte. Volume 1 + Volume 2

476 pages + 540 pages. Richly illustrated in colors

Published by Selskabet for smukkere Byfornyelse

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