The stormy history of Peru since the time of the Spanish
A chronology of key events:
1532-33 - Spanish conquistadores led by Francisco Pizarro defeat the Incas
whose empire subsequently becomes part of the Vice-royalty of Peru with its
capital in Lima. Thousands of years of selective alpaca breeding are lost as the
native alpaca is driven out in favour of the Spanish sheep.
1780 - Revolt against Spanish led by Tupac Amaru, who claimed to be descended
from last Inca chieftain, fails.
1821 - General Jose de San Martin captures Lima from Spanish and proclaims
1824 - Peru is last colony in Latin America to gain independence from Spain.
1836-39 - Peru and Bolivia join in short-lived confederation.
1840 -1852 -Peru exports alpaca fleece to England. By 1852 the annual alpaca
clip had reached 2,186,480 lbs in weight. Assuming a clip of 5lbs. per alpaca that
equates to over 437,000 alpacas.
1849-74 - Some 80,000-100,000 Chinese workers arrived in Peru to do menial
jobs such as collecting guano.
1866 - Peruvian-Spanish war.
1879-83 - Peru and Bolivia are defeated by Chile during the Pacific War in which
Peru loses territory in the south to Chile.
1884 - Chile given Peruvian province of Tarapaca in accordance with Treaty of
1924 - Victor Raul Haya de la Torre sets up nationalist American Revolutionary
Popular Alliance (APRA) in exile in Mexico.
1941 - Brief border war with Ecuador. Under the 1942 Rio Protocol Ecuador
cedes some disputed territory to Peru.
1945 - Civilian government led by centre-left APRA comes to power after free
1948 - Military government led by General Manuel Odria installed following coup.
1963 - Peru returns to civilian rule with centrist Fernando Belaunde Terry as
1968 - Civilian government ousted in coup led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado,
who introduces populist land reform programme and carries out large-scale
1975 - Velasco ousted in coup led by General Morales Bermudez.
1980 - Peru returns to civilian rule with re-election of Fernando Belaunde as
president; Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso, guerrillas begin armed struggle.
1981 - Peru fights border war with Ecuador over Cordillera del Condor, which a
1942 protocol had given to Peru.
1982 - Deaths and "disappearances" begin to escalate following army crackdown
on guerrillas and drug traffickers.
1985 - APRA candidate Alan Garcia Perez wins presidential election and begins
campaign to remove military and police "old guard".
1987 - New Libertad movement led by writer Mario Vargas Llosa blocks plans to
nationalise banks as Peru faces bankruptcy.
1988 - Peru seeks help from International Monetary Fund; Shining Path guerrilla
1990 - More than 3,000 political murders reported; independent centre-right
Alberto Fujimori elected president on anti-corruption platform; severe austerity
and privatisation programmes launched as inflation reaches 400%.
1991 - Peru passed an innovative new law to govern the management of all
camelids. For the first time in 100 years it became legal to export alpacas and
llamas. High-quality alpacas exported to the United States, Canada, Australia and
Europe. The exported alpacas are often bred in a more organized fashion than
was commonly the case in Peru; hopefully, in time, this will lead to the
improvement of the breeds.
1992 - Fujimori suspends constitution with army backing; Shining Path leader
arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment; new single-chamber legislature
1993 - New constitution adopted, enabling Fujimori to seek re-election.
1994 - Some 6,000 Shining Path guerrillas surrender to the authorities.
1995 - Fujimori re-elected to second term; people convicted of human rights
1996 - Tupac Amaru guerrillas seize hostages at Japanese ambassador's
1997 - Peruvian special forces free hostages held at Japanese ambassador's
1998 - Border agreement with Ecuador.
2000 September - Intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos embroiled in scandal
after being caught on video apparently trying to bribe an opposition politician.
2000 17 November - Peruvian human rights ombudsman's office says 4,000
people had "disappeared" since 1980 in war against left-wing rebels.
2000 20 November - President Fujimori resigns following political and financial
2000 22 November - Peruvian Congress sacks Fujimori and declares him
"morally unfit" to govern; head of Congress Valentin Paniagua sworn in as interim
2001 March - Judge orders former president Fujimori, who has since fled to
Japan, to face charges of dereliction of duty.
2001 April - New heads of the army, air force and navy sworn in after their
predecessors resign over links to former president Fujimori.
2001 May - President of Supreme Court and nine senior judges dismissed over
alleged links with fugitive former intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos. Deputy
treasury minister resigns over allegations that he was instrumental in paying
Montesinos $15m to leave Peru.
2001 June - Presidential elections: centre-left economist Alejandro Toledo
defeats former president Alan Garcia. Toledo is Peru's first president of native
2001 June - Former intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos is apprehended in
Venezuela, flown back to Peru and held in a top-security prison.
2001 September - Supreme Court judge issues international arrest warrant for
former president Alberto Fujimori, who is in self-exile in Japan.
2002 March - Nine people killed by bomb blast near US embassy in Lima - seen
as attempt to disrupt forthcoming visit by President George W Bush.
2002 April - Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins public hearings about
alleged atrocities committed during civil war of 1980s and 1990s.
2002 June - Violent protests against the privatisation of two power companies.
President Toledo puts the sale on hold.
2002 July - Lawmakers accuse exiled former president Alberto Fujimori of
Former intelligence chief Vladimiro
Montesinos sentenced to nine years in
prison for corruption.
2003 March-May - Vladimiro Montesinos
sentenced to further five and eight-year
jail sentences for abuse of power,
2003 August - Truth and Reconciliation
Commission's inquiry into atrocities
during 20-year war against Shining Path
rebels concludes that an estimated
69,280 people were killed.
2003 December - President Toledo sacks
Prime Minister Beatriz Merino.
2004 February - President Toledo becomes mired in political crisis amid
plummeting approval ratings. In his fifth cabinet reshuffle since coming to power,
he appoints seven political independents.
Former shoeshine boy and first president of
native Indian origin
2004 June - Former intelligence head Vladimiro Montesinos sentenced to further
15 years in jail for corruption, embezzlement, conspiracy.
2004 August - Inauguration of major gas pipeline project connecting jungle gas
field with Lima.
2005 January - Four-day failed uprising by nationalist army reservists in the
south: six people are killed and the interior minister resigns over the incident.
2005 May - Congressional commission finds President Toledo guilty of electoral
fraud. Prosecutors allege that his party forged many of the signatures it used to
register for the 2000 poll.