Profile Series Peru: Human Rights and Political Developments through December 1994 [open pdf - 350KB]
"Peru is a country experiencing profound economic and political transition. Of the calamities that may befall a nation, Peru has suffered a disproportionate share over the past fifteen years, falling victim to a cycle of political upheaval and economic disruption. More than half of the population suffers extreme poverty. Fourteen years of political violence have taken over 20,000 lives, caused billions of dollars in material damage, and displaced more than half a million people. A cholera epidemic has killed thousands of Peruvians since 1991. Peru has been labeled one of the poorest and most violent nations in South America. Since 1980, successive Peruvian governments have fought a brutal war againsSt endero Luminoso (Shining Path), a violent, self-proclaimed Marxist movement which seeks to overthrow the government. In the course of the conflict, both the guerrillas and government security forces have committed grave violations of human rights. Sendero has employed both targeted and indiscriminate violence to terrorize the government and the population. Despite the September 1992 capture of Sendero's leader, Abimael Guzmán, the guerrillas continue to carry out attacks, though at a significantly reduced level. […], Nevertheless, disturbing levels of violence persist, with the government demonstrating greater willingness to sacrifice the rights to due process and civil liberties of citizens -- and to tolerate abuses committed against them by security forces -- in order to advance its military and related political objectives. Despite these apparent improvements, Peruvians continue to suffer one of the worst situations of political violence in the hemisphere."
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/