chapter  9
Echoes in Peru
WithScott B. MacDonald, Georges A. Fauriol
Pages 30

This chapter examines whether Peru’s reform process will take root in the face of such challenges as potential social unrest. Peru’s history in the 1990s reflects the difficult path to change the country’s economy. It has been said that Peru is a colonial society, much as it was under Spanish rule, with political and economic power in the hands of the local white and mestizo elite and labor supplied by the Indian masses. Although this is a broad generalization, there is some merit to this view in terms of the country’s power structure in the 1990s. Peru was also affected by other trends in the 1970s that have continuity in the crisis in the 1990s. Population growth remained high throughout the decade, which helped stimulate the movement of large numbers of people from the countryside to Lima. The Peruvian public’s high expectations were ultimately replaced by frustration and considerable distrust of traditional political parties and their leaders.