Peru is located on the central west coast of South America, enclosed by the Pacific Ocean along 1,500 miles. It has a total area of 496,224 square miles (approximately twice the size of metropolitan France and slightly smaller than the state of Alaska). The Peruvian territory is divided into three starkly different regions: in the west there are the desert plains of the coast, along the center there is the tall and ragged Andes mountain chain; and in the east, the tropical jungle of the Amazons. As of 2011 it is calculated that the Peruvian population is of 29.9 million people, of which 71% live in urban areas.
Peru is a country rich in natural resources, such as copper, silver, gold, oil, natural gas, timber, marine fauna, iron minerals, carbon, phosphates, potash, and hydroelectric energy. Its mild weather, especially in the coast and jungle regions, favors the cultivation of agriculture products such as asparagus, coffee, cacao, cotton, sugar cane, rice, tubers, corn, bananas, grapes, oranges, pineapples, apples, lemons, pears, tomatoes, mangos, barley, palm oil, marigold, onions, wheat, beans, as well as a variety of other specialized crops and medicinal plants.
Peru’s 1993 Constitution established a unitary, representative, and decentralized government. The national territory is divided into 25 regions, and the Constitutional Province of Callao. In turn, these regions are divided into “provinces” and “districts”. Regional, provincial, and district authorities are elected every five years.
The President of the Republic is the Head of State and is elected for five-year terms. There is no reelection. Nonetheless, ex-presidents can be elected five years after they have left the position. The Legislative Branch consists in a unicameral Congress, conformed by one hundred and thirty delegates elected every five years, alongside the president. The courts administer the Judiciary Branch.