Situated between Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and the Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Peru’s diverse landscapes once held the seat of the ancient Inca Empire. Today, with its multiethnic population of over 28 million, Peru can claim a citizenry as varied as its terrain. But for two decades, Peru was the setting for serious political upheaval: between 1980 and 2000, over 70,000 people were killed in a conflict pitting government forces against left-wing insurgents. The region is also prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes, floods, severe droughts, landslides, and mild volcanic activity. In August 2007, Peru’s coastal areas were hit by an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale. The quake killed over 500 people, injured over 1,000, and made some 100,000 people homeless.

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