RileySENTINEL Country Risk Report: Peru

Country Report

Amor por mi Perú

Photo by Carlos Ruiz Huaman / Unsplash

Updated on June 6, 2023

Government and Political Context

Peru operates under a presidential, representative democratic republic. The president, as the head of state and government, leads the executive branch. Dina Boluarte took office in December 2022 following Pedro Castillo's removal and arrest for his plan to illegally dissolve Congress. Despite Peru's history of political volatility, elections have generally been assessed as fair and transparent since democracy's restoration, although Castillo's 2021 election sparked allegations of fraud and polling irregularities. Boluarte, constitutionally able to remain in office until 2026, has proposed a constitutional amendment to prematurely end her term, suggesting potential political instability.

Additionally, the potential for constitutional reforms continues to brew, driven by demands from Castillo's supporters. During his tenure, Castillo controversially pledged to draft a new constitution and expropriate some foreign businesses. These supporters have since staged repeated protests demanding a constitutional assembly to draft a new left-wing constitution.

Security Overview

The primary threat to foreigners in Peru stems from petty and opportunistic crime, particularly in urban centers. Additionally, the country's high crime rates, violent crimes, and the lingering presence of the Shining Path insurgent group pose further risks. The Shining Path, known for its terrorist-style attacks, is particularly active in the VRAEM region. Civil unrest and protests, including anti-mining demonstrations, are also common and could escalate into violent clashes.

General Operational Assessment

Air travel in Peru is generally safe, and urban centers boast stable and reliable mobile communications coverage and internet connections. However, concerns persist over poor road conditions and hazardous local driving habits that complicate overland travel. Access to electricity is limited in rural areas, and the threat of cybercrime is on the rise.

Environmental Hazards

Peru's climate varies significantly from arid coastal areas to the tropical east, leading to considerable environmental risks. The country frequently experiences powerful earthquakes and tsunamis, especially along the coast. The rainy season (September-May) often brings torrential rain and thunderstorms, leading to floods and landslides, particularly in the east. Regions typically receiving little precipitation can face severe impacts. The northern coast and southern regions are particularly susceptible to climate condition changes due to the El Nino and La Nina phenomena.

Health and Medical Considerations

Mosquito-borne diseases are common, primarily in northern and eastern regions, although basic safety precautions can mitigate infection risks. Since early 2020, Peru has struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strained the healthcare infrastructure. Though high-quality healthcare and well-stocked pharmacies exist in Lima and other major cities, access is lower in rural areas.

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