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Social Issues and Concerns in Peru

Background Information
Peru's Competitive Advantage
Working in Peru
Peru's Economy
Meet the Culture
The Peruvian Markets
Risk Management in Peru
Social Issues and Concerns in Peru
Conclusion and Recommendations

Product Safety
Mining for decades has accounted for over half of Peru's exports. However, there have been next to no regulations to protect the environment or to ensure that the natural resources aren't depleted beyond repair.
There has been a recent push to create regulations in the mining industry so that the past environmental abuses are not repeated, however these regulations are not close to the strict environmental laws that Canada is accustomed to.
Food safety is also another concern. The creation of food regulations is in the early stage of development in Peru. There have been progress only among companies that export food while there has been little progress in the regulation of food being sold at local supermarkets.


Advertising Content
Although the Peruvian culture is very different from Canadian culture, their goal is still the same, and that is to win over the consumer. They use techniques like children smiling (creating empathy), colour, and simplicity to attract an audience, much like in Canada or the United States. The views of each country are different though, and this is shown when comparing advertising, literally. North America being wealthy, makes their advertising priorities based on personal wants, like clothing, music, cars and food. Meanwhile, in less fortunate countries like Peru, they are selling education, and pushing their population towards a future, so that not only they can be successful individually, but they can aid in the success of their country.

Bribes, Unauthorized Payments, and Corruption
2001 was a year that marked Peru for its trecherous and unlawful behaviour by government officials. Videotapes exposing politicians accepting bribes or federal judges being paid off were becoming a common occurance.
Peru's fugitive spymaster Vladimiro Montesino had been caught giving congressmen over $15,000 or a Judge a $10,000 month salary to sit on as the head of the electoral board to ease former President Alberto Fujimori's re-election in 2000.
It is said that the disgraced spy chief slipped out of the country on a yacht and sailed the Pacific to Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, then on to Costa Rica and Venezuela. He was last sighted at a clinic in Venezuela where he reportedly had plastic surgery. Now, he has disappreared, leaving his frozen Swiss bank accounts containing $70 million, a dozen gold and diamond-encrusted watches, and more than 1,000 Christian Dior shirts found stashed in his apartment.
Peru's corruption and scandals have died down, however the mistrust of politicians and government officals remains, and will take many years to rebuild.
With regards to the Corruption Perception Index, in 2004 Peru was ranked 67th. For more details and to view the Index itself, click here.


Lack of accountability within the armed forces, continues to be a problem. There continues to be a public perception that the armed forces operate with absolute protection from the law in the war against terrorism.

Child Labour
Child Labour in Peru is a serious problem. The numbers of young people being economically active continues to grow worse especially due to the higher school drop out rate.
On the national level, in 2000, 20.8% of children between the ages of 6-17 years were employed. This is broken down into 11.6% of the children between 6-11 years participated in the labor market and 30.3% of children between 12-17 years were economically active.
This shows a severe problem in Peru that the government is trying to address without much success. When 1,359,100 children are involved in the workforce, this shows a very weak economy and society. Since education is one of the greatest factors in breaking free of the cycle of poverty and allowing a country to move forward economically and socially, having millions of children working will not benefit the country in the long run.


Since Peru is still a third-world nation, their technology is not very advanced. The internet and cellular phones are a new concept in Peru and most forms of technology are not introduced in Peru until around a decade after North American countries receive new technology.


Peru has very few domestic environmental issues and they are always striving to achieve international environmental concerns. Peru's geographic location situates them in a prime area containing numerous temperate rainforests. Many animals in the rainforest are becoming endangered mainly due to global warming and the changing of the climate. Peru is very focused on improving global warming and stopping the polar ice caps from melting. They are also aiding other nations in regards to meeting the standards written in the Kyoto Protocol. With Peru striving to meet these standards, logically they are reducing pollution in any manner that they are capable of.


Human Rights
Peru's human rights record has been relatively poor in several areas, including protection of civil and political rights. Law enforcement are "allowed" to torture, beat, and abuse citizens, and injustice remains a problem. In addition to beatings, common methods of torture and other inhumane or degrading treatment included electric shock, water torture, asphyxiation, and the hanging of victims by a rope attached to hands tied behind the back, and in the case of female prisoners, rape. Common forms of psychological torture included sleep deprivation and death threats against both prisoners and their families.
The Peruvian government inhibits freedom of speech and of the press. Efforts to promote a compliant, uncritical press continue, while journalists face increased harassment and intimidation and practice a great degree of self-censorship in order to avoid provoking government retribution.

The crime rate in Peru is very low compared to Canada and the United States. In Peru, the laws are incredibly strict and punishments are severe. Many people also know that if they commit a crime they will be caught, and/or their families lives will be in danger. Almost the entire population lives in fear of committing crime, as they know how extreme the consequences are.
Those who do choose to commit crime are mostly commited by children and adolescents, and include mainly street crimes like robbery, physical assault, and vandalism, which are often carried out by gangs. The majority of these crimes are committed under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and their underlying causes are unemployment, nonattendance at school, and difficult family relationships.


Copyright 2004 Peru-4-U