For much of its history, Peru has been beset by political strife and government corruption. From 1533 to 1823, residents lived under oppressive Spanish rule. In modern times, governments have vacillated between military and democratic. This political instability has led to a weak infrastructure with major economic and environmental problems. The per capita annual income of Peru's 27,925,628 people is $6,000, resulting in a ranking of 122nd among nations of the world. Inequality is widespread in Peru, and the top 10 percent of the population hold 37.2 percent of resources. At the other end of the spectrum, 54 percent of the population live below the poverty line. The United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports rank Peru 79th among 232 nations on overall quality-of-life issues. ...

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