Chronography of Peru (also Inca) (Chavin) (Moche)

For far south American indigenous peoples (Mapuche, Yaghan), see Chile

Page last modified 17 September 2023


Map of Peru geographical changes here


17 April 2019, Former President of Peru, Alan Garcia, 69, shot himself dead as police arrived to arrest him on corruption charges, connected with the construction of the Lime metro system. The Brazilian construction company Odebrecht had admitted paying government officials across 12 countries a total of almost US$800 million to obtain contracts. Garcia had been President 1985-90 and 2006-11.

13 July 2005, Thousands protested in Lima, Peru, against a US trade pact that could lead to increase in the cost of medicines.

2003, Beatriz Merino was appointed Peru�s first woman Prime Minister.

2001, Presidential elections were won by Alejandro Toledo, of the Peru Possible Party. Toledo was the country�s first Amerindian President.


Rule of Fujimori

11/2000, Fujimori fled to Japan, taking US$ 600 million with him, from where he sent a fax submitting his resignation as President. Japan granted him citizenship, permitting him to evade prosecution in Peru.

9/2000, Fujimori suffered a political setback when his right hand man, Montesinos, was caught on video attempting to bribe an opposition politician. Montesinos sought asylum in Panama but was refused; he returned to Peru and went into hiding, with an estimated US$ 2 billion having been siphoned off the economy by him.

4/2000, Fujimori faced strong opposition for the Presidency from Alejandro Toledo, a US-trained economist. Toledo refused to participate in the run-off elections, believing they woiuld be rigged; Fujimori went ahead with his 3rd 5-year term as President, but faced strong criticism from previous allies such as the USA and the Organisation of American States.

26 October 1998, Peru and Ecuador signed a treaty demarcating the ;last 48 miles of common border.

22 April 1997, The siege of the Japanese Embassy in Peru by Tupac Amaru guerrillas was ended violently by government troops. 14 guerrillas and one Japanese citizen were killed; the remaining 71 hostages were rescued. The guerrillas wanted the release of 440 of their comrades.

1996, Fujimori got a compliant Congress to amend the Constitution so he could stand for a third 5-year term as President. Judges who objected were dismissed. Newspapers also had to report favourably on Fujimori or risk being shut down.

17 December 1996, Tupac Amaru, a Leftist guerrilla group whom Fujimori believed he had defeated, resurfaced and took 400 hostages at a party at hosted by theJapanese Ambassador. The siege was drawn-out because Japan insisted on aiming for a negotiated settlement.

17 February 1995, Peru and Ecuador settled their border dispute (see 26 January 1995).

26 January 1995, Heavy fighting began along the Peru-Ecuador border. For more details see Ecuador.

1994, Fujimori was re-elected as President. However his economic policies, whilst satisfying the IMF, had impoverished many Peruvians; two thirds remained below the poverty line, and real wages had fallen by 10%.

6 January 1993, President Alberto Fujimori restored constitutional government in Peru.

7 October 1992, In Peru, the Sendero Luminoso (�Shining Path�) Marxist leader and former Philosphy professor Abimael Guzman Reynoso was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison. He had been captured in Lima oin 12 September 1992.. The war on the Shining Path had cost the Peruvian economy some US$22 billion, and 69,000 Peruvians had been killed or had �disappeared�; many of these being impoverished Quecha indigenous peoples. Hi9s captutre was a severe blow to the Shining Path, which graduially declined thereafter, and allowed Peru to promote tourism,

23 September 1992, Abimael Guzman Reynoso Shining Path leader, was arrested in Peru after 12 years as a wanted man.

14 February 1991, The Peruvian Cabinet resigned over splits caused by an economic crisis.

1990, Peru was suffering over 3,000 political murders a year.

28 July 1990, Alberto Fujimori became President of Peru. He defeated Vargas Llosa. Elected on an anti-corruption platform, he inherited an economy where payments on US$ 23 billion foreign debts had not been made for 2 years, the inflation rate was 40% per month, and central government control did not extend to the remote rural areas where guerrillas held sway. He got inflation down within 6 months. In April 1992 he then formed an alliance with the military and suspended the Constitution, assuming Emergency Powers. He was strongly allied to the USA, and his headquarters was known as �The Little Pentagon�.


11 June 1990, Right wing politician Mario Vargas Llosa lost the second round of the Peruvian elections.

6/1988, By this time some 9,000 people had died due to the Senderoso Luminoso insurgency. About half were guerrillas.

1987, Peru went bankrupt; plans to nationalise the plans by President Garcia were blocked by the new Libertad Movement, led by novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.

28 July 1985, In Peru there was a democratic transfer of power from Fernando Belaunde Terry to Alan Garcia Perez. Social Democrat Party. However Peru was far from stable, with the Marxist rebel organisation Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) controlling large areas of the country.

1982, The Peruvian Army stepped up an anti-drugs campaign, cracking down on guerrillas; dxeaths and �disappearances� escalated.

1981, Peru fought a border war (until 1990) with Ecuador over the El Oro region, an Amazonian region given to Peru by a 1942 treaty,which Ecuador wanted as it would give it access to the Amazon basin. For more details see Ecuador.

17 May 1980, The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) Maoist rebel group, founded by Abimael Guzman in the 1970s, began an armed uprising in Peru.

27 July 1980, President Fernando Belaunde Terry of Peru was inaugurated, ending 12 years of military rule.

1975, A new right-wing military junta took control of government. Velasco was replaced, in a bloodless coup, by General Morales Bermudez.

19 March 1971, An avalanche triggered by a earthquake killed some 700 people at a mining camp at Chungar, Peru.

1968, A left-wing military junta took over government, and started a programme of widespread nationalisation.

October 1968, President Belaunde�s government resigned after his decision to pay Standard Oil compensation for handing their installations over to Peru. Juan Velasco Alvarado seized power in a military coup, and nationalised entire industries, including fishing, mining, power and telecommunications. He also instituted extensive land reform, redistributing some 100,000 square kilometres; about 72% of Peru�s arable land. He held power until 1975; his economic reforms suffered from the oil price rise in 1973/4.

1963, Fernando Belaunde Terry, a moderate Conservative, was elected President, He began a programme of land reform, redistriubuting land to peassants, but also used the military to suppress a Communist-backed insurgency.

18 July 1962, A military coup in Peru; President Prado was arrested by the Army. There was a further coup in 1963.

1956, Civilian Government returned to Chile.

22 February 1952, The USA signed a military assistance pact with Peru.

2 July 1950, Manuel Odria was legally elected President of Peru.

27 October 1048, General Manuel Odria (1897-1974), Conservative Peruvian Army Chief of Staff,, took power, and APRA was banned again. Haya de la Torre took refuge in the Colombian Embassy in Lima, as many APRA members were jailed or exiled


APRA President Rivero, 1945-48

1948, Militant APRA members staged a revolt oin the port city of Callao, and sailors seized some warchips. Civil war seemed imminent.

1947, The murder of a prominent Conservative mewspaper editor was blamed on APRA. The Peruvian Government fell apart, with non APRA members refusing to co-operate.

1945, Jose Luis Bustamente y Rivero (1894-1989) was elected President of Peru, He was backed by APRA, and wanted to push through major social reforms. However he was strongly opposed by the Conservatives. Peru remained a very unequal country, with 80% of the land owned by 1% of the landowners; the wealthiest owned over 4,000 square kilometres each; most lay uncultivated. Occasional revolts by the landless peasants were crushed by the Peruvian Army.


1942, Under the Rio Protocol, Ecuador ceded the mineral-rich el Oro region to Peru, ca. 200,000 square kilometres, after a period of border warfare. Ecuadorhad invaded this region in 1941. For more details see Ecuador.

1939-45, A moderate pro-US government ruled Peru.

1931, APRA was banned, until 1945.

1930, Salcedo was ousted from power, and the APRA came to Peru as its first political Party.

25 August 1930, Augusto Legula, President of Peru, resigtned and fled the country after a coup by Colonel Luis Sanchez Carro.

1924, Peruvian Dr Victor Raul Haya de la Torre (1895-1979) founded the nationalist and radical American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) whiulst in exile in Mexico.

21 August 1916, Peru declared neutrality during World War One.

18 February 1914, British explorer Captain Campbell Besley announced the discovery of three Inca cities in Peru.

8 August 1912, The Pope issued an encyclical about abuse of the indigenous tribes in the Putumayo region of Peru.

24 July 1911, The lost city of Machu Picchu, Peru, was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham.

20 January 1911, Ecuador refused to allow the Hague Tribunal to arbitrate in its boundary dispute with Peru.

3 June 1910, Ecuador and Peru withdrew their troops from the border between the two nations as the first step in the mediation of their dispute.

1908, Augusto Leguia y Salcedo became dictator, ruling until 1912, and again from 1919-30.

31 December 1886, Mariano Felipe Paz Soldan, Peruvian geographer and historian, died (born in Arequipa 22 August 1821)

1879, The War of the Pacific broke out. When it ended in 1884, Chile had taken Bolivia�s entire coatline, and the southern province of Peru. See Chile for more details.

1872, Manuel Pardo became Peru�s first democratically-elected President.

2 May 1866, Spain bombarded the Peruvian port of Callao. A week later Spain ceased hostilities.

31 March 1866, A Spanish fleet under Admiral Casto Mendez Nunez bombarded the port of Valparaiso, Chile. Peru allied with Chile.

14 January 1866, Resentment in Peru at the terms of the treaty woth Spain (see 27 January 1865) allowed General Mariano Ignacio Prado (1826-1901) to take control of government. He then made defensive alliances with Bolivia and Ecuadoir, then declared war on Spain.

27 January 1865, Spain and Peru agreed a treaty where Spain recognised Peruvian independence and Peru would pay a 3 million peso indemnity for losses suffered by Spanish subjects at Talambo, and for the return of the Chincha Islands.

14 April 1864, Spain occupied the guano-rich Peruvian Chincha Islands, 12 miles off the Peruvian coast.

1849, Large inflow of Chinese labourers, mostly to do low-paid jobs such as collecting guano. Inflow lasted until 1872.

1864, Spain occupied the Peruvian island of Central Chinch, rich in guano, in an attempt to regain Peru.

1844, General Ramon Castilla became President, serving until 1851, and again from1855-62. Under his administration, Peru enjoyed stability and economic prosperity. Its guanoi and niyrate deposits were mined for the first time, and transport links improved.

20 November 1841, Peru attempted an invasion of Bolivia but was defeated. The Peruvian President, Augustin Gamarra, was killed this day in the fighting, aged 56. His death started a civil war in Peru that continued until 1845.

26 January 1827 Peru ended its union with Chile and declared independence.

9 December 1824, Battle of Ayacucho. Further Spanish defeat in the war to retain Peru as a colony. Peru and Bolivia would have been united at this point but Sucre had already agreed with the leaders of Upper Peru (Bolivia) to cteate a separate State there.

6 August 1824, Spain finally lost Peru after the Battle of Junin, led by Simon Bolivar and Antonio Jose de Sucre.

10 September 1823. Simon Bolivar became dictator of Peru.

26 July 1822, San Martin and Simon Bolivar met at Guayaquil. San Martin turned over control of the anti-Spanish independence struggle to Bolivar and retired from further revolutionary action.

22 August 1821, Mariano Felipe Paz Soldan, Peruvian geographer and historian, was born in Arequipa (died 31 December 1886)

28 July 1821, Peru proclaimed its independence from Spain, after the capoital Lima was captured by Argentine liberator Jose de San Martin, who had also liberated Chile from the Spanish.

1780, Tupac Amaru II led an unscusseful revolt against Spanish rule.

1543, A South American Indian, Diego Gualpa, discovered a rich seam of silver ore in the mountains of Peru. This gave rise to the silver boom town of Potosi and ultimately had a major impact on world finances. Between 1556 and 1783 the mountain of Cerro Rico, or �rich hill�, yielded 45,000 tons of pure silver.

1542, The Vice-Royalty of Peru was established.


Inca Empire, 1219 � 1572

1572, The last Inca resistance under Tupac Amaru ended as their leader was executed.

1539, Although the Inca State had fallen to Spain in 1532, a relict Inca State was recreated by a minor Inca noble, Manco Inca Yupanqi, at the remote settlement of Vilcabamba. From here intermittent warfare was waged on the Spanish.

1539, Pizarro founded the town of Ayacucho, Peru.

18 January 1535, Lima, Peru, was founded by Francisco Pizarro.

16 November 1532, Atuahalpa met Pizarro at his mountain fortress of Cajamarca. The Spanish handed Atahualpa a Bible and demanded that he convert to Christianity. Atahualpa refused, and was taken hostage by the Spanish. The Inca offered the Spanish a �roomful of gold� to release Atahualpa; the ransom was paid, but Pizarro did not keep his side of the bargain. Instead he had Atahualpa garrotted in the main square in July 1533.

13 May 1532, Francisco Pizarro landed on the northern coast of Peru.

19 January 1530, Francisco Pizarro sailed from Spain, with a commission to conquer Peru. He sailed to Panama, and from there to Peru in 12/1530.

1528, Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro sailed along the South Amrican coast as far up as the present day frontier between Peru and Ecuador. The Inca Empire now stretched for 2,500 miles from the Maule River in central Chile up as far north as the modern Colombia-Ecuador border. This made control of the Empire very difficult, as it took ten days for messengers to reach the capital, Cuzco, from the frontiers, even with the well-developed road system they possessed.

1525, In Peru, Huanaya Capac, 11th Inca King, died at Quito. His empire was divided between his two sons, Huascar and Atahualpa. The Inca Empire descended into civil war, making the Spanish conquest, when they arrived in 1532, much easier.

1493, Accession of Inca ruler, Huayna Capac. He ruled until 1525.

1476, Inca conquest of the south coast of Peru.

1471, Topa became the 10th Sapa Inca, and began a road building programme to connect all parts of his empire. He ruled until 1493.

1470, The Incas captured the city of Quito from local Amerindian tribes; even then it was a major settlement.

1438, The Inca dynasty that ruled Peru until 1553 was founded by Pachacutec. He ruled until 1471.

1300s, The Incas, whio now ruled the Peru area, began to expand into neighbouring areas, reaching what is now central Chile by 1500. The Inca language, Quecha, was imposed on all their subjects.

1219, Traditional date for the founding of the Inca civilisation in Peru by Manco Capac.


1000, Decline of Wari culture.

800 AD, The Chachapoya culture began in Peru�s northern highlands. It was invaded by the Incas around 1475. The Inca conquerors then dispewrsed most of the Chachapoya people to distant parts of the Inca Empire, to avoid any insurrection. The few Chachapoya who remained in situ sided with the Spanish when they arrived, but new European doiseases and harsh treatment by the Spanish colonisers ensured that by .the early 1600s the Chachapoya culture had virtually disappeared.

700, The city / state of Wari became dominant and its influence began to spread beyond the Ayacucho Valley.

100 AD, The Moche culture began in what is now northern coastal Peru. It lasted until ca. 700.

200 BCE, End of Chavin culture

350 BCE, Emergence of the Nazca Culture in Peru. Huge line drawings were made in the desert, too large to appreciate except from the air. They developed large-scale irrigation systems.

850 BCE, Peak of Chavin culture in Peru.

800 BCE, The Chavin city of Chavin de Huantar was founded. It was primarily a religious centre.

1200 BCE, Emergence of the Chavin culture in Peru.


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