Map Courtesy CIA World Factbook
Peru (Spanish: República del Perú) is a country in western South America, bordering Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the east, south-east and south, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Peru is rich in cultural anthropology, and is well-known as the cradle of the Inca empire.
Before the Spanish arrived, Peru was home to various Pre-Inca cultures and later, to the Inca Empire. Francisco Pizarro landed on the Peruvian coast in 1532, and by the end of the 1530s Peru became a Viceroyalty and a major source of gold and silver for the Spanish Empire. Peru declared its independence from Spain on July 28, 1821 thanks to an alliance between the Argentine army of José de San Martín, and the Neogranadine Army of Simón Bolívar. Its first elected president, however, was not in power until 1827. From 1836 to 1839 Peru and Bolivia were united in the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, dissolved only after an armed conflict with Chile and Argentina. Between these years, political unrest didn't fade away, with the Army as an important political force. Once again, between 1879 and 1883, Peru and Bolivia made an alliance and fought against Chile in the War of the Pacific. After the war (and with the loss of the province of Tarapaca), political stability was achieved, during the early years of the 1900s; until Augusto Leguía and his dictatorship arrived.