Preconditions and Precipitants of Violence in Peru (PART 3/10)

Fragile StatePeru Social Movements

In Peru, as any other independency movement in Latin America, landlessness and class segregation marked the source of conflict and defiance against the Spanish crown and later on against the elites in power, interrupting the formation of the Peruvian state and staging a never ending institutional inability to response to social demands.

During the independence, and post-independence period the Peruvian government had informal structures that helped the elite to coexist with the population thus maintaining the dynamic of dominance and preventing state collapse despite rural conflicts; slowly transforming the regime and social fabric, notwithstanding the practical operation of government functions and its capability to provide basic civil conditions such as economic stability. However, peace, order and security where recurrently inhibited by elite groups [1].

Clientelism, corporatism and authoritarian political culture hindered democratic practice, encouraged radicalization of protest, mobilizations and the appearance of warring factions with considerable territorial control supports, which in terms of state stability and nation building premises, exhibits the inability of Peru to rebuild state-rural relations despite agrarian reforms, new constitution, organization of peasants and the working class [2].

To date, Peru ranks 92 on the Fragile State Index, and although President Humala has managed to show the private sector and foreign investors his willingness for structural reforms boosting transport, energy and water infrastructure projects; social movements will remain active throughout Peru demanding the government to answer their needs on political inclusion, freedom of expression, education, health care, economic development, social inclusion especially in Ayacucho and Apurimac –Sendero Luminoso stronghold- natural resources and indigenous rights over extractive industry projects in the Amazon basin.

Stay tuned 🙂



[1] Jackson, Robert H. “Surrogate Sovereignty? Great Power Responsibility and Failed States” Institute of International Relations, University of Columbia, 1998.

[2] Rothberg, Robert I. “The New Nature of Nation State Failure”, The Washington Quarterly, vol. 25 No.3 pages 85-96

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