Shining Path, Peruvian Armed Forces
Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
    Amerindian 45%, mestizo 37%, white 10%, black, Chinese 5%, other 3%
Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile
PERU - By 1994, President Fujimori was riding high.  The terrorist groups such as the MRTA and Shining Path that had plagued the country for so long were finally defeated. Combined with an economy in overdrive from large amounts of Japanese investment, it was inevitable that Peru would flex it’s muscles, especially over the long running border dispute with Ecuador.

What started out as a Low Intensity conflict against it's weaker neighbour quickly turned into bloody drawn-out conflict as Ecuador, backed by the EEC, dug in and resisted.  Over the next few years Peru struggled to claim some sort of victory from this increasingly expensive war.  As the cost of the war rose, Fujimori's Japanese backers began to melt away; he was quietly deposed in an army coup and further support for the war was sought from Colombia.

The Colombian cartels backed Peru in return for joining the South American Alliance and were able to broker a peace deal that strongly favoured Peru. Ecuador had to suffer the indignity of Peruvian (and Colombian) troops policing the peace. Under the Peruvian Junta, taxes were increased heavily to pay for the cost of the war, most of which flowed into Cartel coffers.  Police crackdowns became both more common and more brutal as the populace began to resent this.

When the 2nd South American conflict started, Peru was decisively thrown out of Ecuador by a combination of experienced US troops and a popular Ecuadorian uprising.  The costs to the Peruvian military were extensive.  A national draft was instituted to replace the large numbers of soldiers lost, but this had an unintended consequence.

The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), a Maoist terrorist organisation active in the 80s and 90s noted for it's brutality against both typical 'bourgeois’ institutional targets and against local peasant and union leaders. A combination of government action and local uprisings reduced it to little more than a local nuisance in the Ayacucho, Apurímac, and Huancavelica regions to the south of the capital, Lima.

During this time, however, it's once hard-line Maoist doctrines softened to reflect Deng Xio Ping's doctrine of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.  This approach had enabled modern China to accept some elements of capitalism as long as it didn't interfere with state control.  Shining Path’s ideological shift had made them more palatable to the population, as did their new support for land reform and peasant rights. Furthermore, the Senderistas had gathered a lot of support by opposing harsh taxes and now large numbers of young men fleeing to the mountains to avoid the draft swelled their ranks.

These recruits were being armed by large shipments of armaments supplied by the Chinese government in return for large quantities of cheap drugs (used to help finance it's own war against the insurgent MLC).  By 2007, unable to divert enough forces from the conflict in the north to defend itself, the Junta was forced to flee Lima towards the Colombian border.  No asylum was forthcoming in Columbia, as the Columbian cartels were satisfied with Shining Path’s promises to remain within the South American Alliance.  The junta was therefore forced to head towards Brazil.  Those parts of the Army not absorbed by either the Shining Path or the Cartels would eventually end up surviving on the Peru/Brazil border.

Shining Path continued to consolidate their hold on territory, the technological edge they received from China allowed them to minimise US incursions over the Peruvian border.  This allowed them to protect their arms shipments into Columbia.  With a powerful backer, and with the Cartels distracted by the war, Shining Path were able to force a more equal role in the Alliance.

Since the end of the war, Shining Path’s grip on the country has tightened. It's relationship with China has been cemented by its role as the main conduit for Chinese goods (mainly arms) into South America as well as being China's main supplier of Synthcoke.

Politically, there is still much support for them although those who dissent often disappear.  Militarily the leadership of Shining Path has shown little interest in invading its neighbours preferring its role arming the competing factions.  There is no guarantee that this will last.  Officially, the Peruvian Junta is still the recognized Government, but The Shining Path, tentatively backed by The South American Alliance, by far holds the majority of power in the country.

Due to the relations between between China and Peru, the country has become a popular place for Chinese government officials, criminal heads, and dignitaries, to vacation.  While Peru still boasts a tourist industry to the western world, most travel agencies and western governments caution heavily against it.  Kidnappings, assaults, and murders of American and European vacationers are all too common.  Multi-National corpporations, particularly Soy farming complexes and coffee exporters, are given relative immunity from this, probably due to the hefty bribes these corporations pay to both the Peruvian government and the Shining Path.  Machu Picchu is still the most popular attraction in Peru, attracting even western tourists, regardless of the dangers.

As the build-up to the 3rd S. Am war continues Peru does not seem to be taking any additional steps to protect itself despite it being an obvious target, but there have been sightings of Chinese subs off the coast

(Written by Bookwyrm, minor additions and edits by Deric Bernier)