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Peru Table of Contents


Transportation and Communications

Peru's transportation sector has deteriorated seriously since the mid-1970s. In 1990 the national railroad network, managed by the National Railway Enterprise (Empresa Nacional de Ferrocarriles--Enafer), totaled 1,884 kilometers, including 1,584 kilometers of standard gauge and 300 kilometers of narrow gauge track. The national railway network consists of two major systems. The Central Railroad, with approximately 512 kilometers open, runs from Callao to Lima to La Oroya to Huancayo (see fig. 10). The highest railroad in the world, it crosses the central Andes and connects with the Cerro de Pasco Railroad and the narrower gauge Huancayo-Huancavelica Railroad, which runs to the mercury mines at Huancavelica. The second major railway, the Southern Railroad, with 1,073 kilometers open, runs from Mollendo to Arequipa to Juliaca and Puno--crossing the southern Andes and serving as a major link with Bolivia--and from Juliaca proceeds in a northwestern direction to Cusco (Cuzco). In addition, the Southern Peru Copper Corporation operates 219 kilometers of track, including five tunnels totaling 27 kilometers. The García government had planned to electrify the railroad system and extend the Central and Southern railroads, but lack of funds delayed implementation of these plans.

Passenger train service--often more comfortable and quicker than bus service--existed on the following lines: Lima-La OroyaHuancayo , La Oroya-Cerro de Pasco, Huancayo-Huancavelica, Arequipa-Juliaca-Puno, Puno-Juliaca-Cusco, and Cusco-Machu picchu-Quillabamba. Lima's mass-transit electric train project has proceeded slowly.

A chronic lack of funds for road repair and construction has led to deterioration and, in places, disappearance of Peru's land transport infrastructure. Most of the high Sierra roads were narrow, unsurfaced, and subject to frequent landslides. In 1990 Peru's road system totaled almost 70,000 kilometers, including about 7,500 kilometers of paved roads, 13,500 kilometers of gravel, and 49,000 kilometers of unimproved earth. The most important highways are the paved Pan American Highway (2,495 kilometers), which runs southward from the Ecuadorian border along the coast to Lima and then south to Arequipa and Chile and is relatively well-maintained; the Inca Highway (3,193 kilometers), which runs from Piura to Puno; the Jungle Border Highway (la carretera marginal de la selva or la marginal), which extends 1,688 kilometers from Cajamarca to Madre de Dios Department; and the mostly paved Trans-Andean or Central Highway (834 kilometers), which runs from Lima to Pucallpa on the Río Ucayalí via La Oroya, Cerro de Pasco, Huánuco, and Tingo María.

By the mid-1980s, the Peruvian Army (Ejército Peruano--EP) had built 700 kilometers of a planned 2,000 kilometers of roads located mostly in frontier areas. Three of the sixteen road projects planned had been completed, and the thirteen other, longer roads were scheduled for completion in the 1990s. The Fujimori government expected to complete its ambitious US$300 million road-repair program by June 1994, more than a year earlier than it had expected. The program included repairs to 1,400 kilometers of the Pan American Highway and Central Highway and maintenance of 2,000 kilometers of the same roads.

Most shipping is through Lima's port of Callao. There are also seventeen deep-water ports, mainly in northern Peru-- including Salaverry, Pacasmayo, and Paita--and in the south, including the iron ore port of San Juan. River ports are located at Borja, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Puerto Maldonado, and Yurimaguas. The government's National Ports Enterprise (Empresa Nacional de Puertos--Enapu) administers all coastal, river, and lake ports. In 1990 Peru's merchant marine totaled twenty-nine ships, including sixteen cargo ships; one refrigerated cargo ship; one roll-on/roll-off cargo ship; three petroleum, oils, and lubricants tankers; and eight bulk cargo ships. In addition, eight naval tankers and one naval cargo ship were sometimes used commercially. Inland waterways totaled 8,600 kilometers of navigable tributaries of the Amazon system and 208 kilometers of Lake Titicaca. Although the Fujimori government did not plan to privatize Enapu, it invited tenders from private operators to run port operations.

Peru had 27 large transport aircraft and 205 useable airports in 1990, 36 of which had permanent-surface runways. Of the 205 airports, there were 2 with runways over 3,659 meters, 24 with runways 2,440 to 3,659 meters, and 42 with runways 1,220 to 2,439 meters. The principal international airport is Jorge Chávez International Airport near Lima. Other international airports are Colonel Francisco Secada Vigneta Airport, near Iquitos; the new Velasco Astete Airport at Quispiquilla, near Cusco; and Rodríguez Ballón Airport, near Arequipa.

The Fujimori government planned to privatize the flag air carrier, the Air Transport Company of Peru (Empresa de Transporte Aéreo del Perú--Aeroperú). Forty percent of Aeroperú was offered in 1991 to a qualified foreign airline, 20 percent to Peruvian investors, and 10 percent to the airline's personnel, with the state holding on to the remaining 30 percent. Aeroperú, which was in a very poor state in 1991, has operated both internal services and international routes to other Latin American countries and the United States. Other domestic airlines with routes to Miami were Airlines of Peru (Aeronaves del Perú) and the Faucett Aviation Company (Compañía de Aviación Faucett). A new domestic airline, Aerochasqui, based in Arequipa, operated flights to and from Lima and elsewhere in Peru.

Peru's telecommunications were fairly adequate for most requirements, although its telephone system was one of the least developed in Latin America. The country had a nationwide radio relay system; 544,000 telephones; 273 AM radio stations; no FM stations; 140 television stations; and 144 shortwave stations. Since 1988 Peru has utilized the Pan American Satellite (PAS-1) and two Atlantic Ocean Intelsat (International Telecommunications Satellite Organization) earth stations, with twelve domestic antennas. In the late 1980s, the government granted the Peruvian Telephone Company (Compañía Peruana de Teléfonos--CPT), serving the Lima-Callao area, permission to offer facsimile, telex, data transmission, international long-distance telephone, and cellular telephone service. However, in November 1991 the Fujimori government eliminated the state's telecommunications monopoly, saying that the CPT and the National Telecommunications Enterprise of Peru (Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones del Perú--Entelperú), responsible for telecommunications outside the Sima-Callao area, had impeded modernization and hurt consumers, especially in rural areas. The government also vowed to promote free competition in providing telecommunications services. It increased the capital of the CPT and Entelperú and offered a 40 percent stake in them to foreign bidders.

Data as of September 1992

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Peru Table of Contents