PerÚ - Foreign policy





In 2002, Toledo moved military bases along the border with Ecuador to the border with Columbia in response to evidence that the Colombian FARC movement had penetrated into Peru. In April 2002, Peru was one of seven Latin American countries at the annual meeting of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission to sponsor a resolution calling on Fidel Castro's government to grant Cuba's people human, civil, and political rights. Toledo has committed himself to making Peru a strong player in Latin American affairs.

In March 2002, U.S. president George W. Bush met with President Toledo to address questions of drug trafficking, terrorism, democracy, poverty, trade, and education. The two signed an agreement reintroducing the Peace Corps to Peru, after an absence of nearly 30 years. In July President Toledo joined Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in announcing $550,000 worth of aid from Gates's company to Peru to fund education and technology initiatives.

Regarding drug trafficking, in 1990 there were approximately 140,000 hectares (346,000 acres) devoted to coca cultivation in Peru. As of March 2002, there were approximately 34,000 hectares (84,000 acres) in coca cultivation. Toledo took a great deal of credit for this reduction, considering it a matter of national security. Again, in March 2002, as a result of President Bush's visit to Peru, the United States pledged $175 million in aid against drug-trafficking and Toledo and Bush negotiated to resume drug-interdiction flights to halt airborne shipments of drugs between Colombia and Peru.

A new challenge to the Toledo administration came from renewed terrorism. A bomb blew up across the street from the U.S. embassy in Lima killing nine people in March 2002. There were worries that it might have been the work of al-Qaeda, the Shining Path, or former supporters of Fujimori and Montesinos. Intelligence gathering had been difficult because Montesinos ordered most of the government's files to be burned before fleeing the country.

Peru is a member of the Andean Group (AG), formerly known as the Andean Common Market (ANCOM), (ANCOM), created in 1969 by leaders of Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. In November 1997, Peru joined the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Peru is a full member in good standing of a variety of international organizations, including the Organization of American States (OAS), and the United Nations.

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