PERUVIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
WILLIAM L. FURLONG
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULIILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DECREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOsOIPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
William L. Furlong
To Juanita and Marlea
This study was undertaken in 1965 through 1966 while
I was serving as a research consultant with the Institute
of Public Administration of New York, I?A. The IPA team
is under contract with the U.S. Agency for International
Development, AID, which was engaged in a technical assis-
tance, research, and a training program with the govern-
ment employees in Peru. The host organization with which we
worked is the Oficina Ilacional de Racionalizaci6n y Capacitaci6n
de la Administraci6n Publica, OIIRAP.
I owe much to many people who gave their assistance,
cooperation, and support to this project. Dr. Harry Kantor,
Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida,
has been very helpful in giving his support to the project, in
his constructive criticisms, and in providing more insight to
the environment within which the study was elaborated and car-
Dr. Gladys M. Kammerer, Professor of Political Science
and Director of the Public Administration Clearing Service,
University of Florida, gave much of her time and effort in
helping to construct the conceptual framework and research
methodology through which the study was elaborated.
Dean Cresap and Allan Richards of IPA gave helpful sug-
gestions and assisted in many ways. To my colleagues, Sherman
Lewis and Daniel Figgins, I give my many thanks for the hours
spent discussing mutual problems and working through many of
them together. I am also deeply grateful to the ONRAP staff
as a whole, the secretaries who aided me in the typing that
had to be done and to Ingenlero Eduaro Urrutia for his sug-
gestions and help. Assistance was also given by Harry Ilunoz
Carro and Roberto Chocano. I am also grateful for the support
given by the President of OliRAP, Victor Miranda llieto.
Although the empirical research was performed while I
was working as a research consultant for IPA at OTIRAP,
and the project had the support and official sponsorship of
both, the statements made within and the interpretations
thereof, including all conclusions drawn, are my sole res-
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACK.E':ULE DG IENTS
LIST OF TABLES . . . . . .
LIST OF I-APS . . . . . .
I. INTRODUCTION: SCOPE AND METHOD
. . . . . vil
Literature . . . . .
Sco e . . . . . .
Conceptualization . . .
Methodology . . . .
THE PERUVIAN SCE'1E . . .
Geography . . . . . . . . .
Economy . . . . . . . . . .
Demography . . . . . . . . .
Culture and Socio-Economic Class . . . .
Politics . . . . . . . . . .
LI NA, BARRIADAS, AND IIMDIAN CO'MMUNIITIES
Li a . . .
Barriadas . . . . . . .
Indian Communities . . . . . .
. . 69
. . 70
. . 8a
V. HISTORY AND ELECTIONS . . . . . .
The Inca Period . . . . . . .
The Spanish-Colonial System . . . .
Period of Independence . . . . .
Impact of 1963 Elections on Local Government
Conclusions . . . . . . . .
V. CENTRALIZATION AiND THE PREFECTURAL SYSTEM .
National Government . . . . . .
Centralism and Autonomy . . . . .
Prefectural System . . . . . . .
Other National Institutions . . . .
. . . . 130
THE MAYOR-COUICIL SYSTEM .
VIII. FINANCES .
Change . .
IX. PERSOTINEL AND
Mayors . .
APPENDIX A . .
APPENDIX B . .
APPENDIX C . .
BIBLIOGRAPHY . .
... . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . . . . . . . . 273
LIST OF TABLES
Classification of Functions . . . .
Major Revenues . . . . . . .
Major Expenditures . . . . . .
Characteristics of Cities Studied . . .
Population, Area, and Density . . . .
Peruvian Exports: 1950, 1960, and 1965
Percentage of Population Increase
from 1940-1961 by Political Division . .
Cities of 30,000 Population or More . .
Population and National Income by
Departments and Regions 1960 . . .
Level of Education: 9 Years of Age and Over
Occupational Activity . . . . . .
Peru: Distribution of Registered
Industries 1955 . . . . . . .
Revenues of Peruvian Local Governments .
Years of Creation of Departments of Peru
Political Divisions in Peru . . . .
Structure of a Typical Provincial Council
Typical Provincial Council Assignments .
Political Comoetition and Conflict in
Councils . . . . . . . . .
Public External Functions and Services
of Local Government . . . .
7.2 National Government Institutions
Important on a Local Urban Level. . .
7.3 Councilmen's Opinions Concerning the
Central Government . . . . . .
7.4 Functions and Services of Local
Government . . . . . . . .
7.5 Councilmen's Opinions of Municipal
Financial Systems . . . . . .
7.6 Per Capita Revenues Compared with
Structure Concerned with Water and
Sewage Services . . . . . . .
7.7 Correlation Coefficients of Utility
Costs and Variables . . . . . .
7.8 Correlation Coefficients of Councils
Providing Physical Contribution to
Education . . . . . . . .
7.9 Correlation Coefficients of Councils'
Expenditures on Culture and Recreation
7.10 The Association of Selected Functions by
Council Number and the Geography Variable
8.1 Government Revenues and Expenditures . .
8.2 Percentage of Specific Revenues to Total
Revenues . . . . . .
8.3 Annual Commercial Tax Rates . . . .
8.4 Correlation Coefficients of Selected
Revenues and Variables . . . .
The Relationship Between Financial Support
from Outside Sources and Selected Variables
Relationship Between Geography and
Revenues by Ilumber of Cities . . . .
8.7 Percentage of Expenditure
to Total of Expenses . . . .
8.8 Expenditure by Function . . . .
8.9 Percentage of Total Expenditures
Spent on Maintenance Functions . .
8.10 Correlation Coefficients of Mayor
Expenditures and Selected Variables
8.11 Amount and Percentage of Revenue
Change for Selected Cities 1961-1966
8.12 Change in Total Revenues for Selected
Cities 1960-1966 . . . . .
9.1 Correlation Coefficients with Use
of Merit Devices . . . . .
9.2 Local Councilranic Attitudes Towards
Their Employees . . . . .
9.3 Local Councilmanic Attitudes Towards
Employee Salaries, Related to
Selected Variables . . . .
9.4 Education of Council Employees and
Laborers in the City of Cuzco
January, 1964 . . . . . .
S. . 252
* . 254
Departments of Peru . . . . . .
Location of Cities Studied . . .
INTRODUCTION: SCOPE AND METHOD
The form, structure, and procedures of Peruvian local
government have developed over a long period of time. Some
of the roots extend back to the Roman Empire; others to the
indigenous Inca Empire. Recent developments, however, have
had a great impact upon local governmental structure and
procedures in Peru. These developments have influenced pro-
cedures as well as attitudes, which because of their possible
lasting impact have created a need for greater understanding
and more knowledge with respect to local government.
This study is designed to partially fill this need.
First this study will examine the history of local government
and define some of the changes which have taken place recently.
Then the structures, services, finances, and personnel of
local government will be studied in order to ascertain what
differences might exist between and among various cities and
towns. These differences will be analyzed in relationship to
a number of predetermined variables in an effort to identify
to what extent relationships exist between the variables and
the variations involved.
The wealth of material on local government and the
studies made about local government have increased profusely
over the past decade. New methodologies have been designed,
tested, and later disputed. Different models have been
developed using diverse approaches and examining various
topics. One of the most important models is the elite or
power structure model of local government, which attempts to
determine how political power and influence are distributed
within a community.
Since Floyd Hunter wrote Community Power Structure.
many studies of local power elites have been developed and
written. At least three major findings have resulted from
these studies. Hunter's thesis was that a monolithic power
elite controlled the local government he studied. In contrast,
Robert Dahl2 found a pluralistic power structure in which
specialized groups influenced local government decisions and
activities in specific issue areas, but the groups were not
necessarily competitive. A third group of studies exist like
Men at the Top3 and The Urban Political Community,4 both of
which found some communities to have monolithic and some
pluralistic power structures, but in the pluralistic towns,
Floyd Hunter, Community Power Structure (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1953).
2Robert A. Dahl, Who Governs? (New Haven: Yale Univer-
sity Press, 1961).
3Robert Presthus, Men at the Top (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1964).
4Gladys M. Kammerer, et al., The Urban Political Com-
munity (Boston: Houghton Niffln Co., 1963).
the researchers found that the different groups are highly
competitive in a variety of areas. In this latter finding
they differ from Dahl. Other later and more tightly conceived
studies in this field include Community Influentials1 and
The Rulers and the Ruled.2
In contrast to determining the power structure by the
method of correlating official position with power position
as has been done traditionally, or through the method of
relying on panels of judges who Identify a power position on
the basis of reputation, as did Hunter, the principal and
currently widely accepted method utilized in the identifica-
tion of political power holders is through both ascriptive
methods and the examination of the decision making process and
its participants. The studies utilizing the latter method
are concerned with who the actors are and what their amount
of participation and scope of activity is in the making of
decisions. Important among the studies which concentrate
more on the decision making process are City Managers in
Politics by Kammerer, et al.,3 The Urban Political Community
by the same authors, Political Restructuring of a Community
1Kent M. Jennings, Community Influentials (New York:
Free Press, 1964).
2Robert Agger, Daniel Goldrich, and Bert Swanson, The
Rulers and the Ruled (New York: John Wiley and Sons,Inc., 1964),
3Gladys M. Kammerer, et al., City Managers in Politics
(Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida Press, 1962).
4Kammerer, et al., The Urban Political Community.
by Ruth McQuown, et al.,l and Decisions in Syracuse by
Roscoe C. Martin, et al.
But one of the most important studies that effectively
utilized these varied approaches rather than relying upon
one method, and does so on a comparative basis, is The Rulers
and the Ruled. The purpose of their study is:
. primarily concerned with how the people decide
to shift or maintain the scope . of local govern-
ment in respect to the economic, social, and welfare
systems of communities. It is also meant to provide
an understanding of political decisions concerning the
organization of government itself. The structure of
power and type of regime, and how the rulers relate
to each other and to the ruled in making decisions.
The relations are of concern both at a moment in
time and over a period of time.3
This study is a monumental one in the field. It attempts to
examine those stated relationships not only among and between
four different communities, but it also carries out the
analyses over an extended period of time. So rather than
obtaining a single case study in a "snap-shot" time period,
it extends both through time and space.
The aforementioned study, as well as many others com-
pleted in the United States, represent major contributions to
the field of knowledge of local politics within the United
States. These approaches, however, have been of limited
adaptability for the purposes of this study of the Peruvian
1Ruth McQuown, et al., Political Restructuring of a
Community (Gainesville, Fla.: Public Administration Clearing
2Roscoe C. Martin, Decisions in Syracuse (Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, 1962).
3Agger, et al., o cit., p. 2.
scene. The difficulty in implementing an approach similar to
these in Peru is primarily due to a lack of published, des-
criptive, and analytical material, plus the lack of necessary
statistics. A review of the literature available about local
government in Peru will indicate the state of the information
There are a number of good books and articles In the
field of local government in developing nations and in Latin
America, but few of them discuss the structure, functions, or
finances of Peruvian local governments. One example of these
very general books is Samuel Humes and Eileen M. Martin's book
Structure of Local Governments. This book deals in a very
general way with local government structures throughout the
world, but has nothing in it directly relating to Peru. The
Latin American countries treated in this survey are: Brazil,
Ecuador, Colombia, and El Salvador.
An excellent book in the field of local government in
developing countries is Harold F. Alderfer's Local Government
in Developing Countries. Although this book does mention
Peru in some of the examples, there is nothing that goes into
any depth on the current condition and structures of local
An example of a book concerning Latin American local
Samuel Humes and Eileen M. Martin, Structure of Local
Governments (The Hague: International Union of Local Authori-
2Harold F. Alderfer, Local Government in Developing
Countries (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1964).
government is Philip Hauser's Urbanization in Latin America,
but like many others that deal with Latin American urbaniza-
tion, it discusses specific social, cultural, and economic
problems without giving any depth to one of the major
institutions involved in the solutions of these problems--
local government. Other examples of similar studies can
readily be found.2
The study made by Orrin E. Klapp and Vincent Padgett
on Tiajuana3 is a more specialized study. It indicates that
the Floyd Hunter model and methodology were not applicable to
a study of elite influence in that city. This may be true of
many other Latin American cities.
An elite study (not yet published) was recently finished
by Delbert Miller in Lima, Peru. Another study of structure
and functions of Lima local government is in process, but
nothing is available yet. This latter study is being made by
A number of articles and books are also available on
Peruvian local government, but most of them are concerned with
1Philip Hauser, Urbanization in Latin America (New York:
International Documents Service, 1961).
Jaime Dorselaer and Alfonso Gregory, La Urbanizaci6n
en America Latina (B6gota: Centro Internal de Investigaciones
Sociales de FERES, 1962); Charles Haar, "Latin America's
Troubled Cities," Foreign Affairs, CLI (April,1963), 536-549;
Francine Rabinovitz, Felicity Trueblood, and Charles Savio,
Latin American Political Systems in an Urban Setting: A
Preliminary Bibliography (Gainesville, Fla.: University of
Florida Press, 1967).
30rrin E. Klapp and Vincent Padgett, "Power Structure
and Decision-Making in a Mexican Border City,"American Journal
of Sociology, LXV (January, 1960), 400-406.
purely legal aspects of local government with little atten-
tion given to what functions are actually being performed by
local councils. An exception to this is Volume XXIII of the
Plan Regional para el Desarrollo del Sur del Perd. This
volume deals with functions and structure of local government
in southern Peru, but is somewhat superficial. It is also
outdated as the basic relationship between local and central
governments has changed since it was written. It is weak
because it concentrates mainly on functions that are performed
by agencies of the national government, such as education and
Another work that has been useful is Legislaci6n Admin-
istrativa: Municipalidades. This book, although mainly
legalistic, does cover in depth the legal basis for nearly all
the functions presently being performed at the local level.
The two-volume work was quite useful in preparation of the
list of functions given on page twenty, and also some of the
amplification of services found in Chapter VIII.
A number of other books (listed in the bibliography)
are either too formalistic or legalistic to be used for more
than just basic reference material, or they are involved polem-
ics on why a new law for local government is needed, or they
are concerned with other topics not closely related to the
1Plan Regional para el Desarrollo del Sur del Perd, Vol.
XXIII: Funciones y Medios de Gobierno Local (Lima,Perd, 1959);
also Vol. XVIII: Desarrollo Urbano (Lima, Perd, 1959).
2Lufs Alberto Dongo Denefri and Benjamfn Chirinos Pacheco,
Legislaci6n Administrative: Municipalidades, I (Arequipa, Perd:
Editorial Universitario, 1962), also Vol. II (1964).
design of this study. Some are concerned with basic social
problems, but do not tie the municipality in with their quest
There is another separate and distinct group that dis-
cusses local government, but in a different sense. These are
the anthropological or sociological case studies of particular
cities, towns, villages, or small areas. Three of the most
helpful works among these are Richard Adams' A Community in
the Andes: Problems and Progress in Muqueyauyo, Hualcan: Life
in the Highlands of Peru by William W. Stein, and Moche: A
Peruvian Coastal Community by John Gillin.3 These are useful
books in their field, as are many others, but they say little
that is directly related to local government except in a very
Allan Austin did some preliminary work in the field of
Peruvian local government which is valuable as a basic
introduction to the structure and functions of Peruv1in local
government. This study did, in a sense, provide the point of
departure for some of the emphasis of the present study.
After a detailed examination of the subject, this author
discovered that there is very little printed information in
1Richard Adams, A Community in the Andes: Problems and
Progress in Muqueyauyo (Seattle: University of Washington
William W. Stein, Hualcan: Life in the Highlands of
Peru (Ithica, New York: Cornell University Press, 1961).
john Gillin, Moche: A Peruvian Coastal Community
(Washington,D. C.: Smithsonian Institute, 1945).
Allan Austin, Local Government in Peru (New York:
Institute of Public Administration, 1964).
existence, in either Spanish or English, with respect to
what local governments in Peru actually do, how they do it,
and the inter-relationships between the local and the national
levels of government that exist today. This lack of published
material made early research plans and projects for this
project difficult to design and organize. Because the infor-
mation was lacking on such a basic level, the author decided
that a search for material in this area would be valuable and
useful at this time, and would prepare a base for future
studies that might examine political influence and power.
Peruvian governmental agencies are broadly classified
into three major categories; the national government, the
independent public sector, and the local governments. This
generally accepted categorization, which is used by most
government agencies in Peru, is acceptable for the purposes
of this study. The national sector includes the legislative,
executive, and judicial branches, plus the electoral agencies.
The independent public sector includes national independent
agencies, government industries and businesses, regulatory
commissions, welfare agencies, and some developmental agencies.
The local government sector is divided into three political
levels. The largest are the departments, which are then sub-
divided into provinces, which are in turn subdivided into
Local government officials can be classified into two
categories--political and elective. The political category
refers to prefectural officers, who are under the jurisdiction
of the Ministry of Government in the national government
sector. The elective category refers to the officials elected
as mayors and councilmen according to recently adopted legal
provisions.1 The former has an hierarchical set of officers
beginning at the departmental level and extending down to a
subdistrict level, whereas the latter has only popularly
elected officials at the provincial and district levels.
The system of local government in Peru is different
from both the Anglo-American system and the French system.2
Titles and terms tend to be a bit confusing, as the Peruvian
terminology has been adopted from both of the two foreign
systems. In order to clarify the situation, the following
explanation is given.
Before 1963, the mayors and councilmen formed an inte-
gral part of the prefectural system adopted from France in
1872. The mayor was appointed and controlled by prefectural
officers, and councilmen, in turn, had little independence,
as they were completely subjected to the will of the mayors.
The prefectural-council situation was altered through the
introduction of local elections in 1963. The prefectural
The terms used in Spanish are: Alcalde = Mayor, Consejo=
Council. The structure, however, is more closely related to a
commission-type of local government. The author has chosen
to use the titles of council and councilmen instead of commis-
sion and commissioners in this study to be closer to the
Spanish meaning of the titles.
2As defined by Alderfer, op. cit., pp. 3-7.
officers continue to be appointed through the central govern-
ment, while mayors and councilmen are now popularly elected
and are outside the control and jurisdiction of prefectural
Since the 1963 elections, the prefectural system has
lost much of its power, influence, and functions. It still
administers the national police and has effective jurisdiction
in urban and rural areas. The mayors and councilmen have as-
sumed the major role in local affairs but exercise little
effective jurisdiction or control over rural areas. Thus the
prefectural officers are much different from those of France.
Councilmen are also distinct from their counterpart in the
United States, as they are more like the elected commissioners
in the commission form of government which has almost disap-
peared in the United States, and should not be equated with
the meaning of the term "councilmen" as is currently used in
the United States.
It is the council system that is known in Peru as the
government of the municipalidad or municipio. Thus, most
studies of "municipal government" in Peru discuss the
municipalidad or the mayor-council system and not the pre-
fectural one. The term municipalidad, or local government,
should not be confused with the concept of a city or town
government in the United States. For example, services and
functions are different, usually in a more restricted sense
for the Peruvian municipio, and the municiplo has less inde-
pendence from the central government than does a city or town
in the United States from the federal government, or for that
matter, from the state governments. The Peruvian munlcioalidad
must rely on the central government in many areas, yet is more
independent than those in many other contemporary unitary states.
Because agencies of the three major sectors of the
government function on local levels, and because of vagueness
in laws and overlapping jurisdictions, there can be some
confusion as to which units constitute local government. For
this reason a restrictive definition of local government has
been adopted for this study. Local government is defined as
those governments with less than national territorial juris-
diction into which a nation is divided (this excludes the
central government), which possess general public powers and
provides a general group of services (this excludes local of-
fices or field units of the central government and the indenen-
dent public sector that operates on the local level in specific
services such as education or health), and are responsible to
a local electorate (this excludes the prefectural system
which has general powers but is responsible to central govern-
ment officials). In this manner, local government in Peru is
that which is directed and administered by the councils
elected on the provincial and district levels. This defini-
tion will be confined to the particular Peruvian situation.
For use in other areas it would need some broadening, parti-
cularly with respect to responsibility of local officials to
a local electorate. However, for the purposes of this study,
the author considered it necessary to include this provision
so as to exclude the prefectural system.
Local government does not work in a vacuum. It is
closely related to the national governmental system and is
influenced and controlled to a large extent by it. This is
why some effort will be made to describe the prefectural
system and its relationships with the mayor-council system.
Relationships with other governmental agencies and their
responsibilities on a local level will also be examined as
they relate to the variables examined here.
All local governments in Peru operate under a uniform
national law of municipalities adopted in 1892 and are there-
fore all structured in a similar manner. But in spite of the
sameness; the services, local structure adaptations, and finan-
ces vary considerably from city to city. The purpose of this
study is to examine these differences in an attempt to identify
the influence that the following variables might have in
determining these differences,and to search for patterns of
these variables that are influential concerning the existent
differentiations. The following paragraphs define and describe
those independent variables considered important and as
Size of population. The size of the urban provincial
population will be used, except in district capitals where
the urban district population figures will be used. The
larger area is used because nearly all population figures are
calculated on a provincial basis. Although some exactness is
lost in this larger figure, it is still considered to be signi-
ficant by the author as the provincial councils have formal
jurisdiction over the entire province, their revenue base
includes the entire province, and they are elected by the
Age groups. Age levels will be divided Into four
groups: pre-school, 0-5 years; school and generally pre-
employment, 6-19 years; employment years, 20-65 years of age;
and post-employment, retirement, or more inactive years, over
65 years of age.
Economically active poDulation. This variable includes
the number of people employed within a specific occupational
category. These include: agriculture, forestry, and fishing;
mining and quarries; manufacturing; construction; electricity,
gas, water, and other such services; commerce; transportation
and communications; and services including domestics.
Growth rates. The comparison of 1940 population figures
with those of 1961, in order to determine the rate of growth
over a twenty-one year period, will be made.
Density. The data used to create the numerical values
of this variable are less exact than in the variables above be-
cause city size is not uniformly defined and reliable surveys
are lacking. Data were not available for all of the communities.
In spite of these deficiencies, the variable will be considered.
Income level. Because annual income in scles is avail-
able only at a departmental level, rather tran for each
individual community, the values of this variable are not
very exact. However, as this variable may be significant,
it at least merits consideration.
Urban low income groups. The relevance of this figure
will be determined through the use of the following indicators:
low literacy rates, poor housing, large number of occupants
per unit dwelling, and a high percentage of laborers as com-
pared with others, i.e., white collar workers and employers.
Literacy. This variable includes two sets of data:
first, the number of persons over seventeen years of age who
are literate, and second, the number of school age children
(six-sixteen) who are literate.
Indian population. This variable is derived from the
number of people in a community who speak an Indian language
rather than Spanish. Professor Rowe stated that language was
the best indicator of this ethnic group. The number of per-
sons using honchos, chewing coca, and not wearing shoes were
also to have been used as indicators, but the author never
obtained this data.
Job competition and demands. The indicators for this
variable are: large city size, low literacy rates, low level
of per capital income, and a high percentage of economic
Company towmn. The urban land in some communities is
John Howland Rowe, "The Distribution o' Indians and
Indian Languages in Peru," Geographical Review, ::V::JII
(April, 1947), 214.
practically all owned by a single company, which,at the same
time, employs most of the non-agriculturally occupied popu-
lation. This type of a community will be labeled a "company
Constitutional level. This factor involves the poli-
tical division of the nation into sub-units. The classifi-
cation includes three categories; provincial capitals which
are also departmental capitals, provincial capitals which are
not departmental capitals, and district capitals.
Political complexion. The election figures of the 1963
municipal elections will be used to determine the political
complexion. Two major groups were involved, but in some lo-
calities independent groups were strong, and in a few cities
these independent groups won over both the AP-DC coalition and
the APRA-UNO coalition candidates. For use with correlation
coefficients, this variable will be considered on a high-
low scale. The lower end of the scale will be associated
with low affiliation with the party in control, or the Presi-
dent's party, the AP-DC coalition. The upper end of the
scale will indicate greater strength of the AP-DC over the
APRA-UNO coalition or over independent political groups.
Region. This word is sometimes used to refer to zones
delineated by groups of similar ethnic composition or pre-
dominant economic activities, but since reliable data on
these two factors are not available, region in a geographic
sense will be used. For example, it is generally known that
most of the nation's Indian communities are located in the
sierra, that most of the plantation agriculture is on the
coast, and that most of the mining activities are in the
sierra, etc. But since reliable statistics are unavailable,
the following geographical regions which are more easily
defined and identified will be considered. The three cate-
gories are: coast, sierra, and selva or rain forest.
Types of mayors. This factor is a subjective classi-
fication by the researcher, judged through observation and
unstructured interview questions. It consists of the follow-
ing categories: 1) Strong mayor: a mayor who generally runs
the council. The council passes his resolutions and follows
his lead. Councilmen and employees defer highly to him. 2)
Average mayor: this man is stronger than any single council-
man, but he is subject to overriding votes and deference is
average, not high. 3) Weak mayor: the council in this
situation provides most of the initiative. The mayor's will
is subject to constant revision and subjection to that of the
council. In addition to these three categories, two varia-
tions exist within the average and weak categories based upon
the mayor's reaction to the political situation. In some
cases, an average or weak mayor may partially withdraw from
mayoral activity and become "passive." In extreme cases he
may withdraw completely and become "inactive." In the case of
the latter, he performs none of his municipal duties or
The following dependent variables: cent-al government
funds, per capital revenues, property taxes, and commercial
taxes are also used as independent variables in specific
hypotheses. These variables will be more extensively defined
when they are examined as dependent factors in the text of
Structures and Functions
The term function as used in this study should not be
confused with the more general and broader term used by
Talcott Parsons1 and Almond and Coleman.2 The word function,
as they use it, is an activity that is present in all socie-
ties although it is not always performed by similar struc-
tures. The term, as used in this paper, is more specific
and more limited in meaning. It entails a service or a pro-
gram in this case, characteristic of a local government. It,
unlike the more general term, is not always performed within
a given community.
Peru has a long history of centralization of political
power and control, although attempts have been made several
times during its history to establish locally elected councils
and viable local governments. For various reasons, however,
these attempts have failed and the central government has re-
tained tight control of much local activity. In the past,
when pressures developed for the resolution of problems,the
1Talcott Parsons, Structures and Process in Modern Socie-
ties (New York: Free Press, 1959).
Gabriel Almond and James Coleman, The Politics of the
Developing Areas (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1960),
solution to which normally could be considered local in
nature, this responsibility was shifted to the central govern-
ment or a special agency or authority as the case might be,
rather than to strengthen the local capacity for coping with
the problem. This was especially true in the case of primary
education, housing, public health, and police protection.
In 1963, when local elections were held for the first
time in over forty years, an attempt to reverse this trend was
begun. Since then, certain important revenues have been
returned to the municipalities, and more emphasis is being
given to decentralization instead of further centralization.
Little is really known and even less is published on the
functions of local government. Without a knowledge of the
styles, structures, and functions of local government, it
will be difficult to measure the effectiveness of this de-
centralization program and nearly impossible to predict what
may happen when new and greater attempts are made to further
decentralize administration, power, and authority. The pre-
sent study should provide some of this important information.
Because local functions are performed by a variety of
agencies, including the national ministries, public and private
entities, and the municipalities themselves; it will first be
necessary to choose which functions are to be examined and
then to discover which agencies are involved in the perfor-
mance of these functions. The following table is the compila-
tion of the major functions described in the Municipal
Organic Law of 1892, those summarized in Allan Austin's
report on Peruvian local government,1 those outlined by
Robert Wood In 1400 Governments, and those identified in
the Toronto Study by Rodman T. Davis.3
CLASSIFICATION OF FUNCTIONS
Fire prevention and
Activity or Description
Provide and maintain libraries,
museums, and historical sites;
promote arts, sciences, and
Provide and maintain municipal
schools, promote and build other
schools, promote education.
Provide public street and park
lighting, provide private
electricity, promote private or
central government activity for
the provision of private elec-
Perform property evaluations,
tax collections, utility costs
collections, bonds and loans.
Promote volunteer fire depart-
Promote low cost housing pro-
jects and subdivision construc-
tions, regulate and license
Maintain relations with agencies
of the central government and
with other local governments.
Austin, loc. cit.
2Robert Wood, 1400 Governments (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, 1961).
Rodman T. Davis, Toronto Study (New York: Institute
of Public Administration, 1965).
TABLE 1.1 CONTINUED
Promotion and regulation
of private business
Activity or Description
Provide legal defense and
prosecution where the council
is a party to a dispute, be it
private, or intermunicipal, or
Provide and administer public
markets, slaughter houses,
special markets feriass);
control of weights, prices, and
speculation; food provision.
Enforce local rules and ordinan-
ces, cooperate with national
Promote industrial parks and pro-
vide incentives to induce the
establishment of new industries,
zoning, control of public adver-
tising space, licensing of new
constructions, promote tourism.
Insure pure food, drinks, and
drugs for public consumption;
regulate and inspect sanitation
in bars, restaurants, and hotels;
provide health certificates for
food handlers; promote construc-
tion of hospital and medical
Communicate to the public the
activities and projects ac-
complished by the council and
the reasons for taking the
positions that it does.
Regulate and promote private
companies, provide public trans-
Promote, aid, and cooperate with
public and private welfare
agencies; provide special welfare
projects; construct and maintain
TABLE 1.1 CONTINUED
Function Activity or Description
Recreation and sports Provide and maintain parks,
plazas, playing fields, stadiums,
bull fight rings; regulate
theaters and arenas.
Street cleaning and Clean the streets, collect and
garbage disposal dispose of garbage.
Streets, roads, and Build and maintain streets and
transport roads, promote the constructions
of airport and port facilities.
Traffic regulation Regulate direction and flow of
traffic, maintain semaphores,
cross walks, and signs.
Vital statistics Keep and maintain birth, mar-
riage, death, and divorce
records and provide the public
with copies of these records
Water and sewage Construct and maintain water
and sewage systems.
This classification of functions is used rather than a
more categorical one as could be derived from the tables
used by Agger, et al.1 or such general studies as Austin
Ranney's. The classifications that these men have made, al-
though more useful conceptually, are difficult to use in the
present study on the Peruvian scene. The more specific
classification is used here in order to utilize with more
facility, local government budgets, personnel classifications,
and interview data.
Agger, et al., loc. cit.
Austin Ranney, The Governing of Men (rev. ed.; New
York: Bolt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc., 1966), p. 532.
Concentrated attention will be paid to a special group
of functions. Among these will be the internal system of
personnel and the external functions of tax collection,
municipal police enforcement, markets and related activities,
and capital improvement and development projects. These were
chosen because the author holds that these are the activities
that consume most of the efforts, time, and money of the
municipality. Other reasons will be given as each function
is identified and discussed later in this study.
There are many structures and levels that fulfill the
functions that are considered to be traditionally local in
nature. Especially important, in addition to the municipali-
ties themselves, are the agencies of the national government
sector and those of the independent public sector.
The national government sector includes twelve minis-
tries of the executive branch, many of which have decentralized
offices throughout the country. The General Office of the
National Police, which is a part of the Ministry of Government,
is highly decentralized and is a central part of the pre-
fectual system. The Ministry of Justice and the electoral
branch are also decentralized. The Independent Public Sector,
which is made up of over 250 entities, also has many decen-
tralized offices and agencies that may carry out a specific
Private businesses and service organizations are also
important in carrying out certain local types of functions.
This is especially-true with relation to public transportation,
electricity, and private schools. In the past, it was of
great importance in the tax collecting aspect, but today
more and more municipalities are collecting their own taxes.
The tax collection company is still important in some areas,
however. Voluntary organizations are especially important in
the field of fire control. All local fire departments are
composed of voluntary firemen This is a prestige position
in many cities and to become a member is an honor sought by
members of the community.
Structures that perform those functions that are
treated in depth will be examined in some detail. Those
structures related to other functions will be mentioned,
but they will not be treated in the same manner and some will
merely be mentioned. Local government structure will be
examined in detail with some of Alderfer's concepts in mind.
Under his classification of local government systems, Peru is
considered to have followed the French pattern. Of this
pattern, Alderfer states:
In summary, French local government is char-
acterized by centralization, chain of command,
hierarchical structure, executive domination, and
legislative subordination. We shall find these
in some relative degree in all local governments
that have followed the French pattern.1
The degree to which the Peruvian system resembles this model
will be examined.
The style is the pattern of activity by which a
structure performs a function. The categories for this
variable will be different with each function.
1Alderfer, op. cit., p. 7.
Hypotheses examining the specific structures, styles,
and functions and their relationship to the independent
variables are given below:
S-1. If per capital revenues are low, or the com-
munity is a company town, then there will be
a tendency to turn the basic services of water,
sewage, and garbage collection over to private
structures or to agencies of the central
S-2. If per capital revenues are low and size is
small (under 5,000), and Indian population
is high, then there will be a tendency not to
provide the above services.
S-3. If communities have low literacy rates and/or a
high percentage of the population in the age
group of five through seventeen, or a high
Indian population, then they will have an
increasing tendency to give physical support
S-4. As the size of cities increase and literacy
rates are higher, there will be a tendency to
support various forms of recreational and
cultural activities, such as museums, municipal
theaters, bands, etc.
In order that the governmental structures perform their
desired functions, basic resources are necessary. Those of
finances and personnel will be explored in this study. Fred
Riggs points out that most local officials in developing
countries have insufficient funds to finance their activities.
This, he writes, is in contrast to developed nations where
over the years local governments have spent as much or more
1Fred Riggs, Administration in Developing Countries
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1964), p. J39.
than some national governments. This same situation is
discussed by Harold F. Alderfer.2 He states as one of his
major assumptions or essentials of local finance in develop-
ing nations, that there is an ". . extremely small portion
of total public income that finds its way into local treasur-
ies to be used for local public purposes . .
Local finances will be one of the central issues
examined in this study. A number of assumptions as well as a
number of hypotheses concerning local finances will be tested.
Some of the basic assumptions of Alderfer and Riggs will be
compared to the Peruvian situation to test their relevence
The literature on Peruvian public finance leaves much
to be desired. A few sources discuss the legal sources of
local council revenues, but give little or no attention to
what is really collected and what the relative values are.
The situation is also in a period of change due to the changes
that have been implemented since 1963. The most informative
study to date on the subject is the Plan Regional para el
Desarollo del Sur del Perd, which, as has been previously
stated, is hopelessly out of date. Even the Central Reserve
Bank, which publishes the only nationwide figures on local
government revenues, is quite uncertain about the validity of
lIbid., p. 367.
2Alderfer, op. cit., p. 149.
many of their own figures.1
Peruvian local governments obtain their revenues from
a variety of taxes and fees. The following table of revenues
and expenditures includes a brief description of those that
are particularly germane to the major assumptions and hypothe-
ses that will be tested within this study.
Source of Revenue
Tax on value of urban and rural
property or income derived from
Tax on capital worth of busi-
nesses or on income of pro-
Monies obtained from stall rental
in markets, fees for licenses to
obtain such stalls, tax on
liquor by the drink, fees for the
control of weights and measures,
and fees for slaughter house
and refrigeration services.
Universal set rate grant to all
local councils, grants from
specific government agencies for
specific local purposes, and
This is a special category of the
above. Special ear-marked allo-
cations are made from specific
national government revenues,
especially from customs duties.
Interview with Richard Webb, Bank Official, on March
TABLE 1.2 CONTINUED
Source of Revenue
Rentals of municipal
Utilities and related
Includes rent from buildings.
and property belonging to the
town, and in some cities, the
sale of such property is also
Fees for public lighting,
street cleaning, garbage
collection, maintenance of
parks and also includes costs
collected for extensions of
water and sewer systems, side-
walks, and such.
Various licenses, entertainment,
transit, vital statistics, and
cemeteries taxes, and fines.
Type of Expenditure
Public works and plans
Outlays on public works pro-
jects and capital improvements
as well as feasibility plans.
Includes salaries to both
white-collar workers (empleados)
and laborers (obreros), social
security, overtime, and other
The cost to the council for the
provision of the following
services; garbage collection,
street cleaning, park maintenance,
public street lighting, water
and sewer systems, and vital
TABLE 1.3 CONTINUED
Type of Expenditure Description
Operation expenses Includes material and service
expenses not covered in the
above, including internal
Education For building or maintaining
schools, providing scholarships,
and other scholastic incentives.
Others Includes commissions, grants,
grants to district councils,
debts, and uncollected bills.
A financial breakdown by individual functions is
attempted where possible, using a similar classification as
is used with the services.
In connection with the previous lists of local
revenues, the following hypotheses will be tested:
R-la. If two or more of the following are present:
a large percentage of the population under
nineteen years, a high percentage of economi-
cally inactive population, a low level of in-
come, or a small municipal size; then per capital
revenues will be low.
R-lb. If population growth is high and a high per-
centage of urban lower economic class people
come to live in the community, then low per
capital revenues will result.
R-2. As communities increase in size, literacy,
and income levels, a higher per capital revenue
from property taxes and commercial taxes will
R-3. As size and density increase, revenues from
municipal markets and related activities will
R-4. Because of governmental and legal aspects, if
communities are on higher constitutional levels,
they will realize greater total per capital
revenues, higher per capital property tax re-
venues, and greater financial support from public
R-5. If the AP-DC political coalition (the President's
party) is politically dominant locally, then
support for public works projects, when central
government aid is solicited, will come through
the executive branch, i.e., the public works
boards or Cooperaci6n Popular.
R-6. If the APRA-UNO political coalition (the majority
group in the legislature) is dominant locally,
then such public works projects will be sup-
ported by funds derived from "parliamentary
The following basic assumptions of Alderfer and Riggs
will also be examined: 1) that a large percentage of local
revenues are derived from national subsidies and loans, 2)
that many local taxes will be collected by national agencies,2
3) that the national government will have broad controls over
every phase of local finance, including budgeting, auditing,
spending, tax levying, and tax collecting,3 4) that the most
important local tax will be imposed on real property, and 5)
that taxes due will not be collected.5
The expenditures listed also lead to a survey of the
relationships between them and the independent variables
previously listed. The following hypotheses will be tested:
Alderfer, loc. cit.
4Riggs, op. cit., p. 369.
E-l. Where per capital property taxes are high and/or
insignificant financial support comes from
central government sources, then the munici-
pality will invest a high percentage of its
revenues in public works and capital investment
E-2. If per capital revenues are low, then the muni-
cipality will spend a high percentage of its
revenues on salaries for its employees and
laborers, and the mejor portion of what remains
will be spent on the basic services of water,
sewage, garbage collection, and civil register
(or vital statistics records).
E-3. If communities have low literacy rates and/or a
high percentage of the population between the
ages of five through nineteen, and a high
Indian population, then they will have an increas-
ing tendency to spend money on education.
Other financial data will be included, but in a more
descriptive manner. They will be examined in order to fill
present gaps on the subject of local finances. Important local
revenues and expenditures would be ignored if only those
financial data are included that have a direct relationship to
these aforementioned hypotheses and assumptions.
Personnel and Administration
One of the basic problems in most developing nations is
the low level of the quality of local government employees.
According to Alderfer, there is always a shortage of com-
petent, skilled technicians, and qualified administrators.1
This problem is the result of various causes. Much of the
problem can be identified with the methods of recruitment used
and the salaries and rewards that such service offers. Beyond
this, there is the general problem of a shortage of educated
1Alderfer, op. cit., p. 182.
personnel for all the needs that an emerging nation acquires.
The subject of personnel will be examined in this study
from the standpoint of number of employees, recruitment,
training, and attitude. Four methods of recruitment will be
explored: 1) achievement, through use of some comparative quali-
tative devices, 2) attainment, through partial use of merit
combined with familiar ties, 3) ascriptive, through familiar
ties almost exclusively, and 4) simple random or lottery
choice. Attitudes towards employees held by councilmen will
be examined with respect to efficiency, initiative, dedication,
compliance, and activity. Attitudes concerning salaries
will also be explored.
Hypotheses arising from these examinations are:
P-1. Because of more competition and demands for
jobs, large cities with low literacy rates, low
income levels, or a high percentage of economic
inactives will tend to use merit tests for
hiring municipal employees.
P-2. If cities have high literacy rates and high
business tax revenues (which shows a high level
of professionalism), then they will have
employees with more than a low level of initia-
P-3. If cities have high per capital municipal income,
then they will offer salaries considered above
low or minimum.
Assumptions to be checked include the following sug-
gestions by Fred Riggs: 1) the quality of local government
employees is considered to be relatively low, 2) employee
appointments, promotions, and rewards are for political service
1Riggs, op. cit., pp. 371-372.
and personal loyalty rather than performance and merit, 3)
local councils will pay salaries that are considered to be
relatively low in comparison with those of the business com-
munity, and 4) these problems are aggravated due to over-
staffing and lack of useable equipment in local government
The question now at hand is how are all of these data
to be obtained and compared? This question leads us to the
next section in this chapter, the methodological activities
through which this study will be elaborated.
This study is primarily concerned with what local
governments do, how they provide and distribute their services,
and their associations with other institutions. It also is
designed to examine the resources, both in money and personnel,
.that the local councils utilize, and the structures that
bring these resources to bear on goal attainment. As Alderfer
To understand any individual local government, the
functions it actually performs must be known. . .
The most accurate gauges are the amounts of money
spent for the various f nations and the number of
people who do the work.
Or as stated by Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson in The Rulers and
Local government . produces and distributes goods
and services. It regulates the production,
1Harold F. Alderfer, American Local Government and
Administration (New York: Macmillan Co., 1956), p. 350.
distribution, and consumption patterns of other
institutions in the community.
Talcott Parsons also provides a scheme of analysis for the
examination of an institution such as these local councils.
He indicates that the analysis of a structure can proceed
through three broad and major reference points. The primary
one is the procurement of resources and the procedures
established for such procurement. The second point is con-
cerned with an analysis of the procedures by which the
resources are utilized, and third, the patterns that define
and regulate the boundaries between the analyzed organization,
as compared to others, must be sought.2
In order to analyze local councils beyond the point
that the search and review of existing literature allowed,
interviews were designed to obtain the needed information
from officers and functionaires of local councils. Many
hours were spent in attempts to locate and talk with council-
men and mayors in Lima, but interviews were very difficult to
obtain. The only solution to this problem was to move outside
of Lima, and as Lima was not to be studied in depth, this
was the logical thing to do. The small town of Huacho,
about eighty-one miles north of Lima. was chosen for this
purpose. Interviews with the councilmen and mayor, as well as
with many of the local council employees, provided much of
the basic information that was desired. Further observations
and conversations were also very helpful.
1Agger, et al., op. cit., p. 2.
2Parsons, op. cit., p. 22.
In order to verify the information obtained in Huacho, which
is a coastal town, a city over twice the size of Huacho
located in the sierra was chosen--Huancayo. The information
collected there was compared with that acquired in Huacho and
from these two basic studies, a questionnaire for ten other
towns was developed and a design constructed. The question-
naire developed (See appendix A) concentrated upon the sources
of revenues in conjunction with the procedures for collecting
them and their use in the performance of local functions.
Various aspects concerning local personnel were also examined.
Attitudes of the councilmen and mayors covering a broad range
of questions including relationships with the central
government, local finances, personnel and political systems,
and political problems were sought to supplement factual
information gathered and to give more depth to the study.
The additional ten cities were chosen for the study
on a basis of their location, their political position, their
size and growth, and their political complexion. The other
variables in this study are used for comparison purposes, but
did not relate directly to the original choice of the cities.
These cities were subsequently visited and interviews
were held with the mayors, about one-half of the councilmen,
and with various local employees. Financial and personnel
information was obtained also. These data included a budget
lIn some of the cities, only two or three of the council-
men could be located to be interviewed. In nearly every city,
at least one member of the council was in Lima while the
author was visiting his city.
for the year 1965. and other financial and personnel informa-
tion that was available.
The year 1965 was chosen because 1961 was the first
year that the elected councils had served, and many councils
merely used the budgets of the previous year. In a number of
cities visited, their 1966 budgets had not been approved or
published at the time of the visit. It was also decided by
the author, that their 1966 budgets might be inflated slightly
in the capital improvement section to impress the electorate
for the then upcoming November. 1966 elections.
Because these cities chosen were neither large, nor
did they include the major cities of Peru outside of Lima, an
amplification of this original narrow base was attempted. In
order to construct this extended base, a small Indian community
and a district council of Lima were added. Then financial
information was sought from the ten largest cities of Peru,
excluding Lima-Callao. Information was not obtained from two
of these latter ten cities, but in the process of obtaining
information from the other eight, budgets were sent in from
three unexpected cities. These were used in place of the two
that could not be obtained.
Thus, financial and some supplementary information was
available for a total of twenty-five local councils. This
information, with the results of the interviews and observa-
tions from the fourteen selected cities, was coded and put on
data processing cards. Information relative to the variables
chosen was also coded and placed on cards. The cards were
processed and multiple correlations were made.
Simple correlations are used to measure the degree of
relationship that may exist between the variables used in this
study. Correlation coefficients are an appropriate statisti-
cal device for this purpose as they measure the degree of
closeness of the association between two different variables.
This association can range from a coefficient of +1.0, indicat-
ing a perfect positive association, to a coefficient of -1.0,
indicating a perfect negative association. A coefficient of
zero or near zero indicates a lack of any relationship. Thus,
a correlation coefficient of .76 between the variable of city
size and percentage of employed persons involved in manufac-
turing indicates that there is a significant relationship
between the two, and as the size of the city may change, the
percentage of persons employed in manufacturing would tend to
change in the same direction. If a coefficient of .50 is ob-
tained between city size and literacy rates, then, although
a positive relation exists, it indicates that the percentage
of persons employed in manufacturing is more closely related
to city size than is literacy. Not only do correlation
coefficients allow the examination of the relationship bet-
ween two variables, they also allow one to compare those
relationships with other variables. A negative correlation
coefficient is also significant in that it indicates the
existence of an inverse association between the two variables
Correlation coefficients are always comparable, even
though the units or amounts of the individual variables being
measured may differ greatly. In this study, attitudes have
been scaled and assigned numbers and have been correlated with
the concrete data of finances and population. This is pos-
sible using correlation coefficients, but the results are
more tenuous as attitudes have no real numerical quality.
The question of significance is also an important one
to consider. The social sciences allow more flexibility here
than do the exact sciences. If the correlation is above the
level of chance, or in this case, above the .05 level, it
will be considered to be significant. In order to determine
this level of significance for the different numbers of cases
involved with various coefficients, the table found in
Introduction to Statistical Analysis1 will be used. This
test of significance merely indicates that the relationship
between the variables is more likely to be a real one al-
though it may seem to be very slight.
Besides interviewing the mayors and councilmen, many
additional interviews were held with people who were working
for agencies involved with local councils. These inter-
views included prefects and sub-prefects, administrators in
Cooperaci6n Popular, public works commissions, development
corporations, the Finance Ministry, the Development Ministry,
the Elections Board, ONRAP, and others; and also the president
of an Indian Communal Committee. These people, with many
W. J. Dixon and F. J. Massey Jr., Introduction to
Statistical Analysis (2nd ed., New York: McGraw Hill, 1957).
See page 111,
in the text for description and
others, not so closely related to local councils, were able
to provide a large amount of information that is neither
published nor available to the general public.
A table is included containing a list of the twenty-
five cities used in this study. The first fourteen are those
where interviews were made. Most of the last eleven were
visited, but were not studied in sufficient depth to be in-
cluded among the first group.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CITIES STUDIED
Admin. No. on Political Dist.
Level Council Complexion Pop.
TABLE 1.4 CONTINUED
aCity size is larger than urban district
Key: D- Departmental capital NC-
P- Provincial capital CC-
Di- District capital SC-
Al- Alianza (AP-DC) NS-
Co- Coalicion (APRA-UIO) CS-
B- Balanced SS-
I- Independents (important) SE-
Selva or rain forest
A number of problems were encountered in the implemen-
tation of the research design. The first was a result of the
non-availability of written resource material, which necessi-
tated a considerable amount of field work before the final
research design could be developed and the questionnaire
elaborated. It was only after the many visits to Huacho and
the trip to Huancayo that the design was finalized.
--- --- --- -- - --- ---- ---
Generally, people were very cooperative in supplying
the necessary information for this study. There were some
areas of difficulty, especially in connection with obtaining
budget data, personnel information, and holding and completing
interviews. In practically all of the cities visited, it was
necessary to obtain the mayor's consent before any written
material, and especially budgets, were made available to the
researcher. In one town, the mayor was away on business in
Lima, and no one on the council would authorize such data
availability. Therefore, only a few general figures were
obtained even after repeated requests were made through the
mail. As a result, the financial information for the city of
Abancay is incomplete.
Personnel information was also difficult to obtain as
it was not readily available in useable form in many of the
cities. Other statistical information was also difficult to
procure as the national statistical department was in the
process of analyzing and publishing much of the 1961 census
data. Some data were not available in December of 1966 and
have not subsequently been forwarded to the author in spite
of numerous requests for it.
Various mechanical problems were encountered with
respect to the interviews. In the first place, mayors and
councilmen are not full time local officials, but must per-
form their duties without pay on their own time. Many lived
on small farms around the city or were employed within the
city. If those living outside the city did not come into
town while the researcher was there, lack of transportation
made it impossible to contact them. In many cases it was
even difficult to contact those who lived and worked within
the city. On numerous occasions, the interviews had to be
held at the councilman's place of employment. Interviews
were held in doctor's, lawyer's, and dentist's offices; in
bakeries, in carpenter shops, in stores, and in many other
unusual situations. Some validity may have been lost in
this context, due to the presence of extraneous persons in
these interview situations. In some cases interviews had to
be terminated prematurely due to the exigencies and require-
ments.of the councilman's employment. Even those held at
the municipal offices were interrupted by the presence of
others and in some cases, ended prematurely.
On a few occasions councilmen refused to answer some
of the questions on the questionnaire, This was especially
true of the attitude questions, and those that pertained to
perceived outside pressures.
Nevertheless, the interview portion of the study was
quite successful. Over sixty-five councilmen and mayors were
interviewed in thirteen of the fourteen councils. Lince, in
the district of Lima, is excluded here as only two inter-
views were obtained there. Much of the information in this
study was derived from the interviews and only a small por-
tion from the literature. This accounts in part, for the
lack of cited material, especially in the latter chapters
of this study.
The cities studied serve more as examples of conditions
involving the independent variables rather than a complete
sample of all of the cities and towns in Peru. Care was
taken in choosing the towns to be studied to be certain that
there was an example representing each division of the
variables. The author realizes that these cities may be
unique and have little in common with other cities within the
same classification, but until a complete sample is taken,
these examples may serve as guides to develop better under-
standing and better projects for the study of local govern-
ment in Peru.
He also is aware that the variables chosen may not
really represent those that have the most effect and influence
on the variations found between cities, but he considers them
to represent the most important factors that influence the
differences in style and structure that may exist.
Having discussed the scope and methods of this study,
a brief view of the Peruvian scene is needed to further
describe and examine the independent variables considered
germane to this study.
THE PERUVIAN SCENE
Before beginning a more complete discussion of local
government in Peru, it is necessary to examine in more detail
the environment in which this government works. This chapter
describes the elements of geography, economy, demography,
culture, and politics as they relate to this study.
The section on geography will include the definition
and explanation of the major geographic divisions or regions
in Peru and their relative populations. The overall national
economic situation since 1960 will be explored. The major
economic activities and the relationship of national government
expenditures and revenues will also be examined. The section
on demography, the most inclusive in this chapter, will treat
the numerous aspects of population relative to the variables
used in this study. The following section is a small one on
culture and socio-economic class. The last part briefly
describes Peruvian politics on the local scene. The main
purpose of this chapter is to amplify understanding of some of
the major variables that act upon local governments in Peru.
Peru is located on the western coast of South America,
a few degrees south of the equator. Because of its location
and its geography, travel to it from other parts of Latin
America and Spain during the colonial and early republican
periods was very difficult. This partial isolation, and the
fact that it was the seat of Spanish colonial power in South
America combined to make it the last area in South America
to become independent from Spain. In spite of this difficult
access, Peru has maintained contact and trade with Europe and
the rest of the Western Hemisphere throughout its history
since the Conquest. Much of Peru's income has been and is
presently derived from exports of various high income items to
the United States, Europe and other American nations.
In the first half of the 20th century, Peru was still
delineating its territory and settling frontier problems.
Conflicts over borders with Chile, Colombia,and Bolivia were
settled during this period. In spite of the Rio agreement
with Equador in 1942, disputes continue between these two
countries over the delineation of some of their common border
areas. Today Peru encompasses an area of 496,222 square
miles (1,285,216 square kilometers), or is about the size of
the states of Texas, California,and Oregon combined.l
Since the time of its discovery, Peru has been known
as a land of great diversity, a land of contrast, a land of
great variations. Geographically speaking, Peru is naturally
divided into at least three north-south lateral regions that
1David A. Robinson, Peru in Four Dimensions (Lima:
American Studies Press S. A., 1964), p. 153.
extend the length of the country. These regions are known
as the coast, the sierra, and the third is called variously
the montana, selva or rain forest.
Following these natural divisions, The Bureau of the
Census divides the nation into north-south parallel regions
also. This geographic classification is also used by the
Institute GeogrAfico Milltar, the Socledad Geografica de Lima,
and the Unlversidad Agraria. The classification is determined
by elevation as much as geography and is derived from C.
Litter and Alexander Humbolt's classification as modified by
Hermann Wagner and sustained by Preston James in Outline of
Geozraohy.1 This classification relates elevation conditions
with vertical climatic and botanical zones. The categories
are: coast, sea level to 2,000 meters (6,100 feet); sierra,
2,000 to 5.500 meters (6,100 to 16,000 feet); and selva, 2,000
meters to sea level.
POPULATION, AREA, AND DENSITY
Preston James, Outline of GeozraDhy (New York: Ginn &
2Perd, Direcci6n Nacional de Estadistica y Censos,
Sexto Censo I!acional de Poblaci6n-lo61, Vol. I, No.l (196h4
The preceding table reveals the relative size of each
region and its respective degree of settlement. As can read-
ily be seen, the coast is the most heavily populated area,
followed by the sierra and the relatively uninhabited selva.
The coastal concentration of people is largely composed of
urban populations, whereas the sierra population is more
scattered and rural in nature. The table is somewhat mis-
leading as it does not indicate the land pressure that exists,
which results from large areas of the coast and the sierra
being unsuitable for settlement or for agricultural use.
Although the general impression gained from this
geographic division into these three regions might lead one
to conclude that the regions are somewhat homogeneous within
themselves, this is far from true. The coastal area can be
broken into four to six zones, the sierra into at least
three, and the selva into at least two.
The coastal region extends the length of Peru but
varies greatly in width from nearly nothing to eighty miles.
It is generally very dry and according to the Koppen system,
it is classified as a Bwhn (warm, tropical, desert, foggy)
The majority of the coastal inhabitants live in forty of
the some fifty-two river valleys thatstain an otherwise dull,
dry landscape with slices of green. Itis here in these valleys
that the most modern agricultural techniques used in Peru are
implemented. Irrigation, which has been used since pre-Inca
J. Alden Mason, The Ancient Civilizations of Peru
(Edinburg, England: Penguin Books Ltd., 1957), P. 3.
times, is the key to agricultural success. Modern machinery,
fertilizers, and the best seeds available are combined with
technological skill to produce Peru's major agricultural
export crops of sugar cane, cotton, and rice.
The sierra region of Peru is the Peru of the Indian.
It is the ancient Peru, the Peru that contrasts greatly in
customs, language, economic activity, and life with that of
coastal Peru. According to Mariategui, the sierra not only
unites the factors necessary for a region, but also those
required for a nation.1 Here the great majority of Peru's
three million plus Quechua and Aymara speaking Indians live.2
In the deep intermountain valleys and on the high plains of
the altiDlano the Indian cultivates his crops and raises his
sheep, llamas, and other livestock much as he has done for
centuries. These valleys and plains extend from 8,000 to
15,000 feet in elevation, and some are quite fertile. In
the lower elevations, land is partially wooded with grassy
fields and pastures, The more intensive agriculture is done
on the mountain slopes. In the altiplano, that extends
from 12,000 to 15,000 feet, some potatoes are grown, but
the major activity is pastoral, as the Indians graze their
llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats,and some cattle.
The tropical forest lands of the east, as the table
indicates, comprise 57 per cent of Peru's land area but are
1Josd Carlos Mariategui, Siete Ensayos de Interore-
taci6n de la Realidad Peruana (Lima: Empresa Editorial Amauta
S. A., 1957), p. 178.
2Raymond E. Crist, "Peru," Focus, XI, No. 10
(June, 1961), p. 2.
settled by only 870,000 people, or 8.8 per cent of the
population. Much of this area is still inaccessible, and
there are many sections that have not yet been explored.
Although there is exploitation in this region of some forest
products, such as hardwoods, pulpwoods, tannin, and vegetable
oils; it is not of great economic significance.
Peru is principally an agricultural country. In 1961
over one half of the economically active population was in-
volved in agricultural pursuits. In spite of this high per-
centage thus engaged, they only produced 17.6 per cent of the
gross national product in 1964.1 The reason for this is
that many of these people are only subsistence farmers and
produce nothing for local or national markets or for export.
The great majority of these subsistence farmers live in the
sierra farming small plots of land on the hillsides. As Dr.
Crist has stated, ". . they cultivate carefully terraced
plots of ground perched on the seemingly unscalable mountain
slopes. With admirable patience and industry they climb the
mountains to till these tiny patches that yield little yet
require enormous outlays of labor to produce at all."2
The foregoing statement points out two of Peru's
three major agricultural problems: 1) the low yield of small
1Perd, Banco Central de Reserva del Perd, Cuentas
Nacionales del Perd: 1950-1965 (Lima: Banco Central de la
Reserva, 1966), p. 32.
2Crist, loc. cit.
farmers, 2) the scarcity of good farm land, 3) it also
implies that of disproportionate ownership of available good
Modern day Peru continues as in the past to be a pro-
ducer of raw materials and primary goods for the world market.
Over the centuries it has depended a great deal on its
mineral wealth and agricultural production for foreign exchange.
The Spanish began shipping out gold as soon as the conquest
of Peru began, and mineral wealth has been leaving Peruvian
ports ever since with only a few interruptions. The following
table gives evidence of Peru's diversified agricultural and
mineral production for export.
PERUVIAN EXPORTS: 1950,
Fish and Fish Products
Petroleum and Derivates
Mineral Products Total
1Robinson, op. cit.,p. 117.
TABLE 2.2 CONTINUED
1950 1960 1965
Products U7 Value Value Value
Total Exports 100 193.6 100 433.1 100 667.3
Key: 4 = percentage of total exports; Value = value in
millions of dollars
aBanco Central de Reserva del Perd: Memoria 1965 (Lima, Perd,
1966), p. 106 and Robinson, op. cit. p. 382.
For the past fifteen years, the Peruvian economy has
shown significant growth. The gross national product has
more than doubled even if prices are held constant to elimin-
ate inflationary influences. This results in an annual rate
of GICP growth of 5.6 per cent. When population increase is
also taken into consideration, a real annual growth of 3.0
per cent results. Personal per capital income also increased
by 3.3 per cent annually during this same period.l Growth
has been fairly constant over this period, except for a small
reduction between 1956 and 1959. These growth rates, which
are among the highest in all of Latin America, are a result
of two circumstances; favorable investments and an extra-
ordinary growth in exports.
The Peruvian monetary unit has remained relatively
lIbid., p. 7.
Ibid., p. 8.
stable during this fifteen year period. From 1950 to 1959
the sol, the name of the Peruvian money, has gone from 15.43
soles per dollar to 26.82 soles per dollar, where it has
remained since.1 This indicates some degree of stability
when compared with nearby Chile, Argentina,or Brazil. The
cost of living index does not reveal the same degree of
stability. Using an index of 1960 = 100; the cost of living
index in 1962 was 113; in 1963, it was 119.8; in 1964, it
was 131.6: and in 1965, it rose to 153.2.2 This problem has
not been restrained as the cost of living rose by 4.8 per
cent in the first seven months of 1966.3 The tendency towards
inflation is attributed to an excessive expansion of bank
credit which principally is due to credit extended by the
Banco Central de Reserva to cover six successive years of
central government deficits.
Central government expenditures during the past five
years have increased by over 600 per cent, while local govern-
ment expenditures have increased at almost the same rate. The
total local government expenditures amounted to only a
fraction of total government expenditures, revealing the small
roles that local government plays in the total governmental
situation in Peru.
1Banco Central de Reserva del Perd, Memoria (Lima, Perd,
1965). p. 86.
2Ibid., p. 96.
3Ernest Keller and Associates, Monthly Business Renort
(August, 1966), p. 7. (Mineographed.)
4Banco Central de Reserva del Perd, Cuentas Nacionales
del Perd: 1950-1965, p. 8.
The 1961 census figures show the population of Peru
has grown by 59.6 per cent over the 1940 census figures.
This is a reasonably high annual growth rate of 2.25 per cent,
which is considerably higher than the 1.34 per cent annual
rate recorded from 1876 to 1940.1 Much of the spectacular
growth has taken place in the coastal cities and departments.
Some growth rates are also high for the selva region, but as
this area had very little population in 1940, the use of a
percentage growth rate is somewhat misleading. The following
table indicates that the departments in the sierra region had
a growth rate lower than that of the national average, and
much lower than that of the Lima-Callao area.
The table is arranged in descending order of per-
centage of population increase on a departmental level.
PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION INCREASE FROM 1940-1961
BY POLITICAL DIVISIONa
Dept. of Madre de Dios
Dept. of Lima
Dept. of Tumbes
Dept. of Loreto
Dept. of Amazonas
Dept. of Ica
Dept. of Tacna
Region of Majority Percentage
of Dept's Population of increase
1Perd, Direcci6n Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos,
op. cit., p. X.
TABLE 2.3 CONTINTJED
Dept. of Lambayaque
Dept. of San Martin
Dept. of Piura
Republic of Peru
Dept. of Junfn
Dept. of Pasco
Dept. of La Libertad
Dept. of Moquequa
Dept. of Cajamarca
Dept. of Arequipa
Dept. of Huanuco
Dept. of Ancash
Dept. of Cuzco
Dept. of Puno
Dept. of Huancavalica
Dept. of Ayacucho
Dept. of Apurimac
Region of Majority Percentage
of Dent's Population of increase
Sierra and Coast 51.9
aperd, Direcci6n Nacional de Estadisticas y
Censos, on. cit.,
By census figures, Peru has thirteen cities that have
more than 30,000 inhabitants, but Caraballo, which is found
very near to Lima, also has a population of over 30,000 thus
making the fourteen cities listed on the following table. In
reality, the Lima-Callao area should be considered as one
metropolitan area including Lima, Callao, Caraballo, and
Vitarte, making one metropolis and only ten cities over 30,000
instead of the fourteen as the table indicates. The concen-
tration of population in the Lima-Callao area becomes more
evident when only the Peruvian urban population is considered.
Lima alone represented nearly 31 per cent of the urban
population of Peru in 1961, and combined with Callao, contained
35 per cent of the urban population. This is more than double
the total urban populations of the next ten largest cities in
Peru added together.
CITIES OF 30,000 POPULATION OR MOREa
Department or City Population
Province Canital (in thousands)
asherman Lewis, Caracteristicas Demograficas del Gobierno
Local del Perd (Lima: ONRAP, 1965), p. ll.(mimeographed.)
Much of the excessive growth on the coast is due to
internal migration. This migration is generally downward,
that is, the majority of the people move down from the sierra
to coastal towns and cities. Some few, the more adventurous
ones, go eastward down into the selva or the high rain forest
to seek their fortunes. People are drawn to the west by
success stories from friends and family, and they fear the
east because of unknown diseases, plagues, unfamiliar
agricultural techniques, the hot, wet climate, and the isolation
from the bright lights and excitement of the modern city.
The average per capital income, by region on the fol-
lowing table, clearly indicates that salaries on the coast are
nearly three times as great as they are in the sierra. Thus
a person moving to the coast at least has the opportunity
of improving his economic lot. On the other hand, if the
figures on the table are a good indication, the person going
to the jungle has the possibility of making even less than he
did in the sierra. From the general impression of this table,
it is easy to see why the majority of the migrant population
of Peru tend to move to the coast instead of to the rain
forest. This impression is supported by the results of a
study made in 1956, by Matos Mar and later substantiated by
one conducted by the daily newspaper El Comercio in 1965 and
These studies show that economic reasons are the major
ones for lower class migration.
POPULATION AND NATIONAL INCOME BY
DEPARTMENTS AND REGIONS 1960a
Income per Capita
DeDartment Coast Sierra Jungle Coast Sierra Jungle
Amazonas 137,819 836
Ancash 94,689 564,244 5,959 1,890
Apurimac 381,076 1,780
Arequipa 72,594 338,004 5,795 4,686
1Josd Matos Mar, "Migration and Urbanization," Urbani-
zation in Latin America, ed. Philip M. Hauser, op.cit., pp.182-
185, and El Comerico (Lima, Perd), "Plan Lima," January 25,
1966, p. 7.
TABLE 2.5 COrNTIITUED
Income per Capita
Population in Soles
Department Coast Sierra Jungle Coast Sierra Jungle
Ayacucho 486,983 66,931 2,166 1,400
Cajamarca 705,860 115,672 1,499 956
Callao 207,743 7,120
Cuzco 624,677 126,950 2,201 2,008
Huancavelica 340,847 10,578 2,117 1,845
Huanuco 294,247 110,383 1,533 1,123
Ica 235,253 5,778
Junin 500,201 58,371 2,045 1,448
La Libertad 279,489 247,794 72,994 5,243 3,922 2,796
Lambayeque 322,398 597 4,974 2,010
Lima 1,866,790 189,146 8,312 5,091
Loreto 491,036 1,155
Madre de Dios 38,343 676
Moquegua 13,517 42,640 4,585 3,311
Pasco 128,978 35,535 5,559 2,013
Piura 497,778 176,907 5,990 5,351 3,622 1,941
Puno 815,883 33,730 1,740 1,446
San Martin 183,300 966
Tacna 42,101 20,849 4,643 4,825
Tumbes 46 083 3,697
Total 3,678,435 5,858,933 1,487,632 6,932 2,385 1.238
aRobinson, op. cit., p. 110.
Another reason for internal migration is a search for
better educational opportunities. Urban education is more
available and is superior to that found in rural areas. The
city is where parents can progress, but more important they
can provide their children with an education, and thereby
they hope, provide them with the ability to obtain a better
way of life.
Education is a key problem in modern Peru which it
has been unable to solve, as the literacy figures partially
indicates. In the urban areas, 66.6 per cent of the people
are literate compared with only 33.4 per cent of those who
live in rural areas. Overall, 60 per cent of Peru's popu-
lation is literate.1 This leaves a great deal to be done in
the field of education in the country.
LEVEL OF EDUCATION: 9 YEARS OF AGE AND OVERa
Level of Education (percent) (percent)
No formal schooling 56.5 36.1
Some Primary education 38.6 49.7
Some High School education 3.7 9.8
Some University education 0.7 1.5
Some other type of education 0.4 0.4
Not specified 0.1 2.5
Totals 100.0 100.0
aPerd, Direcci6n Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos, op. cit.,
No. 3, P. XVI.
The economically active population is somewhat better
educated than the population as a whole, but it is far from
high. Over 30 per cent of the working population has no
education at all, and another 27 per cent has only three
elementary years or less. Thus over 50 per cent of the
employed are illiterate or barely literate.2
Of the economically active, the majority of the
poorly educated people are probably employed in primary
activities such as agriculture and fishing, where a great
1Perd, Direcci6n Nacional de Estadisticas y Censos,
op. cit., No.3 11965), p. 148.
Ibid., No. 4, p. XV.
deal of education is not required. According to census
data, 52 per cent of employed persons work in agriculture,
fishing, forestry, hunting, and mining and quarry work, with
the majority being occupied in agriculture. These activities
are classified as primary. Only 17 per cent of those econo-
mically active are employed in secondary activities, which
include manufacturing, construction, production of electricity,
gas, water, and sanitary services. Tertiary activities,
which include commerce, transportation and storage, com-
munications, and services, employ 27 per cent of this group.
The following table gives a more complete breakdown of oc-
Hunting and Fishing
Mining and Quarries
Electricity, Gas, Water
and Sanitary Services
Transportation and Stor-
aperd, Direcci6n Naclonal de Estadisticas y Censos, op. cit.,
No. 3, P. XVI.
lIbid., p. XVII.
1-1 e n !-]omen Total
Culture and Socio-Economic Class
Just as Peru is divided into three geographic worlds,
it is also divided into two cultural or ethnic worlds: 1)
the world of the Spanish and the mestizo and, 2) the world
of the Indian. Lima and the modern coastal area represent
the former, while the Indian is represented by the sierra and
the glory and history of the past that emanates from the old
Inca capital of Cuzco.
The Indian lives in a separate world maintaining his
language, his dress,and his traditional way of life. There
are many villages and communities that reveal little of the
modern western world. The Indian wears his poncho, chews
his coca, drinks his chicha, works his land, associates with
his neighbors, and celebrates his fiestas in much the same
fashion as he has done for centuries.
His relationship with the white man has been one of
parasitical exploitation. The white man and the mestizo
have oppressed him, made worse than slaves of him, taken his
land, and left him with little. The Indian, on the other
hand, has practiced passive resistance for over four hundred
years, and has not yet given in nor ever really been conquered.
The effect has not been without negative consequences, as he
has lost much in the process. Dr. Crist has aptly stated,
"Nobility of heart, the desire to improve his lot, initiative
1Raymond E. Crist, "The Indian In Andean America,"
reprinted from American Journal of Economics and Sociology,
XXIII, Nos. 2-3 (1964), 12.
in every line all have been smothered under the violence of
the slavery to which he has been subjected. His passive-
ness and the destruction of much of his creative spirit are
the fruits of his psychological castration."'
Indians are identified more by customs than by race.
According to a study by Rowe, the best single indicator of
this ethnic group is language, as it probably indicates the
social position of the Indian with greater exactness than
would a classification by races. Thus the Indian still
suffers greatly, economically and socially, and is still ex-
ploited by those occupying the classes above him because of
his customs and traditions more than his race. He still
remains in the lowest rural class which is the lowest socio-
economic class in the country.3
The urban lower class usually consists of wage laborers
and workers in very basic and small commercial activities.
They still have many of the customs of the Indian, but in
many cases they are bilingual. The member of this class is
the Indian, who has adopted some of the mestizo customs and
norms, after he moved into the urban area. He has had little
or no education and has learned Spanish mainly in order to
work in the mestizo-white world. The women still wear Indian
lIbid. p. 14.
2Rowe, op. cit., p. 214.
31deas on socio-economic class were taken from Eugene
A. Hammel, Wealth, Authority, and Prestige in the Ica Valley,
Peru (Albequerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press,
I~5), pp. 53-55., Adams, op. cit., p. 89, and Plan Regional
Para . ., op. cit.,
dress to a large extent, but the men wear "western" style
pants, shirts,and coats. His house is small and is con-
structed of bamboo mats or adobe, and in the larger cities
he lives in the barriadas or the callejones.2
The rural lower-middle class are generally small
property owners who in many cases employ the lower class
members as laborers. They are literate, speak Spanish, and
wear western clothes. Many are of Indian or of recent Indian
The urban lower-middle class is similar to its rural
counterpart, but its members work as small businessmen, white
collar workers, public employees and teachers. They have
little economic power or savings and little political in-
fluence, although they may participate in local political
activities and even hold various formal positions in the
local governments or in other organizations.
The rural upper-middle class is actually the top
class in rural areas and in the smaller cities. Most of the
members of this class have moved into the larger cities,
however, leaving the administration of their lands to others.
Many now commute to their lands in the rural areas with the
aid of modern transportation facilities, instead of living
The urban upper-middle class is made up of this once
"See footnotes on pages 76 and 78 for definition of
barriades and callejones.
rural gentry, the businessmen of medium income, engineers,
lawyers, and other professions. This group consists of
well entrenched mestizos or whites who dress in western cloth-
ing and speak Spanish. These are they who hold political and
economic dominance in most towns and cities outside of Lima,
Arequipa, or Trujillo. All members of this class speak
Spanish and are literate.
The upper class, whose membership is quite small,
consists of wealthy creoles and immigrants who have been
successful in accumulating a great deal of wealth. Most of
the members of this class live in the Lima metropolitan area
or in foreign countries. This group is not homogeneous, as
it is made of many types of people who have gained wealth.
Many of the members of this class have received higher educa-
tion in foreign countries and are polyglot.
Like many other factors in Peruvian society, politics
and political parties are in a state of transition and are
not easily understood. Old loyalties are changing and sup-
port of particular parties by specific groups may also be in
a state of flux. For the purposes of this paper, the pre-
sent situation will be described without a great amount of
analysis in order to give the reader an idea of the functions
that these parties perform in local elections and on munici-
Hammel, op. cit., pp. 53-55.
In the last four elections, June 1962, June 1963,
December 1963, and November 1966, only four political parties
have obtained any continuing electoral importance. The
parties are: the Alianza Popular Revoluncionaria Amdrica,
APRA, led by the venerable and world famous Vfctor Radl Haya
de la Torre; the Accidn Popular, AP, led by the current
Peruvian President, Fernando Beladnde Terry; the Uni6n
Nacional Ordriista, UNO, led by ex-President (1950-56) and
ex-Dictator (1948-50) General Manuel E. Odria; and the
Dem6crata Cristiano, DC, led by Hector Cornejo Chavez.
In the 1962 presidential election, all of these parties
ran their respective leaders for the office of president
while three smaller parties also ran their candidates for
president. Because no one candidate received the constitution-
ally required one-third of the popular vote, the election
was to be decided by Congress. Due to subsequent political
infighting, suspected election fraud, and other factors, the
military staged a coup on July 18, 1962, cancelled the elec-
tion results, and set up a military junta to govern the coun-
try just a few days before President Manuel Prado's term ended.
The military junta ruled until June 1963, when another presi-
dential election was held under the guidance and vigilance of
the military junta.
It is important to note, that under the new election
laws established by the military junta, new requirements for
party inscription were established in order to eliminate
small parties. The most important among these is the rule
that requires a petition by each party signed by 20,000
registered, qualified voters before it can run a candidate
in presidential elections. The results of this rule have
had an important impact thus far on Peruvian politics. The
most important of which was the reduction of the number of
candidates for president from seven in 1962 to four in 1963,
enabling two candidates to receive over one-third of the
popular vote in 1963, which no candidate had been able to do
in 1962. Another result of this rule was that it forced
the small Christian Democratic Party to align itself with
Acci6n Popular after the 1962 election in order to survive,
which in turn aided Fernando Belaunde Terry in successfully
capturing the presidency in the 1963 elections. Because of
this victory, another consequence was consumated when APRA
joined with UNO to form a legislative coalition which gave
them majority power in Congress.
These two political coalitions remained united as
such in the municipal elections held in Decembel 1961 and
in November, 1966, thereby extending the two national
political coalitions to the local level. In these elections,
both coalitions showed almost equal electoral strength. In
1963 the AP-DC coalition obtained 46.54 per cent of the total
national popular vote while the APRA-UNO coalition obtained
44.33 per cent of the total. The remaining 9.13 per cent in-
cludes the various independent groups that obtained votes.
1Jurado Nacional do Elecciones, Elecciones Politicas,
Decreto-Ley 14250, Art. 60 (1963), p. 2.
2Unpublished data from Jurado Nacional de Elecclones.
The unofficial returns for the 1966 elections published in
late November,l are nearly a mirror of the 1963 returns for
the nation as a whole. Both major coalitions gained about
one percentage point increasing the AP-DC per cent to 47.01
and the APRA-UNO to 45.75 per cent while only 7.24 per cer.t
went to the independent parties.
In 1966. the Presidential coalition, AP-DC, wanted to
add another factor to the local election and make the election
a plebiscite, to indicate popular support for the President's
legislative programs. The APRA-UNO coalition rejected this
concept and held that the elections were local in nature,
and that they should not be used as a national plebiscite.
The indications of the elections seem to be, that public
opinion accepted the local nature of the elections rejecting
a national plebiscite. Candidates won or lost on the basis
,of local issues and personalities rather than on national
Political power shifted from one party to another
in some key cities in 1966. The major set-backs for the AP-
DC came from the "solid south" in the cities of Arequipa and
Cuzco. At the same time, APRA control and influence in the
north was weakened greatly, especially in the cities of
Chiclayo and Cajamarca, and to a lesser extent in Trujillo.
These highly partisan elections are indicative of one
of the major elements of the Peruvian society, a high degree
1El Comercio, Dominical (Lima, Perd). "Las Cifras de
Las Elecciones del Domingo 13." 20 Noviembre 1966. p. 4.
of politicization at all levels of association. The society
is charged with political attitudes, behavior, and associa-
tions. This partisan conflict is evident in many of the local
councils throughout the country. In some cases, this conflict
has lent itself to obtain more responsible government, while
in other, it has prevented council action on numerous pro-
grams and activities.
Many informed people in Lima have postulated that the
factor of political conflict may be one of the major factors
determining differences on a local level. The newspapers
also have printed numerous articles indicating that politi-
cal differences were causing many varied problems which local
councils were unable to resolve.
This problem of conflict is quite obvious in Lima.
Its position as the largest city in the nation and the nation's
capital undoubtedly magnifies and compounds factors that may
have less influence in other parts of the country. We shall
now turn to Lima and examine some of its unique features.
Interviews held in Lima with a number of governmental
officials August through December, 1965.
2La Prensa (Lima, Perd), 8 Enero 1966, p. 1, 19 Noviem-
bre 1965, p. 6, and 11 Diciembre 1965, p. 1, and El Comercio
(Lima, Perd), 28 Enero 1966, p. 2, and 5 Setiembre 1966, p. 1.
LIMA, BARRIADAS. AND INDIAN COMMUNITIES
Within the field of local government in Peru, there
are three very important units that fall outside the scope
of this study. Because of their importance, however, they
cannot be ignored as over one-third of the total population
of Peru can be associated with one of these units. To avoid
a serious gap in the study, this chapter will examine the
metropolitan area of Lima; the barrida, which is a low-class
housing area associated with peripheral growth in urban
areas; and lastly the Indian community, which is at the op-
posite pole lacking almost everything related to the modern
world and completely divorced from the urban areas. The
particular aspects of each unit will be briefly described
with the main emphasis upon the structure and organization of
local agencies, offices, or councils that perform local
government-type functions within their respective units.
Lima will be described with respect to the concentra-
tion of economic and political factors located there, and the
political structure of the local councils. The proportion
of local government revenues collected by the Lima metropoli-
tan area will be compared to other local governments in Peru.
The barriada will be defined and the Barriada Association
with its organization and purposes will be discussed. In
addition, the Barriada Association's relations with govern-
ment agencies will also be included. The Indian communities
will be described from the point of view of legal recogni-
tion and non-recognition and two types of local leader
systems will be examined.
The city of Lima forms the only real metropolitan
complex in Peru. Peru's second city, Callao, is sufficiently
close to Lima that for all practical purposes it forms part
of the Lima metropolitan area. Arequipa is the next city in
size and only contained around 200,000 people in 1965. In
contrast, Lima-Callao contained over 2,250,000 inhabitants.
Because of this great difference in size, and because Lima is
also the nation's capital, it unites a great many complexi-
ties and problems that do not confront other cities in Peru.
Lima, therefore, deserves separate and individual treatment.
There is a concentration of commerce, industry, and
political units as well as population in Peru's capital. The
following chart reveals that 77.4 per cent of the industrial
establishments in Peru are located in the Lima-Callao area,
that 65.6 per cent of industrial employees in the fields of
labor, that are listed, work in this area, and that 56.4
per cent of the production value is found in Lima. Three
main industries; food production and processing, mining, and
petroleum are decentralized because they need to be near the
source of raw materials. If the production from these
industries is subtracted from the total, then 78.7 per cent
of the production of the remaining industries is located in
the Lima area.
In Lima the greatest proportion of professional skill
and capability are concentrated. For example, the relative
number of doctors, dentists, lawyers, and teachers in pro-
portion to the number of the population to be served or
treated by them is much higher than in the rest of the nation.
Whereas the Lima area is said to have an excess of teachers
and lawyers, the remainder of the country suffers from a
scarcity of these professionals. In a similar fashion Lima
also has a high percentage of Peru's voting population. Al-
though about 22 per cent of the population live there, the
metropolitan area has nearly 43 per cent of the nation's
voting population.1 This indicates a higher literacy rate,
as well as greater interest in voting in Lima as compared to
the rest of Peru. Besides this, nearly all national govern-
ment agencies have their headquarters in Lima, and many have
their only offices there. Most important political decisions
are made in Lima, and if local agencies, national field of-
fices, .or local governments want aid, support, or assis-
tance on a project or problem, a representative usually travels
to Lima for that purpose.
The political structure of the local government of the
Lima metropolitan area includes two provincial councils,
Compiled by the author from unpublished data of the
Jurado Nacional de Eleciones.
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those of Lima and Callao, and thirty-nine district councils
of which six are new districts which obtained councils for
the first time in the 1966 elections. Three of the district
councils are located in the Constitutional Province of Callao
including the Callao cercado.1 The rest of these districts
are located in the Lima Province including the district of
the Lima cercado.
This proliferation of councils makes it more diffi-
cult for the local governments of Lima to coordinate necessary
services and functions, such as street cleaning, garbage
collection, street repair, new street construction, pro-
vision of food and control of its quality, and inspection and
control of food vendors. Not only must the provincial council
of Lima coordinate its activities with all of these districts
and the Callao provincial council, it also must do it with
various private companies, as well as with national govern-
ment agencies and corporations, in order to carry out its
functions. District councils are somewhat reluctant to al-
low the provincial council to do very much within their juris-
dictions, as they fear that the province might assume more
than its share of power and authority. The districts work
with the Lima council on extensive projects, but on those
that the district council can accomplish alone, it does so.
They want to maintain their autonomy and do not want the Lima
Provincial Council to make their decisions for them, to do
1The definition of cercado is the district that is the
seat of a provincial capital.
their work, or to receive the credit for all public works
in the metropolitan area.
The district councils are important in situations of
a very local nature. Many of the districts represent real
differences of economy, social class, culture, and education
in the city that might otherwise go unrecognized. Respective
district councils have distinct problems that in turn must
be met in different ways. For example in a working class
district the problems of providing a market place, control of
street vendors, and paving of principal streets might be the
major concerns of the council, whereas, an upper class dis-
trict council might concern itself with gardens, parks, and
good paved roads throughout the whole district. In contrast,
to these two, the newly created district that might consist
mainly of working class housing constructed over an old
barriada and new barriada areas would have to concern itself
with water and sewage systems and public lighting before at-
tacking other problems. The district system serves the worth-
while purpose of recognizing these differences and giving the
inhabitants of each district more voice and representation
in their local affairs, than they would have if the pro-
vincial council did everything and was the only local govern-
ment for all the two million plus inhabitants.
Voting patterns in the 1963 and 1966 elections reveal
important differences in attitude and political preference
on the district level. In 1963, in the Lima cercado, the
majority of the electorate voted for the AP-DC coalition
candidates for mayor and a majority of the councilmen. Six-
teen districts including Miraflores, San Isidro, and Lince
also elected AP-DC mayors. The districts of La Victoria,
Comas, and San Martin de Porras on the other hand elected
APRA-UNO coalition mayors and majorities in their councils
along with ten other districts. At least two districts re-
jected both of the preceding coalitions and elected inde-
Further proliferation of districts however, should be
discouraged. There are now too many districts and further
sub-division would tend to complicate the situation even more.
It would even be wise to consolidate like, contingent dis-
tricts which have similar characteristics and problems.
Financially, Lima is more solvent than the other cities
of Peru. In 1960, the Provincial Council of Lima collected
and spent 37 per cent of all the money received and spent
in Peru by provincial councils. In 1962, it amounted to 43
per cent and in 1965, to 49 per cent. With all councils con-
sidered, district as well as provincial, Lima still has a
lion's share of the money. In 1960, the revenues of Lima
represented 24 per cent of the total in 1962, 29 per cent;
and in 1965, 27 per cent of the monies collected by all
Peruvian local governments. When the Lima district councils
and the Provincial Council of Callao are considered, the
revenues for the whole metropolitan area represent over 60
1Compiled unpublished data of the Jurado Nacional de
2Compiled from unpublished data of the Banco Central de
per cent of all local government revenues collected for 1960,
1961 and 1962 (the only years for which data were available
for all levels).
REVENUES OF PERUVIAN LOCAL
All Provincial Councils
Provincial Council of
Provincial Council of
All Districts of Lima
Area of Lima
All Local Governments
Per cent of Metropoli-
tan Lima to all Local
94 111 148
123 141 161
60.6% 61.7% 63.3%
1962 1963 1964
345 376 433
C c 218
c c c
c c c
c c c
583 701 805
c c c
aCompiled by the author from
Banco Central de la Reserva
bIn millions of soles
cFigures not available
unpublished figures of the
This situation could have been changing over the past
three years as the important revenues from property taxes
have been returned to all provincial councils since 1963. As
the table shows,ti1me data from the Banco Centralare available
only to 1962. Many councils have improved their tax collec-
tion practices and administration which has also helped to
increase revenues. Although Lima has received the benefits
from these same changes, the author believes that the in-
creases effected by the changes will be greater outside of
Lima than within the metropolitan area.
In many other ways, Lima is a leader and an example
to the rest of the nations. Lima represents a model to the
other local councils in its actions, administration, public
works, training, and law. The organizational rules and pro-
cedures established by the Provincial Council of Lima are
used as models by other councils. Most cities have no such
rules and therefore must refer to the Lima law when problems
or confusion they are not sure how to meet or solve, arise.
Many of the innovations in Peruvian local government in the
near future will undoubtedly come from Lima.
One of these problems concerns the growth and expan-
sion of barriadas. The barriada is sometimes associated
mainly with the Lima metropolitan area, but this is mis-
leading, as many of the cities with over 30,000 people are
faced with this same problem.
A barriada is a community of people who have illegal-
ly invaded unoccupied land surrounding or near an urban center
and have established houses and streets, usually without
planning or control. Groups are organ7ied, and invasion
1The official definition of a barriada taken from the
Lev Orzanica de Barrios Marginales, Articulo 4. trans. by
Allan Austin, is "the territorial zone of fiscal, municipal
plans are elaborated. On a given night at a predetermined
hour, the invasion is executed and within a few hours a new
barrlada has come into existence. The dwellings, at the
beginning, are small one or two room constructions made of
bamboo mats with dirt floors and may even remain roofless
for a time. As the population becomes more settled and feels
more secure on the land, these temporary dwellings are re-
placed by adobe and brick constructions. As families grow
and settlement continues, new rooms and even second stories
are added. In some cases third stories are also added.
Why do people move to a barriada? According to a
study done by Pablo Berckholts Salinas, 57 per cent go there
from the central city to obtain free land on which to build
their houses, 33.5 per cent go because they could not afford
the high rents and costs in the core city, 3 per cent move
there due to recent raises in their rents, and 6 per cent
go because they were evicted from their place of abode.1 Al-
though to the outsider, the living conditions in the barriada
might seem unbearable,2 they fulfill certain basic needs
of their inhabitants, who are not as discontented as might
communal, or private property that is found on the outskirts
of the populated centers of the political-administrative
capitals or in their surrounding suburban areas, in which by
invasion and in spite of legal dispositions on property, with
municipal authorization or without it, on lots distributed
without regard to officially approved plans, groupings of
dwellings have been constructed in haphazard manner, lacking
one or more of the following services: drinking water, sew-
age, public lighting, sidewalks, vehicle routes, etc."
1Pablo Berckholts Salinas, Barrios Marginales: Aber-
raci6n Social (Lima, Perd, 1963), p. 43.
21bid., pp. 27-29.
be imagined. The inhabitants have de facto ownership of the
land and their house. They cannot be evicted at a moment's
notice by their landlord, nor can their rents be raised.as
they pay no rent. They have some privacy, security, and
shelter; and they can enlarge their house as their family
grows and their economic means Improve.1 They have to dis-
pense with running water and must purchase it by the can
from trucks that come daily to the barriada, and must do
without sanitary systems and public lighting. But in most
cases, they never had those conveniences in either their
home in the sierra or in their living quarters in the core
city which was usually a callej6n.2 Thus their situation
is much improved, as they pay little for housing expenses
and are more secure. For those coming from the sierra,
they now have access to the labor market of the city. Thus
land invasions are usually organized and executed by inhabi-
tants of the core city who are seeking cheaper, more secure
housing facilities, and then the area settled is later en-
larged by migrants coming in from other regions of the
Because of the number of people involved in a barriada
land invasion, because there is no other place to send them,
1Unpublished data compiled by Sherman Lewis, Research
Consultant of IPA to ONRAP, 1966.
A calle.jn is a group of dwellings that usually con-
sist of one or two rooms each, opening to a common hall or al-
ley-way within the core city. They share common sanitary
facilitiess and usually lack running water. Rooms serve
combined dormitories, kitchens, and living rooms. Rent is
and because of the political and social consequences of
forceful eviction, which would undoubtedly result in numerous
casualties, there is generally no attempt made to legally
remove the invaders from the land by force.
The instigators of'such a land invasion are usually
chosen by the community invaders as their representatives in
a barriada association. This association has the primary task
of defending the population from eviction and secondly to
legally represent the barriada before the various government
agencies involved with it. The association, more or less,be-
comes the government of the barriada; organizing it, acknow-
ledging and aggregating its needs and wants, and articulating
them to the indicated government agencies--mainly the National
Housing Board which has primary jurisdiction concerning the bar-
riadas. The associations attempt to obtain land titles, which
the Housing Board is authorized to give them when specified re-
quirements are met.2 At the same time, they appeal to the
Housing Board, as well as to the municipality of the district
in which they are located, to be provided with the basic ser-
vices of drinking water, sewers, and public lighting. At
later dates paved streets, sidewalks, schools, plazas, and
other important construction will be sought for and built.
In the sense that this association represents the
people, because it is established by the members of the com-
munity, and it aggregates and articulates the community's
1Matos Mar in Hauser, op. cit., p. 180.
2Perd, Ley Organica de Barrios Marginales, No. 13517
needs, it resembles a local government. But in a narrow
sense, it more closely resembles an interest group.1 These
associations are important for the first few years of the
barrlada's existence and generally provide the only legal
officials of the district. But as time goes by, and they
are generally able to produce little, they usually lose in
prestige and power. Separate associations are later formed
for specific purposes, such as the construction of a school,
to obtain public lighting, or to obtain a through access
road, or for other specific reasons. As these groups pro-
liferate, the barriada association loses its influence in
Core towns and cities around which the barriadas are
constructed had jurisdiction over the barridas within their
boundaries, but they generally ignored the barriadas and
failed to supply them with the necessary services of water
and sewage. The local officials looked upon the barriadas
as a transitory eye-sore that would disappear as soon as the
inhabitants were evicted, or the officials closed their eyes
and pretended that these sub-divisions did not exist. During
the 1950's however, barriadas multiplied greatly. More and
more people moved into them as internal migration continued.
By 1957, 9.5 per cent of the population of Lima lived in
barriadas, 9 per cent of Arequipa's population also was housed
in similar areas, and In Chimbote 20 per cent lived in barriadas.
Almond and Coleman, op. cit., pp. 33-35.
2Matos Mar in Hauser, op. cit., p. 181.
This condition continued to worsen and by 1961, the Chimbote
barriada population had risen to 67.5 per cent of the city's
population, Arequipa's to 39 per cent, and Lima's to a per
cent of 24.6.1 The situation had reached a point where it
could no longer be ignored. In 1961, the Congress passed the
This law marked the change in governmental attitude
towards the existence of the barriada. It recognized,of-
ficially, the existence of barriadas and some of the pro-
blems with which they are faced. The law has two major
purposes; the first is to transform existing barriadas into
"popular" (low class) housing sub-divisions, and the second
is to prevent the formation of new barriadas by making them
inelliggble to receive benefits under this law. The National
Housing Corporation, now the National Housing Board (Junta
Nacional de la Vivienda, JVN), was given jurisdiction over
the nation's barriadas to carry out the provisions of this
This law has thus far failed to accomplish these two
main purposes. Barriadas continue to spring forth and the
number of city inhabitants living in barriadas continues to
grow. (There were nearly a million people in 1965 in
barriadas.) Some barriadas have been relocated in low class
Walter Harris and Hans A. Hosse, Housing in Peru
(Wash., D. C.: Pan American Union, 1963), p. 502.
2perd, Ley de Barrios Marginales, No. 13517 (1961).
3Ibid., Articulos 1 & 2.
Compiled from unpublished figures of the JVN.
housing and others have been improved but the majority are
following a natural evolution process in which the owners add
on and remodel their own houses without JNV supervision or
help. The JNV has also failed to adequately cope with other
situations. Many barriadas are still without basic services
of water, sewage disposal, and lighting, and most home owners
still lack title to the land on which they live. The lesser
provisions of the law also fall short of execution in many
The barriada itself is not recognized as a separate
municipality or community in this study for four major
reasons. First of all, it is not legally recognized as such
by the Peruvian government but is recognized only as a special
housing sub-division, a squatter settlement. Secondly, it
has no organized government body that carries out any of
the services and functions with which this study is concerned.
Thirdly, the barriada has no taxing power, no revenues of any
consequence, and no organized financial control or adminis-
tration. Lastly, it represents a sub-district level, one
step below the scope of this study.
Many of the inhabitants of the barriadas are migrants
from another cultural and social world, the Indian community.
Although the originators of the land invasions are usually
from the core city, they originally migrated from small vil-
lages and Indian communities in rural areas and many of the
migrants into the established barriadas come directly from
these rural communities. Thus the discussion of the Indian
community does not unnaturally follow that of the barriada.
Like barriadas the Indian communities will not be
studied in the scope of this project as a local government
entity. Although it might be argued that the Indian com-
munitieunite more of the characteristics of a local govern-
ment than the barriada, they do not represent local govern-
ments or organization in a modern sense.1 Beyond this, as
sub-districts,2 they are located one step below the level
to be studied in the administrative hierarchical system of
local government in Peru.
In legal terms there are two types of Indian com-
munities, the recognized and the unrecognized. In order
to become recognized, a community must fulfill certain re-
quirements such as proof of land titles before 1821, the
election of a legal representative, personero legal, and have
an agreement among the members of the community to become
recognized. The main purpose for which an Indian community
seeks legal and constitutional recognition is to obtain
recognition of the community's property rights and receive
protections and aid from the central government concerning
this property. The unrecognized community, on the other
hand, neither receives this legal recognition of communal
lands, nor the protection from sale and alienation of
Alderfer, Local Government in Developing Countries,
2These communities might also be called anexos, par-
cialidades, pagos, estancias, pueblos, or caserios.
property that the recognized community receives. Because
of the legal problems and complication involved, end the need
for good lawyers in order to obtain recognition, the para-
doxical situation results that the more mestizo the community,
the more likely it is to be recognized.
In spite of overwhelming difficulties during the
Spanish colonization and since. Indian communities have re-
mained important in Peru. The community at present as in
the ayllu of the Inca Empire, consists of families, clans,
or groups united by economic activity or region. One of the
essential elements is the collective possession and exploita-
tion of pasture and crop lands. Other characteristics in-
clude the collective use of water, woods, and untilled lands;
mutual cooperative labor on public buildings, roads, bridges,
and even private homes; and division of the harvests among
the members of the community.
Indian communities remained as administrative units
under the early Spanish colonists. After 1720, however,
many Indians were pressed into personal service for the
Spanish and many received treatment worse than the Spaniard's
Negro slaves. Independence brought no help to the Indian
community, as Bolivar dissolved their legality by supreme
decree with the idea of assimilating the Indian into
the whole society. Instead, it merely made it possible for
Conversation with Paul Doughty of the Cornell Peru
Project in Lima, July, 1966.
Jose Pareja Paz-Sold4n, Deracho Constitucional
Peruano (Lima, Perid Ediciones de Sol, 1963), p. 362.
the Spanish and the mestizo to take more of the Indian's
The Constitution of 1933 finally reestablished legal
recognition to the Indian community and granted governmental
protection of their lands. Indian communal land again became
unsaleable and unalienable, as it had been before 1824, when
Boliver dissolved the communities. In 1936, legislation was
enacted that further prohibited alienation of Indian lands
and made it obligatory that they be surveyed and registered.
The Indian community retains its own system of local
officers, elections, and customs, although it is subject to
the local government of the province and the district in
which it is located, and upon the central government through
the prefectural system and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in
the Ministry of Labor. The district local government can-
not interfere with revenues of the communities or levy taxes
on their property. In many communities, the form of govern-
ment is similar to that introduced during Spanish colonial
times, in others, it has undergone numerous changes and
modifications. Two of these systems will be described.
The system of Varayoc was introduced into Peru between
Ibid., pp. 363-366.
2Perd, Constitucion (1933), Acticulos 201-208.
3"The term varayoc means in Quechua, with vara, or
staff of office." William W. Stein, Hualcan: Life in the
Highlands of Peru (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press,
1961), p. 186. Each official carries a staff about a yard
long which is the symbol of his office and authority. This
staff (vara) itself is respected and venerated along with the
office and the authority it represents.
1554 and 1580 under the name of "Mayor of Indians." The
Spanish using this system were able to strengthen their power
over the Indian and protect their own interests. Basically,
the varayos, the leaders of the system consist of a head
mayor, the alcalde pedaneo, a sub mayor, a controller, a
treasurer, and varing numbers of councilmen. These men may
be chosen for these offices in an election-type ceremony, or
in some cases the alcalde pedaneo is appointed by the dis-
trict mayor while the lower officers may be elected or ap-
pointed by the alcalde pedaneo. Those who are nominated or
appointed are usually men of some power, prestige, and wealth
in the community. They usually have some seniority and ex-
perience in the system, as they normally start at the bottom
and work upwards. These officers organize and direct com-
munity endeavors; public works and projects; organize, execute,
and in most cases finance, religious fiestas and events; and
settle small disputes among members of the community.2
Externally the varayos stand between the district town of-
ficials and the members of their communities or in the case
of hacienda communities, between the peons and the patron
The Varayoc system is also an avenue of social
climbing as a person who rises to the top becomes prominent
and well known in surrounding communities as well as in his
Mario C. Vasquez, The Varayoc System in Vicos (Ithaca,
N. Y.: Cornell University Press, Jan.. 1964), p. 2.
2Stein, op. cit., p. 184.
3Ibid., also Vasquez, op. cit.,'p. 3.
own. Only the relatively rich can afford to rise very high
in the system, however, because a person in such a position
must finance many religious fiestas and activities; the expense
increases with the importance of the position.
Another system that is common among the communities is
The Junta Comunal (Communal Committee or Board). This board
is made of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer,
a fiscal (similar to a public prosecutor), and a personero
legal (a legal representative). The latter officer is also
an ex-officio member of the district council in whose juris-
diction the Indian community is located. This position, at
least, gives the Indian community some voice in the mestizo
government. The system of a communal board is common among
many of the recognized Indian communities. Depending on the
individual situation, either the president of the board or
the personero might be the most important officer in this
The main responsibility of the communal board is the
control and administration of the uses and disposition of the
communally owned and worked lands. The board is also res-
ponsible for assembling voluntary labor for public works
projects that are to be executed through mutual cooperation
of the pueblo.
The personero legal has the responsibility of repre-
senting the community before agencies of the central and
local governments. He also has the task, in unrecognized
Stein, op. cit., p. 192.
communities, of making sure that correct procedures are fol-
lowed, that necessary requirements are fulfilled, and that
pressure is applied in order that the community might become
a recognized one.
It must be remembered at this point that an Indian
community may at the same time be a district capital. In
other words, the community might have two groups of officers
representing the people; the local government officials, and
the Indian community officials. Which group might be most
important in community affairs and have ability to complete
public works projects depends on the individual community.
In legal matters however, the mestizo2 local government of-
ficials hold the greatest degree of formal power, but its
use is again dependent on each individual case. Stein points
out in his study of Hualcan that the Indian and his officials
are always subject to the local government or central govern-
ment officials that represent the mestizo world.3
Because the Indian community lies at a sub-district
level, because its major functions and activities lie outside
the scope of this study, and because ultimately the Indian
community is subject to the other local government officials
as well as to the officials of the central government; the
Indian community will not be studied as such in the confines
Most authors feel that local government officials
always represent the mestizo or white elements of the com-
munity and not the Indian segment. Ibid., p. 197, and Hammel,
op. cit., p. 54.
3Stein, a2. cit., pp. 233-234.
of this pro.lect. It is however, a very important element in
the Peruvian political and social system and merits more
comparative analysis and classification to supplement the case
studies that are currently completed, and that are done by
anthropologists and sociologists. There are over .h500 recog-
nized and unrecognized Indian communities in Peru containing
over 2,000,000 people.1 Because of the number of people
involved and the living conditions in which they must abide,
this sector is not and cannot be ignored by the Peruvian
government and by the local governments, or by the intellectual
The Indian communities and their organization, func-
tions, and concepts of communal work have had an impact on
the history of local government and its development in Peru.
We now turn to a more detailed history of local government
in Peru and an examination of the major stages through which
it has evolved.
1In the 1,586 recognized communities alone, there are
over 1,367,000 inhabitants. El Comdrcio (Lima, Perd), 15
Diciembre 1965, p. 8.