1985, over 60% of the nation was under emergency rule, giving the Armed Forces control over civilian
authority and denying basic safeguards of human rights to the inhabitants of these zones. Democracy was
confined to Lima and a few provincial cities. Such a situation would challenge any democratic regime; it
ultimately weakened the governments of Belaunde and Garcia.
Garcia tried to reign in the human rights abuses. The scorched earth policy was toned down, but in
general, the Armed Forces gained considerable autonomy in fighting the subversive threat. The Armed
Forces also demonstrated a remarkable learning curve. By the late 1980s, they had begun to work with,
not against, local peasant communities in resisting this extreme guerrilla threat. Yet still, throughout the
presidency of Alan Garcia, Sendero Luminoso appeared to be marching inexorably towards power. Much
of the state presence had collapsed in the rural highlands, the coca zones were largely areas of support for
the guerrillas, and by 1990, the guerrillas had announced their plans to bring the war more directly to
Lima.
Redefining the Political Arena:  1990 2000
If the 1980s witnessed robust party activity, they also witnessed the collapse of the economy and the
rapid spread of violence, terrorism, and illicit coca cultivation. The state seemed to be receding from
much of the national territory. Most of the success of President Fujimori since his election in 1990 rests
on his having addressed the most serious problems facing the nation at the time: the collapsed economy
and hyper inflation, the high levels of political violence and terrorism, the lack of state control over much
of its territory, and the rise of illicit narcotics trafficking. Today, the guerrillas remain defeated, reduced
to minor cells in the remote jungles with no capacity to threaten the regime, and in March 2000 the last
remaining emergency zones were lifted.  The economy, long removed from the crisis years of the 1980s,
still shows deficiencies in generating sufficient employment and equitable and sustained growth. Coca
production has declined in the last few years, although the price has gone up (and recently leveled off)
since the fall of 1998, while the government has undertaken a concerted program of state spending in
rural areas.
President Fujimori was rewarded for his initial policy successes in the 1995 presidential elections, in
which he won a clear victory and his coalition, Cambio 90/Nueva Mayoria, won 67 of 120 seats in a new
unicameral Congress.  However, suspicions that the government had not played fair in the 1992
constituent assembly elections and a 1993 referendum on the new constitution led to a call for domestic
and international observors to monitor the 1995 contest.  Observors conceded that those elections were
fair, but there were enough irregularities in the preferential to cast doubts on the government s
congressional majority.
President Fujimori's second administration (1995 2000) was marked by a number of additional social
and foreign policy successes, including a historical peace accord with neighboring Ecuador.  At the same
time, it was plagued by increasing authoritarianism and a desire to perpetuate itself in power which
ultimately weakened the President s original promise of efficient governance, while undermining the rule
of law and placing increased restrictions on other political competitors.  By the time Fujimori declared
his candidacy for a constitutionally dubious third term (2000 2005), public opinion on his governing
ability was far more divided, while confidence in the electoral institutions themselves was very low
indeed.  This precipitated another call for international observors to monitor the 2000 campaign and the
vote on election day.   The resulting process was one of the most questioned and problematic elections in
Peruvian history, and Fujimori s reelection generated a new domestic political crisis as well as
widespread international criticism.  In June 2000, a High Level Mission of the Organization of American
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