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Puno is a region in southeastern Perumarker. It is bordered by Boliviamarker on the east, the Madre de Dios Region on the north, the Cusco and Arequipa regions on the west, the Moquegua Region on the southwest, and the Tacna Region on the south. Its capital is the city of Punomarker, which is located on Lake Titicacamarker in the geographical region known as the Altiplanomarker or high sierra.

Geography

The Puno region is located in the Collao Plateau. The western part of Lake Titicacamarker, which is the world's highest navigable lake, is located in the region. The Andean mountains make up 70% of the region's territory, and the rest is covered by the Amazon rainforest.

The climate is cold and dry, with a four-month rain season. On the other hand, the climate of the rainforest is warm. The water resources are taken from the Lake Titicaca, 50 lagoons and more than 300 rivers. There is also an important potential in underground waters.

Tourism

Tourism is currently expanding in the Puno Region, with several tour operators and hotels ranging from low budget hostels to high-end hotels.

Political division

The region is divided into 13 provinces (provincias, singular: provincia), which are composed of 107 districts (distritos, singular: distrito). The provinces, with their capitals in parenthesis, are:



History

In ancient times, the Collao plateau was inhabited by Aymara groups (Collas, Zapanas, Kallahuayos and Lupacas). The Quechuas came later.

According to chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, these ancient times coincide with the legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, who emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca to found the Inca Empire.

The Aymara culture, also known as Putina, was the most important and influential pre-Hispanicmarker culture in the region.

During the Viceroyship, Puno was the obliged route for travelers going to Potosímarker, Boliviamarker. In 1668, viceroy Conde de Lemosmarker established San Juan Bautista de Puno as the capital of the province of Paucarcolla. Later, it was called San Carlos de Puno, in honor of the ruling king, Charles II of Spain.

In 1870, the railway route Arequipamarker-Puno was installed and navigation in Lake Titicaca started.

In 2007, a meteoritemarker landed here, rupturing a natural deposit of arsenic, sickening the locals. (There is no "natural deposit of arsenic" here, just alluvial mud. The reported sicknesses may be psychosomatic, caused by fear of the unexpected event, or might be caused by stirring up of fungal spores?)

Current events

In March 2008, the regional President, Hernán Fuentes, declared that he seeks to push for the region's secession from Peru in order to establish an independent state. Fuentes has refused to help his local government organize a nationwide test for public sector teachers and promotes the cultivation of the coca leaf, often used to make cocaine. Then-Peruvian Prime Minister Jorge Del Castillo stated that promoting the breakup of Peru was "an act of sedition."

Government officials allege Fuentes to be ideologically close to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and to Bolivian President Evo Morales.


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