The regions (Spanish: regiones) of Peru are the first-level administrative subdivisions of Peru. Since its 1821 independence, Peru had been divided into departments (Spanish: departamentos) but faced the problem of an increasing centralization of political and economic power in its capital, Lima. After several unsuccessful decentralization attempts, the legal figure of region became official and regional governments were elected to manage the departments on November 20, 2002 until their planned fusion into real regions.
Under the new arrangement, the former 24 departments plus the Callao Province has become regional circumscriptions. The province of Lima has been excluded from this process and does not form part of any region. Unlike the earlier departments, regions have an elected government and have a wide array of responsibilities within their jurisdiction. Under the 2002 Organic Law of Regional Governments (Spanish: Ley Orgánica de Gobiernos Regionales), there is an ongoing process of transfer of functions from the central government to the regions. A 2005 referendum for the merger of several departments failed to get the necessary electoral support.
Peruvian regions and departments are subdivided in provinces and districts.
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