LIBERTAD, or LA LIBERTAD,' a coast department of Peru, bounded N. by Lambayeque and Cajamarca, E. by San Martin, S. by Ancachs, S.W. and W. by the Pacific. Pop. (1906 estimate) 188,200; area 10,209 S Q- m - Libertad formerly included the present department of Lambayeque. The Western Cordillera divides it into two nearly equal parts; the western consisting of a narrow, arid, sandy coast zone and the western slopes of the Cordillera broken into valleys by short mountain spurs, and the eastern a high inter-Andine valley lying between the Western and Central Cordilleras and traversed by the upper Maranon or Amazon, which at one point is less than 90 m. in a straight line from the Pacific coast. The coast region is traversed by several short streams, which are fed by the melting snows of the Cordillera and are extensively used for irrigation. These are (the names also applying to their valleys) the Jequetepeque or Pacasmayo, in whose valley rice is an important product, the Chicama, in whose valley the sugar plantations are among the largest and best in Peru, the Moche, Viru, Chao and Santa; the last, with its northern tributary, the Tablachaca, forming the southern boundary line of the department. The Santa Valley is also noted for its sugar plantations. Cotton is produced in several of these valleys, coffee in the Pacasmayo district, and coca on the mountain slopes about Huamachuco and Otuzco, at elevations of 3000 to 6000 ft. above sea-level. The upland regions, which have a moderate rainfall and a cool, healthy climate, are partly devoted to agriculture on a small scale (producing wheat, Indian corn, barley, potatoes, quinua, alfalfa, fruit and vegetables), partly to grazing and partly to mining. Cattle and sheep have been raised on the upland pastures of Libertad and Ancachs since early colonial times, and the llama and alpaca were reared throughout this " sierra " country long before the Spanish conquest. gold and silver mines are worked in the districts of Huamachuco, Otuzco and Pataz, and coal has been found in the first two. The department had 169 m. of railway in 1906, viz.: from Pacasmayo to Yonan (in Cajamarca) with a branch to Guadalupe, 60 m.; from Salaverry to Trujillo with its extension to Ascope, 47 m.; from Trujillo to Laredo, Galindo and Menocucho, 18^ m.; from Huanchaco to Roma, 25 m.; and from Chicama to Pampas, 185 m. The principal ports are Pacasmayo and Salaverry, which have long iron piers built by the national government; Malabrigo, Huanchuco, Guanape and Chao are open roadsteads. The capital of the department is Trujillo. The other principal towns are San Pedro, Otuzco, Huamachuco, Santiago de Chuco and Tuyabamba all provincial capitals and important only through their mining interests, except San Pedro, which stands in the fertile district of the Jequetepeque. The population of Otuzco (35 m. N.E. of Trujillo) was estimated to be about 4000 in 1896, that of Huamachuco (65 m. N.E. of Trujillo) being perhaps slightly less.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)