Eliana Martinez

Miss Peru

Peru has been competing in the Miss Universe pageants for over 50 years. Their first representative was Ada Gabriela Bueno in 1952. Five years later, It became the 1st Hispanic country to win the Miss Universe crown when Gladys Zender became Miss Universe in 1957. As of the new century, Peru started to shine back into the international beauty pageant scene. Claudia Ortiz De Zevallos was a semi-finalist in the 2003 Miss Universe competition held in Panama. Liesel Holler failed to land in the semi-finals in 2004 but Debora Sulca made Peru's name come back in the contest of 2005 placing 6th. Peru has a total of 14 finalists, 1 finalist, and 1 winner in this annual world-wide contest.

Miss Peru World missed the annual pageant in the first few decades. Therefore Peru has not had many finalists in the Miss World contest although Peru has won the Miss World crown twice. In 2002, Marina Mora placed third, Claudia Hernández made to the semifinalists and also won the Best Designed Evening Gown Award in 2003, just one year before Maria Julia Mantilla got the crown in 2004, making a great come back for Peru in this contest. Candidates who participate in Miss Peru and make the top 10 will be sent to compete in other minor pageants from now on such as Miss Asia Pacific, Miss Maja Mundial, etc.

The official Miss Peru Organization for Miss Universe is Corporacion Nacional de la Belleza and for Miss World is Reinas Del Peru


In the 1950s, Peru was one of the few South American countries to ever compete in an international pageant such as Miss Universe or Miss World. It became a powerhouse having semi-finalists from the '50's throughout the '60's and is known for bringing Latin America their first ever Miss Universe -Gladys Zender- in 1957.

In 1959 Peru participated in Miss World competition for the first time, represented by a beautiful young lady Miss Peru María Elena Rossel Zapata, who was the first runner-up. In 1967, Peru won the crown for the first time in the Miss World competition with Madeleine Hartog Bell, ten years exactly from Gladys Zender having won the Miss Universe competition in 1957. It would be decades until Peru would taste another international victory in the beauty pageant field. In December 2004, María Julia Mantilla García won the title of Miss World again, thanks to a world-wide vote by text message and telephone calls, a first in pageant history. First-runner up was Claudia Cruz from Dominican Republic, and the second-runner up was Brazilian-born Nancy Randall representing the United States. As of 2005, Peru has won one Miss Universe title and two Miss World titles.

On April 16th, 2005, Miss Cajamarca, Debora Sulca was crowned Miss Peru Universe and competed in Thailand this past May for the title of Miss Universe 2005. She placed 6th while Miss Canada, Natalie Glebova was crowned the new Miss Universe by 2004's winner, Jennifer Hawkins.

Fiorella Castellano was crowned Miss Peru World 2005 and represented Peru in December 10th, 2005 where the pageant took place in Sanya, for a third time in a row. This year Fiorella failed to land in the semi-finals. Chances of achieving a back-to-back win were low, but there was still a chance she might've won since India, Sweden and United Kingdom are three countries that have achieved that in Miss World history.

Tracy Freundt, who was first-runner up and a crowd favourite for the title in the Miss Peru 2005 pageant. She continues to work on the popular show "Habacilar" in Lima.

Franchise Controversy

Reinas del Peru organization was in charge of sending representative to both the Miss World and Miss Universe plus other minor international pageants. In 2005, Percy Luzio and another co-worker left the organization for irreconcilable differences between Percy and other workers in the organization, most namely, Marina Mora who was 2nd runner up at the Miss World 2002 pageant. Since leaving, Percy Lucio has put himself as the new person in charge of the Miss Peru Universe franchise. His new organization is called Corporation de la Belleza and has the responsibility of sending its winner to the Miss Universe pageant and the other minor pageants that Reinas del Peru was in charge of. Reinas del Peru however, felt betrayed by Luzio's actions but have focused on working towards the Miss Peru World pageant which from now on will be held separately.

Regions, Capital and Community

In the Miss Peru annual pageant, 25 regions,the National Capital and the Peruvian community in the USA compete for the Miss Peru Universe or Miss Peru World crown. The top 10 are selected from the group and then it comes down to the top 5. The winner of the chosen pageant is determined and a new representative is named Miss Peru.

The current Peruvian regions,the National Capital and the Peruvian community in the USA that have sent a contestant are:

Notable Winners

After winning the Miss Universe crown, Gladys Zender became very popular and well known in her country of Peru. She later married and is the mother of a successful Peruvian actor, Christian Meier.

Jessica Newton, Miss Peru 1987, became in charge of the Miss Peru pageant until 2004. Many said she hand picked the winner of the pageant due to favouritism. She later criticized the crowning of Miss Peru 2005, Debora Sulca and also said that Maju Mantilla's Miss World victory was like the cherry on top for her departure from the Miss Peru organization. When asked about Jessica Newton, the reigning Miss World said she never had the opportunity to meet her.

After her appearance in Miss Universe, Debora Sulca was approached by Telemundo.

When she arrived in Lima after her Miss World win, Maju Mantilla was received by dozens of people in the Jorge Chavez International airport. Like Gladys, Maju also became known and popular in her country.

Maju is currently working for Ford Models Modeling Agency.

Other wins

Not only has a Peruvian woman won a Miss Universe or Miss World title. There are other international pageants in which Peru has achieved success in either entering the semi-finals or winning the crown.

Wins: Miss Caribe Hibiscus, Miss Asia Pacific, Miss Tourism Queen International 2008

Runner up or Semi-final entries: Miss International, Miss Earth, Miss Maja Mundial, Reina Hispano America, Miss Italia Nel Mondo


The following is a list of the Miss Universe and Miss World candidates from Peru. Some delegates who won the chance to represent Peru in the Miss Universe pageant also went to the Miss World pageant.

Miss Peru Universe

Miss Peru World

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