Thursday, January 22, 2004

Montesinos' Colorado Trial: Denvers' Rocky Mountain News focuses on a second Montesinos-related trial in which "[a] federal judge in Denver has thrown out French businessman Patrick Maugein's racketeering, investor fraud and libel lawsuit against Newmont Mining Corp. "Maugein's 2-year-old lawsuit, in which he sought $25 million, alleged Denver-based Newmont and Peru's Buenaventura Mining Co. Inc. paid former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos millions of dollars in an extortion scheme to get Peruvian judges to rule favorably" on the companies behalf. This ruling follows the dismissal seven months ago of a similar investor-fraud suit Maugein filed in Peru.

Fujimori's Trial: Bloomberg reports that Agence France Press reports that "Peru's Congress Accuses Fujimori Over Murder Case." The case referred to is the 1992 murder of Pedro Huilca, a labor union leader, Agence France-Presse reported. As AFP states, "Congress issued a constitutional accusation, a first step in a legal process against leading government officials."

Redeeming Value? A Starbucks Press Release announces the expansion of a "Partnership with Conservation International and Supports Innovative Verde Ventures Loan Fund ... to Reduce Challenges Facing Small-Scale Coffee Producers While Conserving the Environment." It suggests that this "collaboration has produced significant benefits for habitat conservation and farmer livelihoods" in Peru, among other places. There is also a note about a "a high quality coffee" called Starbucks Peru. NOTE: Compare this New York Times piece about Starbucks opening up a branch in Paris with the opening in Lima referenced in Peruvia, Jan 16 in Surreal Coffee.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Just-Drinks.com reports that "Backus & Johnston saw its beer sales jump 3.0% in 2003" and this despite a tax increase. The piece uses Dow Jones and El Comercio information.
- the seventh Annual Survey of Mining Companies was released today by the Fraser Institute which placed Peru among the top five jurisdictions "for overall investment appeal." (cf. p. 11 in the
Full Report.)
- a Reuters piece reports that SEDAPAL is now rationing water in Lima "after low rainfall." Practical Terms: no flow "from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. until rains replenished supplies in the mountains."

- Ghana Web reports that "[t]he Government has obtained a 20.5 million-dollar loan from the World Bank to finance the first phase of Ghana Land Administration Programme, President John Agyekum Kufuor told Parliament on Thursday. ... He said the idea of using land as a source of wealth was introduced by Professor De Soto of Peru."
- Kyodo News reports that "Japanese immigration authorities have granted special resident status to a family of three Peruvians, reversing their earlier decision to revoke that status in the absence of any blood ties to a Japanese person." This was the result of the Network for Foreigners' Assistance. NOTE: There is no update on the Sandivar families' deportation in Florida. See "On (Not) Entering the USA" in Peruvia, Jan 15.
- In a new Zogby Poll on religious identity among Americans, it discovered that "[a]mong Peruvian Catholics, there is only about a 10 percentage point difference between the responses of people over 50 and those between 18 and 29 on questions about the importance of religious involvement or about how essential the Virgin Mary is to one's religious life, according to Zogby. And Peruvian Catholics of different generations were equally likely to place a high value on the importance of bishops and priests to the life of the church."
- Canada's Edmonton Sun has a profile on Raffi Torres, a top player (#14) on the Edmonton Oilers' professional hockey team. The last sentence of the article reveals his Peruvian roots. (See this Toronto Sun from 2000 for more background.)
- Pittsburgh's Tribune-Review praises Henry Ian Cusick, a Peruvian-born member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, for his role as Jesus in the new movie, The Gospel of John. The 34-year old actor was born in Trujillo. (Note: The Toronto Sun ran a review late last year.)

The Reviews:
- BILLBOARD magazine reviews Peru Negro's new album 'Jolgorio:' "the music is celebratory and beautifully performed." (For Concert information and more, see "Peru Negro" on Peruvia, Jan 19.)
- he New York Times gives its official movie review to 'Touching the Void,' which labels it 'disappointing' with "staged, pseudo-documentary sequences."
- the Washington Times also reviews the 'Touching the Void' and says: "what a story it is, the kind of whopper that might not fly if told as straight fiction." Both reviews refer to this mountaineering as an "extreme sport." For a distinctly different take in the New York Times, see its weekend review in 'The Mountain' in Peruvia, Jan. 19.

- In Pan American Health Organization's Perspectives in Health Magazine, in "Battling over Technology," the author reviews on Peru's views on genetically modified crops.
- A food column in the Detroit News declares that "peanuts were held in such high esteem by the ancient Peruvians that they buried pots of peanuts with their mummified dead to nourish them during their long journey to the hereafter. Those Peruvians were very smart."

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