Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Peru/Morocco Relations: Arabic News headlines that "Peru backs Morocco in Sahara conflict." Quoting Juan Granda Vera, the story states that "Peru 'totally backs Morocco's stance because we think the Sahrawi provinces are part and parcel of the Moroccan territory.' " Granda was interviewed by Morocco's 'Al Ittihad Al Ichtiraki' on Saturday. Peru has had diplomatic relations with Marrakesh for 17 years and is "first Latin American country to adopt such a crystal clear position in this issue." (See also this Arabic News story from June 2003 when AWagner visited both Morocco and this issue.)

BolPeChi? Agence France Press runs a piece on "Landlocked Bolivia urges Chile, Peru to help in ocean access" pegged on Bolivian President Carlos Mesa televised plea directed at Chile. "I am persuaded that Chile and Bolivia together can build a common destiny, but we can only do so when our sovereignty has been restored,' Mesa said."

Indigenous Affairs:
- The Latinamerica Press has an update on the Nahua indigenous communities' struggle to attain 'legal' titles to their ancestral lands in the Nahua-Kugapakori Reserve. The article does a good job of explaining the complications involving the Camisea gas field and the infamous Lot 57.
- The United Press International wire offers " Peru police release Shining Path prisoners" including the interrogation of Ashaninkas accused of being Sendero collaborators. The piece sinks a bit with this: "A[n] [Ashaninnka] boy was astonished with a Coca-Cola given to him by a police officer, recalling the successful Australian film of the 1980s, 'The Gods Must Be Crazy.' "
-The American radio program Living On Earth begins a series on Petroleum in Machiguenga country and the first installment begins this way: "A giant gas-drilling project in the Peruvian Amazon was supposed to set a standard for environmental and cultural responsibility. But it lies in an indigenous area and since work began, it's raised questions."

Football Statute?: A Reuters story covers the recent saga in Peruvian sports: "Peru's professional footballers have called off a two-month long strike which forced the cancellation of last year's national championship." The two-year old protest included back-wages and "the creation of a 'Players Statute.' " Also: "A crowd of less than 100 saw the youth teams of Sporting Cristal and Universitario play at Lima's national stadium in a fixture which would usually attract 45,000 while other games were postponed over security worries.
also: Football site Footy Mad! is back at it again with "Villa Bid for Nobby reported."

Out You Go: Xinhua Net and VOA News has the latest on Saturday's resignation of Labor Minister Jesus Alvarado amid charges of nepotism. VOA mentions but limits the charges on Raul Diez Canseco to "influence peddling." [NOTE: This most recent cabinet change has not yet been seen in print or on the American wires.]

Don't Come Back: Xinhua Net runs another piece on the return of the "disgraced" AFujimori pegged on his weekly radio speech.

Big Business Ventures:
- Reuters declares that "Barrick says Peru mine looks ready for 2005." The Alto Chicama gold deposit is thought to have "an operating cost of $135 an ounce, producing about 540,000 ounces a year over a 10-year period" according to Barrick. With this production, Alto Chicama will take over from Pierina as the company's main Peruvian gold producer.
- the Ottawa Business Journal reports that Seprotech Systems won a $1.2-million contract in Peru to "design and manufacture four mobile wastewater treatment systems for a mining camp."
- Luchtzak Aviation reports that "Aero Continente is to embark on a major expansion of its fleet." Uncertain is whether this is good news: Aero Continente "will acquire ten Boeing 737-200s from TACA International Airlines of El Salvador." Recent Taca travellers can send in reports to Peruvia.

Another Tragedy: The Associated Press reports on a horrific accident near Arequipa where "[f]ourteen people have been crushed to death and four others have been injured in Peru while riding on a truck laden with sacks of fertilizer after it flipped over on a highway."

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