Sunday, January 18, 2004

The Spy: Reuters' Jude Webber files an full update on Vladimiro Montesinos who returns to "court on Tuesday to face the most serious charges against him to date: that he planned a huge gunrunning operation to Colombian FARC rebels in the late 1990s." The piece concludes that "[t]he case has all the elements of an international spy thriller." Also included: Jordan, Brazil, 'Siberia,' "evidence points to CIA support of Montesinos" (which refers to the lead story in today's El Comercio). While Vladi has been in jail since 2001, it is important to note that "sentences in Peru are not consecutive."
A separate Reuters bit (JWebber with help by Teresa Cespedes) offers a timeline of the legal labyrinth.

The Mountain: The New York Times runs an enthusiastic endorsement of "Touching the Void," the new docu-drama based on Joe Simpson's book of the same title. The movie relates the true story of the 1985 scaling of the unclimbed west face of Siula Grande. The writer, an editor for Outside Magazine, says that "[i]t's only taken three decades to make another" good movie in this genre. Today's New York Daily News also gives it two thumbs up.
[NOTE: See "Touching the Void" in Dec 9 Peruvia for the British reviews, a movie trailer, and information on the Cordillera Huayhuash.]

The Car: Associated Press offers a colourful note on the possible demise of the Tico Taxi which faces new government safety rules in February "that threaten to put it out of the taxi business." The piece offers numbers ("tens of thousands of struggling Peruvians [pay] $9 to rent the cars for 12-hour shifts"), defines 'Super Ticos,' highlights the Tico which placed in the 2002 Road of the Incas Road Rally, among the 80,000 Daewoos in Peru.

The Man: The January issue of Opera News has Juan Diego Flórez as their cover boy who is about to make another splash in February portraying Lindoro in L'Italiana in Algeri at the Metropolitan Opera. (JDF turned 31 last week.) The piece includes other illustrious Peruvian names such as Luigi Alva, Ernesto Palacio, and, of course, Ruben Flórez. Tonight, JDF sang in Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice.
Other news items on JDF in the last few days:
- the Kansas City Star highlights the Peruvian tenor in advance of his appearance there this week.
- the music critic of South Carolina's Post and Courier asks: "Is he the best tenor in the world?"
[NOTE: For all the JDF info you may need, see this outstanding JDF fansite by Jean Peccei. You can see JDF in this Verdi's Falstaff DVD.]

Chachapoyas: The Washington Post offers a piece on Chachapoyas ostensibly as a Travel piece but it belongs more in the adventure-type writing. He includes references to the Discovery Channel's piece on Leymebamba as well as this delightful book, "Warriors of the Clouds," by Keith Muscutt. The piece does not refer to Muscutt's Chachapoyas.com.

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