Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Supporting Lima: Reuters runs a feature story on the Mayor of Lima's office and the Instituto Nacional de Cultura's restoration efforts for buildings in Lima's historic center in which "some 1,300 of the 5,000 historic buildings" are close to collapse. Flor de Maria Valladolid Illescas project director of EMILIMA projects costs at "more than $500 million over some 20 years." So far US$3 million has been spent; US$4 million more has been budgeted. The article also quotes María Elena Córdova Burga (Instituto Nacional de Cultura), Carlos Milla (Peru's Chamber of Real Estate) and Gen. Enrique Yepez (Ministry of the Interior). The article begins with a fascinating setting: "Lima used to be so fashionable, like a little Paris, even up until the 1950s, said said Gonzalo de Aliaga from the balcony of his 469-year-old house, where the Aliaga family has lived uninterrupted since the founding of Lima in 1535. de Aliaga used to be the secretary of the Comité Ejecutivo del Patronato Photos: Reuters also offers several photographs to accompany the article.

Visitors to Lima:
- Reuters runs a story on the OAS' Cesar Gaviria during his trip to Lima for a forum on regional politics who offers a tough assessment on democracy declaring, "Democracy in Latin America has not brought in all our countries high levels of growth, or the eradication of poverty or the greater equality that we had all hoped for." Reuters and the Associated Press have photos of Gaviria with AToledo.
- The South African News Agency reports on US Drug Enforcement Administration Karen Tandy's visit to Lima for the 22nd annual International Drug Enforcement Conference in which she declared that "the American drug consumer is the single largest funder of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere." Americans consume at least US$65 billion worth drugs each year. See also: 'Looking for Cocaine 2' in Monday's Peruvia below.

Security in Lima: Dow Jones reports that "Peru is stepping up security for the annual Inter-American Development Bank meetings slated to take place here March 29-31," according to Manuel Boluarte, general director of social communications for the Interior Ministry. The steps follow recent terrorist attacks in Spain. Peru is hosting the IDB board of governor's meeting and the annual meeting of the Inter-American Investment Corp. "The IDB's board of governors include finance ministers and central bank presidents from 46 different countries."

Grieving in Lima: Reuters offers several photos of relatives of the Peruvian nationals killed last Thursday in bomb attacks at Madrid railway stations. The Associated Press offers one of AToledo and Ana Maria Romero (Women's Ministry) at the funeral service for Carlos Fernandez, one of the victims.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Dow Jones reports on a Congressional committee approving last night "a proposal to gradually lower the rate on the new financial services transactions tax, or ITF." The full Congress will still have to approve any reduction.
- BNAmericas reports that the "call for bids to operate two Peruvian water utilities has been delayed until April while an agreement is sought from local governments," according to ProInversion.
- Dow Jones reports that "Brazilian mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) plans to take part in the upcoming auction for the Las Bambas copper deposit in Peru." CVRD Chief Executive Roger Agnelli met with Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo and Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria on Tuesday in Lima.

Award for Paisana: Florida's Naples Daily News reports that among the awardees of the Naples branch of the American Association of University Women was Peruvian-born Sofia Pagán, director of El Nuevo Latino, a Spanish-language biweekly newspaper. Pagán "hasn't forgotten her roots or her beloved town in the Peruvian rain forest. In Peru, Pagán provides food every day for 40 poor, retired teachers from her hometown."

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