Monday, March 22, 2004

War of the Pacific, Redux:
- a). The MercoPress reports on the purchase of four missile frigates Type Luppo from Italy (which doubles the original purchase intention of two frigates). The stated purpose of the purchase: to maintain a “strategic balance” with neighbouring Chile that has acquired several high technology units as part of its fleet renewal process. See here for more on the frigates.
- b). The Los Angeles Times runs a feature story that declares that Bolivia's landlocked nature and the War of the Pacific are 'controversies' that are "simmering anew." Reporting from Iquique, the story states that some "pro-Bolivian statements made by a few civic leaders in northern Chile have given the Bolivians hope" and suggests that "a few people think giving the Bolivians some land isn't such a bad idea." The piece also clearly states: Neither Iquique nor Arica to the north was ever part of Bolivia — before the War of the Pacific began in 1879, both were Peruvian ports.
- c). Earlier, Dow Jones reported earlier that Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero said that Peru "is working to settle an outstanding dispute with Chile over their maritime border." While Chile considered the issue 'closed,' Ferrero made clear he wants "the maritime boundary more to the south."

In Doe Run's Defense: Scripps News Service offers an opinion piece on Doe Run Peru which began an investment in Peru in 1998 and “promised to quickly begin a massive cleanup called the Program to Administer and Maintain (improve) the Ambient (environment), or PAMA.” The writer, Michael Fumento, is affiliated with the Hudson Institute. This version of the story from his own website is hyper-linked and includes photographs with captions like, “La Oroya is hell no more.” NOTE: “Unfortunately, there's little historical data on blood lead levels in children because tests were conducted differently each time, leaving apples-to-oranges comparisons.” ALSO: “But sadly just as environmentalists rightly complained about the La Oroya facility when it was state-run, now groups with names like EarthJustice and the InterAmerican Association for Environmental Defense are playing DRP as the villain. Yet all they are really claiming is that the place isn't yet as clean as grandma's kitchen floor.”

Fujimori 2006: The Associated Press reports from Lima that supporters of "disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori ... have registered a new political grouping which they hope will be the 'first step' toward his political comeback" changing 'Vamos Vecino' to 'Si Cumple.'

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Arabic News reports that "Peru and Morocco have reaffirmed their determination to further develop bilateral relations and diversify cooperation in all sectors," after a vist by Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros to Morocco.
- Dow Jones reports that "Peru's full Congress approved a reduction in the rate on the new financial sector transactions tax, or ITF, to 0.10% for this year" late last week.
- Reuters reports that the head of Mivivienda, Rene Cornejo, will be the next head of ProInversion, Peru's state investment agency.
- Dow Jones reports that the Inter-American Development Bank has delayed the final signing of $135 million in financing for the huge Camisea natural gas project due to environmental and social concerns."
- BNAmericas reports that the "giant Yanacocha gold mine in northern Peru's Cajamarca department plans capital investment of US$250mn-270mn this year," according to Newmont.
- BNAmericas reports that "US-based energy company Nuevo Energy Company is seeking one or more partners to share exploration costs on Peru's block Z-1."
- Bloomberg reports that Monterrico Metals said "estimates of copper and molybdenum reserves at its Rio Blanco project in Peru may increase after recent drilling at the mountaintop site in the Andes. Its shares rose as much as 9 percent."

Racism Against Peruvian: Virginia's Times Dispatch and the Associated Press report on Peruvian University of Virginia student, Luis Avila, and his US $300,000 lawsuit after being "assaulted at a party because of his ethnicity." A guilty plea and a prison sentence has already been meted out in the case. The campus paper, The Cavalier Daily provides some details: "The suit alleges that threats and phrases [were shouted] during the assault that were "motivated by animosity toward Mr. Avila because of Mr. Avila's racial and/or ethnic background." These are said to include, "You should go back to Mexico" and "You should be washing my dishes."

Grieving in Lima, cont: EFE reports on Jacqueline Contreras, "the 22-year-old Peruvian who died in the Madrid hospital where doctors tried to save her following the March 11 terrorist attack." Reuters offers photographs of her grieving family.

- The BBC and Reuters reports that Nolberto Solano will miss the March 31 World Cup qualifier at Lima against Colombia after pulling a hamstring during a match for English premier league Aston Villa. His recovery is likely to take around one month.
- On this day of the Priztker Award, the Miami Herald includes the Peruvian-born Bernardo Fort-Brescia in a piece on architecture.

Monster Disses Peru: Florida's St. Petersburg Times interviews Monster.com's CEO (it is an online job reference site) and asks him: "Were there any times when you didn't think you were going to make it at Monster?" His answer: "About six to eight weeks after we started, I had about 200 jobs on the site and they were all in Boston, and I had about 200 job seekers and they were all in Peru (laughs). "

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