Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Mayor Lynched, cont: Agence France Press, the Associated Press, the BBC, the Independent, the United Press International, and the Voice of America all update the story of Mayor Cirilo Fernando Robles Cayomamani who was lynched by a mob in Puno.
- The Associated Press has the best reporting with Drew Benson filing from Ilave: AToledo sent "a convoy of trucks with more than 200 officers" who eventually "retook control a day after highland Indians beat to death the mayor, accusing him of corruption." Toledo gave a nationally televised address, and called on Ilave to "maintain the climate of tranquility,'' but he also issued a warning. "Democracy means order and discipline." Also quoted was Rosa Carvajal as a women-in-the-street. Added Detail: "During the protest a riot erupted and a mob broke into a house, where Robles was conducting a town council meeting." The mob is numbered at 3,000.
- The Independent reports that an army general was headed to Ilave "to negotiate the release of the hostages and restore calm." Added Detail: "the situation deteriorated, however, after election officials from the Interior Ministry cautioned against forcing Mayor Robles' resignation and said there should be new elections instead." Also cited: the UNDP report on democracy.
- The United Press International based its reporting from El Comerico.
- Photographs: Reuters offers an "undated file picture" of the Ilave Mayor and a photograph of some protestors. The Associated Press also has photos of some more protestors, and of the military detail that arrived in Puno. The AP has a snapshot of Toledo's news conference. In addition, the AP has photographs of Mayor Robles funeral procession. The AP also has a photos of Aymara women and a man in the Plaza de Armas in Ilave. Finally, the AP publishes a grotesque photo of the violence and a depiction of another victim (with no accompanying explanation).
- The Agence France Press piece said that taking back the city was "a process that is going to take some time." People were heard in the main square chanting "Ilave united will never be defeated." Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez, "denounced the lynching before the Organization of American States in Washington." AFP is alone in reporting two more incidents as reported by Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi: Mayor Oswaldo Peralta Rojas of Cahuapanas "was taken hostage along with two other officials." (Three officials taken hostage in Ilave Monday are still missing.) And "Aguaruna Indians took the mayor of Yurimaguas hostage, along with two other city officials." In Spanish: For the other two cases, see this story in Peru 21 and this piece in El Comercio.

Stripped: Reuters reports that about 50 former PescaPeru employees "have broken into a United Nations compound in Lima and stripped to their underwear to call for benefit payments they say the Peruvian government owes them." They "climbed the fence of the U.N.'s Development Program building on Wednesday and demanded the United Nations pressure the government to award them severance." They were removed after a short protest. Quoted is Benigno Chirinos, secretary-general of the former PescaPeru workers. Reuters offered several photographs of the fishermen, some with only their skivvies on and others with more clothes. Another photograph shows them scaling the walls.

Miners Strike, cont: Bloomberg reports that "about 60,000 Peruvian miners plan a two-day strike tomorrow to seek higher wages, including workers from Southern Peru Copper Corp., Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SA and Shougang Hierro Peru SA, Volcan Cia. Minera SA, Cia. Minera San Ignacio de Morococha SA, Cia. Minera Milpo SA and Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SA's Uchuchacua, according to union officials. Cited were Eleuterio Huamani, (a union leader at Southern Peru), Hugo Sosa, (a union leader at Shougang), and Vicente Sotomayor (Mining Workers' National Federation).

More Mining:
- BNAmericas reports that "a coordinating committee has been set up to follow up the analysis of the pollution problems affecting La Oroya, the home of US metals company Doe Run's polymetallic smelter-refinery." The committee will be led by María Cardieh, director general of mining, and made up of representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Doe Run, and Centromin. (See 'Doe Run, cont' in April 21's Peruvia.)
- Newmont Mining put out a press release that declared that Yanacocha "sold 410,300 equity ounces in the first quarter at total cash costs of $133 per equity ounce." A related Denver Post article states that "Newmont's financial and operational success has come amid criticism from environmental and political groups that accuse the company of pollution and cultural disruption, particularly in Peru."
- Candente Resource put out a press release to announce "that the Cañariaco Norte leachable copper (chalcocite) zone has been identified over an areal extent more than double than previously known."

Econonic Shifts: Reuters reports that Central Bank President Javier Silva Ruete declared that Peru expects "to sign a new line of credit with the International Monetary Fund in the next few weeks," in a news conference for foreign correspondents. In March, an IMF mission visited Lima "to begin talks on a new credit line, expected to be similar to the $380 million stand-by agreement the global lender approved in 2002, which expired without being used." In a separate Reuters piece, Silva Ruete stated that "Peru expects to raise interest rates if a U.S. recovery pushes up rates in the world's largest economy, but the changes will probably be slight." The central bank's April interest rate is 2.5%. "High world oil and wheat prices will also pressure Peru's inflation rate and consumer prices could rise up to 3.5 percent in 2004," added the Bank President. (See 'Macro/Micro Econ' in yesterdays Peruvia.)

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Dow Jones reports that "Congress' Economics and Financial Intelligence Committee rejected a bill that would have allowed those with accounts in Peru's private pension funds to freely move them to state-owned pensions." Cited is Luis Solari, chairman of the economics committee. "Officials have said the cost of the measure, if approved, could rise to billions of soles a year." (See also 'Macro/Micro Econ' in April 16's Peruvia.)
- Reuters stated that "Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it assigned its 'BB-' foreign currency rating to the Republic of Peru's US$500 million senior unsecured bond issue, which is due in 2016."

Teachers Strike? Dow Jones reports that Juan Contreras of SUTEP, the Union of Education Workers of Peru, had rejected the the government's latest wage increase the government has proposed." On Monday, the Education Minister Javier Sota Nadal offered teachers an increase of 115 soles a month. The piece states that "President Alejandro Toledo took office in mid-2001 promising to double teacher salaries within five years."

Crimean War in Callao: The Russian news agency Novosti reports on the 150th anniversary of the Russian frigate, The Avrora: "During the Crimean War, a war between Russia and an English-French-Turkish coalition, an English and French squadron blocked The Avrora, a 44-cannon frigate, at Port Callao. In the fog, Russian sailors used seven boats to quietly tow the frigate out of the harbor, escaping the British patrol. The frigate then hoisted its sails and sailed away." For the ceremony, the Peruvian Naval Command and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Kuznetsov put a wreath in the water. In conjunction with the celebration, a new photography exhibit opened in Lima: "The Military-Technical Cooperation between Russia and Peru: From the Beginning until the Present."

UNDP Report in Lima, cont:The Christian Science Monitor runs a piece (by Lucien Chauvin) from Peru on the tentative nature of Latin American democracy, pegged to a recent United Nations study that declared that "people here are losing faith in democracy - even as the region's economy grows."
Says Chauvin, "This may explain why Alberto Fujimori, Peru's former hard-line president, is leading polls in a crowded field of potential candidates." [NOTE: Only the IMASEN poll currently has Fujimori in the lead and that poll was restricted to Lima voters.] Cited are report author Dante Caputo and Mark Mallock Brown (UN Development Program Administrator). See: 'UNDP Report in Lima' in April 22 below.

UNICEF Report: Reuters reports that "Armed groups in Latin America are increasingly drafting children due to rising violence and a history of not being punished for recruiting minors," according to the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF). In Peru, "children are also drafted into private urban armies that defend drug traffickers. UNICEF estimates that there are 300,000 child soldiers worldwide. " See UNICEF's 'Armed Conflict' page.

Other Reports:
- The American Scientist publishes an article titled "Ethnoclimatology in the Andes," on how indigenous farmers used "simple astronomical observations" to work out their system of forecasting the rains. A vivid photograph of a man and a woman planting potatoes is also included.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition publishes a study whose goal was "to examine whether improvement in maternal gestational zinc status is positively associated with fetal growth as assessed by ultrasonography." They "conducted a double-masked, randomized trial among 242 pregnant Peruvian women in an impoverished shantytown in Lima, Peru."

LHorna in Munich: Sports Ticker reports that Luis Horna beat France's Olivier Mutis, 6-4, 6-1 in a first-round match in the BMW Open in Germany. "Horna will play seventh-seeded American Taylor Dent in the second round."

Chile is Different:
The New York Times publishes an article on how good it is to be Chile in today's Latin America and quoted from a recent essay by Alvaro Vargas LLosa: "The image of Chile for many years has been that of a country that is 'different and solitary.' Curiously, although Chile has undertaken a growing trade with the world and attracted investments, it was perceived as 'isolated' in a space that is psychological more than political or economic."

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