Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Pilots who Shot Missionaries 'Innocent': The Associated Press reports on the Peruvian civilian Judge Roberto Vasquez who has "shelved criminal charges" against Peruvian Air Force Maj. Jose Antonio Redhead and Lt. Richard Hercilla "who mistakenly shot down a small plane in 2001, killing a Michigan missionary and her infant." The case will go to the Superior Criminal Court in Iquitos. (Archive: See 'Blame Ascribed' in November 1, 2001's Peruvia. Note: it is the last day (near the bottom) of this link.)

Cipriani Questioned: The Associated Press and Dow Jones report on the subpoena of Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani "to testify in an investigation into the alleged murder of his predecessor, Monsignor Augusto Vargas Alzamora -- at the hands of Fujimori's now-jailed spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos." The article states that "Vargas Alzmora and Cipriani were often at loggerheads over Vargas Alzamora's strong criticism of Fujimori's authoritarian methods." Cited in the story are Prosecutor Hector Villar; 'constitutional expert' Javier Valle Riestra; and former Justice Minister Fernando Olivera.

Si Cumple, Questioned: Agence France Press and Dow Jones report that the Jurado Nacional de Elecciones has "invalidated former president Alberto Fujimori's new political party Si Cumple, ending the exiled leader's chances of running in the 2006 presidential elections." Carlos Raffo, an AFujimori spokesperson, stated to the AFP that this was just "an excuse to get us out of the way and try to prevent the former president from registering on the electoral list." Dow Jones also mentions the Apoyo survey released earlier this week which "found that 32% of those polled approved of Fujimori's recent work." However, the poll also "found that 69% believe that Fujimori was guilty of 'illegal enrichment' during his time in office. The poll found that 50% think he was guilty of organizing the death squads involved in two notorious mass killings."

UNDP Report in Lima: The United Nations Development Programme released a new report, Democracy in Latin America: Towards a Citizens' Democracy, today at Lima's Museo Pedro de Osma. "Written by and for Latin Americans, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of the troubled state of democracy in the region, backed by three years of exhaustive research." Expected at the event: AToledo, Mark Malloch Brown (UNDP Administrator), Kofi Annan (UN Secretary-General - by video), Elena Martinez (UNDP Assistant Administrator), and Dante Caputo, (Director of the Project on Democratic Development in Latin America). Reuters filed a story right after the event and the Associated Press offers a photo of Toledo with Brown.

Doe Run, cont: Reuters reports that La Oroya Mayor Clemente Quincho Panez, "We'll go on strike and make a 'march of sacrifice' to Lima if the government does not approve Doe Run's request to extend the PAMA in a month." At stake is when the mining company can comply: by 2007 (what the government wants) or by 2011 (what Doe Run is suggesting.) "The plant is a major source of employment and locals fear that if the PAMA extension is not granted, Doe Run could leave." See 'Doe Run Responds' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Paisanos in Alaska: Alaska's Anchorage Daily News reports ostensibly on Peruvian cuisine but encompasses the Peruvian population at large in that northern clime. "Some 278 Peruvians live in Alaska." Cusquena Vilma Gibaja and the "four generations of Peruvians" about her are profiled but it also includes anticuchos, empanadas, milanesa, chimichurri and Papa a la Huancaina. Also available in Alaska: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

Peru is #6! Reuters relates that Peru is now the sixth largest gold producer, according to a survey released by Gold Field Mineral Services. It was previously ranked No. 7. Quotes come from Carlos Galvez, of the private National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy. Peru produced 172 tonnes of gold in 2003, 15 tonnes more than in 2003, "thus leapfrogging Indonesia in the world ranking."

More Mining:
- Reuters reports that Yanacocha "boosted first-quarter production by 26 percent to 803,000 ounces compared with the same quarter last year," according to Carlos Santa Cruz (Newmont Mining). The mine accounts for virtually half Peru's gold production."
- Dow Jones is reporting that Newmont is "looking at buying IFC's stake in Yanacocha.
- BNAmericas, Dow Jones, and Reuters report that Southern Peru Copper Corp. reported 2004 first-quarter net profit of $86.8 million compared with $18.3 million in the same period last year.
- Reuters reports that Monterrico Metals' Rio Blanco copper project "could start production in 2007 and produce an average of at least 200,000 tonnes a year in the first five years," according to Monterrico's Chief Operating Officer Ray Angus. But "a 3 percent royalty payment on mining operations in Peru 'would kill the project.' "

Macro/Micro Econ:
- BNAmericas reports that "the number of applications for mineral exploration concessions in Peru plummeted 70.9% in March."
- BNamericas reports that "Edelnor plans to issue 10-year bonds, worth about US$5.77 million."

Toledo's Troubles, cont: The Miami Herald re-runs an opinion piece by La República investigative reporter Angel Páez, a skeptical review of the Toledo administration. See 'Toledo's Troubles' in April 13's Peruvia.

SMulanovich & Quarterfinals Postponed: Australia's Advertiser and ABC report that Sofia Mulanovich and her competition "were forced to wait today as the quarter-finals of the women's surfing World Championship Tour event here were postponed for a day." The 0.5m surf at Cloudbreak was considered "below par for the world richest women's event." See 'Sofia in Quarterfinals' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Cienciano Victor: The Associated Press reports that Cienciano beat Independiente (Argentina) 3-2 Tuesday in the Copa Libertadores. "Cienciano won the match on a penalty kick by Carlos Lugo in the 82nd minute." The Associated Press offers several photos of the match.

LHorna Praised: The Bermudan Royal Gazette profiles (almost giddily) "Number one seed Luis Horna [who] set out his stall on the XL Open's second night with a powerful display of South American 'dirt-balling.' The intimidating shaven-headed Peruvian put in a performance ... rarely leaving the baseline but happily grinding his opponent down with near-perfect length groundstrokes." He defeated Frenchman Sebastian De Chaunac 6-2, 6-2.

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