Thursday, April 08, 2004

Toledo Televised: Reuters reports that "unpopular President Alejandro Toledo will spend his five-day Easter vacation acting as a tour guide for the Travel Channel as it races around the country filming a television special." The one-hour show will be aired "this fall to an estimated audience of 320 million worldwide." Toledo and EKarp will use the presidential plane and official helicopters to traverse the nation. "PromPeru will foot the bill." A Discovery/Travel channel representative said "it would cost more than $25 million to buy the equivalent amount of advertising air time."

FARC in Peru? China's Xinhua Net reports that the Peruvian Defense Ministry said "that a group of 25 people allegedly kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group were not in Peru." FARC weapon suppler Guerra Siquihua was arrested last March in Iquitos. ALSO: The New York Times runs a correction on a March 23 article that suggested that the Bush administration was using aerial spraying for drug eradication in Peru. It does not. For the original article, see "Whose Coca?" in the March 23 Peruvia.

Truth and Reconciliation, cont: The Church of England Newspaper has a profile on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's actions largely through the eyes of Commissioner Sofia Macher. Others cited include Reed Brody (Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch), Julie Guillerot (APRODEH), and Peace and Hope (Paz y Esperanza).

Strike One, Resolved:Just-Drinks and Reuters reveal that the "20-day strike that threatened to drain Peru of beer ended on Wednesday" after Backus y Johnston agreed to a pay rise for 310 workers at the country's largest brewery. The final pay raise: 2.80 soles, or US$0.81 a day. The workers had demanded a 5 soles-a-day salary hike.

Strike Two, Still Going: Dow Jones and Reuters report that the "eight-day strike by around 4,000 workers at Peru's biggest port has paralyzed the country's foreign trade and could affect the government's $10 billion export target this year," according to Foreign Trade Minister Alfredo Ferrero who suggested that "if no solution is found quickly we will have to declare our foreign trade in a state of emergency." Cited Facts: the revenue lost is $20 million a day; between 80 percent and 90 percent of Peru's foreign trade passes through Callao. (See yesterday's confusion in BNAmerica's report below.)

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that the "Camisea gas project is on course to bring natural gas to Lima by August 9," according to Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria. Tests this week "showed gas was successfully transiting the 750 miles (1,200 kms) of pipeline from the Camisea."
- India's Bharat Textile reports that the Asociacion de Exportadores (ADEX) is "looking for strategic alliances with foreign companies, with the aim of consolidating their exports.
- Bloomberg reports that Monterrico Metals said it "awarded contracts to consultants who will determine whether the company can develop its Rio Blanco project in Peru into a mine producing copper and molybdenum."
- Standard & Poor's Ratings reports that "Sempra Energy International's sale of its equity stake in Peruvian power distributor Luz del Sur will not affect ratings on Sempra Energy or its subsidiaries, but is beneficial to credit quality over the longer term.

- Reuters reports that the Peruvian National football coach, Paulo Autuori, says he "will not be pressured into resigning. Vice-presdient David Waisman has called for his resignation. Peru's next qualifier match is in June against Uruguay.
- Sports Illustrated reports that the Bundesliga's Schalke intends to sign Bayern Munich's Claudio Pizarro. Said Schalke manager Rudi Assauer to Sport Bild magazine, "Pizarro is an interesting player."
- Britain's Middlesborough FMTTM reports that Middlesbrough FC Safety Officer Ron Turnbull "will be representing the FA at a prestigious seminar in Peru ahead of the country hosting the South American equivalent of the European Championships." Peru will be hosting Copa America as well as the FIFA U-17 finals next year.

Paisano Prized: Cornell University's Daily Sun reports that Fernando A. Escobedo, a chemical engineering professor, has received a Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship that comes with $40,000. Escobedo is a graduate of the Universidad de San Agustin.

FOOD! The Miami Herald's cooking column includes this today: "This is a season for humitas, fresh corn tamales, and for malarrabia, the tasty mash of boiled plantains and cheese eaten for lunch on Good Friday in Piura." Also, the Miami Herald joyously reviews Alejandro Sucre's re-opened Tambo restaurant, now in Coral Gables. And finally, the LA Weekly food section Q&A has this query from a reader: "I have a date this Saturday with a lady from Peru. I would like to know any good Peruvian restaurants in the Hollywood area." In the answer: Peruvian restaurants are no "passion pits."

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