Sunday, April 04, 2004

TransOceanic Highway: The New York Times runs a rollicky piece on the 'trans-Amazon' road, written from Laberinto, where a 500-mile journey "could easily take 10 days." Details include: challenges from environmentalists and the US$7 million bridge over the Acre River that will "at last, link Assis, in the Brazilian state of Acre, to Iñapari in Peru." (This 'at last' would come as a surprise to those who go back and forth between these towns daily.) Also quoted: Miguel Vega Alvear, (Cámara Binacional de Comercio e Integración Perú-Brasil or CAPEBRAS), Juan Carlos Flores (Amazon Conservation Association), Rafael Valencia (a storekeeper in Mavila), and Abraham Rojas (the mayor of Planchon). Officially, the Times article is accompanied by this photograph but photographer Ana Cecilia Gonzales-Vigil (photography editor at El Comercio) also took several other photos for this story.
- BNAmericas (behind registration now) reports that "Toledo signs Transoceanic highway decree."
- Matthew Parris' 1993 travelogue, Inca Kola: A Traveller's Tale of Peru, described the Urcos-to-Puerto Maldonado voyage as "the most hair-raising segment" of his Peruvian adventures.
- Archive: See this Knight-Ridder story from last October which focuses more on the environmental concerns and this Caretas review of the most recent Toledo/Lula summit.

DeSoto's Prize, cont: The Miami Herald reviews Hernando de Soto's Milton Friedman Prize from the Cato Institute. The article summarizes De Soto argument: "that the world's best poverty-fighting measure is giving land titles" to squatters. The newspaper advances the idea that "there is now talk of a Nobel Prize for economics." (This makes him, putatively, the second Peruvian on the Nobel market.)

Land: Power/Problem: The De Soto piece above is attached to a package of articles in the Miami Herald on the power and problem of land, "who owns it, who doesn't." Today's article focuses on "a revolutionary Peruvian government program that has handed out more than one million land titles to squatters in Lima shantytowns as part of poverty-fighting efforts." A separate piece reviews the local challenges in Maria del Triunfo. The series will continue with articles on Venezuela, Brazil, and the Latin American judicial system.

Lots of Coke; No Pepsi: The South African Press Agency relates that "a Peruvian national was arrested yesterday after police found 8 million Rands worth of cocaine in his luggage at Johannesburg International Airport." (Approximately US$1.2 million.)

Oxy in Block 103: The Oil & Gas Journal reports that "Occidental Petroleum Corp. is expanding its exploration program in Peru with the incorporation of Block 101." According to Donald Lipinski, Occidental Petrolera's newly appointed president (surely not this Donald?), "the company also started negotiations with Perupetro for an exploration and production contract on Block 103, seeking new opportunities."

Fake Dollars: Wisconsin's Journal Sentinel and the Associated Press review the story of seven counterfeit $100 bills by a church in Janesville. After investigations by Secret Service agents, the trail leads to - - a hotel in Arequipa.

AFujimori: China's People's Daily reports that Peru "will seek help from The Hague's International Court of Justice" according to a radio interview with Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez on Saturday.

Yanqui, Come Here!: The New York Times includes an opinion piece by reporter Larry Rohter on recent developments in Haiti entitled, "For Once, Latin Americans Ask the U.S. to Butt In." The Fujimori/USA relations are described.

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