Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Coca Rising +, cont.:Reuters reports that "police fired tear gas at thousands of anti-government protesters on Tuesday as a march in Lima and strike by southern peasants who killed their mayor last month piled pressure on the unpopular government. Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero was under pressure to fix things fast." Among those "anti-government protestors" are: "coca growers who tried to push their way into the prime minister's office during an otherwise peaceful protest" (see Reuters photos of them and an AP photo); "health workers who carried coffins to signify what they called 'Peru's dying public health service.' (see Reuters photo and Associated Press photos); members of the General Confederation of Workers of Peru "demand[ing] better working conditions and more pay." (see Reuters photos of them as well as the AP photo) The Union Network offers background on the nurses strike. Cited: Congressman Rafael Rey Rey. The United Press International also reports on the cocaleros, quoting Elsa Malpartida: "We march because there is nothing concrete. Now there are only offers and promises, and for this we are going to follow through with our protests." Also noted: the General Confederation of Peru Workers "as well as some state officials and students from different universities who will march with them." ALSO: A strike in Ilave, near the Bolivian border, went into a second day. About 4,000 people flooded into town and briefly blocked a bridge between Peru and Bolivia in generally peaceful protests on Monday.

Mayor Lynched, cont: Dow Jones reports that the government is "ready to declare a state of emergency is violence persists" in southern Puno. The Associated Press shows photos of a "highway scattered with rocks;" a photo of a bridge being blocked; another AP photo shows the military police out in force among the local population. A couple of other photos (one, two) show people protesting. More broadly, the Miami Herald reprints some Q&A from the InterAmerican Dialogue's Latin American Advisor responding to violent incidents in Latin America including those in Ilave, Puno. Answers come from Phillip McLean (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Marisa Ferreira, (Schmeltzer, Aptaker & Shepard), and Shannan Mattiace (Allegheny College): "One potential response -- particularly in the case of Peru -- would involve the genuine decentralization of economic and political power to local governments."

AToledo's Numbers: MercoPress reports that "opposition leaders, members of Congress and even presidents of the 25 regional councils of Peru are demanding elections be advanced since theres a general feeling that President Alejandro Toledo's administration is rapidly nearing its end." Quoted: Jehude Simon ("an outstanding regional leader"), AGarcía; LFlores Nano; and Congressman Jose Barba Caballero.

Camisea on Hold?, cont: Dow Jones reports that "thousands of protesters blocked the Panamericana highway, denouncing a government ruling involving the land dispute" involving a liquefied natural gas plant that "will make use of gas coming from the $1.6 billion Camisea project and adjacent blocks located in southern Peru." The plant is to be constructed either in Ica or in Lima. "A government agency, the National Technical Directory for Territorial Limits, recently released a report placing the land where the plant is to be built in the province of Lima." (See the Reuters piece in yesterday's 'Camisea on Hold?')

Andes are 'Teetering', cont: The Miami Herald runs another op-ed by John Heimann and Dan Christman of the Council of Foreign Relations, this one titled, "Land reform can help eradicate dire poverty" pegged partly on the recent UNDP study that showed "enormous dissatisfaction with democracy among Latin Americans." The authors repeat the importance of their own study: Andes 2020: A New Strategy for the Challenges of Colombia and the Region. Among their recommendations: "a comprehensive land-reform plan is effective property-tax collection of large landholdings, particularly those that lie fallow." (See 'Andes are 'Teetering' ' in March 26's Peruvia.)

LHorna Loses: Reuters notes that Luis Horna was bested by Argentine Guillermo Coria 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in the second round of the Hamburg Masters today.

Miners Strike, cont.: Reuters reports that "workers at two Southern Peru Copper Corp. mines and at [Toquepala and Cuajones mines] stopped work on Thursday in response to a nationwide strike call to push for contracts and benefits for all mine workers." Yanacocha was not affected. Minister of Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria downplays the overall effects. Pedro Escate (Mining Federation), Ernesto Valdez (Volcan), Carlos Galvez (Compania de Minas Buenaventura, and Julio Ortiz (Shougang union). "Workers at Chinese-owned Shougang Hierro Peru, Peru's only iron miner, were on strike, public relations chief Guillermo Alfaro said. He gave no details other than that the stoppage was peaceful." (See also 'Miners Strike' in April 30's Peruvia.)

More Mining:
- Pan American Silver Corp. produced a press release that reported their increase in production and their lower cash cost. A separate press release noted "the separation of the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer previously held by Ross J. Beaty. Mr Beaty will remain fully engaged as Chairman and Mr Geoff Burns, formerly President and Chief Operating Officer, will become President and Chief Executive Officer."
- Reuters reports that Yanacocha "produced 803,000 ounces in the first quarter of this year," according to Carlos Santa Cruz, managing director for South America for Newmont Mining. Yanacocha produced 2.8 million ounces of gold in 2003. Peru is the world's No. 7 gold producer.
- Dow Jones runs another confirmation on the delay of the auction of Las Bambas copper project until July 23. "Yes, it is totally true," said a ProInversion spokeswoman, confirming what an agency official had said earlier this week."
- Meridian Gold put out a press release that state: "On March 25, 2004, Meridian advised Buenaventura that it would not exercise its option to earn a 51% interest in the Los Pircos project located in Peru. While Meridian remains upbeat on the exploration potential in Peru, this property did not meet all of Meridian's operating criteria."
- Arcturus Ventures put out a press release to announce their completion of "initial reconnaissance-style geological examination of its newly acquired Esperanza Property in Peru. The Esperanza Property is located in the northern portion of the Department of Arequipa and is approximately 600 km southeast of Lima.

Gorby at Gold Conference, cont.: Dow Jones and Pravda catch up with the Gorby in Lima story but adds nothing new to the Associated Press story. (See also 'Gorby at Gold Conference' in May 10's Peruvia below.

Copa America Preps, cont.: Reuters offers photographs of construction workers "during an expansion of the stands project at the Elias Aguirre Stadium in Chiclayo prior to the July 2004 Copa America soccer tournament." The stadium will be the venue for the Copa America's group B with Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and Ecuador. Copa America 2004 will be in Peru from July 6-25" including one of herons. (See also 'Copa America Preps' in May 5's Peruvia.

Electricity Production Up: - Dow Jones reports that "Peru's electricity production increased by 4.3%, according to the National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy. "The largest producer in March was state-owned Electroperu, which generated 637.2 gigawatt-hours, 8.1% higher than in the same month last year."

Ceviche in NYC: New York Press reviews Mancora restaurant in the East Village in New York City that begins: "You don't often hear someone say they're in the mood for Peruvian." It also includes these pointers:
1. What passes for ceviche in this town is disgraceful;
2. The causal factor is a lack of awesome ceviche;
3. If Mancora's ceviche met every other ceviche in Manhattan in any sort of contest, it would romp;
4. Such a contest should be held as soon as possible, as a matter of public interest.

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