Thursday, May 27, 2004

Fujimori and the Fortune Teller: The Associated Press, the BBC and Reuters report on the new vladivideos that show AFujimori "being warned of danger by the mysterious fortune teller" who evidently tells Fujimori that "he would face serious danger soon after 15 September [2000]." The first vladivideo was released on September 14 of that year and AFF fled the country that November. Congresswoman Anel Townsend Diez Canseco received the video anonymously and El Comerio played their scoop with front-page coverage yesterday. The BBC reports that "anti-corruption investigators have already begun the hunt to track down the clairvoyant, who is believed to be Bolivian and named Jennifer." The AP headlines its story: "Former presidents of Peru and Ecuador shared fortune teller." That Ecuadoran president, Jamil Mahuad, is now a fellow at Harvard University.

Mayor Lynched, cont.: Reuters runs an update focusing on President Toledo's "surprise nationwide speech" last night where he declared: "Democracy yes, disobedience and disorder no. No minority on the fringes of the law can impose its way of thinking through force." In addition to the protests in Ilave, there have been cocaleros in Lima and around Tingo Maria, as well as strikes by health workers, miners, port workers and "the country's largest workers union, CGTP, plans a general strike for July 14, its first in almost four years." Toledo's solution: "he would urgently send a bill to Congress to toughen penalties for protesters who cause disturbances." The president reiterated what his government has been suggesting: "Contraband dealers and drug traffickers were behind the violence" in Ilave. Quoted: APRA Congressman Aurelio Pastor. Under "intense pressure": Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero. The New York Times includes a paragraph by Juan Forero only on the suspension of the protests in Ilave. It ends by stating, "the government says it will negotiate the town's demands." (Forero also writes a story on Colombia in the same column.) The Miami Herald uses a version of yesterday's Associated Press story. (Note: The Reuters article was available by deadline for most USA newspapers.)

Ayacucho Visit: The Miami Herald's reports from Pomacocha, Ayacucho on the visit of Werner Omar Quesada Martinez who "was treated like royalty during the visit last month because Pomacocha is an isolated community high in the Andes, desperate for any kind of government assistance." Apparently, the Herald's reporter, Tyler Bridges, rode into town in Quesada's Nissan SUV. Quesada is the Regional President of Ayacucho. [This story was in yesterday's paper; thanks to VR for emailing about its omission.]

Amnesty Report on Peru: Amnesty International has released their 2004 Report which "documents the human rights situation in 155 countries and territories in 2003, and summarizes regional trends." Their section on Peru includes this summary: "The Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented its final report to the President. "Anti-terrorism" legislation, which had rendered all trials unfair since 1992, was ruled unconstitutional and reforms were introduced. Scores of prisoners of conscience remained in jail. Prison conditions remained harsh."

LHorna Loses in Paris: The Financial Times and London's Telegraph report that Luis Horna was defeated at the Paris Open by Spaniard Galo Blanco 2-6 6-4 1-6 6-2 6-3."

De Soto Speech: The Cato Institute today posted Hernando de Soto's speech he gave upon upon receiving the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty on May 6. Among his statements: "I would like to hereby confirm that Milton Friedman and Rose are two rock stars in Peru" since their visit in 1979.

Peru & Pakistan @ Peace: Pakistan's Daily Times reports that "Peru has withdrawn the 33 percent anti-dumping duty which had been imposed on the import of Pakistani poplin (cotton/polyester) in March," according to "an official at the commerce ministry." This official said "when Pakistan authorities informed Peru that Islamabad has asked its mission to move the WTO Dispute settlement Board against the decision, which was based on one-sided investigation, authorities in Peru decided to withdraw the duty." Note on Definitions: "Peru authorities during their one-sided investigation treated Pakistan as a non-market economy country and imposed the duty. A non-market economy (NMC) country is the country where economy is controlled by the state, and Peru treated Pakistan as NMC despite the fact that the government is pursuing liberal economic policies." The piece states that Pakistan's exports to Peru stood at $5.140 million in 2002-03 while imports from Peru were at $ 0.931 million.

Real Estate Conference in Lima: Real Estate News reports on the Andean Housing Conference held in Lima in July. "Real estate leaders, professionals and high-level Peruvian officials will gather with leaders from the Andean Region and leaders and professionals for a dynamic two-day conference on housing and emerging real estate markets." The conference will be hosted by the Camara Peruana de la Construccion and will include "real estate think-tanks such as the Instituto Libertad Democracia and Uniapravi ... making it an intellectually stimulating laboratory for international real estate professionals."

Tragedy at Gas Project: Dow Jones reports that "three men were killed in a work-related accident involving the Camisea natural gas project," according to Luis Ortigas, who oversees the Camisea natural gas project for the government. The men, who worked for Gas Natural de Lima y Callao (a division of Belgium's Tractebel), and died in Lurin "from inhaling nitrogen." Cited: Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Sulliden Exploration released a press release to announce "the first of an exploration progress update of ongoing geochemistry, trenching and drilling on the Shahuindo gold/silver property in Cajamarca."
- Dow Jones reports on the "the selective consumer tax on fuel to protect consumers from rising international crude oil prices," according to Energy and Mines Minister Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski.
- Dow Jones reports that Congress voted "to close the indexed government pension plan known as Law 20530. or the "cedula viva," was 96-to-5, with 11 abstentions." A second vote will now involve "a constitutional modification and under Peruvian law, a two-thirds majority of Congress must vote in favor in two separate sessions of the legislature in order to modify the Constitution." About 295,000 pensioners receive a fully indexed pension under the Law 20530. "After the death of the retiree, the pension passes to the spouse and, should they have an unmarried daughter, then she is entitled to receive the benefit as well."

Good Art: Maryland's Gazette reports that Peruvian artist "Americo Rios LaTorre has never been to Urbana. But his paintings have."

Teenager at Orphanage: The British Paisley Daily Express reports that a local "teenager is pursuing her very own American dream - by spending a year working at an orphanage in PERU! Big-hearted Morvyn McKelvie will become "mum" to a family of eight children as part of the charity project." The article includes a fund-raising pitch for the teenager.

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