Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Mayor Lynched, cont: The Associated Press, the BBC, Reuters and the United Press International all report on the continued violence in Ilave. The Reuters story from Ilave reports that "Ilave has witnessed more than a month of disturbances and we are considering declaring a state of emergency," according to an Interior Ministry spokesman. Yesterday, 300 additional soldiers arrived in Ilave to back up about 600 police. "A commission named by President Alejandro Toledo is in the region to try to organise local elections to bring calm [but] many Aymaras oppose the new mayor who replaced Robles." The Associated Press adds several details including quotes from President Toledo: "Order and discipline are key elements in a democracy. We are not going to permit disorder and chaos." Also cited: Interior Minister Javier Reategui. The protestors want the release of the deputy mayor and six others jailed in connection with the murder of Mayor Robles. The UPI uses reporting by El Comercio and states that "the ongoing unrest in Ilave is just the latest in a serious of setbacks for the Peruvian government." Reuters offers photos of "special armed police patrol downtown Ilave" and a photo of La Republica reporter Cristian Ticona "after been injured during a protest in Ilave."

Sally Bowen Accused, cont: A wire story in the Scotsman reports that Sally Bowen's travel restrictions have been lifted by Judge Alfredo Catacora. She had been "accused of libel for writing in a book that a Peruvian airline mogul was believed to be a major cocaine trafficker." Bowen was to leave tonight on a previously planned trip to England to attend her daughter's wedding. Reporters sans Frontières had earlier protested the court order stating that "Our organisation views the restrictions placed on Bowen as excessive. It comes to the same thing as preventing her from doing her job." RSF stated that "the judge's ruling was linked to a libel complaint against Bowen by Fernando Zevallos, founder of the Peruvian airline Aerocontinente. In her book, the journalist quoted Oscar Benites Linares, an ex-member of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), now in prison, who accused the businessman of involvement in the alleged reorganisation of drug-trafficking by former intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos. Zevallos has filed a 10 million-dollar libel suit against [Bowen]."

Copa America Forced to Use Smaller Stadium: The Associated Press reports that "the stadium that was to host the final game of this summer's Copa America was dropped Tuesday after a co-owner threatened to deny its use unless soccer officials lifted penalties against his players." The Monumental Stadium (see an AP photo), which holds 80,000, will be replaced by 45,000-seat National Stadium, for the July 6 doubleheader opener and the July 25 final. Co-owner Alfredo Gonzalez is president of Monumental's home club, Universitario. IN SPANISH: See an electronic debate on this topic in Terra and a report on Ahunet.

Coffee in Moyobamba: Reuters runs a feature on coffee quality with colourful scenarios from Moyobamba. "But the age-old practice of relying on middlemen is undermining Peru's efforts to produce and export quality coffee at higher prices because intermediaries lower the grade of coffee by mixing it, say farmers." Cited: Friolan Fernandez farmer in the Altomayo valley; Julio Morales who buys some 600 100-pound bags of coffee a month from small growers; and coffee cooperative Oro Verde's manager, Hiderico Bocangel. Reuters accompanies the story with a photo of coffee grower Gernando Davila and "the dreaded borer beetle eats away at his coffee crop in the Altomayo valley."

The Science of Palms: The New York Times Science section has a short article on palm fronds and their effects when they fall, based on Stanford University graduate student Halton A. Peters who studied Iriartea deltoidea. The species is "one of the grandest and most common palms making up the rain forest canopy in the western Amazon," and a "a major influence on the makeup of the rain forest." The article is based on Peter's research in the Manu and his co-authored article "Falling Palm Fronds Structure Amazonian Rainforest Sapling Communities" in Biology Letters.

Nobel for De Soto? The Copley News Service runs an op-ed by Jack Kemp (former USA Republican Vice-Presidential candidate) who nominates Hernando de Soto for the Nobel Peace Prize. Meandering through his reasons, Kemp manages to include the USA's problems in Iraq before he finishes: "If the Nobel Prize committee wants to award the prize to someone who is working to bring hope to those in despair, they should seriously consider De Soto for the Noble Peace Prize."

Posh in Peru: The Guardian offers this headline: Posh, Peru and the paparazzi and reports that Mother Beckham had "popped down to Peru to relaunch herself as a bling Mother Teresa, all for charity and a fly on the wall. It transpired that Victoria had flown to Lima and spent 36 hours in the poverty-stricken Las Lomas de Carabayllo district on a project run by a British charity, Childhope UK. A spokeswoman for Sport Relief, who arranged the project, explained: 'She went to Peru to help make a documentary explaining where donors' money is being spent'." (See also this Observer piece from Sunday and a mention of her Peruvian escapade in Hello!. And finally, (because there is much, much more) WebIndia123 affirms that "a documentary film on the celebrity's visit to Peru will be aired on BBC.")

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that "Peru posted a fiscal surplus of 0.4% of gross domestic product in the first quarter compared with a deficit of 0.6% of GDP in the first three months of 2003," according to theCentral Bank's weekly report.
- Reuters reports that Petroleos de Peru "expects its 2004 net profit to rocket by around 440 percent to at least 70 million soles (US$20 million) compared with last year as the company cuts costs."
- BNAmericas reports that Peru's government "is planning to replicate the model of the Yuncan hydroelectric project by allowing private companies to participate in advanced stages of generation projects under a scheme to benefit regional infrastructure projects," according to energy and mines minister Jaime Quijandría.

More Mining:
- Reuters reports that "Peru's top mining lobby remains firmly opposed to royalty payments but is working with lawmakers to try to make the best of a bad job if the levy finally goes ahead," according to an interview with Jose Miguel Morales, president of the private National Society for Mining, Petroleum and Energy. NOTE: "Most of Peru's big mining companies have tax and legal stability contracts that lock in their tax status for years." Also Cited: Congressman Jorge Del Castillo (APRA) and Isaac Cruz (zinc miner, El Brocal). An earlier Reuters piece reported that lawmakers had postponed until May 26 "further debate on a controversial mining royalties plan after failing to decide how the levy should be applied." Cited: Congressman Alejandro Ore, (Energy and Mines Commission).
- Reuters reports that Canada's Candente Resource Corp "has high hopes for its Alto Dorado gold project in Peru, where drilling is turning up promising ore grades," according to its President and CEO Joanne Freeze.
- Reuters reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp. "expects output of 850 million lbs of the red metal this year, up from 800 million in 2003," according to an interview with its president, Oscar Gonzalez.

Team Peru in NYC: The New York Times briefly notes that Peru will play Argentina in the first annual Fiesta Cup soccer match on June 30 at Giants Stadium. Tickets, starting at $25, can be had through Ticketmaster.

LHorna in Paris: Reuters offers two photos of Luis Horna during his match against Mark Philippousis of Australia whom he eventually defeated 6-1 7-6 6-3 in the first round of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris.

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