Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Mayor Lynched, Cont.:The Associated Press and Reuters offer updates with the AP reporting that "300 marine, army and police commandos arrived in Puno overnight to enforce the agreement if necessary," Community leader Julian Rivera's (using his interview with RPP) says that "the protest would end at midday Wednesday." Deputy Interior Minister Richard Diaz, the lead state negotiator, said the government had agreed to "progressively reduce" the military and police presence in Ilave once peace was secured. Reuters reports that yesterday, "roving groups of protesters shouted at news photographers on the outskirts of town. Others used slingshots to launch rocks at the journalists. 'Lying journalists -- we are going to kill you,' some shouted." [This Associated Press shows an injured La Republica reporter.] Reuters focuses on the suspension of the protests and quotes Diaz saying, "They have agreed to unblock roads, open the international road bridge between Bolivia and Peru and end the protests." The government says "drug traffickers were also behind the unrest." Ilave residents say "they want a return to normality and have dropped their demands for the release of Ilave's jailed deputy mayor." The Associated Press and Reuters show photos of the military in downtown Ilave including the Plaza de Armas. The Associated Press offers a photo of Rolando Quispe as he "transports a coffin over the international bridge, now cleared of rocks and protesters in Ilave." The Associated Press offers other photos of that bridge as well. Another Associated Press photo has this caption: AToledo decided late Sunday to send hundreds of army soldiers to Ilave." And then this from a letter to the editor in Mississippi's Delta Democrat Times: "Do we really think that we can establish a democratic system in Iraq that these people will live by? Did you see the one about the mayor down in Peru?"

Mining Debate: Bloomberg and Reuters report on the congressional debate about "the controversial plan to levy a royalty on mining in Peru," which is expected to resume tomorrow. Reuters says that "Congress held a first debate on the royalties issue on May 12 and a second on May 20. Several proposals have been put forward, ranging from a flat levy to a sliding tax that only applies to miners generating a profit." Quotes come from APRA Congressman Jose Carrasco and Congressmen Alejandro Ore and Jacques Rodrich, both from Pais Posible. Victor Espinoza, president of the Pasco mining region says, "We have the right to receive at least $3 million a year from mining to allow for a sustainable development of the region." He added that Pasco currently only receives $90,000 a year in taxes from mining. Bloomberg believes that the Congress "will probably impose a royalty on mining companies' sales, opposition and governing coalition lawmakers said, approving a plan companies such as Minas Buenaventura say would discourage investment in the country's gold, copper and zinc mines." This story also suggests that "President Alejandro Toledo's coalition will back the opposition-sponsored plan ... " It is unclear who the non-opposition is if Pais Posible is on board. Quotes come from Victor Flores (HSBC Securities USA), Roque Benavides (CEO, Buenaventura), and the Minister of the Economy and Finance Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski.

Copa America Forced to Use Smaller Stadium, cont: Reuters explains the shift Copa America had to make from using Estadio Monumental to using the Estadio Nacional. Quotes come from local organising committee president Arturo Woodman and Peru Football Federation president Manuel Burga. The story also includes the history of the problem. Separately, Reuters offers a photograph of Peruvian soccer players dousing their assistant coach Giorgiao with eggs and flour to celebrate his birthday. Peru is preparing for a June 1 match with Uruguay with Nolberto Solano among others. Separately, a Reuters story on football in the Olympics has this: In the 1936 Olympics, "[a] diplomatic incident was provoked by the quarter-final between Austria and Peru after the Peruvians were disqualified despite winning 4-2 because some of their fans ran on to the pitch and attacked an Austrian player." For more background, see this Reuters story.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that "Peruvian exports grew 32% in April from the same month last year to $841 million, due to strong sales to the United States," according to Trade Minister Alfredo Ferrero. The United "is the largest buyer of our manufactured goods," Ferrero said.
- The Guardian and the Times (of London) reports that Monterrico Metals "jumped 9% as the Peruvian copper miner put itself up for sale. The recent surge in copper prices and a steady stream of positive drilling updates from its Rio Blanco copper project in northern Peru have stoked speculation that it was only a matter of time before Monterrico drew predatory interest from a mining heavyweight."

Study in the USA! Oregon's Bend reviews the story of how Patricia Abón used a train ride in Machu Picchu to get a scholarship to Oregon State University. "Abón plans to get a graduate degree before returning to Lima, where she can 'make positive changes in my country.' Her dream is to found and grow a company “to help lower the unemployment rate among my people.'

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