Saturday, May 01, 2004

Trouble Reading Peruvia? Press 'F11' key near top of your key board twice.

Mayor Lynched, cont.: Agence France Press refers to the lynching in Ilave, the uncertainty in Tilali, the miners strike, and the coca farmers march into Lima. It follows up on the violence in Puno and states that Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi said that ''We are faced with a very troubling situation,'' and that the country ''could get out of hand.'' Dow Jones focuses on the pressure to resign and includes the legalities: "If the censure motion is approved by half, plus one, of the members of Congress, then the minister will be forced to resign. There are at present 118 voting members of Congress." A fight between the minister and the APRA party is also noted. Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero comes out for the defense; Congressman Antero Flores Araoz goes out on the offense. This would not the be the first time Rospigliosi had to resign. A slightly different Dow Jones piece quotes Augusto Alvarez Rodrich. NOTE: The AFP piece furthers the misinformation that AToledo has a "doctorate in economics" from Stanford University. As is clear in this Stanford press release (among many others), his PhD is in education.

Cuzco's 12-Cornered Stone Vandalized: Reuters reports that vandals have damaged the famous 12-cornered Inca stone in Cusco by scarring it with "a sharp metal object," according to Ramiro Canal of the National Institute of Culture. The stone is "one of Cusco's best-known tourist sites, was damaged on Thursday night with either a nail, a screwdriver or a chisel" which left "a scar which is 15 centimeters (6 inches) long and 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) wide."

USA Returns Artifacts: CNN, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post report on the USA returning "41 pre-Columbian artifacts" worth more than $1 million in a ceremony at the Peruvian Embassy in Washington. On hand were Michael J. Garcia, assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security and Ambassador Eduardo Ferrero. The loot was discovered by undercover agents in California, Colorado and Virginia. Also present: Abelardo Sandoval, an archaeologist with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The WPost offers a photograph as well. CNN adds that the artifacts "come from the Inca, Mochica, Chimu and Chancay cultures."

AFF in a Restuarant: The Financial Times interivews AFujimori in which the disgraced president declares, "I don't have the sensation of being in exile, of isolation or of sadness. Because I am going to return. I am going to return with the support of el pueblo." [Note: Is the FT trying to suggest that the interview was held in English with some added Spanish? Knowing AFF's English, that doesn't seem credible.] Asked to explain his fortune, AFF talks about the "small fortune he made from running a Peruvian Christmas tree farm, before explaining that he has few expenses in Tokyo and a decent income from delivering lectures at $10,000 a time." Also mentioned: his 37-year-old Japanese girlfriend; his weekly radio broadcasts to Peru; and an oblique reference to Augusto B. Leguia. On Montesinos: Fujimori stated, "This was an extremely grave error to have appointed Montesinos," explaining that the intelligence chief had earned his trust by resolving a little tax problem. "After that, he provided me with information, intelligence. Nobody imagined that, behind the scenes, he was working for himself."

Embassy Justice? Reuters reports that a "military court closed the case against a group of commandos accused of killing 14 militants during a dramatic hostage rescue operation at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima in 1997 because of a lack of evidence." Gloria Cano, the lawyer representing the families of the 14 MRTA members, Gloria Cano, said "at least eight of the militants were executed with a shot to the head by the commandos after they surrendered at the residence." According to Mario Amoreti, the commando's lawyer: "It was not possible to prove that MRTA members were executed as one Japanese hostage claimed." The piece quotes an eye witness, hostage Hidetaka Ogura who said "he saw three guerrillas alive at the end of the rescue operation." The case may continue in the international courts.

Sendero Suggests Strikes, cont.: The BBC joins the story on the 'Wanted Poster' and the US$50,000 reward for 'Artemio.'

Tensions Over Asparagus, cont: The Associated Press reports on the mechanization of asparagus crops in the state of Washington as a way to compete with the Andean Trade Preference Act. "Industry groups have been working for years to either overturn the act or exempt asparagus." The article ends by comparing the wages of asparagus cutters: "At $7.16 per hour, Washington has the highest minimum wage in the country. Asparagus cutters in Peru earn between $5 and $7 per day."

Why No More Guano: Fisheries Oceanography has published an article on Trends in carbon flux to seabirds in the Peruvian upwelling system. A press release on the article (from the author's University) states that, "the decrease [in the bird population] appears to be due to the depletion of their food by the fishery, which grew to catch about 85 percent of the prey otherwise available to the seabirds. All told, the latter half of the 20th century saw a dramatic decline—from about 20 million seabirds to about five million, according to the paper. Today, many of the so-called bird islands of Peru are largely devoid of seabirds."

More Mining:
- BNAmericas reviews the 'mining royalty' bill which will be debated in Congress next week. Quotes come from Mining and Energy Minister Jaime Quijandría; Vice-minister César Polo. The Peruvian treasury would raise approximately US$70 million a year with "50% channeled to the regions via the mining canon, and 50% for the state treasury." Others cited: Congressman Alejandro Oré who proposes a flat 3% royalty on mineral production. And an anonymous 'mining industry source' who declared, "It is critical that tax regimes remain stable for the life of projects but the introduction of royalties will not radically change the appetite of multinationals coming to Chile."
- Manhattan Minerals Corp. put out a press release to announce the "write-down of the Company's Tambogrande project of $59,294,000, as a result of Centromin Peru's decision on December 10, 2003 that the Company had not met the requirements of the qualifying conditions of the Tambogrande Option Agreement.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reviews the "unpopular Peruvian tax on banking transactions [which] raised $38 million for the cash-strapped government in its first month and a half," according the Banking Association said on Friday. [Note: "Unpopular"? To whom?] The tax is a "0.10% levy on financial transactions conducted through banks that was introduced in March will raise some $346 million this year."
- Reuters reports that Luz del Sur's first quarter profit fell 0.6%.

LHorna in the Quarterfinals: Agence France Press and the BBC reports that Luis Horna defeated Radek Stepanek 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/2) and will now face Russian Nikolay Davydenko.

FBryce Honored: Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art has announced their 2004 Carnegie International, "one of the most prestigious exhibitions in the world, and is one of the most challenging and influential international surveys of contemporary art in North America." The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review announces that Peruvian Fernando Bryce will be among the International Artists in the exhibition, opening in October. ALSO: The Guardian recently said that "Bryce has made scrupulous, elegant pen, brush and ink copies of the Marxist newspaper POUM, dating from the Spanish civil war, as well as of Falangist propaganda, and no less propagandist American material of the time."

Terrorists and Fundamentalists: The New Zealand Herald reviews Michael Cook's 'Brief History of the Human Race' and states: "Describing the Peruvian experience of the Shining Path Maoists and Pentecostal fundamentalists, he says "the terrorists have no religion and the fundamentalists no politics. What is distinctive about the Muslim world is the extent to which the two elements have come together."

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