Saturday, May 15, 2004

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

Free Trade? Reuters reports that Medecins Sans Frontieres released a report which declares that "a much-vaunted Andean free-trade pact with the United States could jack up the cost of AIDS drugs by a factor of ten" for Peruvians and called upon the governments of Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador "to exclude intellectual property from the negotiations because of its effect on drugs." (See the MSF report and the press release.) Cedric Martin, MSF's Peru coordinator, said that "the United States would block access to generic drugs that have slashed the cost of AIDS treatments through restrictions on patents. ... other drugs, not just AIDS therapies, are at risk as well." Using United Nations estimates, "there are around 100,000 people with AIDS in the Andean region whose lives depend on affordable drugs." Also cited: Juana Ramos (Ecuador's Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories) and Cailin Morrison (MSF legal adviser). Separately, Human Rights Watch put out a press release that stated that in Peru, "a particularly cruel dimension of the proposed reform to Law 26626 pits children's rights against women's human rights. The connotation of these arguments, put forward, amongst others, by the president of the congressional health commission, Daniel Robles, is that any woman who values her right to consent or not to HIV testing is failing her moral duties to her future child. This is a false dichotomy. One need not violate a woman's human rights in order to protect those of a child, or to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to infants." By switching to mandatory HIV testing during pregnancy, "Peru would be abandoning a voluntary testing approach that was never properly implemented."

UdeLima Poll, cont.:Canada's Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy reviews last week's poll by the Universidad de Lima which found that "Peruvian adults in two cities think a proposed free trade agreement with the United States will be detrimental." The two cities: Lima and Callao. The numbers: 603 adults polled on May 8; margin of error is 4%; 55.4% believe the free trade accord will be negative for Peru.

Inca Kola Still #1: Beverage World runs an "in-depth feature" on Jose Robinson Lindley and the J.R. Lindley Corporation, maker of the country's leading soft drink Inca Kola which was introduced to the Peruvian market in 1935. Lindley "has buried all rumors of its death. Five years ago, when Coca-Cola announced that it was buying 50 percent of the Inca Kola brand and a 20-percent share in the company's bottling plant, most analysts predicted that the U.S. multinational would simply absorb the Peruvian company and add Inca Kola to its long lists of products." However, "just the opposite has happened. J.R. Lindley has not only consolidated its own presence in the market, but in late January acquired a 60-percent share of Coca-Cola's principal bottler in Peru." Today, J.R. Lindley bottles more than 60 percent of the soft drinks consumed in Peru and it gained two of the country's most important bottled water brands, San Luis and San Antonio." Says Manuel Salazar, general manager of J.R. Lindley, "While many people thought Inca Kola would disappear, we are stronger today than five years ago. The money (Coca-Cola) put into the company was to grow the brand, not eliminate it." (See this diagram on the Inca Kola site for this argument.) Also Cited: Ricardo Cortes, general manager of Coca-Cola Services of Peru, who says "the original strategy five years ago was to grow the brand internationally, an effort that is well underway. Inca Kola is now bottled in four plants in the United States and sold in 20 states. It also is sold in 20 countries." The official description: Inca Kola, a citrus-flavored, bright yellow soft drink. Two brands that could disappear are Schweppes and Tai" but not Crush. Also: Coca-Cola's Dasani mineral water may replace San Antonio, San Luis and Bonaqua.

UN Help to Huancavelica: United Nation's World Food Programme put out a press release to "pledge support for the Peruvian government in the implementation of a pilot nutritional project in the remote, south central department of Huancavelica," which accompanied the WFP's executive director James T. Morris two-day visit to Peru. "The project will produce and distribute a cost-effective fortified food (Inka Mix) to 92,000 children in pre-schools and daycare centers, while providing nutritional training to 14,000 pregnant women and mothers of young children in a region with 53 per cent of chronic child malnutrition, the highest of Peru." WFP will provide US $3.2 million to help finance this project. The release plugs the AToledo government's attempts at decentralization. Also cited: Peruvian diplomat Miguel Barreto who recently became President of WFP’s Executive Board in Rome; Zoraida Mesa, WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Dorte Ellehammer, WFP's Peru representative.

Health Workers Strike, cont.: The Associated Press runs several photographs of state medical workers, tied to a wooden cross in their protest in front of the headquarters of the government health office in Lima. "The medical workers are protesting to demand better pay."

Enviro Prize with Nahuas: The Scotsman reports that Conrad Feather has won the St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, "the United Kingdom's biggest international environment prize" for his conservation work with the Nahua indigenous community in Madre de Dios. "A Cambridge graduate from north London, Mr Feather is studying for a doctorate in social anthropology." He will received over £17,000 (US$30,000) in prize money. See also this (Scotland) Herald article from April on his work on helping the Nahua "map and signpost their territory using the latest GPS, photographic, radio and video equipment." The prize is a joint international initiative of the University of St Andrews and the energy company ConocoPhillips.

The Corruption of VMontesinos: Stanford University's Business Magazine reports on Professor John McMillan of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and doctoral student Pablo Zoido-Lobaton and their research in an upcoming article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives which includes "an unusually detailed record of corruption," through a study of the fall of Montesinos. "What they found was a stunningly bold and effective effort to circumvent three institutions key to maintaining democracy in Peru: the judiciary, the legislature, and the media." The Numbers: "The typical bribe paid to a television-channel owner was about a hundred times larger than that paid to a politician, which was somewhat higher than that paid to a judge. One single television channel's bribe was five times larger than the total of the opposition politicians' bribes." Also an explanation on the difference between print and television: "A vladivideo shows [Montesinos] saying he was unconcerned. 'What do I care about El Comercio? They have an 80,000 print run; 80,000 newspapers is shit. What worries me is Channel 4. … It gets to 2 million people. '" Note: Michael Smith's GCI275 pointed to a version of the academic article last month.

AFujimori Extradiction, cont.: Xinhua Net follows up on yesterday's Reuters story that "Peru urged Japan to hand over the former President Alberto Fujimori in accordance with the extradition request issued in 2003." It quotes Minister of Foreign Relations Manuel Rodriguez saying he "reiterated the formal extradition request to his Japanese counterpart Yoriko Kawaguchi, through the Japanese Embassy to the capital Lima."

Gas in Trujillo? The Oil & Gas Journal reports that "Peru's nonproducing Trujillo basin is a twin province, represented by two distinctively different basement types, that contains a number of structures of 50 sq km or more."

Peruvian Climbing Everest: Mount Everest, a service of ExplorersWeb, notes that Maximo Henostroza from Huaraz, Peru and Marek Wencel from USA/ Poland made the first summit of Shisha Pangma last week. Maximo is the first Peruvian on the summit of Shishapangma Central which stands at 8,027 metres. The story is accompanied by a photo of Henostroza and Wencel on the summit of Huascaran.

Jack Davis, cont.: North Dakota's Grand Fork's Herald profiles the Rev. John "Jack" Davis a member of the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle who has spent 30 years with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Parish in Chimbote. He recently accepted the Pax Christi Award from his alma mater, St. John's University in Minnesota. Says Gary Zespy, chairman of Las Amigos de Padre Juan [sic], a group of people from several states who garner support for Our Lady Parish: "What overwhelms you is the poverty. But the one thing these people (Peruvians) have is hope. They are a very forgiving, very generous people. The visits become personal." Also noted from Chimbote/Ireland: Sister Peggy Byrne and the Rev. James Jeffrey. Note: Says Rev. Davis: "We spend much of our energy responding to the basic needs of people, stuff the government does in [the United States]." (See also 'Etc' in May 3's Peruvia.)

Music [Sort of] Premiere: Florida's Tampa Tribune notes that "the USA East Coast premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank's visceral Three Latin-American Dances was performed last night, which the composer introduced onstage. The 16-minute triptych combines South American mythology and folk idioms with classical forms that reflect her Peruvian-Jewish heritage."

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?