Monday, June 07, 2004

Aero Continente/FZevallos Woes: Reuters reports that Fernando Zevallos "vowed legal action on Monday to have his name removed from a U.S. blacklist of foreign drugs 'kingpins,' in a press conference with foreign correspondents. He suggested that "he had 'every right' to seek a review of his status, because he said the blacklist did not apply to U.S. residents like himself." Reuters also has a response from a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, who declared: "U.S. residents are not exempt." The piece explores possible ties the founder of Aero Continente has to Vladimiro Montesinos as well as the late Colombian cocaine lord Pablo Escobar. Explaining his predicament, he retorted that, "Everyone knows this is strictly business; it's a persecution by the Chilean government." ALSO: "Aero Continente has some 60% of the Peruvian market." The Associated Press and Reuters offer photographs of the news conference. See Also: 'Note To USA Travellers' in Saturday and Friday below.

AGuzmán Hunger Strike Over: The Associated Press offers a file photograph of Abimael Guzman to report that he has ended a monthlong hunger strike, according to his lawyer Manuel Fajardo. See 'Red Cross Visits AGuzmán' in Saturday's Peruvia below. NOTE: The photo used shows the man who terrorized Peru for much of the 1980s as a seemingly doddering grandfather. (Separately, the Revolutionary Worker, the news medium of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, complains that "the U.S. government has listed the Communist Party of Peru as a 'terrorist' organization.")

Peru 0 - Venezuela 0: The Associated Press and Reuters run reports that "Peru fought visiting Venezuela to a 0-0 draw" in yesterday's World Cup qualifying match. Nolberto Solano and Jefferson Farfan [sic] opened up strong but "the Peruvian squad was unable to find Gilberto Angelucci's net and missed several chances." Reuters credits Angelucci for Venezuela's determination and has the photos to prove it. The Associated Press has photos of Walter Vilchez, Santiago Acasiete, Nolberto Solano, Jeferson Farfan, and Andres Mendoza. Reuters offers shots of Jorge Soto. ALSO: "Peru captain Claudio Pizarro missed the match after he pulled his left calf in Peru's 3-1 victory over Uruguay last week. The next match is in September when Peru hosts Argentina. The Washington Post says briefly that "Venezuela continued its impressive run at Peru, holding the hosts to a 0-0 tie." Reuters also reports that Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira "criticised the timing of the Copa America on Monday and said the world champions would rest their top players." Perhaps in frustration for their 1-1 tie to Chile, the Brazilians said neither Ronaldo nor Cafu would play in the tournament Peru is hosting next month. See Also: 'Copa America News' in Thursday's Peruvia below.

Mining for Balance: Bloomberg reports on an interview RPP radio had with Minister of Economy and Finances Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski who said, "the government will send a proposal to Congress to link the royalty levy to companies' profits instead of gross sales." The article reviews the legislative vote count (90 of 120 voted for the new levy) suggesting that Kuczynski could swing a majority to his point of view. MineWeb offers a lengthy editorial analysis by Wolfgang Glüschke Ruge on the mining royalty issue. Glüschke, a long-time mining analyst based in Peru and author of a book on copper. In a very straight forward manner, he provides a broad context of the mining levy providing substantive background information on some of the major economic and political players in this debate and offers the not so subtle difference between the large miners and the smaller operators. While he does not favour the tax, it is not for conventional reasons. In fact, "all the receipts from these royalties go to departmental, provincial and local authorities, with a tiny 5% to 'universities'." While he fairly summarizes the thrust of the argument laid by those who support the levy, Glüschke believes "the royalty legislation is unfortunate ... as its overall direct benefits most likely are irrelevant even for the largest beneficiaries, they rightly claim a damaging impact on the international image of the country and reinforce Peru's reputation of too frequently changing 'the rules of the game'."

More Mining:
- BNAmericas reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp. "is pulling out of the auction for the Las Bambas copper project because of the decision by congress to approve a royalty on mine production." However, at least thirteen other companies are lining up as bidders.
- Southwestern Resources Corp. announced in a press release that they "received regulatory acceptance to split its stock such that two shares will exist for each previously issued and outstanding share."
- Dow Jones reports on the ongoing mining strike since June 1 at Chinese-owned Shougang Hierro and will be stepped up, according to Tomas Artica, a union leader. Almost 1,000 workers are on strike seeking a 6 sol/day wage increas. The company has offered slightly less than 50% that. "Shougang Hierro Peru runs the nation's only iron mine," which is located in Ica.
- Canada's Geologix Explorations announced in a press release their current exploration activities in Peru including their Cerro Calorco gold mining in Puno.

Camisea Practices Output: The Oil and Gas Journal reports that "the $1.6 billion Camisea project began test pumping natural gas through its pipelines June 2," according to the Minister of Energy and Mines Jaime Quijandria. Commercial production is set to begin by August 9. Meanwhile, Peru LNG SRL "is still seeking additional partners for the construction of a $1 billion liquefaction plant to be built at Pampas Melchorita near Cañete." There is no mention of the recent fatal accident at the site or the land disputes. See 'Tragedy at Gas Project' in May 27's Peruvia.

Practicing Warfare: The USA Department of Defense announced that Peru would participate in the Combined Joint Task Force Exercise "culminating in its final phase from June 12 through 22, 2004."

Macro Econ: The USA State Department's Washington File details USA Trade Representative Robert Zoellick's visit to Peru today and tomorrow, including the official press release of his arrival. The primary purpose of the visit is "to discuss the U.S.-Andean free-trade talks the United States launched with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru on May 18. He will also discuss other bilateral trade and investment-related issues." See Also: 'APEC In Chile' in yesterday's Peruvia below.

Micro Econ: Just-Style reports that Textimax "has been ranked as the most prolific exporter in the Peruvian textile sector for January to April," according to ComexPeru, the exporters’ association.

Up & Down the Napo: Florida's News-Press profiles Diane Bowie and her medical mission on the Napo River and the village of Mazan, about an hour by speedboat from Iquitos. She works through Heart to Heart, "a relief organization that specializes in volunteer worldwide humanitarian assistance. Heart to Heart furnishes Bowie the medicines she needs at a discount." Bowie also established her own nonprofit, D.B. Peru, "with a mission to to improve the health and living conditions of the Peruvian villagers."

Mini Mogul: The Washington Post profiles hispanic media figures in the Washington area including paisano Ron Gordon, the "G" in ZGS Broadcasting Holdings Inc, "the largest affiliate in the country of the Spanish-language Telemundo Network Group." "As a teenager, Gordon started a newspaper that listed soccer scores. Having emigrated from his native Lima, Peru, to Washington as a child, he wanted some way to keep up with the sport."

Poverty in Southern Peru: The Miami Herald reposts Tyler Bridges story from Pampa Cangallo from a week ago Sunday. See 'Poverty Still Exists in Southern Peru' in May 30's Peruvia. (Today's post is likely the distribution to other Knight-Ridder newspapers of which the Herald is a flagship.)

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