Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Minister of Agriculture Resigns: Pravda reports on the resignation of Minister of Agrigulture José León Rivera and declares that "Life is not good for Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo." The New York Times' 'America's Briefing' column includes a short paragraph by Juan Forero on the resignation and adds: "Struggling to maintain control of his country, Mr. Toledo has seen seven ministers resign under pressure in the past six months over a range of charges leveled by his political foes, everything from influence peddling to the inability to quell protesters who lynched a mayor in southeastern Peru." The Miami Herald also runs what seems to be a summary of yesterday's Associated Press story in their 'Latin American Briefs' column.

OAS In Quito, cont.: The Organization of American States issued their Quito Declaration on "Social Development and Democracy and the Impact of Corruption". The Associated Press reports that it was "signed by 34 foreign ministers or heads of delegations," and recognizes "that corruption has a serious impact on public and private institutions, weakens economic growth and impinges upon the needs and fundamental interests of a country's most vulnerable social groups.'' HOWEVER: "The general assembly rejected a Peruvian proposal calling for countries to extradite officials accused of corruption. The Peruvian government had hoped the measure would help its effort to extradite former President Alberto Fujimori from Japan, where he took refuge after his government collapsed in a corruption scandal in 2000. Mexico, which has a long history of providing refuge to officials who say they are fleeing political persecution, opposed Peru's proposal." Said Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez, "Governments are not corrupt. Members of a given government are corrupt." (The Associated Press has a photograph of Minister Rodriguez.) SEE ALSO: The Financial Times ('Pledge to cut OAS corruption') and the Voice of America ('OAS Meeting Ends with a Call To Fight Corruption.')

Unions Support Aero Continente: Reuters reports that "Peruvian airport staff will refuse to let Chilean flag carrier LanChile and its LanPeru unit take off or land on June 16 and 17 in support of Peru's No. 1 airline Aero Continente, which is under U.S. sanctions because its founder has been accused of links to illegal drugs," according to an advertisement in Gestion by CORPAC (Peruvian Airports and Commercial Aviation Corporation). "The unions said the action was in solidarity with workers of Aero Continente, which is now off limits to U.S. passengers and maintenance companies." NOTE: The boycott action was also in protest at as yet undefined government plans to sell operating concessions in 16 regional airports. Unions said they would join a national strike planned for July 14 in protest at Peru's unpopular government." ALSO: "The organizers of the Copa America soccer tournament, which takes place across Peru next month, have chosen Lan Peru as the competition's official airline. Lan Peru has just under a quarter of the Peruvian domestic market."

Unions Want Copa America's Success: The Associated Press reports that Mario Huaman, the head of the CGTP [General Confederation of Peruvian Workers], Peru's largest labor union coalition, "says a one-day [July 14] national protest planned for mid-July will not upset the monthlong Copa America soccer tournament." The labor leader made his comments before leading a march to Congress to deliver lawmakers a memorandum outlining why they want to protest during the soccer tournament. ALSO: "In a boost that adds clout to the nationwide protest, Peru's highly organized Aprista party pledged on Sunday to support the strike." Minister of Women's Affairs Ana Maria Romero stated, "I don't understand how they can be planning - 30 days in advance - a nationwide strike that by all indications jeopardizes the country's image." EARLIER: The Northern Report reported on the intersection of Aero Continente and the Copa America in Chiclayo.

Copa America - Public Launch: The Associated Press offers a photograph of President Alejandro Toledo with Nolberto Solano and Manuel Burga, President of the Federacion Peruana de Futbol, "accompanied by children, at the government palace," in a public announcment on Copa America. "Solano will be the public face of the Copa America soccer tournament." ALSO: The Associated Press (through several photographs of Brazilian Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, reports that "Brazil's team will play 2004 America Cup in Peru from 06 to 25 July 2004," as he announced his line-up.

Mining Levy Debate Continues: Bloomberg reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp. "has decided not to bid for the Las Bambas copper deposit because of a mining royalty that Congress imposed this month," according to their chairman Oscar Gonzalez Rocha. The auction for the Las Bambas deposit is scheduled for July 23. (See also 'More Mining' in Monday's Peruvia below for BNAmericas story.) The Washington Times (second story) reports that "the Toledo administration will hold back from signing into law a tax bill passed last week that ould charge mining companies a royalty on sales and will recommend changes in the legislation, according to Minister of Economy and Finance Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski. "The government, eager to maintain the sector's dynamism, had proposed an early income-tax payment by miners instead of a royalty, but that proposal never gathered support in Congress." NOTE: BNAmericas reports that an anomyous official from state minr Centromin suggests that ProInversión, Peru's state investment agency, "is likely to amend the bidding rules for the Las Bambas copper project following recent congressional approval of a mining royalty. ... Peruvian authorities would have to address because the royalty "radically changes" the situation of Las Bambas." This was supported by "the view of another Centromin official involved in the process, engineer Hugo Aragón."

More Mining: The Andean American Mining Company announced in a press release information about "additional drill results from the first phase drill program from the Carelo Zone in the Santa Rosa Mine, located in South Eastern Peru, 550 kilometers South East of Lima." A second press release announced an addition to their Board of Directors.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Dow Jones reports that the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that "it had placed two series of bonds worth a total of 110.4 million soles on the local market. ... Last month, the Finance Ministry canceled two auctions of local treasury paper due to volatility in financial markets at the time." This all was aimed to "reduce [Peru's] reliance on international bonds placements and to help meet financing needs."
- Reuters reports further on yesterday's notice about Union de Cervecerias Backus & Johnston swap auction. The brewer "will offer to swap its B-class and investment shares for a new class of nonvoting preference ones," according to a plan approved by the Board at a general meeting on Monday. Backus makes Cusquena, Cristal and Pilsen brands.

Coke in Cans: The Associated Press offers photographs of Interior Minister Javier Reategui showing "where drugs were found inside cans of fruit cocktail." It was reported that "anti-drug police seized more than 700 kilograms (1,540 pounds) of cocaine hidden inside cans of fruit cocktail and cast inside lead bars during a drug bust that led to the arrest of 12 people."

The Road to Puno: The Associated Press offered several photographs of the Bolivian Army clearing the road from La Paz to Peru of a "rock blockade" placed "by campesinos protesting against a national refreendum on gas policies."

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