Saturday, June 05, 2004

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

Will AToledo Survive? The Miami Herald runs a Q&A from the Inter-American Dialogue's 'Latin America Advisor' with this question: "Will Toledo be able to see his term through to its end in 2006? What impact would his early departure have on Peru's business and investment climate?" The responses come from three observers. David Scott Palmer, Boston University: "On balance, any announcement of Toledo's departure before the 2006 elections is premature and, for this observer at least, unlikely." Michael Shifter, Inter-American Dialogue: "Most Peruvians want Toledo to complete his term. They regard his Cabinet as quite competent. The conventional wisdom is that if he can last through the year, he can probably survive until 2006, since next year the presidential campaign begins." Raymundo Morales, World Bank: "I think that Toledo will finish out his term. I believe that the only risk in Toledo's future would consist of public protests, which are not likely." All three make clear that Toledo depends on the strengths of the international economic prospects and how that impacts on popular democratic will.

Note To USA Travellers, cont.: According to El Comercio [in Spanish], the American Express company will no longer allow purchases for Aero Continente on their cards.

Red Cross Visits AGuzmán, cont.: The BBC reports that Abimael Guzmán "is in good health after having begun a hunger strike one month ago," according to Philippe Gaillard, head of Peru's International Red Cross Committee. And though Guzmán "had lost 7kg but was unlikely to starve himself to death." ALSO: "Separately, Peruvian authorities say Shining Path rebels have attacked two police patrols, killing two officers," in Tingo Maria and led by Artemio. For more on Artemio, see 'Sendero Suggests Strikes' in May 1's and April 20's Peruvia.

Peru Stands Out: The New York Times publishes an editorial on the increased militarized relationship between the USA and Latin America with 'terrorism' being exchanged for 'communism.' It argues that "the terrorism concern is overstated" for Latin America except Colombia "and, to some degree, Peru." The piece also begins and ends with a slap at President Bush who came into office promising a renewed focus on the region: "Now that Latin America is on the back burner as far as American diplomacy is concerned ... No matter how preoccupied they are with Iraq, the White House and the State Department cannot brush Latin America aside."

Newmont Mining and Its Critics, cont.: Colorado's Rocky Mountain News (where Newmont Mining is headquartered) runs an op-ed on the irony of Cajamarca: "home to Yanococha, the richest gold mine in Latin America" as well as "the region is one of the poorest in the country." The author is Father Marco Antonia Arana Zegarra, a diocesan priest and executive director of GRUFIDES, an environmental and social justice organization based in Cajamarca who writes directly: "When you consider that the mining industry is the No. 1 toxic polluter in the United States, you can imagine what happens in countries where pollution laws are weak or nonexistent and very little monitoring is done." He also recalls the mercury spill in nearby Choropampa in June 2000 where "more than 900 people, more than half of whom were children under the age of 5, were poisoned when a truck from the Yanacocha mine spilled 330 pounds of liquid mercury along a 25-mile stretch of highway passing through the center of Choropampa and two neighboring towns." For More Background: 'Newmont Mining and its Critics' in April 29's Peruvia.

Asparagus Wars, cont.: The Associated Press as well as local Washington State television stations KAPP and KATU, all mention Peru as they report on the closing of the asparagus canning factory near Seattle. "Instead of switching from coca to asparagus, Peruvians are now growing both crops," said Don C. Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business. "According to the General Accounting Office, this 1991 act has not stemmed coca production, but has put asparagus growers in Washington, California and Michigan at risk." See 'Asparagus Wars' in yesterday's Peruvia below.

Growing Trade Surplus: Reuters reports that "Peru posted a $46.4 million trade surplus in April compared with a $52.4 million deficit a year earlier," according to the Central Bank. ALSO: "Peru's trade surplus in the first four months of the year rose to $605.4 million compared with a deficit of $70.1 million in the same period in 2003."

APEC Meetings:
- Agence France Press reports on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Chile which included the participation of Armando Caceres, principal researcher at Peru's Group of Analysis for Development.

The Road To Puno: The Associated Press offers several photographs of Bolivian protestors blocking the roads blocked on the La Paz-Peru highway "as part of growing opposition to the referendum set by the government for July 18 to decide on the future of gas reserves and other energy issues."

MEDCO Bought by IVAX, cont.: The Miami Herald, the South Florida Business Journal, and the United Press International pick up on yesterday's announcement of Peruvian pharmaceutical MEDCO being acquired by IVAX.

The 'Other' World Cup, Part II: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on this weekend's World Cup Seattle, "a gathering of nearly 700 local players representing 31 nations, from Laos to Peru." Team Peru is being organized by Jose Luis Amesquita. The event is the product of Jessica Breznau, director of Sister Communities, a non-profit organization designed to foster better relations between different groups. "Like the real World Cup, the local men's amateur event combines sport and nationalism, a merging of cultures, colors and competition. Players and fans representing five continents, most of whom would not otherwise interact, are giving new meaning to the term 'multicultural'." For Background: See this opinion column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Sister Communities site. See also 'The Other World Cup' happening in Korea, noted in Thursday's Peruvia below.

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