Friday, June 18, 2004

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

Less Coca: The United Nation's Office on Drugs and Crime Prevention released the 'Peru Coca Survey' (.pdf) which studies "the five-year period following the 1998 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, [and shows] the total area under coca cultivation in the Andean region – Bolivia, Colombia and Peru – declined by 20%, reaching a 14-year low of 153,800 hectares in 2003." SEE ALSO: See the press release and related Agence France Press, Associated Press, and Bloomberg stories on this report. NOTE: "In Peru, the total area under coca cultivation in 2003 is estimated at 44,200 hectares, representing a 5.4% decline compared to an estimated 46,700 hectares under cultivation in 2002. The total production of dry coca leaf for 2003 was estimated at 50,790 metric tonnes, a 3.3% decline or 1,759 tonnes less than in 2002." ALSO: "The lower coca cultivation level in Peru constitutes no grounds for complacency. Coca farming techniques have been enhanced in key growing areas. In the future, we could face higher yields per hectare." The AFP notes that "On May 4 Peruvian police clashed with hundreds of coca growers who had marched 500 kilometres (300 miles) to Lima to protest against the eradication programme."

A 'New' 400-year old Cathedral: The Associated Press reports on the completion of the "cleaning and rebuilding [of] Lima's 400-year-old Roman Catholic cathedral." Quotes come from Alvaro Carulla, spokesman for Banco de Credito del Peru, "which paid for most of the project," Claudia Paz, an architect, who credited electricity company Edelnor "for rewir[ing] the cathedral and install[ing] more than 600 lights," and lead architect Jorge Levano. Note: "Seven massive wooden doors [w]eighing three tons each and up to 30 feet high, all but one had been stuck shut for more than 50 years." Historical Note: "The Lima cathedral oversaw much of the evangelization of indigenous peoples on the continent." The Associated Press also offers several photographs: sculptures restoration, songbook restoration, the main altar, Santa Rosa de Lima, lighting changes, and " a worker fastens a gold leaf crown atop a statue of the 'Virgin of Pain'."

KVital Charged with Corruption: The Associated Press reports that retired Police General Ketin Vidal has been charged with "corruption," by State prosecutor Isabel Huaman. This took place on "June 11 after a two-year investigation into [Vidal's] property purchases." The story is based partly on anonymous sources. The Allegation: "[T]hat Vidal's salary as the head of Peru's police national police force could not have enabled him to pay cash for four houses across Lima." According to Lima daily Correo, "Vidal has denied any wrongdoing," and says that "This is a dirty ploy. This hurts all the more because there is no gratitude." Vidal has been seen as "a national hero for his role in the 1992 capture of [Abimel Guzman]."

Broadcast Law Limits Foreigners: Dow Jones reports that Peru's Congress "voted to limit foreign ownership to 40% in the nation's broadcast outlets." in the 'Law On Radio and Television,' but "it left some articles to be voted on for a second time next week, including the article that places limits on foreign investments." NOTE: "A second vote in Congress is normally needed on legislation that modifies the nation's constitution." Quotes come from Mario Ochoa, president of the Transportation and Communications Commission. "Opposition proposals to place the limits at either 25% or at 49% were rejected." Peru Posible voted in favor of the 40% limit but "Congressional President Henry Pease had to cast the deciding vote for the 40% foreign ownership limit after a tie in the voting."

Copa America - Not Quite Ready: Reuters reports inspectors from the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, have approved six stadiums of the twelve for the July tournament but that the Cuzco stadium "is not ready." Arturo Woodman, president of the Copa America organising committee, tried to be reassuring declaring that, "In the case of the Cusco stadium, they haven't given it the green light but it's very clear they know Cusco will be perfectly ready."
NOTE: "Only one match, the third-place playoff, will be played in Cusco, on July 24."

Camisea Spigot Turned On, cont.: Reuters follows up on Bloomberg's story yesterday that Transportadora de Gas del Peru "was planning to issue $275 million in bonds to partly finance the pipeline." Reuters gets the company's Managing Director, Alejandro Segret, to confirm this and quotes Geraldine Marino, a spokeswoman for parent company Techint saying, "The bond is for Transportadora de Gas del Peru, for $275 million. There's no time frame, they're still at the roadshow stage."

More Mining:
- Bear Creek Mining announced in a press release that announces the "results from its first drilling program on its Ataspaca project in southern Peru. A total of 616.6 meters of core in 4 holes were drilled to evaluate the near surface potential of the large copper-gold signature located in an important porphyry belt that hosts Southern Peru Copper's Toquepala and Cuajone copper deposits."
- BHP Moves: Bloomberg follows up on Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald's report that "BHP Billiton, the world's third- biggest copper miner, will relocate the head office of its base metals division to Santiago in Chile from Houston to be closer to the company's South American mines."

"Do Not Trust Peruvian Chickens": The Missouri television station KVFS follows up on yesterday's egg story and reports that US Federal agents have "seize[d] dangerous egg white product" imported from Peru because theyw were not properly inspected.

He's Been Pisco Sour'd: Ohio's Ledger and Enquirer runs a semi-humorous travelogue piece that jokes about the the "Boca Manu International Airport [with] a field and a hut equipped with a CB radio." He complains about hearing 'El Condor Pasa' by Simon & Garfunkel in Cusco and says, "I'd rather take a hammer to the head than ever listen to that song again. Yes I would. If I could. Or better yet, I'd rather get hammered ... with Pisco sour."

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