Monday, June 28, 2004

UPDATED: CGTP, AGarcía, and a Scottish Ship Bound for Iquitos

CGTP Gets Int'l Support: The Union Network International announced in a press release a letter "protest[ing] to Peruvian president Toledo over [the] worsening socio-political, economic and trade union situation," in Peru. (See the .pdf version of the letter here.) NOTE: "We have been informed by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), also a member of Global Unions, that its affiliate, the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), and the Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú (CGTP) have decided to call a "National Civic and Popular Strike" for 24 hours on 14 July 2004 as a result of the serious socio-political and economic crisis and the many ongoing trade union disputes in the country. This national strike enjoys the unanimous support of the country's trade union organisations, so we are offering our solidarity to the workers and people of Peru and our support for their legitimate demands."

Telefonica Gets AGarcía Support: According to New Ratings, "analysts mention that Alan García, is supporting Telefonica's stand on extending the concession license. The Peruvian Congress recently requested the government to not extend Telefonica’s concession license beyond 2019, according to Ibersecurities." SEE ALSO: 'Peru to Telefonica: No Deal' in June 10's Peruvia.

Asparagus Wars, cont.: The Seattle Times follows up on yesterday's long, investigative piece on the asparagus industry in Ica. Though today's story is datelined from Washington State, Peru gets in early. Local sellers can't sell to Del Monte because the company has "contracted with a cannery in Peru, where asparagus is grown yearround, an acre yields three times as many spears and workers earn a tenth of what" Washingtonians do. Though the article tries to suggest there is not a one-to-one correlation, it includes comparisons like this one: "Since 1991, when a trade agreement opened U.S. markets to Peru's farm exports, more than half of Washington's asparagus fields have been plowed under." Jose "Pepe" Chlimper Ackerman (Agrokasa) and his visit to Seattle is promiently included. "This dynamo is Peru's newest grower — and its largest exporter of fresh asparagus. His farm, Agrokasa, now raises more asparagus than Washington state's entire fresh crop last year." But it turns out "asparagus isn't why Chlimper is here. He has come to make a deal on grapes." (See Also: 'Peru-China Trade Evolution' in June 26's Peruvia.) Chlimper believes that the Washington State asparagus farmers were too focused on canning asparagus rather than selling fresh asparagus. Carlos Ynca and his daughter, Kelly are photographed "in their one-room adobe hut in San Jose, Peru." He is a crew supervisor with CampoSol, one of Peru's largest asparagus growers and is "pleased his employer recently built a latrine at his daughter's school. Before, the children relieved themselves in the schoolyard."

-: The Financial Times runs a column on Latin America and reports that "new government proposals that could have an important bearing" including the Peruvian Congress which "is being asked to reconsider recently approved royalties on sales of copper and other minerals following the withdrawal of bids by six companies for the Las Bambas copper deposit in Apurimac department.
- Gold Hawk Reources announced in a press release that they have "commenced diamond drilling at its Machacala gold-silver property."
- Inca Pacific Resources announced in a press release that it "has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 16,000,000 units at a price of $0.125 per unit. ... Proceeds from the private placement totaling $2,000,000 will be used for working capital purposes and to fund further exploration on the Company's Magistral and Antoro Sur Properties in Peru."

Peruvian Film Honoured in Spain: Variety (see free version here) reports that the film "El destino no tiene favoritos," by Peruvian director Alvaro Velarde "took the audience award at the 1st Madrid-Mostoles International Comedy Film Festival. " NOTE: "An ensemble comedy, "Destino" is set in the grounds of a mansion whose owners rent its garden for a telenovela shoot."

Destabilization Redux: Newsweek's Latin American edition runs a cover story which suggests that the continent is heading for "Another Lost Decade," even as the region grows 4% this year, "only this time, the inevitable popular revolt is targeting democracies." The article includes Ilave only in comparison to Bolivia ("a similar killing took place in Peru the month before.") Guillermo Perry (World Bank's chief Latin American economist) says, "I am not surprised that there is this feeling after five years of very bad growth. It's no surprise that social tensions have increased, that the conflict with globalization has increased." Mark Weisbrot (Center for Economic and Policy Research) says, "This is the biggest slowdown in Latin America in the last 100 years," and is quoted as "one of many analysts who now warn that Latin America is heading for another 'lost decade'." The UNDP report on 'Democracy in Latin America' is also quoted: "53% of Latin Americans said they would prefer an 'autocratic' government if it improved the economy." NOTE: Newsweek states that "most Latin American nations now harbor only a parody of the private sector as a wisely regulated space in which business can flourish and compete."

Scottish Ship Bound for Iquitos: Scotland's Northwest Evening Mail reports on yard workers at Barrow shipyard that "are to refit a mercy boat bound for the Amazon." NOTE: "The former Royal Navy diving tender Ixworth ... will be converted into a floating clinic with doctors’ and dental surgeries ... [and] will be renamed and sail for the Amazon basin in Peru, where volunteer medical staff will help rainforest villagers and poor people from the remote city of Iquitos."

Peru vs. Argentina: Tickets are still available for the friendly match on Wednesday, June 30 at Giants Stadium near New York City.

Preaching in the Callejon: The website OpinionEditorials runs a piece by Gregory Rummo who writes about travelling with his son from New York City to the Callejon de Huaylas where they will "embark on a week-long trek through the Cordillera Negra with 28 other Americans, three Quechua evangelists, our guides and their burros and over ten thousand copies of various portions of the Bible ... [and showing the] DVD version of “The Jesus Film” in Dolby Surround Sound on a large, portable screen. It’s all run from a small, gas-powered generator. This always draws a crowd of several hundred curious Quechua families, most of whom have never seen a movie in their lives."

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