Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Will A-C Troubles Affect Copa América?: The Northern Report reviews the impending confluence of Aero Continente's current troubles and the arrival of next month's Copa América. Reporting from Chiclayo, C.J. Schexnayder writes that "it did not take long" for Chiclayo to feel the ripple effects of Aero Continente's troubles. "Within days of [Fernando] Zevallos' designation" as a 'drug kingpin' by the Bush Administration, "a tour group of 100 tourists from Mexico cancelled their trip to Chiclayo," according to a local tour operator. Chiclayo and Piura are hosts to Group B in the soccer tournament which include Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay. NOTE: "There are only three flights from Lima to Chiclayo every day. Two on Aero Continente and the other on Lan Chile." The Northern Report is "an English-language news resource concentrating on the region of Peru north of Lima." USA Today runs yesterday's Reuters story on Aero Continente. See Also: 'Aero Continente/ FZevallos Woes' in yesterday's Peruvia; and 'FZevallos in Top Ten' and 'Copa America News' in Thursday's Peruvia below.

Rating the Economy, cont.: Standard & Poor's raised Peru's long-term foreign currency credit rating to double-B, two notches below investment grade, from BB-minus, citing a recent strengthening of Peru's economic fundamentals. Bloomberg and Reuters both report on it. See also last week's Fitch report in 'Rating the Economy' in June 3's Peruvia below.

USA: "No More Peruvian Aspargus": The Seattle Times runs an editorial on Washington State's declining asparagus industry, following their news report last week. (See 'Asparagus Wars' in Friday below.) For the newspaper, it is very clear: "The Andean Trade Preferences Act was intended to discourage cocaine production by luring growers out of coca leaf cultivation. A federal report concluded the trade act has served not to curb cocaine production at all but to help Peru's asparagus industry flourish at the expense of the U.S. industry. Peruvian growers can export their asparagus tariff-free into the United States, but U.S. asparagus going the other way must pay." Washington State's Tri-City Herald and the Associated Press report on the newly-formed Washington Asparagus Council, led by Kevin Bouchey and their "brainstorming session to plan the industry's next move." Ideas voiced at the meeting "included trying to get tariffs imposed on imported Peruvian asparagus, pursue anti-dumping legislation, further develop a mechanical asparagus harvester, try to get asparagus exempted from foreign trade preference legislation and recruit other processors to the area." Said Alan Schreiber (Washington Asparagus Commission): "We do not have a mechanism to keep them out. But the tariff would put an economic burden on them." See Also: 'Tensions Over Asparagus' in April 25; and 'Peru #1' in January 29's Peruvia.

USA: "Please, More Peruvian Asparagus": Reuters reports on US Trade Representative Robert Zoellik's visit to Peru to promote the "free-trade deal between the United States and Peru [which] could allow for a gradual reduction in tariffs on farm goods over 20 years, but the world's largest economy is unlikely to be so flexible on intellectual property laws. Said Bush's point person on trade: "In our recent Central America agreement we put in some very long transition periods for agricultural products. Some of those run up to 18 or even 20 years. (With Peru) I expect we would use the same terms we've used in that agreement." Sugar, a subsidized product in the USA will likely not be open for free trade. The article also mentions that, "Peru is one of the world's biggest asparagus exporters to the United States and a major textile and metals exporter."

Minister of Agriculture in Sex Scandal: Reuters reports that "Peru's opposition [parties] called for Agriculture Minister Jose Leon to quit and Congress opened an investigation after reports a hotel owned by the minister's son procured teenage prostitutes for guests." The Associated Press, the BBC, Bloomberg, and the Voice of America later reported that he did resign his ministerial post. It was America Television's Cuarto Poder Sunday night program which "sent a reporter to the hotel, filming with a hidden camera, [and] who asked a hotel worker to get him teenagers. He was told they would be there in 20 minutes."

OAS In Quito, cont.: Reuters reports that former Costa Rican President Miguel Angel Rodriguez "was unanimously elected on Monday to head the Organization of American States as members urged the region to do more to strengthen democracy." He was the sole candidate to succeed outgoing Secretary General Cesar Gaviria. Said Peru's OAS Ambassdor Alberto Borea Odria, "Just as these years we've developed human rights, we need to start working more intensely on economic and social issues in democracy." Among the issues being discussed in the OAS assembly in Quito: "a dispute between Chile and Bolivia over landlocked Bolivia's historic claim to a Pacific ocean port."

Cerro Verde Gets A 'No': Reuters reports that "Peru has blocked an expansion plan by the country's No. 4 copper miner Cerro Verde on environmental grounds, saying it has not given enough details on the possible impact of the $450 million to $800 million project," according to the company. Said a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the study was rejected because "it was lacking in detail." IN SPANISH: See the rejection letter. Quotes also come from Peter Faur, the communications director at Phelps Dodge, Cerro Verde's parent company. BNAmericas reported later Phelps Dodge will Phelps Dodge will "submit new documents." Said Faur, "They are asking for more detail. We've had a conversation with the authorities and we know better what they are looking for." See Also: 'Cerro Verde Gets A 'No'' in Friday below.

More Mining:
- The World Socialist Web Site (third item) reports on the strike at Shougang Iron Peru going on since June 2. "The company stands to lose $270,000 a day from the work stoppage. Most of the iron at the mine is exported to China, the world’s leading producer of steel." The WSWS is a publication of the International Committee of the Fourth International.
- Tinka Resources announces in a press release that they have "staked 4 claims totalling 3,500 hectares, known as the Luminaria Project, located in the Huaraz mining district, in Ancash."

Alianza Lima in DC? The Washington Post (in the last sentence of the article) reports that Alianza Lima may play in Washington DC at RFK stadium in August.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Dow Jones reports that "the Central Reserve Bank of Peru has increased its forecast for inflation for 2004 to a 3.2% rise compared with a previous forecast of a 2.5% rise."
- Dynacorp Mines announced in a press release that they have "signed an option to purchase Casaden, a gold property close to the town of Cajamarca."
- Just-Drinks and Reuters report on "a proposed share swap by the Peruvian brewer Union de Cervecerias Backus & Johnston."
- Dow Jones reports that a Congress' Consumer Defense and Regulatory Agencies Committee "recommended that the government reject renewing Telefonica del Peru contract. The recommendation now goes to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, "which is studying the possibility of extending Telefonica del Peru's concession contract for an additional five years."

Job Skill Set: The Los Angeles Times (registration: peruvia/peruvia) runs an op-ed by someone who is perusing the job classifieds in The Economist. Among the jobs listed: Director of Operations, Clandestine Service, Central Intelligence Agency; and Deputy Director General for Research for the International Potato Center.

SMulanovich is #1, cont.: California's Orange County Register (registration: peruvia/peruvia) profiles Sonia Mulanovich and says that she was "always good, but now she's for real" and is now "the hottest surfer on the world tour." The paper obliges by offering several photographs of the 21-year old Peruvian.

VLl on Celluloid: The Associated Press notes that the film based on Vargas Llosa's novel "The Feast of the Goat" "is set to start filming in September." Director Luis Llosa said "the cast includes Isabella Rosellini and Edward James Olmos." See Also: 'Rossellini Joins The Goat' in April 30's Peruvia.

Peruvian Monkeys: The Spoof 'reports' that "Animal rights activists gathered in the country’s Capitol upon hearing that President Bush had mistaken a family of Peruvian monkeys for Osama Bin Laden and his followers."

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