Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Vladi Guilty: The Associated Press, the BBC, Bloomberg, and Xinhua Net report that Vladimiro Montesinos has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for embezzlement, conspiracy and corruption. ... He is already serving a nine-year sentence and faces a series of trials." This is his fifth guilty verdict. According to Bloomberg, "Judge Maria Zavala ruled that Montesinos was guilty of corruption, bribery and illegal criminal association. Montesinos's sentence includes a 50 million-soles ($14.4 million) in civil reparations. Xinhua reminds that "Montesinos [still] faces charges of masterminding the 1999 delivery of 10,000 assault rifles to the FARC. Prosecutors are seeking a 20-year sentence in that trial, which opened in January." ALSO: Television owners Samuel and Mendel Winter were also sentenced to two years in prison." NOTE: "Prison terms aren't cumulative in Peru so Montesinos, jailed since June of 2001, would only have to serve the longest 15-year jail term. Agence France Press offers an archived photograph of a beleaguered Montesinos.

Too Many Tourists in Machu Picchu: The Associated Press and the CBC report that "United Nation's monument evaluators recommended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to place Machu Picchu on its endangered list during a meeting this week in Suzhou, China, to evaluate world heritage sites." The recommendation by the International Council on Monuments and Sites, confirmed Monday by Peru's National Institute of Culture, declared that "heavy tourism and nearby sprawl have endangered the 'Lost City of the Incas'." NOTE: During an October visit to Peru, UNESCO's heritage chief Francesco Bandarin had issued a warning. The Associated Press also offers an archived photo of the site. SEE ALSO: 'Machu Picchu Endangered?' in June 22's Peruvia.

Too Much Snow in Cuzco: Reuters reports that "the first snow in about 20 years in Cuzco has left thousands of tourists stranded as road, rail and air routes were closed by the bad weather." The Cuzco airport has been closed since Sunday and "more snow was expected at high altitudes in the next three days," according to the National Meteorological Service (SENAMHI).

Camisea Spigot Turned On, cont.: BNAmericas reports that Peru will "stop importing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from August onwards as it taps into Camisea LPG production, paving the way toward exporting the fuel in the near future," according to Gustavo Navarro Valdivia (Ministry of Energy and Mines). SEE ALSO: 'Camisea Spigot Turned On' in June 18's Peruvia.

- Reuters reports that South Korea's only copper producer, LG Nikko Copper Inc, "aims to sign an agreement by August 10 to jointly develop a mine in Peru and improve its supply of scarce raw materials," according to Gook-ho Lee, executive vice-president at LG Nikko Copper. NOTE: This a joint effort with Canadian miner Chariot Resources Ltd. ALSO: Chariot was in "the final stages of acquiring the project from subsidiaries of Rio Tinto and Shougang Hierro Peru."

- Pan American Silver announced in a press release that they have "finalized the sale of gold properties and mineral rights near its mine in Peru to a unit of Barrick Gold Corp." for nearly US$3.7 million." NOTE: "The package includes lands surplus to the needs of the Quiruvilca mine and does not effect the mine's operation."

War On Shining Path Should Be A Model: The United Press International suggests that "a war against terrorism can be won if a government is sufficiently committed" as Peru was against the Shining Path. The article profiles Rosa Calderon Lara, alias "Comrade Gaviota" (Seagull) who "was working as a teacher at a school in the densely populated Ate Vitarte district" and was "a member of the assassination unit of the Shining Path's regional metropolitan committee." NOTE: "More than 69,000 people would be killed before the government's harsh tactics prevailed over the Maoist guerrillas."
Separately, an opinion piece in the Scotsman by Fraser Nelson reviews the ideas and techniques that Hernando de Soto "used to save Peru from insurgency and civil war." NOTE: "This is the bottom-up approach that saw support for Shining Path, the Peruvian terrorists, evaporate. This is what is needed in Iraq - where market traders thrive using Arab rules for Arab customs."

Missionaries in Abancay: Nebraska's Omaha World-Herald interviews Allen George, a Protestant medical missionary in Abancay who partners with several denominations includeing the Assemblies of God, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist and Evangelical Church of Peru. NOTE: "The favorite Peruvian dish is guinea pig. Although a guinea pig is worth a day's wages, my patients will cook one up for me because I'm a special guest."

Cusqueña is Introduced: The Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports on the "selling Peruvian beer made from Andes mountain water" in Huddersfield, Queensgate in the United Kingdom. Interpretation: Two young entreprenuers have introduced Cusqueña to the local bars and clubs after discovering it "during a holiday in South America" and are now "targeting venues in Leeds and Manchester as part of a campaign which could eventually covering the UK." NOTE: "The premium lager ... is the leading brand in South America."

Locating Vehicles in Peru: Datumcom and its Peruvian affiliate COMSATEL PERU, announced in a press release that they have "successfully deployed two of the largest Automatic Vehicle Location Systems in Peru." This will allow commercial trucks "to receive load assignments and send real-time location status updates."

Peru vs. Argentina Tomorrow: The New York Daily News and the New York Times (second to last item) report that "grass was installed over the Fieldturf surface yesterday at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., for tomorrow night's exhibition [match]." Many football games in the USA are not played on natural grass.

Copa America in the USA: USA television broadcaster Univision announced in a press release that their Univision and TeleFutura networks "will air the 41st edition of the world's longest running national teams soccer tournament "Copa America" live from Peru. The competition's 26 matches can be seen July 6-25 with host Fernando Fiore and play-by-play commentary by sportscasters Pablo Ramirez and Ricardo Mayorga." ALSO: The final match on Sunday, July 25, which will air exclusively on the Univision Network live at 3:30pm EST. NOTE: "The winner of this top-rated tournament represents CONMEBOL in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany next June 2005." The press release also offers a complete schedule of the games.

Orchid Thieves, cont.: Texas' Courier reports that George Norris, the owner of owner and operator of Spring Orchid Specialties, "pleaded guilty in Miami federal District Court June 18 to conspiracy to smuggle endangered orchid species into the United States. He and co-defendant Manuel Arias Silva were found to have made several shipments of orchids between January 1999 and October 2003. According to the indictment and statements in court, among these typical orchid shipments were hidden a species of protected Peruvian orchid known as Phragmipedium, commonly called Tropical Lady's Slipper." SEE ALSO: 'Orchid Thief: Guilty' in June 6's Peruvia.

Peruvians in Florida: The Los Angeles Times focuses on Florida's "Spanish-speaking heritage of the state [which] now reflects all of Latin America, not just Cuba. From politics to parks, the shift is profound." According to Fernando Larrea is "a Peruvian who moved to Florida 15 years ago and manages an Argentine-style restaurant in the Orlando suburb of Casselberry who states, "We leave the country, but we do not close the door."

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