Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Strike: Dow Jones and UPI report on tomorrow's strike and Dow Jones offers the better story. "Peru is bracing for Wednesday's anticipated general strike, which analysts say has become a test of strength for President Alejandro Toledo's administration. Peru's largest labor union, the CGTP, wants its 24-hour nationwide strike to force the Toledo government to alter its economic policies." NOTE: "While the economy has grown solidly for the almost three years that Toledo has been in office, that hasn't been enough to settle the demands articulated by the unions, which have tapped into widespread discontent." Supporters of the CGTP strike include farmers, telecommunications union, and APRA. CITED: Macroconsult (and their report on the strike), Mirko Lauer, Interior Minister Javier Reategui and Alberto Andrade Carmona's editorial in El Comercio.

Cold Kills: The Agence France Press reports that "winter storms have violently struck several South American countries in recent days" killing more than 75,000 farm animals in Peru, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. NOTE: "Heavy snow and rain in southern Peru left 53 people homeless and damaged thousands of houses." SEE ALSO: 'Cold Kills' in July 11's Peruvia below.

Beer Wars, cont.: Reuters reports that Congress "began an investigation into allegations [Cesar Almeyda] a former adviser to President Alejandro Toledo took bribes to favor the sale of Peru's only brewer in 2002. NOTE: "El Comercio reported this month that Bavaria paid Almeyda $2 million to support its purchase of Union de Cervecerias Backus & Johnston. CITED: Javier Velasquez (APRA Congressman and head of the commission) and Hugo Duran (witness against Almeyda). SEE ALSO: 'Beer Wars' in July 8's Peruvia.

The Economic Numbers: Dow Jones reports that "Peru's net international reserves totaled $10.888 billion on July 6, compared with $11.129 billion on June 28," according to the Central Reserve Bank. Reuters reports that "Peru's economy expanded by an annualized 4.6% in May, boosted by higher domestic demand in manufacturing, construction and trade," according to the INEI. NOTE: "Peru's gross domestic product has expanded 4.24% in the year to date, official data show. Peru's GDP has been growing steadily for nearly two years."

P-PK on Taxes: Dow Jones and Reuters report that Peru "will eliminate the 1.7% IES or 'Solidarity' payroll tax this year, but other taxes will remain in place," according to Minister of Economy and Finance Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski's interview with CPN radio. NOTE: "Kuczynski also ruled out moving to a different cabinet post, should President Alejandro Toledo shuffle his cabinet" on July 28. "Some reports have speculated that Kuczynski could take over as prime minister." ALSO: P-PK said "that he expects the upcoming general strike, planned for this Wednesday, to be peaceful."

IDB Releases Camisea Monies: Dow Jones reports that The Inter-American Development Bank said that "Peru's Camisea natural gas project meets key environmental and social conditions, paving the way for a long-delayed loan disbursement from the multilateral lender." NOTE: Last Fall, the IDB made over $100 million in loans to the project but "delayed handing over the money due to ongoing environment and social concerns about the project." ALSO: The US Export-Import Bank last fall also "rejected a proposed $213.6 million loan guarantee for the project stating that it didn't meet that bank's environmental guidelines." Today's reports states that "the IDB believes the necessary protocols have been established to ensure the direct, indirect and cumulative environmental, social and health and safety negative impacts and risks associated with the Camisea project will be properly mitigated." SEE ALSO: The IDB's page on the Camisea project, the bank's 2003 environmental impact study, and this June 2004 evaluation.

More Mining News:
- Mining Las Bambas, cont.: Reuters reports that Anglo American "has pulled out of next month's auction for the Las Bambas copper project because of Peru's decision to introduce a royalty on mining operations," according to "a source familiar with the situation." NOTE: Jose Miguel Morales, president of the private National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy said "the law was 'madness', and the society would go to the Constitutional Court and seek other legal action to get the law overturned. SEE ALSO: 'Mining Las Bambas' in July 8's Peruvia.
- Inca Pacific Resources announced in a press release "the first set of results from the 2004 diamond drill campaign" in their San Ernest mine in Ancash.

Electricity in the South: BNAmericas reports that "Peru's government plans to auction its 15% stake in transmission company Redesur on October 25 for about US$5 million. The government owns the stake through the state fund for business financing, Fonafe, which has 124,995 shares in Redesur."

AContinente's Troubles: The Miami Herald Peru grounded the nation's leading airline Monday, citing the carrier's inability to find an insurance policy after it landed on a U.S. government blacklist for suspected drug traffickers. See Also: 'AContinente Still Flying?' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Free Trade Like in Europe: The Miami Herald runs an op-ed by Daniel Sokol of International Trade & Competition Group of Steel Hector & Davis LLP's on the Free Trade Area of the Americas and how Latin America should look to Eastern Europe's process of integration in the European Community. NOTE: "There is no better proponent of the need for clear property rights and their protection than internationally recognized Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, who in May 2004 was awarded the $500,000 Milton Friedman Prize for Liberty."

Microsoft Funding: Microsoft announced in a press release that Microsoft will provide support for La Fundacion para el Desarrollo Solidario (FUNDADES) as part of their Unlimited Potential grants. "FUNDADES implement a technology training program to help teen parents with no economic resources or computing skills find jobs to support their families."

Morning After Pill Makes Waves, cont.: Italy's Zenit reports that the Peruvian bishops' conference "is promoting a national debate on 'the dangers for human life' of the morning-after pill. CITED: Bishop José Hugo Garaycoa Hawkins of Tacna and Moquegua. SEE ALSO: 'Morning After Pill Makes Waves' in June 23's Peruvia.

Swallowing Your Resources: Several sources, including the Los Angeles Times, run an article on a man who "swallowed nearly $47,500 in latex-wrapped cash in an attempt to smuggle the funds out of the Bogota airport ... while preparing to board a flight for Lima. Inside his stomach were dozens of the latex packets of cash. Police said interrogations indicated the money was probably to be used to pay for drugs."

Paisanos Abroad:
- The Las Vegas' Review Journal reports that Marco Cossio won "an American Culinary Federation gold medal for his ballerina-themed dessert at the Las Vegas Culinary Challenge in the Pastry Masterpiece Competition." Cossio is a chef at the Ark Restaurant in Las Vegas.

- Surfers Village reports that Felipe Becerra is competing at the Nokia International Longboard Bear Championships in France.

- Ohio's Bowling Green Daily News profiles Marcella Revoredo, a nurse at the Barren River District Health Department. NOTE: "Revoredo graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the National University of Cajamarca," and is married to Alfonso Casana.

Wrap Up: The Guardian, the Miami Herald and Washington Post: "Venezuela was eliminated from the Copa America after tying Bolivia, 1-1, Monday."

CPizarro Update, cont.: The Associated Press reports Peru Captain Claudio Pizarro is "responding well to treatment in [a San Borja clinic] for a fractured skull which forced him out of the Copa America." Goal Magazine reports that in addition to not playing any more Copa games, Pizarro will also miss "the opening round of the Bundesliga season in August."

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