Wednesday, July 21, 2004

UPDATED: More War, New Poll, Toledo’s Past, Pilgrims and Polleria

War of the Pacific, updated: A wire story reports that Minister of Energy and Mines Jaime Quijandri­a Salmon and Foreign Minister Manuel Rodri­guez Cuadros "will meet their Bolivian counterparts in 10 days to prepare ... for negotiations later this month in Bolivia over the use of Peruvian ports for the export of Bolivian gas." Meanwhile the Houston Chronicle offers the best summary so far of the impact of last Sunday's referendum in Bolivia, the internal and regional politics as well as the business calculations. "Until nine months ago, energy executives and government officials considered Chile the logical place from which to ship Bolivia's liquefied natural gas, or LNG.  … In a nationally televised interview Monday, Mesa conceded that exporting through Chile 'isn't viable.' He said Bolivia would pursue plans to build export facilities for LNG in Peru, with the intention to supply the Mexican and U.S. markets." CITED: Boris Yopo (University of Chile's International Studies Institute), Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, and Yvonne Sisler (PFC Energy).  The AFP offers a loose photograph of Minister Rodriguez Cuadros
Puzzled View of the War of the Pacific: Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette offers an opinion column by Dan Simpson (a former USA Ambassador to Zaire and now an editor at the paper) who thought "that even having to market the gas by pipeline through the territory of a hated neighbor is not too bitter a pill to swallow to get the money." ALSO: "A more alarming phenomenon, whose implications are regional, spanning Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Venezuela are indications that the old Indian-Spanish fissure in Latin America is becoming a more active factor in the internal and international politics of the region."

War of the Pacific, cont.: The Miami Herald's first item in their 'Latin Brief' column reports that "Bolivia is to sign an agreement to export natural gas through Peru ... Presidents Carlos Mesa of Bolivia and Alejandro Toledo of Peru are to sign the joint venture when they meet in early August." NOTE: Foreign Minister Juan Ignacio Siles said that "Bolivia has discarded any plans to export gas through a Chilean port. He said that Santiago was not willing to discuss giving landlocked Bolivia sovereignty over an outlet to the sea." ALSO: The last item in the same 'Latin Brief' column is a short note on Peru receiving United Nations' aid after the extreme cold in the south. (And the Agence France Press has a photograph of a family sludging through the snow in Puno.)

Poll on Toledo: Canada's Center for Public Opinion and Democracy reports on Apoyo's new poll in which "many Peruvians concur on the most productive policy put forth by Alejandro Toledo. NOTE: "40% of respondents in Lima say the government-initiated housing program ('Vivienda para Todos') is the most positive aspect of the president’s tenure."  The poll interviewed 604 Lima residents of Lima, on July 15 and 16 and has a margin of error of 4%. 

Mr Garcia Goes to Washington: Dow Jones reports that "Alan Garcia will make a swing though the U.S. this week and next, aiming to boost the image of his populist Apra party and help attract investments to Peru." On his itinerary are "bankers, politicians, journalists, and others in New York and Washington. He will also attend the Democratic party convention in Boston." NOTED: "A member of the 168-member Socialist International, Peru's Apra party suffered a political setback last week after supporting the poorly-attended general strike called by labor group CGTP." ALSO: "Garcia has said recently that he supports privatizations and a free trade deal with the U.S."  SEE ALSO: The APRA party web site.

Toledo's Stanford Past: The Palo Alto Weekly runs a long (gushy) profile of Stanford University Education Professor Martin Carnoy with a focus on his "ambitious young graduate student" Alejandro Toledo.  It was Carnoy who "accepted Toledo into the Stanford International Development Committee, a Ford Foundation-funded graduate-school program designed to groom future education leaders in Latin America." ALSO: "Carnoy visits [Peru] regularly to advise him on education policy.  ... Toledo "identified Carnoy as one of four persons 'who have been critical in my professional success in becoming president of Peru'." Editorial Note: The piece is written by the Miami Herald/Knight-Ridder's Tyler Bridges who has written a broadly similar piece in this 2002 cover story in 'Worldview.'  Bridges' relationship with Cecilia Tait Villacorta, a member of Congress with Toledo's Peru Posible party with whom he has a child (see first photograph in this article and the last item of this article), should have been made clear for this article. SEE ALSO: This 2001 story in the San Francisco Chronicle on Toledo's university years.

Macro/Micro Economics
- LAN at JFK: LAN Airlines announced in a press release that they have "moved their New York ticket office to JFK International Airport in order to provide easier access for its passengers. [It is] located in terminal 4, concourse A." An earlier press release announced free shuttle service between Paterson, New Jersey and JFK International Airport in New York City.
- Peruvian Insurance: BNAmericas reports that "the Peruvian banking and insurance regulator (Superintendencia de Banco y Seguros) is currently investigating unauthorized insurance policies issued by foreign companies," according to insurance regulator Armando Cáceres. NOTE: "An estimated US$50 million goes to insurance companies outside Perú, and although the figure is not official, it is the figure accepted by sector and remains troublingly high."
- Cheaper Gas: Reuters reports that "Peru cut fuel taxes on Tuesday to control rising gasoline prices and avoid higher inflation," according to the Minister of the Ecnomy and Finances Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski. NOTE: "In a decree published in the official gazette, the government said it had cut the selective consumer tax (ISC) on fuel by 2.2% to 2.24 soles ($0.65) a gallon."
- Lower Income: Reuters offers second quarter numbers for Banco Wiese.
- Camisea Booming:  Gestion reports that the Camisea consortium "already has seven clients (six industrial companies and the electric power generation plant Etevensa).  According to the natural gas distributor GNCL (Gas Natural de Lima y Callao), there are 90 companies very interested in the natural gas from Camisea" including Aceros Arequipa, Cementos Lima, Funsur and Exsa.

Peru & the Bahamas: The Bahamas Nassau Guardian reports on their Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell who was in Lima "promoting the city of Port of Spain, Trinidad's capital, as the headquarters for the Free Trade Agreement of The Americas Secretariat." NOTE: "Mr Mitchell said that the talks with Peru's foreign minister were fruitful and that Peru promised to keep an 'open mind.' ALSO: "Peru is supplying a 190-man force to keep the peace in Haiti and minister Mitchell was said to update the Peruvian foreign minister with information from the recent visit to Haiti by a team of CARICOM foreign ministers."
Peru & Korea: The Korea Times reports that "the Peruvian Embassy in South Korea and Seoul City will hold a free Peruvian folk music festival at the square located in front of Seoul City Hall from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. An Andean folklore group, dubbed Inca Empire, will perform a live folk music along with a mixture of Peruvian folk and Korean traditional music by the Korean National University of Arts team."

Cuzco and Madison Are Sisters: The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Madison City [Common] Council approved making Cuzco, Peru a sister city. "Madison now has 11 sister cities and each citizen-run program shares a pot of about $10,000 a year to organize delegations and idea-sharing with the foreign city."  SEE ALSO: Madison's official resolution.

Pilgrims: The Associated Press through photographs offers the story of Guillermo Elias and Francisco Vilcherres who are carrying a large wooden cross across the desert on the Panamerican highway near Moquegua after vowing "to carry the cross 2500 km to the sanctuary of Our Captive Lord of Ayabaca in northern Peru."
New Polleria: Maryland's Community Times profiles Luis Osnayo (from Nazca) and "the opening of his new restaurant, Que Rico, in Reisterstown's Cherryvale Plaza shopping center." NOTE: Osnayo said "there are more than 50 [of his] extended family members, comprising five generations, living in Reisterstown."
Argentina 3 - Colombia 0: Reuters has a piece on the Brazilian coach blasting the Copa organizers for scheduling a match for third place and for having it in Cuzco: "Here, not only do they play it but they go and hold it at more than 3,000 metres above sea level. It's absurd and it's insane." The Miami Herald has a piece written by BBC reporter Hannah Hennessy, the Los Angeles Times a column by Mike Penner, and Reuters a full story, all on the Argentina/Colombia match. The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post each offer stories based on wire services. Most stories focus on rising star Carlos Tevez. The Miami Herald and Reuters also offer previews on tonights Brazil v. Uruguay match.  ALSO: Reuters on the leading scorers.

- The Barbados Advocate reports on the ongoing XIV Pan American Junior Badminton Championships in Lima. "Drawn in group B along with USA, Mexico and Puerto Rico, the Bajans played top seeds USA and lost 5-0."

- The Associated Press reports that Claudio Pizarro "will be sidelined until September by the skull fracture suffered at Copa America. The Peruvian forward was released from a Munich hospital on Wednesday following an operation.  The AP also offers photographs of newly-shorn Pizarro taking a photo of his injury.

- Peru(vian) Defeats Colombia(n): The Associated Press and the Voice of America note that Luis Horna defeated Alejandro Falla, Colombia, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) in the second round of the ATP Generali Open Kitzbuhel in Austria.  

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