Friday, August 27, 2004

Free Trade? Dow Jones reports that Pedro de la Flor, Peru's chief free-trade negotiator, questioned "the U.S. lacked flexibility in talks aimed at reaching a free-trade deal between some of the Andean nations and the U.S." Said de la Flor to Canal N, "I think that there is evidence of a certain inflexibility in the management of issues that are fundamental for us. I can refer, above all, to the issue of intellectual property."

Callao To Grow: Reuters reports that Peru "aims to unveil a $250 million container terminal by 2009 to revamp its aging, congested ports and become a major trade hub in the Pacific," according to the National Port Authority board member Guillermo Vega. NOTE: "Peru's Callao port, which handles 90% of Peru's $10 billion annual exports, is creaking under the strain of an export boom driven by U.S. and Chinese demand for goods such as minerals, textiles, asparagus and coffee." ALSO: "The transport ministry has hired U.S-based engineering company Moffat and Nichol to draw up the design for the container port, which will be presented in November." With the new terminal, "Callao's total capacity to one million containers a year." Said Vega, "Currently we move between 12 and 14 containers an hour. We need to move between 30 and 40 an hour to compete with other ports in the Americas." CITED: Ports authority director Jose Luis Guerola.

Central Bank Buys Dollars: Dow Jones reports that the Central Reserve Bank "intervened to buy a record $83 million Thursday, up sharply from central bank buying worth $30 million the day before." Bank President Javier Silva Ruete told Canal N, "We don't intervene just because the currency is rising or falling. We intervene to buy at cheap prices and increase our international reserves." NOTE: "The sol has been gaining ground on strong economic fundamentals and a perception the dollar could continue weakening." Cited: "A trader" at Banco Wiese Sudameris.

Questioning Camisea: The Miami Herald runs an op-ed by Aaron Goldzimer (Environmental Defense) and Robert Goodland (former chief environmental advisor of the World Bank Group) on Camisea and "the risks of large infrastructure projects financed by the Inter-American Development Bank. Unless changes are made to the Camisea project now and unless the IDB overhauls its environmental safeguards, some of the worst chapters in the history of development stand to be repeated." CITED: Kugapakori Nahua Reserve. ALSO: "One of the biggest problems in Camisea was that the IDB was actively considering financing the project while it was being built, meaning that the IDB had little ability to shape the design and implementation of the project to improve its outcomes, since the most important decisions (including where the project should be sited) were fast becoming facts on the ground." SEE ALSO: 'Challenges in Paracas' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Strike at Southern? Reuters reports that workers at Southern Peru Copper Corp. "will strike from August 31 unless the miner hikes their pay and rejects a merger proposed with its parent company's mining unit [Minera Mexico]," according to a union leader. NOTE: "A walk-out by some 1,500 workers at Peru's Toquepala and Cuajone copper mines would halt copper production, as the miners make up 85% of operating staff," according to Elmer Gallegos, secretary general of the Cuajone." ALSO: "Miners want an 8% pay rise, above Peru's annualized inflation rate of 4.61%, to take their pay to 81 soles ($24) a day, Gallegos said. ... Grupo Mexico spokesman Juan Rebolledo told Reuters in Mexico City that workers' salary demands were illegitimate." The Sydney Morning Herald runs a wire story that reported that "talk of potential labour problems" contributed to a boost in copper prices in the London Metal Exchange trading.

More Mining: International Minerals Corporation announced in a press release that they have "commenced a second phase drilling program at its 100%-held Pallancata silver-gold property, located approximately 240km southeast of Ayachuco in southern Peru. The program of 42 core drill holes, totaling approximately 7,500m, is scheduled for completion early next year. The drill program will be followed by a 500m underground exploration program in early 2005."

Calling for Justice, cont.: The Miami Herald (final item) reports on the new Amnesty International report which said "an inquiry into human rights violations by the Peruvian army and two left-wing militant groups between 1980 and 2000 did not go far enough, with only a handful of cases coming to court," and cited Nuria García.

LHorna Wins: Reuters reports that Luis Horna bested Jarkko Nieminen (Finland) 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of doubles of the TD Waterhouse Cup on Long Islandand. He will now face Russian Nikolay Davydenko who beat Horna's doubles partner Fernando Verdasco (Spain).

Living in the Rainforest, cont.: The Scotsman offers this headline today 'Peruvian flies love Yorkshire puddings' for their review of last nights television program 'Going to Extremes' about a brother and sister surviving in the Peruvian Amazon. "Viewers craving an impression of tribal culture, or village ritual and ceremony were scuppered. The glimpses given - the taking of hallucinogenic drugs, or hunting birds with bows and arrows - were there to illustrate Pam and Peter’s increasing distaste for and disaffection with tribal life." SEE ALSO: 'Living in the Rainforest' in yesterday's Peruvia.

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