Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Toledo Accuser in Public: The Associated Press reports that Gladys Álvarez Gonzáles, the witness who alleges that Peru's President Alejandro Toledo's family registered his political party with forged signatures, rejected charges on Monday that she took money from political enemies to make the claims." She gave a press conference "after going public on a weekend television news show." NOTE: "She said Monday that she decided to go public to defend herself after Toledo's sister, Margarita Toledo, said the witnesses were on the payroll of the president's opponents." ALSO: "Alvarez says the president knew about the so-called 'signature factory' and frequently visited it. The witness also says that Toledo's wife, Eliane Karp, was involved in the alleged fraud, claiming the first lady visited an office to greet workers hired to crank out phony signatures."

LBozzo 'Accused' of Friendship: The Miami Herald (second item) using an Associated Press story reports that "more than two years after being placed under house arrest on corruption charges, [Laura Bozzo] said that she is being detained for picking the wrong friend -- former President Alberto Fujimori." The AP quotes Bozzo telling Radioprogramas, "they were my opinions and I don't think that anyone can be imprisoned for being someone's friend." [Editorial Note: The short news brief seems to be less news and more a Bozz press release.]

Exports Jump: Reuters reports that Peruvian exports "jumped 36.5% in July to a record monthly high of $1.08 billion, compared with the same month a year ago, as demand from the United States and China surged," according to the government export promotion division PROMPEX. NOTE: "Exports to the United States rose 55% to $260 million, while foreign sales to China grew 54% to $124 million in July, compared with the same month a year ago." ALSO: "Peru is currently enjoying an export boom and sales of non-traditional exports such as textiles clocked up 25 months of consecutive growth in July to rise by 38 %."

Peru/Thailand Trade: Xinhua Net reports that Peru and Thailand "have agreed to cut import tariffs on at least 3,000 products in their negotiations for bilateral free trade area agreement, according to trade negotiators." NOTE: "The two countries still need to iron out several important issues such as setting up timeframe for the elimination of tariffson goods, services, investment as well as for products deemed 'sensitive'." ... As for "sensitive" products, Peru puts rice and sugar on top ofthe list while Thailand says local fishermen need additional protection." CITED: Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade Pablo de la Flor. ALSO: "In the first half of this year, shipments from Thailand to Peru totaled 15.2 million US dollars while imports to Thailand from Peru reached 27.3million US dollars.

Peru Praises Venezuela: Venezuela's El Universal reports that Minister of Foreign Relations Manuel Rodríguez "praised the Venezuelan democratic process after the victory of president Hugo Chávez in the recall referendum on his mandate" declaring in a press conference in Central America, "I reiterate our deep satisfaction for the democratic behavior of the Venezuelan people."

Tragedy Near Cuzco, cont.: The Irish Independent reports that "the remains of [David Scollard,] the student killed in a bus accident in Peru some 12 days ago, were finally flown home." ALSO: "Mr Scollard's remains will be buried in his native Ballybricken after funeral mass tomorrow. The tragedy compounded the agony for the family who lost another son Michael in a Limerick car accident five years ago."

TEAM Peru: Reuters and Sky review Peru's squad for next month's World Cup qualifier against Argentina including Junior Ross as a replacement for the still-injured Claudio Pizarro. Also included is Roberto Palacios "who is without a club after leaving Mexico's Morelia [and] not played since the Copa America."

Coach Oblitas: Reuters reports that Juan Carlos Oblitas has been named as the new manager for Ecuadorean champions Liga de Quito. NOTE: "Oblitas played for Peru in the 1978 World Cup and coached his country's national side at the Copa America in 1999."

Candente Progress: South Africa's Mining Weekly reviews Candente Resource's announcement last week that their phase one drilling programme "has been completed on the wholly-owned Alto Dorado property located in Northern Peru. The company said that a total of 1 050 m have been drilled in nine holes, adding that eight holes were drilled in the Toril high sulphidation gold zone and one in the Olla porphyry gold-copper zone."

Biking Around the World: The Guardian reports on British bicyclist Alastair Humphreys who biked this year from Peru to Alaska. "One year ago I rode out of Lima into the grey desert. ... On an ill-chosen 'scenic route' through northern Peru I had pushed the bike uphill along a deserted track for some days when I saw a battered little bus approach ... "

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