Wednesday, August 04, 2004

War of the Pacific, cont.: The Associated Press reports that "the presidents of Peru and Bolivia pledged Wednesday to export some of [Bolivia's] reserves of natural gas through Peru." NOTE: "Despite being a cheaper option, many Bolivians opposed piping gas through Chile, a nation many still resent for annexing Bolivia's Pacific coastline during a war 125 years ago."

No Camisea Tax: Reuters reports that Minister of the Economy and Finances Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski announced that the government had "dropped plans for a 10% consumer tax on local consumption of natural gas from its massive Camisea reserves following criticism the levy could hold up distribution." NOTE: "Some 70,000 households and businesses are expected to switch to Camisea gas by 2009." CITED: Pluspetrol (who leads the Camisea development consortium which includes Hunt Oil and SK Corp.), Techint, Sonatrach, Grana y Montero and Tractebel.

Tax Revenue Up: Dow Jones and Reuters report that "Peru's overall tax revenues, excluding certain contributions, reached 1.837 billion soles in July, a 2.2% increase in real terms over the same period a year earlier," according to SUNAT. NOTE: "The increase was weaker than in recent months due to lower collections of the selective consumption tax, or ISC, as there were fewer tax payment periods in July compared with the same period last year." Reuters quotes 'an agency spokesman' who said, "This is the longest run of tax revenue growth since the SUNAT was created in 1990."

CPI Poll: The Miami Herald (yesterday) offers a summary of a new CPI poll on Toledo's popularity which was "apparently buoyed by a call he made last week for investigators to review his bank accounts. The survey of 500 people in metropolitan Lima by polling firm CPI on Friday and Saturday showed that 13.2% of those asked said they approved of Toledo's job performance, up from 9.6% in June."

More Trucks: The World Mining Equipment website reports that San Martin, Peru's largest independent mining contractor, "has drastically increased its fleet with the recent acquisition of 22 trucks." Says San Martin's Commercial Manager, Alberto Coya, "With this renewed fleet, we have more than doubled our hauling capacity." The company has "moved in excess of 2.2 million tonnes/month in four locations for three clients in both the mining and cement industries in Peru. The company's clients include Yanacocha, Milpo, Buenaventura, and Barrick's Misquichilca."

Electronic Commerce: ePay News reports that "the Wong Interbank Visa card launched in 2001 by Peru’s Interbank and local eCommerce firm, E Wong, supports online remittances at reduced fees, and can be used for purchases anywhere in the world." NOTE: "MasterCard sees the Latin American/ Caribbean region as having the best growth potential in the world for its business, given the low bank penetration, growing card culture and improving economies."

Bugs Save Amazon: The Salt LakeTribune and a University of Utah press release report on the work of Paul Fine and other researchers who "discovered that tree-chomping bugs seem to increase the variety of tree species" in the Peruvian Amazon. (The press release is titled, 'Save the Rainforest - Eat a Tree.') Said Fine: "These insects actually increase the number of habitats, and by extension the number of species." NOTE: "Fine and his Peruvian collaborators, including Italo Mesones of the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana, started an NGO to lobby for protecting the rainforest reserve. The team raised awareness as well as enough money to hire park guards to keep speculators away from the land, in northern Peru near the city of Iquitos." SEE ALSO: 'Herbivores Promote Habitat Specialization by Trees' in the July 30, 2004 issue of Science. Fine, Mesones, and Phyllis D. Coley are the co-authors.

Peruvian Gets Sentenced: Kyodo News reports on Enrique Toguchi who sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Utsunomiya District Court "on a charge of reckless driving resulting in the death of two people and seriously injuring four others." This was "is the highest penalty ever for the charge." Toguchi, 22, a Peruvian living in Japan, did not have a driver's license, and was intoxicated during his melee in 2003. IN SPANISH: See also this story in the International Press.

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