Thursday, September 23, 2004

UPDATE: AFujimori Responds; Sulliden Explorations; New Andes Book
Print Today's Peruvia Here

AFujimori Responds: The Associated Press and the Voice of America reports that former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori "has scoffed" at President Toledo's demand at the United Nations that Japan extradite him to stand trial on corruption and murder-related charges." He called Toledo's call "a stunt that showed the weakness of the government's case against him." NOTE: The AP quotes from Fujimori's recorded statement to Radioprogramas declaring that Toledo "put on a show for this international forum because [he] can't substantiate an extradition request based solely on suppositions and secondhand testimony." ALSO: "Mr. Fujimori repeated his denials of wrongdoing. He said he is not a murderer, but rather a president who defeated two guerrilla groups during his 10-year term."

Toledo At United Nations, cont.: The United Nations released President Toledo's 5-page speech given at the General Assembly on Monday. Agence France Press, the Associated Press, Japan Today (using the AFP), and Kyodo News Agency all focus on Toledo declaring that Peru "would take Japan to an international tribunal if it does not answer a request to extradite former Peruvian leader Alberto Fujimori." NOTE: The AFP offers Toledo's comments during his press conference "on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly," saying that "Peru has presented already the judicial documents for extradition, and we don't have a clear answer." ALSO: The Japan Today story has a message board at the bottom of the article that includes: "Hey, the US granted asylum (in August) to a Chechen terrorist (yeah, i know America has this "war against terrorism" deal going on). And England played very nice thank-you with Pinochet, who falls into the Fujimori category." "Well Toledo is just as bad or worses than Fujimori ... even Mrs Toledo is under country arrest as her foundation 'CONAPA' and other missing and misappropriated monies are investigated" "Alan Garcia gets filmed kicking marching protestors, and peru's ambassator to spain .. Signor Olivera gives the public 'the finger' and other obscene signs .. heck .. most people in peru actually want Fujimori back as president ... " "Millons of us, indentured, truly desmuelados so call "indians" . The real 5 centuries old victims of "civilization ", progress, catholic church and democracy......... WE DO RESPECT and recognize Mr. Fujimori 's many factual, positive deeds." See Also: 'Toledo at UN' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Toledo Criticizes, cont.: The Washington Times reviews and comments on Toledo's talk at George Washington University in Washington DC and "where he warned that democracy in Latin America is threatened by poverty and ignorance — even in his country, one of the fastest-growing nations in the hemisphere." The paper's 'correspondent' Marion Baillot uses dated poll data to suggest that Toledo's "popularity has plummeted to about 8%" even though the president's talk included polls doubling that number. See Also: 'Toledo Criticizes' and 'Polling Toledo' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Peru and Chile, cont.: Xinhua Net reports from Santiago that "the Chilean Foreign Ministry on Wednesday applauded the meeting between Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and his Peruvian counterpart Alejandro Toledo [at the United Nations in New York] as a sign of improved bilateral relations." NOTE: "The meeting was a result of the efforts by their foreign ministers following a border dispute between the two countries in recent months. During the meeting, Lagos told Toledo that he would take part in the South American summit in the Peruvian city of Cusco in November. After their meeting, Toledo expressed the will of Peru to reacha free trade agreement with Chile. The Chilean Foreign Ministry also quoted Lagos as saying that Toledo will soon visit Chile to regularize bilateral relations. Earlier this month, Peru threatened to resort to the International Court of Justice in The Hague should Chile fail to solve [a maritime] dispute within 60 days through a direct diplomatic approach. See Also: 'Peru and Chile' in yesterday's Peruvia.

War of the Pacific, History: The Guardian reports that "the so-called War of the Pacific, in 1879, involving Chile, Bolivia and Peru should really have been called the Battle of the Birdshit. It was about saltpetre or nitrate and guano, that built up in vast quantities on what was the Bolivian coast. For a while, cheap fertilisers such as guano subsidised the agricultural explosion of the 19th century."

The Beginning of the Andes: The Times Literary Supplement reviews 'Devil in the Moutain: A Search for the Origin of the Andes' by Simon Lamb who writes that "the image of the Andes as a slowly changing, almost living entity begins to form in the mind, a behemoth heaving upwards and distorting itself while cutting off the courses of rivers and warping down the floors of mighty lakes". Richard A. Fortey, a Natural History Museum of London paleontologist, reviews the book and admires a geologist’s attempt to understand mountains, in "an enticing blend of personal adventure and scientific explanation."

Retiring Shifts: BNAmericas reports that Juan José Marthans León, head of Peru's banking and insurance regulator (Superintendente de Banca y Seguros) said that they are "evaluating new rules that would allow pension fund administrators to operate under a multifund system as soon as possible." NOTE: "The regulator has been planning to implement a multifund system for some time, under which affiliates would be able to choose among three pension funds with varying risk and return levels." CITED: Vice-president of the Peruvian AFP [Pension Fund Administrators ] Association, Alfonso De Los Heros Pérez-Albela who "recently expressed doubt that the multifund system would be ready before the end of the year as planned, stating that AFP investment options are too limited by the 10.5% foreign investment limit to sustain a multifund system." See Also: This March 2004 interview with Marthans in Caretas.

Atacocha Troubles: Reuters reports that Pasco-based Compañía Minera Atacocha, Peru's No. 5 zinc and No. 2 lead producer, "will have to close its mine by the end of the year if it fails to persuade locals to let it go ahead with a tailings dam," according to Juan José Herrera Tavara, its CEO. NOTE: Said Herrera, "tomorrow our union is holding a peaceful march to get the support of the local government. Without a permit, we won''t ... be able to continue operations." ALSO: "The company got 700 locals to sign a permit in April ceding it 69 acres to expand its tailings dam, but new local leaders had a change of heart in July and backtracked, saying the plant was too close to the town. Local officials also note that residents have high blood lead levels." NOTE: "The Pasco regional government tried to mediate earlier this week but locals did not turn up for the meeting. Guillermo Olivera Matos, vice president of the Pasco region, said another meeting was planned for Saturday. 'Let''s hope they show up. We want to resolve the problem now,' he said."

EAyllón on USA Tour: Denver's Westword (second item) notes Eva Ayllón tour arrives on Sunday at the Seawell Ballroom. (She plays Toronto and Quebec between now and then.) NOTE: "The music of Peru isn't all Andean pan pipes and guitar-derived charangos, and it doesn't always dress in alpaca. ... Afro-Peruvian music is [Peru's] true sound. Americans would do themselves a favor by delving into Ayllón's upbeat festejo and seminal landó rhythms." The ticket distributor seems to be Los Cabos II, the bar/venue where she played last year.

Kola Real in Mexico: Reuters notes that Mexican "Coca-Cola Femsa, the world's No. 2 Coke bottler with operations in nine countries, is seeing its dominant share of its main Mexican market erode as competition heats up from Pepsi and smaller rivals." NOTE: "Partly from price wars, KOF is losing market share to Pepsi bottlers such as U.S.-based Pepsi Bottling Group, its main soft drinks rival in Mexico, as well as to small bottlers, like Peru-based Kola Real."

Working in Llipllec: Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette reports that "Jeff Barrett, a High School junior, and his mother, Claire Barrett, spent part of their summer helping to build a three-room elementary school in Peru. Four-fifths of the little more than 100 villagers in the tiny mountainous village of Llipllec worked on the project, which was overseen by a group of University of Pittsburgh graduate students. Llipllec is in the central portion of this South American country." NOTE: The expedition was set up by a social organization called Pro Peru, which got the villagers' mayor to sign a contract pledging cooperation." Editorial Note: Please email Peruvia if you know where Llipllec is.

Shopping In Miraflores: The Massachussetts Littleton Independent relates an opinion piece "on a recent trip to Peru, I had occasion to check out the local shops in Miraflores, an 'antiquing' section of Lima. I always find it fascinating to see what other parts of the world are selling in their antique stores." NOTE: "One day during our vacation we went out early, hoping to find some local shops open. No luck before 10 a.m. We found a store with large windows and lots of goodies of interest in sight. We rang the bell to no avail. Next a taxi driver walking by and trying to be helpful rang the bell of the store to see if he could get a response." NOTE: "Our guide Raul Varela Anselmi was kind enough to accompany us to the store and act as our interpreter. Large South American hand carved and painted wooden statues of saints called Santos greeted incoming customers. The almost life size Santos were breathtaking."

Stanford Connections: The Stanford University's Daily report on jetsetting alumni and includes this: "“We had the chance to meet the president of Peru, a Stanford alumnus, during one of the trips I took to South America,” said Rick. “When I lead Stanford tours, I find myself meeting people that I would not otherwise have the chance to meet.”

Euro-Scoreres: The Guardian headlines Nobby Solano in an article: 'Villa's Solano gives free lesson to Rangers.' The Deutsche Press Agency and ESPN report on Peruvian striker Jose Guerrero who "scored both goals for Bayern, whose Bundesliga team qualified on Tuesday with a laboured 3-2 win over amateurs VfL Osnabrueck."

Papitas! The Miami Herald offers a piece on Peruvian potatoes, and suggests that "in isolated farming communities high in the Peruvian Andes, a single farmer may plant as many as 100 varieties of potatoes on his small plot of land (chacra) to safeguard his crop against disease through diversity." NOTE: "Take a potato named puma maki. As its Quechua name indicates, this black-skinned beauty with cream flesh has an uncanny resemblance to a puma's paw." ALSO: For Peruvian cooks, the benchmark of quality remains a mealy potato (papa harinosa) with a white or preferably yellow flesh that will hold well during cooking. Oddly, it's easier to find purple or blue potatoes in Miami or New York than in Lima." The article includes a recipe for Peruvian purple potato and calabaza salad.

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