Monday, September 27, 2004

UPDATE: Protestants Double in Size
Print Today's Peruvia Here

Ad Hoc Prosectors to Close? The New York Times receives President Toledo’s return to Lima with an article on "a team of special prosecutors empowered to investigate corruption in Peru's former government may be dismantled in the coming days after it turned its inquiry toward the current administration." (Dow Jones also provides a summary of the New York Times story.) NOTE: The Times story is based on an interview with Luis Vargas Valdivia, head of the Ad Hoc Prosecutors unit, who said "that the government's long-lived ambivalence toward his group has turned to outright hostility since prosecutors recently began investigating charges of corruption against President Alejandro Toledo, his wife, a presidential aide, other relatives and the governing party as a whole." ALSO: "News media accounts question whether the unit will survive past the end of the month, when the contracts for 26 prosecutors, investigators and staff members expire. Mr. Vargas Valdivia's contract does not expire until Dec. 31, but the loss of his staff would leave the unit effectively moribund until new prosecutors are appointed." NOTE: "Vargas Valdivia's prosecutors have already won convictions of 58 defendants, among them a former armed forces chief, a Supreme Court judge and an attorney general. Though hundreds of others have been charged but not yet tried, judicial experts in Latin America consider the scope of the investigation unprecedented in a region where governments have struggled against endemic corruption." CITED: José Miguel Vivanco (Americas division of Human Rights Watch); former Minister of the Interior and now newspaper columnist Fernando Rospigliosi; and Mario Vargas Llosa who will "issue a petition calling for the president to keep the unit operating." NOTE: "Mr. Vargas Valdivia's prosecutors are now looking into allegations, provided to the magazine Caretas by a former presidential aide, César Almeyda, who is in jail awaiting trial on corruption charges, that Mr. Toledo took a bribe." The article suggests that the interview was done on Thursday.

Protestants Double in Size: ALC Noticias reports that Pastor Carlos Jara de Paz, president of the Concilio Nacional Evangélico del Perú (CONEP) noted that the Evangelical population in Peru has grown from 6.83% to 14% over the past decade." Jara is also national vice superintendent of the Assemblies of God. ALSO: "A proposal for political participation on the part of Evangelicals is also becoming more solid and there is an Evangelical presence in government sectors that were previously marked by little or no participation." NOTE: "As part of the process to modernize CONEP, the most recent national assembly named a commission to elaborate a proposal to reform the statutes, which includes lawyers Jose Regalado and Elias Medina and Pastors Rafael Goto Silva and Nelson Ayllon." In Spanish: See 'La ola evangélica' in Sept. 4, 2004's La Republica.

Econ Growth In Peru: The Miami Herald reports on the economic growth "throughout much of Latin America and the Caribbean, [which is] expected to post a 4.5% economic growth rate this year, the best performance in seven years, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean." NOTE: "Countries throughout the region -- led by Chile, Brazil and Peru -- get credit as well for encouraging investment and consumption by keeping the lid on spending and inflation to get their economic houses in order." CITED: Juan Pepper (Michell & Co.., Peru's biggest maker of alpaca sweaters and scarves); Jurgen Weller (ECLAC economist); Claudio Loser (Inter-American Dialogue); José Cerritelli (Bear Stearns) David Rothkopf (former Clinton administration); and Guillermo Ballesteros, an unemployed security guard in Lima who declared "'On TV, you see [Peruvian] President Toledo saying the situation is getting better, but it's a lie. I don't know where I could get a job."

Econ Growth To Peru: The Miami Herald reports from Lima on remittances from the USA to Latin America. Donald F. Terry (InterAmerican Development Bank) says that "about $38 billion was sent to Latin American and Caribbean countries in 2003 -- mostly from the United States -- and he expects the total to reach $45 billion in 2004." CITED: Manuel Orozco (Inter-American Dialogue); Carlos Mosquera (Peru-Express); Carlos Telias (Costamar Money Transfer in Florida); Pilar Meza and Victoria Meza (unrelated), women in Lima who receive remittances from abroad; and Regis Garcia Arzubialde (E. Wong). NOTE: "In one interesting innovation, Peruvians in the United States can buy gift certificates online at E. Wong, the country's largest supermarket chain, and a recipient in Peru can pick them up. Peruvians in the United States can also buy groceries online and have them delivered to a recipient's home." See Also: 'Changes in the Atmosphere? Increase in Remittances, Price Decline and New Challenges' and the accompanying graphs by Manuel Orozco.

Cerro Verde Gets Green Light: Dow Jones and Reuters reports that Peru will "approve an environmental impact study for Minera Cerro Verde that will allow the copper miner to build a $800 million concentrator," according to the Minister of Energy and Mines, Jaime Quijandria. In an update Reuters, Quijandria says that, "We will give authorization today ... the company will announce it tomorrow." NOTE: "The government raised 65 objections to Cerro Verde's first study and sent it back to the company for clarification. Environmental issues have sparked anti-mine protests in other parts of the country, where mining is the economic lifeblood." Dow Jones adds that the Minister spoke "during a meeting with the foreign press association." ALSO: "Peruvian precious metals miner Compania de Minas Buenaventura also has a stake in Cerro Verde." In Spanish: See the Environmental Impact Assessment.

Vena's Veins: Vena Resources announced in a press release "the commencement of a 1200 meter drill program on its Aucapampa gold-copper skarn deposit in Apurimac."

Newmont's Troubles: Reuters reports on a mining conference in Denver where "institutional shareholders who have watched Newmont Mining Corp. battle pollution accusations in South America ... will get a chance to demand answers." CITED: Michael Fowler (Desjardins Securities). NOTE: "Denver-based Newmont has made headlines around the world and its stock lost 5% in recent weeks as Peruvian farmers accusing it of polluting local water blocked access to its Yanacocha mine, its second biggest gold operation." Sierra Club announces in a press release to "voice for their support for residents of two small Indonesian villages that have filed charges against Newmont." ALSO: "This is not the first time charges have been brought against Newmont’s polluting activities. Earlier this year, residents of Choropampa, Peru filed a similar suit against Newmont."

Lan Flights: The Miami Herald (last item) gives Lan Airlines an advertisement with their "announced low introductory fares in connection with a recent increase in the frequency of its flights between Los Angeles/Miami/New York and Lima. NOTE: "For a limited time, Lan Peru is selling round-trip service from Miami to Lima for $363." Lan’s press release page doesn’t have this information.

Exel Exports: The American Journal of Transportation relates Exel’s press release that "Exel announced that its freight management office in Lima has received official certification from the Business Anti-Smuggling Coalition (BASC). Exel is one of the first freight forwarding organizations in Latin America to receive this important certification." This was cited ‘Exporting Legally’ in September 2’s Peruvia.

MVLl in Spain, cont.: Reuters has a photograph of Mario Vargas Llosa, president of the jury at San Sebastian's International Film Festival, presenting Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi the 'Golden Shell' award, the top award for his latest film 'Turtles Can Fly.' See Also: ‘MVLl in Spain’ in September 16’s Peruvia.

Filming in Peru: The Detroit Free Press interviews Gael Garcia Bernal the Mexican star of ‘The Motorcycle Diaries,’ about Ernesto Guevara. "I'm young. I have that young person's tendency to speak out about what I think is wrong, and I try to stand up for what is right. The only actual thing I have in common with someone like Che is that I'm a citizen of the world. When I was making this movie in Peru, I saw that the economics, the hardships for these poor people, they're the same as they were when he was there. If we don't care about that, who are we? You don't say, 'That's the way it is,' or 'That's their own fault.' You do what you can."


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