Thursday, September 16, 2004

UPDATED: CIA and Missionaries, Quilish Protests, and Chachapoyas Expedition

Did CIA ‘Lie’ on Missionary Plane: Reuters reports that “the U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether CIA officials lied to Congress about the Peru aerial drug interdiction program, which remains suspended three years after an American missionary plane was mistakenly shot down, several U.S. government sources said on Thursday.” NOTE: “The CIA's inspector general has been helping the Justice Department in its investigation and congressional intelligence committees were asked to turn over materials such as transcripts from closed-door hearings, sources said.” ALSO: “The joint U.S.-Peru air drug interdiction program has been suspended since April 2001 after a Peruvian air force plane shot down a small aircraft it mistook for a drug smuggling flight, killing an American missionary and her daughter.”

Newmont’s Troubles, cont.: Several reports follow the one-day strike by thousands of farmers in Cajamarca, calling for “an end to a gold exploration project they say is polluting their water, intensifying local resistance” against Newmont Mining’s/Buenaventura’s work at Cerro Quilish. The Rocky Mountain News and United Press International have short summaries of the story. Reuters early on reports on Alejandro Rebaza Martell, vice president of the Cajamarca region and community leader Luis Yopla Castrejón who was “on his way to join the protests.” (Though it is unmentioned, Yopla is a leader in COPAMIC, the Coordinadora de Pueblos Afectaods por la Mineria.) An updated Reuters story says that Yanacocha “could miss a 2004 output target of 2.9 million to 3 million ounces of the precious metal if protests against exploration at one of its properties persist for another month,” according to Carlos Santa Cruz, director of Newmont's South American operations. He stated that “This is having an impact on construction projects. We have a $250 million investment plan this year and because we cannot move staff, we are running two weeks behind.” CITED: Haytham Hodaly, an analyst at Salman Partners. The Denver Post has the most colorful reporting (“The 36-ton Caterpillar trucks at Newmont Mining Corp.'s Yanacocha gold mine in Peru ground to a halt Wednesday after two weeks of road blockades, protests and violence against the operation took their effect. Denver-based Newmont suspended blasting and hauling ore for the first time in the mine's 11-year history, in part because roadblocks are preventing fuel, supplies and workers from reaching the mine.”) Mineweb has the most comprehensive piece and reports that “officially-sanctioned protests, which, at times, escalated into violence, and a two-week blockade of Minera Yanacocha have finally caused Newmont to blink.” NOTE: “Once again, Peru's well-honed skill for gathering thousands in the streets for blockades and protest worked. Newmont now joins the ranks of such luminous protest targets as Peru's current and past presidents.” ALSO: “Newmont is expected to pay $90 million in mining canon taxes to the Cajamarca region for 2004, according to Hock. The company paid $72 million in mining canon taxes in 2003. This year Newmont has also helped to launch the Association Los Andes de Cajamarca, which is aimed at promoting sustainable development in the community.” Finally, the Associated Press (which also played on Denver’s KESQ website) had dated information (“operations continued with workers and supplies being ferried to the mine by helicopter”) but offers a new quote: “ ‘We are not going to permit them to explore today or ever, for one simple, technically sound reason - this zone is very fragile,’ Luis Iván Salas Rodríguez, a protest leader, told Radioprogramas radio in Peru." ALSO: "The area has suffered a four-year drought."

The Official Response: Newmont Mining and Compania de Minas Buenaventura responded to the protests today with a press release which declared that “Minera Yanacocha has begun to scale back mining operations at its mine north of the city of Cajamarca. The decision was made after careful consideration of safety and operational concerns resulting from a blockade of the access road to the mine. Gold production will not be affected in the near term.” NOTE: “Since September 2, a group of local people have blocked the road to the mine in protest of exploration drilling conducted, in accordance with the relevant permit, on the Cerro Quilish gold deposit. On September 7, Minera Yanacocha agreed to suspend exploratory drilling in an effort to calm the situation and restore order.” NOTE: BNAmericas, the Denver Business Journal and Reuters also reported and reacted to this press release. This Reuters piece quotes Roque Benavides, president and chief executive of Buenaventura, saying that “we have been working and will continue to work for a peaceful resolution based on the rule of law, the right to work and stability in the city of Cajamarca.”

Trans Amazon Cooperation, cont.: Agência Brasil and Inter Press Service report on the end of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (OTCA) meeting in Manaus where Peru’s Minister of Foreign Relations Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros declared that the concluding theme was “sovereignty with responsibility” by the member countries. Peru will be the host of the next meeting of ACTO ministers, scheduled for September 2005 in Iquitos. CITED: The Manaus Declaration which “underlines their determination to ‘fight biopiracy and ensure the full exercise of the sovereign rights of the Amazon countries over the resources of the region's biological diversity.’” ALSO: The “gradual formation of a South American Community of Nations.” NOTE: “The foreign ministers' meeting is followed by the 2nd Amazon International Fair, taking place September 15-18.” Agência Brasil quotes Manoel Rodrigues saying that “sustainable development in the Amazon had to focus on the local population. He also urged the participants to act with what he called responsible sovereignty.” See Also: ‘Trans Amazon Cooperation’ in Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s Peruvia.

GDP Up, cont: Bloomberg and Reuters report that Peru's economy “grew 3.75% in July compared with the same month last year, led by a surge in fishing and industrial output,” according to a new report from INEI. NOTE: Bloomberg says that “the $61 billion economy, in its longest expansion in two decades, grew 3.75% in July after expanding 3% in June.” Reuters says “Peru's $60 billion economy has been one of Latin America's fastest-growing since 2002. Despite a cooling of growth in June, when the economy grew 3.02%, the economy is expected to expand more quickly in the second half of the year.” Bloomberg cites Jose Cerritelli, an analyst at Bear Stearns & Co. IN SPANISH: See the INEI report. See Also: ‘GDP Up’ in September 12’s Peruvia.

A Diversity of Protests: The Associated Press has photographs of several protests including one in front of the Ministry of Labor where “the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers, or CGTP demands more jobs to Peru's President Alejandro Toledo.” The second one is of a group of students from the Peruvian Engineering University (UNI) “shout[ing] during a protest in front of Peru's Congress [and] demanding that the government spend more money on public universities. The last two are of another group of students from the National University of the Altiplano in Puno “burning the head of a figure of Peru's President Alejandro Toledo during a protest in front of Peru's Congress in Lima.”

Chachapoyas Discovery, cont.: National Geographic reports on Sean Savoy's Gran Saposoa-El Dorado IV Expedition in Amazonas surrounding the Chachapoyas culture. Savoy is “the vice president of operations for the Reno, Nevada-based Andean Explorers Foundation and Ocean Sailing Club” and the article includes a photograph of Savoy. NOTE: “The organization was founded in Trujillo, Peru, in 1957 by Savoy's father Gene Savoy. It has brought widespread attention to the Chachapoya, beginning with Gene Savoy's discovery in 1965 of Gran Pajaten, a ceremonial center atop a jungle-covered peak.” CITED: Charles and Tina Motley (operators of a lodging and guide service to the accessible Chachapoya ruins of Kuelap and Gran Vilaya in Amazonas). See Also: Stories by the Agence France Press, the Associated Press, and Reuters on the expedition in ‘Chachapoyas Discoery in August 18’s Peruvia.

More Mining: Candente Resource announces in a press release that “results from the Phase I drilling program on the wholly-owned Alto Dorado property located in Northern Peru have been compiled. Gold and copper mineralization has been found in a porphyry body, which appears to be in excess of one kilometre (km) in length and 600 metres (m) in width in the Ana-Olla zone.”

More Crude: El Comercio reports that “Occidental Corp. believes that a field in the North jungle of Peru, part of Lot 64, might have reserves securing a production of 100 million barrels of crude. Last month Occidental has teamed with Amerada Hess and Talisman Energy to invest US$50 million in the exploration of Lot 64, the same area from which Burlington Resources departed due to resistance from the local community to its activities.”

Film in Vancouver: Dias de Santiago will be screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival on September 26, 29 and October 1. Synopsis: “A gritty revelation, Josué Méndez’s taut, edgy drama--about a young war veteran's inability to re-adjust to civil society. Santiago (Pietro Sibille, who vaults to the top ranks of South American actors with this intense performance), though only 23, has finished his stint as a navy SEAL and returned to the slums of Lima. Trained for nothing but fighting--and the recipient of a very large chip on his shoulder--he finds that his family wants to keep him at a distance and his young wife wants to leave him. Unable to get his half-hearted dream of further education off the ground and taunted by his old cronies who want to enlist him in a cockamamie bank robbery scheme, he finds himself drawn into a cycle of violence that leads to tragedy.” See Also: The film’s official website; and January 21’s Peruvia note on the film at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

Church in Chiclayo: Minnesota’s Sun Current reports Transfiguration Lutheran Church’s mission trip to Chiclayo. The pastor’s brother, Henrik Christopherson are missionaries with the World Mission Prayer League in Las Lomas. NOTE: “The mission team was introduced to ACHKIY – a group of Peruvian women that meets three times a week creating crafty products. Every first Sunday of the month, TLC has supported ACHKIY (which means something that shines) by selling their beautiful and original cards, jewelry and notebooks.” CITED: Ruth Pacheco, the founder of ACHKIY.

LFN in China: Xinhua News reports on Lourdes Flores Naro (sic) leading a delegation of the Popular Christian Party of Peru in China from September 14 to 20 and that vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Uyunqimg met with them yesterday in Beijing.

MVLl in Spain: Associated Press reports that Mario Vargas Llosa is President of the festival jury at the San Sebastian International Film Festival this weekend.

GClaux in New Mexico: College Sports reports on Giselle Claux, a native of Lima, Peru, a freshman at the University of New Mexico, and “a talented golfer with international experience [who] competed for the Peruvian National Team in several Junior South American tournaments.”

Alianza Atletico Moves Up: Reuters reports that Peru’s Alianza Atleticoprogressed to the second round of the Copa Sudamericana after a night of eccentric goalkeeping.” NOTE: “Alianza Atletico wrapped up a 4-1 win second-leg win over Coronel Bolognesi when Bolognesi goalkeeper Diego Penny was caught in possession near the opposition's corner flag.” ALSO: “Earlier, Argentine Emerson Panigutti had scored twice as Alianza bounced back from a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the all-Peruvian tie.”

Zalia in Production: Kentucky’s Herald-Leader reviews Monica Ramirez and her Zalia Cosmetics, a cosmetic line for Latinas. NOTE: “How does a first generation American of Peruvian parents, with no experience in makeup manufacturing, get a shot at sales with one of the hottest retail chains for women? Ramirez credits a new partner who worked 10 years with Estee Lauder for helping with contacts.” ALSO: “The company expects top dollar for the items, with lipsticks starting at $11.50 each. "Zalia's definitely not a mass-market brand," Ramirez said.”

Mars & Peru: Reuters reports that “people could land on Mars in the next 20 to 30 years provided scientists can find water on the red planet, the head of NASA's surface exploration mission.” Arthur Thompson, the mission manager for MER surface operations, gave Reuters an interview during his visit to Lima.
Earlier Posts:

Saving MPicchu: The World Bank announced in a press release that they "approved a $5 million loan to support the Government of Peru’s efforts to protect some of Peru’s most important cultural sites in the Vilcanota Valley, including Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas." Reuters, UPI and the Voice of America followed up with their own story. Said Marcelo Giugale, World Bank Director for Peru and other Andean countries, "the Vilcanota Valley is one of the most important and beautiful pre-Colombian sites in Latin America. This project will help the Government of Peru preserve and sustain the human, social, natural, cultural and historical assets of the valley.” The press release included a video interview of Giugale. NOTE: "The project will be implemented in partnership with UNESCO, the National Geographic Society, the World Monuments Fund, NGOs and bilateral donors. It will also complement an ongoing Bank-supported water and sanitation project (PRONASAR) and help to mobilize private- and public-sector investments in the Valley."

Developing the Ports: BNAmericas reports that Peru's national port development plan "will focus on reinforcing the port of Callao as a regional hub as part of an initial US$209mn investment phase, according to a copy of the unpublished plan obtained by BNamericas." According to national port authority APN president José Guerola, "the intention is to modernize the ports in the shortest time possible. That is the spirit of the plan. There is no time to waste." NOTE: "It is still not defined clearly what are the roles of the private investors or the state for works such as protection and dredging, etcetera. This is part of the study that ProInversión and APN will undertake once the plan has been approved," Guerola said. ALSO: "Improvement works are also outlined for other ports, including US$11.4mn for Paita, US$3.1mn for Salaverry, US$2.9mn for Chimbote, US$6.1mn for San Martín and US$8.2mn for Ilo. "

Newmont's Troubles, cont.: The Miami Herald Latin America Briefs column reports that "some 10,000 people stopped work Wednesday in the northern city of Cajamarca after the breakdown of negotiations to prevent gold prospecting by a U.S.-run company on a nearby mountain that protesters fear will pollute and dry up their water supply," according to a police official said. The note does not mention that it is Newmont Mining.

Telefonica is 'Stable': Fitch Ratings announced in a press release that to affirm "Telefonica del Peru S.A.A.'s international scale local currency unsecured debt rating of 'BBB+' and foreign currency unsecured debt rating of 'BB-'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Fitch's Peruvian affiliate Apoyo & Asociados has a national rating of 'AAA(pe)' for TDP." NOTE: You can use 'Peruvia' to register at Fitch Ratings or read this version of the press release.

Film in DC: The Con Game (Doble Juego)will be playing in Washington DC at the Organization of American States Film Festival on September 23. Directed and written by Alberto 'Chicho' Durant whose other work includes Courage, the bio-pic of María Elena Moyano. Synopsis: "As President Fujimori gets ready to skip, bribe revelations are updated regularly, and everybody's looking for an angle in tough times. Film buff Fabrizio Aguilar won't work for his father or on a TV soap, but will make a porno to finance his dream script for Madonna; his pianist-wannabe wife sells clothes on the side, an accountant drives a cab, a divorcée needs to sell that apartment—and then wheeler-dealer Fernando Cayo shows up. But he never seems to have any cash." Con Game played at Sundance in January and reviewed in Variety then.

Art on Sudan: The Korea Times has an opinion piece by Peter Moszynski who won the Kwangju Biennale Award with Peruvian artist Jota Castro for their exhibit entitled “A Drop in the Ocean,’’ describing the realities of famine and genocide in Sudan today.

Food in CA and FL: California's Huntington Beach Independent reviews the Caravana Peruvian Rotisserie where "white or dark is the main question and dinners can choose from several of scrumptious sides." ALSO: "There are actually no Inca artifacts on the wall, but there is Inca Cola, a citrus flavored carbonated sugar water that is pervasive throughout Peru." The Miami Herald reviews Las Olas Café in Fort Lauderdale where "Peruvian-born chef Ernesto Rado's cuisine is continental/eclectic, with globe-trotting influences from Cajun shrimp to wasabi-crusted tuna and duck quesadilla."

NYC/LIM: American Airlines announced in a press release new fares from New York City including a US$479 roundtrip fare from Kennedy to Lima.

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