Saturday, January 10, 2004

Trouble Reading Peruvia? Press 'F11' key near top of your key board twice.

Noise Denies Econ Growth: Reuters headlines: "Central Bank says political noise slows growth" pegged on quotes from Banco Central's Prez Javier Silva Ruete. JSR crunches the numbers and calculates that "political infighting and a run of corruption scandals may have cost Peru up to 1.5 percent in economic growth in 2003." Reuters, however, assures the reader that "[i]nvestors appear so far untroubled by the political turbulence" and that "Peru's country risk is currently one of the lowest in Latin America." A separate Dow Jones piece has Peru's December tax revenue up 1.6% on the year. SEE ALSO the Bank's current Weekly Report.

For Freer Trade: Dow Jones follows an El Peruano report that Carlos Alzamora has been named "Chief Adviser" for free trade talks with the USA. "Ambassador Alzamora will immediately start co-ordinations with the U.S. Commerce Department to prepare for future negotiations over the free trade deal with this country," the government said in a statement. Alzamora was a principal in the Andean Trade Preferences Act.

BolPeChi Cont: TheIndependent's Jen Ross reports from Santiago on "Bolivia's land-locked navy dreams of leaving Lake Titicaca" as a topic de rigeur for the upcoming Summit of the Americas. The piece leans heavily in Chile's favour, accusing Peru of "preventing" a negotiated settlement in 1975. It also shows no decorum by stating that the Bolivian navy "obsessively salutes the remains of Eduardo Avaroa, an officer killed by the Chileans in a battle in 1879." A Carlos Ferrera Costa quote is thrown in for good measure and KAnnan, JCarter and Lula's offer of help is noted.

Shooting Down AeroPlanes: The Associated Press writes up that the Colombian Defense Ministry and a U.S. Embassy official denied news reports that "the United States had suspended the aerial interdiction program last fall after the Colombian military forced down a plane and then strafed it without U.S. approval." The program is not active in Peru.

Nobby Soap Cont.:Football365.com leads with Nolberto Solano and the upcoming Newcastle-Manchester match. Nobby is still wearing a Magpie jersey. Newcastle has lost "just two of their last 14 Premiership games to drag themselves to within two points of the top four." A piece in ic Newcastle says that "Nolberto Solano last night revealed he does not expect to leave Newcastle despite renewed speculation linking him with a move to Aston Villa." Two possible factors: the victory over Leeds and Nobby returning to the starting line-up.

Floating Down the Amazon: The Telegraph runs a longish travel piece on the Amazon that tries to answer this question: "why is it that, in the 21st as in the 16th century, in New Zealand as much as Norway, the Amazon remains virtually synonymous with adventurous travel?" (Curious aside: a relaying of the "disastrous Trans-Amazonica highway, where the cavernous ruts are the preserve of Camel Trophy Land Rovers and the occasional courageous cyclist.")


Friday, January 09, 2004

Toledo Has One Move Vote: Condi Rice, Bush's National Security Advisor, refers to Peru in her Briefing about Bush's trip to Mexico: "I would just point to Peru a few years ago and what the Organization of American States was able to do in rallying around democratic forces in Peru to make sure that Peru did not go off the path of democracy. And now you have, of course, in President Toledo, a democratic-elected, hardworking President of Peru that is trying to do all the things for his people that any democratically-elected government would try to do."

Getting More Gold Reuters declares that Yanacocha will invest USD$280 million to reach the goal of 2 million ounces a year. The mine is jointly owned by Newmont Mining and Buenaventura.

Sicuani: Longest BBQ: The Philippines Sun Star reports that a picnic in Cebu will "attempt to make the longest BBQ. ... At present the record holder of the longest barbeque is Sicuani, Peru with 613 meters of grilled meat listed as the longest barbeque in the Guinness Book of World Records."

A Belgian Backus & Johnston? Just Drinks states that Belgium's "Interbrew is considering buying Backus & Johnston, according to De Tijd.

Striving Toward World Peace? Xinhua Net suggests that Peru's Foreign Ministry is lauding Pyongyang's 'decision' to stop nuclear activities. "Peru looks forward to a positive development of this dialogue, which could strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

Gabi and MVLl: The Nation reviews Gabi's latest "Living to Tell the Tale." Written by Perry Anderson, it takes on a strange twist: "One way of seeing why this is so is to consider its relationship to the memoirs of the Latin American writer most often associated with García Márquez, and second only in fame to himself. Mario Vargas Llosa's A Fish in the Water, published more than a decade ago, has a less conventional structure."

- Christianity Today's 'news wrap' has a bit on Peruvian army Colonel David de Vinatea, "an evangelical Christian" who "was released from prison after serving a sentence based on spurious drug-trafficking charges."

- Florida's Bradenton Herald reports that "[f]or the past five months, Chris MacCormack and Julio Rios traded jobs, cultures, countries and comfort zones. ... MacCormack teaches Spanish at Bayshore High School while Rios teaches English at Colegio Nacional Iquitos." This was facilitated through the Fulbright Teacher and Administrator Exchange Program.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

Whose Nepotism? Reuters reports on Labor Minister JAlvarado's resignation over "Nepotism Claims." [Note: On Jan 6 Peruvia had mistakenly suggested that the American wire services were skipping this story.] Unnamed but mentioned were BMerino, NPuelles and RDiez Canseco, purportedly "over allegations they helped friends and relations get state jobs." This will come as news to Beatriz! Reuters Robin Emmott and Marco Aquino need to straighten this out.

CFR Report on Andes: The New York-based Council on Foreign Relations has released their report Andes 2020: A New Strategy for the Challenges of Colombia and the Region. The Financial Times and the Associated Press report that it declares "US policy in the Andes is 'myopic' and underestimates the fundamental challenges posed by growing political instability." The report was released "just before President Bush is to join leaders from 34 Western Hemisphere nations at a summit in Mexico next week. That meeting is expected to focus on promoting democracy and reducing poverty in Latin America, among other topics" according to the AP.

Good Markets:
- Indonesia's Antara announces that Jakarta will "hold an integrated exhibition in Lima, Peru, from September 9 through 12 in an attempt to promote its non-oil/non-gas commodities, tourism and culture," according to the Indonesian Ambassador to Peru, I Gusti Ngurah Swetja.
- Canadian Press newswire headlines: "Dyancor Mines buys Peruvian property."
about the Cerro Calvan gold property in northern Peru in a deal worth USD$515.000. Calvan is about 15 km south of Yanacocha. More information about this Cenozoic-formed area inside the Chicama-Yanacocha regional corridor can be found in the Dynacor press release.
- Manhattan Minerals Corp has their own press release on their extension on Papayo land concessions until July 15, 2004.

Bad Memories: According to the New York Times, there has been another suspension of the USA program to shoot down airplanes in Latin America that are suspected of ferrying drugs "after the Colombian military forced down a plane and then strafed it without United States approval, current and former American officials have disclosed."

More Floods: Reuters has another tragic story on floods which have killed six and left at least 2,000 homeless in San Martin in Huanuco and in Puno, according to the government emergency agency INDECI.

One More NYT Correction: The New York Times today says "An article on Dec. 25 about homes decorated by people in second marriages included a quotation that referred incorrectly to a Cuzqueño painting acquired by one couple. It was colonial, not precolonial. (The Cuzqueño school originated in Peru after the arrival of the Spaniards.)"

From The Spoof: Satircal paper The Spoof asks whether Princess Di's "Dodi Fayed was killed in a plane crash in the Andes Mountains of Peru."


Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The Good:
- Bloomberg offers heartening news with "Peru Stocks Rise to Record" led by mining company Cia. Minera Milpo SA. "Peru's index has jumped 11 percent since Dec. 19 as investors bet that an expected economic rebound this year in the U.S., Japan and Europe will boost profits of commodities companies in Latin America." Incredibly (?) Minera Milpo has risen 37 percent in the same period, including a 6 percent gain today. Get in line.

- Business News Americas has a piece on ProInversion, Peru's investment promotion agency, which will release its investment strategy for the country's northern Piura department public water utility EPS Grau.

The Not So Good: The New York Times leads with a paisana in the Neediest Cases series.

The Arts:
- Denver's Rocky Mountain News highlights "a quartet of shows on the art and history of Peru" in that city with the Denver Art Museum presenting " 'Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca'" on October 16.

- New Hampshire's Gazette reviews MVLl's latest, The Way to Paradise.


Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Peru/Morocco Relations: Arabic News headlines that "Peru backs Morocco in Sahara conflict." Quoting Juan Granda Vera, the story states that "Peru 'totally backs Morocco's stance because we think the Sahrawi provinces are part and parcel of the Moroccan territory.' " Granda was interviewed by Morocco's 'Al Ittihad Al Ichtiraki' on Saturday. Peru has had diplomatic relations with Marrakesh for 17 years and is "first Latin American country to adopt such a crystal clear position in this issue." (See also this Arabic News story from June 2003 when AWagner visited both Morocco and this issue.)

BolPeChi? Agence France Press runs a piece on "Landlocked Bolivia urges Chile, Peru to help in ocean access" pegged on Bolivian President Carlos Mesa televised plea directed at Chile. "I am persuaded that Chile and Bolivia together can build a common destiny, but we can only do so when our sovereignty has been restored,' Mesa said."

Indigenous Affairs:
- The Latinamerica Press has an update on the Nahua indigenous communities' struggle to attain 'legal' titles to their ancestral lands in the Nahua-Kugapakori Reserve. The article does a good job of explaining the complications involving the Camisea gas field and the infamous Lot 57.
- The United Press International wire offers " Peru police release Shining Path prisoners" including the interrogation of Ashaninkas accused of being Sendero collaborators. The piece sinks a bit with this: "A[n] [Ashaninnka] boy was astonished with a Coca-Cola given to him by a police officer, recalling the successful Australian film of the 1980s, 'The Gods Must Be Crazy.' "
-The American radio program Living On Earth begins a series on Petroleum in Machiguenga country and the first installment begins this way: "A giant gas-drilling project in the Peruvian Amazon was supposed to set a standard for environmental and cultural responsibility. But it lies in an indigenous area and since work began, it's raised questions."

Football Statute?: A Reuters story covers the recent saga in Peruvian sports: "Peru's professional footballers have called off a two-month long strike which forced the cancellation of last year's national championship." The two-year old protest included back-wages and "the creation of a 'Players Statute.' " Also: "A crowd of less than 100 saw the youth teams of Sporting Cristal and Universitario play at Lima's national stadium in a fixture which would usually attract 45,000 while other games were postponed over security worries.
also: Football site Footy Mad! is back at it again with "Villa Bid for Nobby reported."

Out You Go: Xinhua Net and VOA News has the latest on Saturday's resignation of Labor Minister Jesus Alvarado amid charges of nepotism. VOA mentions but limits the charges on Raul Diez Canseco to "influence peddling." [NOTE: This most recent cabinet change has not yet been seen in print or on the American wires.]

Don't Come Back: Xinhua Net runs another piece on the return of the "disgraced" AFujimori pegged on his weekly radio speech.

Big Business Ventures:
- Reuters declares that "Barrick says Peru mine looks ready for 2005." The Alto Chicama gold deposit is thought to have "an operating cost of $135 an ounce, producing about 540,000 ounces a year over a 10-year period" according to Barrick. With this production, Alto Chicama will take over from Pierina as the company's main Peruvian gold producer.
- the Ottawa Business Journal reports that Seprotech Systems won a $1.2-million contract in Peru to "design and manufacture four mobile wastewater treatment systems for a mining camp."
- Luchtzak Aviation reports that "Aero Continente is to embark on a major expansion of its fleet." Uncertain is whether this is good news: Aero Continente "will acquire ten Boeing 737-200s from TACA International Airlines of El Salvador." Recent Taca travellers can send in reports to Peruvia.

Another Tragedy: The Associated Press reports on a horrific accident near Arequipa where "[f]ourteen people have been crushed to death and four others have been injured in Peru while riding on a truck laden with sacks of fertilizer after it flipped over on a highway."

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