Saturday, January 17, 2004

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

Micro Econ:
- Business News Americas reports that Petroperu "plans to call for bids on a US$250mn contract to upgrade and expand the Talara refinery in the second half of 2004," and included AToledo inaugurating an upgrade of the Talara refinery yesterday.
- Business News Americas reports on Pacific Credit Rating's growth and on its "strategy to become a strong regional player." In 1995 Jasaui & Asociados and Duff & Phelps formed Peruvian rating agency DCR Peru through a joint-venture agreement.

Macro Econ:
- Bloomberg summarizes trade ambassador Alfredo Ferrero's press conference yesterday to suggest that "Peru expects to sign a free trade accord with the U.S. by early next year." However, he also stated that "Talks may begin within three months."
- Bloomberg offers the audio version of their interview with Alfredo Ferrero.
- Bloomberg also offers an audio version of an interview with Vice Minister of Economy Fernando Zavala including the financial strategy for 2004, the elimination of "ghost" workers from the state's payroll, and budget deficit reductions.

- The European Schoolnet News includes the acitivities of Edwin Vasquez, President of the Climate Alliance, one of the coordinators of the 'ZOOM - Kids on the move to Milan' environmental project.
- Willy Lock, a tennis player on Northwestern University's tennis team, and Markam College alum, is on a winning streak, according to his University in Illinois.
Tribalfootball.com includes more characters in the NSolano soap opera, this time not only including Aston Villa but also paramours suchas the Rangers and Glasgow's East End. Numbers in pounds sterling are also bantered about.

Orchard Saga, Denied? The United Press International wire titles it's story on James Michael Kovach and the Peruvian flora he stole: "Big stink over little orchid in Florida." (See yesterday's "Orchard Saga, Cont." below.) The Scotsman stoops even lower describing him as "[a] man who bought a plant from a roadside flower seller in Peru ... who took the orchid to a botanical gardens in Sarasota, Florida, for identification."

Whose Corruption?: Montreal's Gazette offers an op-ed on corruption in Latin America (first example: AFujimori "having absconded to Japan, allegedly with more than $200 million in public money") and the difficulties the USA and Canadian governments have in dealing with it as it has [ahem] problems of their own. A slightly similar point was made in the more influential Canadian paper, The Financial Post which that the Canadian Prime Minister should have listened more carefully to Hernando de Soto when they spent time together on the Commission on the Private Sector and Development, and not given in to the opposition, "a group whose nickname might be 'Corruption R' Us.'"
[See also Peruvia's Dec. 17, 2003 entry on nepotism and the Bush Administration including this Washington Post piece from 2002 that names names.]


Friday, January 16, 2004

Surreal Coffee: The Miami Herald has a strange story on Starbucks' arrival in Peru as sign of returning normality. "After years of guerrilla warfare, the growing Americanization of Lima's eateries signals a new investment in Peru's future." Or perhaps it is a parody. Written in the first tense by Herald reporter Tyler Bridges, the focus is on the new coffee shop at Ovalo Gutiérrez. In an attempt to label himself as some sort of auteur, he derides low-culture McD, KFC, BK as well as TGI Friday and Chili's. However, "the arrival of Starbucks here represents the continued return to normalcy." (See a less melodramatic take in the BBC from last December.)

Macro Econ: Dow Jones reports that Peru "unveiled the team it hopes will lead the Andean nation to a successful free-trade accord with the U.S." Leading the effort will be Deputy Foreign Trade Minister Pablo de la Flor and the story refers to the earlier report that Carlos Alzamora was named "Special Trade Ambassador." (See "For Freer Trade" in Saturday Below.)

Micro Econ:
- Reuters' has an interview with Peru's National Mining Society president Jose Miguel Morales. "Congressional plans to slap royalties on mining production in Peru will frighten off investors, reduce exploration and hurt bids for the Las Bambas copper concession," he declared to Reuters' Robin Emmott.
- Reuters has an update on zinc miner Volcan Compania Minera saying that the "Lima stock exchange on Friday said it suspended trade [in the company] pending clarification of a report that its creditors had signed a put option to sell a 42 percent stake to Glencore International AG."
- Business News Americas has a piece on the company doing the study for Peru's Autonomous Electric Train Authority (AATE). "The eight-month study will include cost estimates, traffic forecasting and advice on how to proceed" and is expected in October-November. "If everything proceeds as envisioned, the study will result in the development of a new underground section to link two of the major systems including Metrolima."

Moot Match: The Associated Press report that Peru beat Bolivia 3-2 in a match in which both teams have already been eliminated from the American Olympic qualifiers.

Less Coca Land: The Los Angeles Times runs a wire story that leads with: "Peru, the world's No. 2 cocaine producer, said the amount of Peruvian land devoted to growing coca, the drug's raw material, was at its lowest in 20 years" based on comments from Nils Ericsson.

Orchard Saga, Cont.: Florida's Herald Tribune updates the case of James Michael Kovach, "the central figure in the case of a rare orchid the [USA] government says was smuggled from Peru pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday." He faces a maximum of six years in prison and a $350,000 fine if convicted of the felony smuggling charge and misdemeanor charge of possessing the flower. The Associated Press offers a cursory take as well. (See USA Dept. of Justice Indictment.)


Thursday, January 15, 2004

On (Not) Entering the USA: Miami television channel WPLG follows up on their earlier story [see Monday, below] about a Peruvian family being deported from Miami, "even though their two children were born in South Florida and are U.S. citizens." The Miami Herald finally picks up the story as well with a full report, stating that "Immigration officials Wednesday rejected criticism" over the detention.
On the other side of the border, the Associated Press updates the Fernando Zevallos story and his response to being denied entry into the USA, namely "that his U.S. residency came under review because he has lived in Peru for more than a year and has failed to return to the United States at least once every six months."

Economic Motion:
- On the macro front, Reuters reports that "Peru's economy grew 0.9 percent in November, compared with the same period last year," using INEI numbers. As usual, mining comes in as number one.
- Many sources pick up the story on Jose R. Lindley buying Coca-Cola Embonor's stake in Embotelladora Latinoamericana. The deal is to be finalized at the end of January. Reuters states that "Embonor is the second-largest bottler of products of Coca-Cola Co. in Chile and controls almost all of the bottling and distributing rights for Coca-Cola products in Peru and Bolivia." Just-Drinks.com says that JRLindley company directors "Manual Salazar and Emilio Larrain had travelled with an adviser from investment bank JP Morgan to Santiago, Chile this week" to pursue the purchase.
- A Reuters slugs states that "Swiss-based trader Glencore International AG has signed a put option with the creditors of Volcan Compania Minera." Glencore also gets an option to buy more of the debt-ridden company.
- The Interfax News Agency reports that "Chinese oil company CNPC has added two more blocks to its oil assets portfolio" in Peru through "the acquisition deal covers Block 8 and Block 1AB." With this action, CNPC is now the the second largest foreign oil producer in Peru.

- The Montreal Gazette reports on Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducting the Montreal Symphony Orchestra including Ravel's familiar Rapsodie Espagnole without a score.
- Kentucky's Courier-Journal has paisana Maria Gabriela Alcalde becoming the director of the Louisville Metro Office for Women.
- Health Day News reports that . Hector Garcia, a worm expert at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, is the study leader on Pork tapeworm infections as "a leading cause of epileptic seizures in developing countries, and in some immigrants to the developed world as well." A report summary can be read in New England Journal of Medicine.

BolPeChi, Cont.: In a letter to the Washington Post, a representative from the Carter Center said that former USA President Carter said in Bolivia, "My hope is that Bolivia, Chile and Peru together will find a way to provide Bolivia with direct access to the sea. When and if discussions are initiated between your country and the others, the Carter Center and many others will be eager to assist in finding an agreement." Pravda also gets in on the action with "Bolivia determined to recover its coastline despite Chile's refusal."


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Zevallos Banned: The Associated Press' Rick Vecchio puts out a fascinating, though not quite unexpected piece on Fernando Zevallos, founder, one-time owner and now 'corporate adviser' of AeroContinente, long "suspected by U.S. officials of having drug trafficking links," who is now "not to be allowed to board a U.S.-bound flight,' according to an official memo from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to international airlines." All this depsite the fact that Zevallos is a legal alien of the USA and, usually, a resident of Miami. "The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo from an airline industry source."

Post Summit News:
- A Knight Ridder review of the Summit of the Americas details that "[l]eaders of Brazil, Argentina and Peru, among others, want Latin American nations to reach trade deals with one another before negotiating the hemispheric Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement that the Bush administration has been pushing." It also includes this seemingly whiny, or perhaps threatening, note: "Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo said his nation had been following U.S.-backed economic policies, without any growth or benefits for his nation in the last four years."
- Officially, the Bush White House declares that "Today's commitments advance President Bush's efforts to implement a robust international transparency and anticorruption agenda. Specifically, he has: Signed a Presidential Proclamation to bar corrupt officials from entering the United States; Agreed to return to Peru over $20 million that had been hidden in the United States by former Peruvian intelligence chief [Vladimiro] Montesinos and his associates. Montesinos is now serving a jail sentence in Peru for his crimes, including corruption." It is not yet known whether the Zevallos is included in the first part of that statement.

Sino-Peruvian Relations: China's People's Daily lavishes praise on Alan Garcia's visit to Beijeng. After meeting with Jia Qinglin, a senior official of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government "pledged on Tuesday to develop friendship with Peru to further improve bilateral ties." AGarcia was quoted as saying, "he was deeply impressed with China's amazing development since his previous visit 20 years ago and commended the CPC for leading China's modernization drive." With much less flair, Xinhua Net announces that the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao received the new ambassador to Peru.

Good/Bad Sporting News:
- The Associated Press offers news of the match lost by Peru against Ecuador (4-2) in a South American Olympic qualifying match.
- The Idaho Statesman highlights tennis player Matias Silva who "won the Peruvian National Tournament over Christmas break and was named his country's national champion." Silva is a student at Boise State University and was named to the Peruvian Davis Cup team.

007 in Peru? A James Bond fan site announces that the spy will be Peru bound in the next Bond movie, "Everything or Nothing": "Another agent, 003 had been sent to investigate a mysterious mining operation and is now missing. His last known contact was American geologist Serena St. Germaine (Shannon Elizabeth), and Bond is sent to locate her in Peru. While there he discovers that 003 had contacted her in regards to her research on the anomalous platinum levels in the surrounding mountains." The revealed synopsis continues: "At the Q-lab, Bond learns that platinum is the only metal that the nanobots won't destroy. He surmises that this bizarre chain of events must tie directly to Serena's research in Peru."


Monday, January 12, 2004

GBush Gives AToledo USD $20 Million: The Associated Press' Nestor Ikeda headlines his story from Mexico: "Official: United States to return $20 million in stolen funds to Peru." These are from some the dollars that VMontesinos squired away in USA banks. The pending announcement comes "a month after the United States signed the U.N. Convention Against Corruption, which requires countries to cooperate in investigations and return funds to the countries where they were stolen. Dozens of other countries have also signed the U.N. treaty." (The AP is first and, so far, solo with the story.)
in related news: The Los Angeles Times reports on GBush's arrival in Monterrey for the Summit of the Americas as "Bush Visits Neighbors No Longer So Friendly." It includes PHakim and JCastanheda quotes.

US State Dept: No More Political Asylum: WPLG, a TV Channel in South Florida, reports that despite all the changes about to happen in immigration policies in the USA, a Peruvian family "In U.S. For 10 Years Fights Deportation." The family arrived in the USA in 1993 but "Peru is now considered safe so the Sandivar's asylum application has been denied." The father is being held in Miami's Krome Federal Detention Facility and the family has been ordered back to Peru by Feb. 5.

A Sad Story Retold: The Palm Beach Post assigns Lucien Chauvin to place in context the sad story of Monica Marina Rivera Valdizan, the young woman who was murdered on January 2 in suburban Boca Raton, Florida. "Rivera Valdizan had traveled to Florida on a tourist visa with her mother in October, but decided to stay for a few months to earn some cash and perfect her English. She landed a job as a nanny, joining the estimated 1.33 million Peruvians who live and work in the United States." Says Teofilo Altamirano, a migration specialist at Lima's La Catolica: "There is a new version of the 'American dream,' in which people will accept any kind of treatment, putting up with discrimination and mistreatment because there are tangible results. Adversities are compensated, not only for those who leave but for the families back home through remittances." (See also Altamirano's book Migrants, Regional Identities and Latin American Cities ; for a table of contents, click here.)

Just Rumours? Just-Drinks.com reports Columbia's beer company Bavaria denying Correo press reports that it is "in talks to be acquired by Interbrew." earlier, Backus & Johnston had been reported to be in talks as well but Backus has also denied the report. (See "A Belgian Backus & Johnston?" on Jan 9 below.)

Salvation Army/Cocaine Connection, Pt II: The New Zealand Herald updates the case of Salvation Army euphonium player Robert James Campbell Stewart "who was jailed in Peru for allegedly trying to smuggle out 6kg of cocaine." He was sentenced to seven years' in Lurigancho Prison in 2001 but released last year. The newspaper quotes a journal saying that the prison "squashes 6000 people into a space meant for 1600." (This archived piece from 2000 offers a quick re-cap.)

Listening to Your Pet: USATODAY features Animal Talk: Breaking the Codes of Animal Language, a new book by their Science writer, Tim Friend, and leads with a bit of his book: "Just before midnight, I crawl off my hammock and slip quietly out from the blessed drapes of mosquito netting. The kerosene lanterns have been dimmed to barely a flicker across the long, raised, wooden platform that serves as our base camp in the tropical rainforest of northwestern Peru. I arrived with four other journalists and a guide late in the afternoon after hiking through the muddy, tangled jungle since early morning." (USAToday also places the whole first chapter, which includes more on Peru on their site. More travel/adventure than science.)


Sunday, January 11, 2004

Machu Picchu's Conquest: The Scotsman ominously titles a piece on Machu Picchu, "Final conquest of the Incas feared," declaring that the ruins are being destroyed by tourism. "More than 400,000 pairs of feet strode through the city known to the Incas as the 'Gateway to the Sun' in 2003." The story is pegged on the soon-to-be released UNESCO report on the site.

Sicuani's Record No Longer: The Philippine's Sun Star reports that the Peruvian Guiness Book of World Record for the longest BBQ. "Sunday night's grills proved longer than Peru's 613 meters in 1997." That one was in Sicuani.

Potato Prices: American radio station National Public Radio has a weekend piece on Peruvian potato growers "Urged to Seek Potato Niche Tubers for Specialty Market Seen as Path Out of Poverty." Yet through this push, the most significant change is the collapse of potato prices.

"Golden Boy": The Star from Toronto profiles Greg Wilkins, Barrick Gold Corp.'s CEO, headlined as a "golden boy." Barrick has already started construction this year on Alto Chicama.

Looking Forward: The New York Times leads with paisano Robinson Plasencia in an immigrant community profile in Long Island.

Looking Back: The BBC re-runs a piece from this day in in 1962 when "[a]t least 2,000 people have been killed after a massive avalanche of rocks and ice buried an entire mountain village and several settlements in north-west Peru. Last night millions of tons of snow, rocks, mud and debris tumbled down the extinct volcano of Huascaran, Peru's highest mountain in the Andes range. The village of Ranrahirca and its inhabitants was totally destroyed along with eight other towns. The mayor Alfonso Caballero said only about 50 of its 500 inhabitants survived. 'In eight minutes Ranrahirca was wiped off the map,' he said. "

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?