Saturday, February 21, 2004

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

COCA, FARC, and SL: Reuters reports on Colombia's FARC growing coca in northern Peru, according to Peruvian Defense Minister Roberto Chiabra. He also declared that Sendero Luminoso "was involved in drugs in the Vizcatan region near Ayacucho. The story, reported by Monica Vargas from Ayacucho, presents some doubt on this official picture and reminds that "Coca growers have been meeting in Lima this week demanding more state support for legal uses of their crops."
ALSO: The Associated Press has several photos of AToledo "relaunch[ing his] government's agricultural policy at the Government Palace."

Violence in Yungay, cont: UNESCO has also "condemned the murder of radio journalist Antonio de la Torre Echeandía" in Yungay, Ancash on February 14. Said Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, "I am confident that the authorities will do all they can to investigate this heinous crime fully and punish those responsible for it, in keeping with the resolution adopted by UNESCO's Member States in 1997 calling for an end to impunity for attacks on journalists." (See "Violence in Yungay" in Thursday's Peruvia below.)

AFF: The Japan Times wraps up the Peruvian delegation's visit to Japan seeking AFF's extradiction. Conclusion: "Japan and Peru remained divided." Neverthess, this was "the first time that Peruvian officials have traveled from Lima to directly make the extradition request." Quotes come from the Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hatsuhisa Takashima and the Peruvian Foreign Ministry's undersecretary for Asia affairs, Martha Chavarri, who led the mission. In her own press conference, Chavarri declared she was "satisfied" with the meeting "but urged Japan not to use domestic law to override international law in considering the extradition." A related piece in Kyodo News quotes Chavarri declaring that "Peru has not set a time limit for Japan to reply to its official extradition request submitted last July, but hopes it would not be 'too extended.' " This piece also allows for posted comments and they currently are overwhelmingly pro-Fujimori. One poster colourfully describes the Peruvian press: La Republica is "a government press tool" and El Comercio is the "century old local paper own by creoles descendants of foreign usurpers." Reuters offers a photo of Chavarri.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that "internal demand for goods and services grew 3.7 percent in 2003, down from 4.1 percent in 2002," according to the Central Bank.

Academic Exchange: North Carolina's Fayetteville Observer reports on the exchange program the University of Piura made with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in December.

- Sky Sports takes in an interview with Nolberto Solano, "[f]ollowing his stunning goal for Peru in their midweek friendly with Spain" and previews tomorrow's local derby against Birmingham.
- Toronto's Star includes Juan Diego Florez in their review of the New York's Metropolitan Opera's "very palpable comic hit," Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri.
- Reuters offers photos of MVLl with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in Cartagena.
- The Washington Post reports on local soccer midfielder Jose Alegria, (D.C. United) who "has been sent home from training camp in Florida and appears in danger of being released."


Friday, February 20, 2004

P-PK's Changes and Recusals: Bloomberg reports that P-PK, the new Economy and Finance Minister, has changed positions on an impending bank tax and now believes that "the tax is needed." Disappointed is Credicorps' Benedicto Ciguenas. Credicorp owns Peru's biggest bank, Banco de Credito.
In a separate story, Bloomberg also reports that P-PK is resigning from all Board of Directors positions including Tenaris SA, (its parent company, Techint Argentina, is building an $800 million natural gas pipeline in Peru), Southern Peru Copper Corp., and is "taking a leave" from running the Miami-based Latin America Enterprise Fund. The piece ends with a quote from Congressman Jorge del Castillo (APRA).

Toledo's Support: MercoPress reports that Mercosur has offered its "full support to Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo." The measure was "ratified by Eduardo Duhalde, president of Mercosur’s Commission of Permanent representatives who this week visited Mr. Toledo in Lima and had a long meeting with the Peruvian president." It also acknowledged the new "consensus" cabinet.

Nasca from Space: The European Space Agency reports on their spacecraft, Proba, which has taken photographs of the Nasca lines from an altitude of 600 km. "The resolution is too low to make out the animal figures although the straight Nasca Lines can be seen faintly." Also seen from space: the Pan-American Highway and the Ingenio River.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters on Telefonica Moviles Peru.
- BNAmericas on BBVA Banco Continental's profits.

People: AdWeek runs a profile on Jorge Percovich, "the new managing director of MPG International." Percovich is the son of former Prime Minister Luis Percovich Roca.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

AToledo's Ministers: The Associated Press reports on AToledo's declaration to "delegate more power to his ministers in an attempt to silence his critics and halt a plunge in opinion polls." Said the President: "This means they will give more declarations -- they can't have a low profile." The Miami Herald reports on AToledo's expectations of the Peruvian economy including faster growth led by exports.

Violence in Yungay: Reporters Without Borders released a press release today that "vigorously" condemned the murder of radio journalist Antonio De la Torre Echeandia on February 14 in Yungay, "where the mayor's driver has been detained as one of the perpetrators and the mayor [Armando Leon Leon] is widely suspected of being the instigator." (See also this EFE report in Spanish.)

AFF: Japan's Kyodo News Agency reports on the diplomatic mission in Tokyo which "reiterated Peru's call for Japan to hand over former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori." The BBC gives all this mixed signals. It quotes comments from Japan's Foreign Ministry, Hatsuhisa Takashima, who once again repeated that Japan had no extradition treaty with Peru. But the BBC also states that "on Thursday Japanese officials offered the Peruvian delegation more hope, saying Japan had still not made a final decision." A Reuters article quotes Jiro Okuyama, assistant press secretary for the Japanese Foreign Ministry who said "he did not know when Japan would make a decision on the Peruvian request, which was handed to Japan last July." Talks are sheduled to continue on Friday.

The Cost of Living: Latinamerica Press reports that "Peruvians pay the highest electricity and telephone rates in the region," according to a recent report by the Ombudsman Office. The article quotes William Postigo de la Motta and includes clear tables comparing prices with other countries.

Coca Rising: The ECONOMIST reports on a "political awakening" among "Indigenous people in South America," and asks if this "a threat or a boost to democracy." It turns out to be a boost. It cites Interior Minister FRospigliosi suggesting that the coca growers' planned protests later this month "could involve an attempt to overthrow the democratic" government. It also quotes Carlos Ivan Degregori, Antauro Humala Tasso, and declares that "In Peru, mestizaje has gone much further than in Bolivia." The BBC reports on the coca growers who are meeting in Lima "to discuss ways to confront the government over their controversial crop." The article suggests that "coca growers in Peru have a reputation for militant behaviour and [FRospigliosi] has warned that troublemakers could use the meeting as an excuse to provoke violence. "

USAID and Abortion: The Center for Health and Gender Equity released a press release responding to "recent charges by members of the far right in Peru and the United States that USAID- Peru has violated the Global Gag Rule are 'utterly baseless'." Shortly thereafter, the original group responded in kind. ARCHIVE: A recent publication from the Center focused on Peru.

The Arts:
- The Washington Post reviews Peru Negro's 9:30 pm performance Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center Terrace. Unsurprisingly, the Anglo reviewer found the impersonation of "a doddering, loudly flatulent tap dancer" to be "tiresome."
- GameCube's (video game) Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, has this: "While en route to the Peruvian Jungle, Harry's plane crashes in a thunderstorm."

- Australia's Financial Review quotes John Ralston Saul declaring, "Peru and Bolivia are on a precipice," in an article titled, "The end of globalism."


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Cabinet #5, cont.: Russia's Pravda plays catch up with AToledo's new Cabinet and states that, "Toledo's new tour de force does not look like an accurate response to people's demand." P-PK's return is seen as "a new concession to multinational credit institutions." Also included are AGarcia and LFlores quotes.

Doe Run's Solution: The Associated Press reports on Doe Run which declared in a press release yesterday that they plan "to reduce contamination causing high lead levels in children near a metals processing plant it owns" in La Oroya. Doe Run operates Peru's largest lead smelter. The plan calls for "spending $226 million through 2011, $155 million of which is earmarked for environmental projects." The article gets quotes from Doe Run Peru president Bruce Neil who said "the initial plan was aimed at controlling stack, solid waste and sewer discharges." NOTE: For further news on this, see "Toxic Clouds" in Peruvia on February 9. Archive: In September, 2003, Doe Run sent "more than 1,400" coats to "Peruvian families in need."

AFF: The Voice of America, using AP and AFP wire stories, reports on the Peruvian delegation currently in Japan, who meet today with Japanese officials in Tokyo "to discuss an extradition request for former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori." (See "Toledo & Detractors" in Saturday's Peruvia, below.)

MVLl: Variety reports that filming of MVLl's 'The Feast of the Goat' begins in May, on site, in the Dominican Republic and Spain. It will be directed by Luis Llosa, and cast members include John Hurt (as Agustin Cabral) and Tomas Milian (as Trujillo). Also: "The standard work on Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is not a history book but Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa's hypnotic novel La fiesta del Chivo." (Note: The play is currently being performed in Rhode Island and New York.)

Marco/Micro Econ: Just-Drinks.com on Backus fourth-quarter net income.

Peruvian Flora: Washington's The Hill (a newspaper focusing on national politics) has an article on a rare public opening to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. The article goes on to note that in 2003, "the facility obtained more than 300 plants from Peru" and suggests that they may be part of an ongoing investigation. "Rare and endangered plants confiscated at ports of entry into the United States are adopted by the production facility if it has the space and capability."

Long Live the Revolution: Cuba's Radio Rebelde reports that "Cuban journalists Lazaro Barredo and Luis Baez denounced in Lima, Peru that Washington provided Cuba-based mercenary groups with 26 million dollars to undertake new actions against the island." They gave their interview to RPP Noticias, "which has a large national audience in that Latin American country," and were in the country to promte their new books, Chameleon and The Dissidents, which provide "an irrefutable analysis on the participation by Cuban counterrevolutionary elements in subversive actions fully backed by Washington's agents."


Tuesday, February 17, 2004

More P-PK & Cabinet: China's Xinhua News Agency catches up with the new Cabinet and notes that Jaime Quijandria and Carlos Bruce "were the only officials who constantly held ministerial positions through five cabinet reshuffles since the beginning of Toledo's administration in 2001." Dow Jones has P-PK making predictions including that "Peru's economy could expand by more than 5.0% this year ... We have wind in the sails with our exports," as reported by Canal N. Banco Wiese's Pablo Nano was also quoted. Bloomberg offers an audio interview with Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski and his "talks with reporters in Lima about his ministry's priorities, the outlook for increased government revenue in 2004 and tax regulation." The audio is in Spanish.
ALSO: The Associated Press offers several photographs including:
- AToledo with PPK
- AToledo and EKarp with new Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti.
- the new cabinet.
- fishermen shouting "slogans against Toledo" in Chorrillos.
Reuters offers several photographs including:
- the new cabinet
- AToledo and PP K.

P-PK Interview: Reuters gets an exclusive interview with Economy Minister-designate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and quotes him saying "I really didn't want to [come back]." Reporter Jude Webber offers the conventional wisdom from Wall Street that "Kuczynski's designation is likely to be greeted with a sigh of relief." It also reminds that P-PK is "a keen squash player." His "one single challenge" in the new job: "To accelerate economic growth with a coherent fiscal policy and free trade agreements with the United States and then Europe and then APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), and creating more jobs."

Mining Challenges: The Washington Post does an investigative piece on the "discontent" in the Yanacocha mines of Cajamarca and uses it as a back drop for "a broader [debate] taking place across Peru." The mines have been successful in generating wealth but failures in generating jobs. "Peru's exports are projected to exceed $10 billion this year for the first time. Half of that revenue is derived from mining, which is growing at an average annual rate of 10 percent. ... But mining employs only 8,000 of Peru's 27 million people. ... Last year, mining companies paid $290 million in income taxes to the Peruvian government, 10 percent of the total income tax collected." Other items named in the article include Huambocancha, Cerro Quilish, and the anti-mining group Grufides.

Macro/Micro Econ: Reuters reports that Peru will auction off its shares in its biggest oil refinery, La Pampilla, according to ProInversion.

BolPeChi with no Pe: The BBC reports that "talks ease Chile-Bolivia tension" and that the two countries have "returned to the negotiating table" in Santiago.

JDF: The Financial Times reviews the Met's L'Italiana in Algeri and lauds Juan Diego Flórez' performance. "[T]he Peruvian tenor conquered every bel-canto hurdle with suavity, some nasal top tones notwithstanding, and exuded boyish charm in the process. Perhaps they should have called the opera Lindoro."

'Ricas Montanas': TIME Magazine runs an article on 'Eco-Tourism Without Tears" that includes the Cordillera Blanca.

More Thrips: The Associated Press offers an update on thrips in Vidalia onions, likely from Peru. For more background, see "Peruvian Onions Burned" in the Monday, Feb. 9 Peruvia.


Monday, February 16, 2004

Cabinet #5: Agence France Press, the Associated Press the BBC, the Financial Times, and Reuters review and the New York Times previews the seven new ministers in AToledo's fifth government which once again includes Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Only three Members of the new Cabinet are from the ruling party.
- Drew Benson's AP piece quotes Lourdes Flores Nano's on this cabinet as a "last chance," (in Reuters: "a final opportunity") and quotes MVLl as saying: "The president doesn't realize the seriousness of the situation and the need for radical and profound changes."
- AFP quotes Hernando de Soto and is the only one who names those Ministers sticking around: "Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez, Defense Minister Roberto Chiabra and Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi will retain their jobs, as will the ministers of foreign trade, agriculture, housing and women's affairs."
- Reuters' Jude Webber includes quotes from Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero's news conference after the swearing-in ceremony, fromAlfredo Torres (Apoyo), Cesar Zumaeta (APRA), as well as several wo/man on the street quips. It also has the most commentary on Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski, including his reluctance to re-join the cabinet, and his views on certain taxes.
- The NYTimes' Juan Forero finally makes it to Lima and quotes Fernando Villarán, Alan García, and Cecilia Blondet. It also adds that "the cabinet shuffle had been difficult because many prospective members had no interest in serving a government that could throw them out in the next crisis."
Reuters and the NYTimes are the most skeptical of these changes with Reuters declaring that "the jury was still out on whether the changes to his government would be enough to restore his credibility and stave off the threat of early elections" and adds MVLl to the skepticism.
NOTE: The new Ministers include: Baldo Kresalja at Justice; Javier Sota at Education; Pilar Mazzetti at Health; Javier Neves at Labor; Alfonso Velasquez at Mining; and Jose Ortiz at Transport and Communications.

P-PK & the Numbers: Dow Jones and Bloomberg give positive press to Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski's return. DJones' Robert Kozak gets quotes particularly through P-PK's RPP and CPN radio interviews. Bloomberg quotes Mohamed El-Erian (Pacific Investment Management Co.), Igor Gonzales (Minera Barrick Misquichilca), Michael Discher-Remmlinger (Deutscher Investment Trust) and Congressman Hildebrando Tapia Samaniego. Bloomberg also goes personal with Kuczynski, with his German-Polish background, his Princeton/Oxford education, etc. and that he is temporarily leaving his Latin American Enterprise Fund. And Reuters offers the latest INEI economic numbers for December as well as for 2003: "in line with to slightly above analysts' expectations, but at a slower rate than comparable periods in 2002 given a slump in the fishing and manufacturing sectors." This translates to 3.12% in December and 3.97% in 2003.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- BNAmericas: on Credicorp's profits
- a press release on Manhattan Minerals and Centromin.
- Just-style.com on cotton exports.


Sunday, February 15, 2004

Toledo's Numbers: MercoPress runs a piece on more dismal poll numbers on AToledo’s government. The new polls include those from El Comercio and La Universidad de Lima. The article ends with giving Toledo the benefit of the doubt: “Mr. Toledo is working overtime this week end hoping he can come up with a renewed “consensus and professional” cabinet that would enable him to continue as the country’s “full” president.”

Vladi, the CIA, and Drugs: Scotland on Sunday runs an investigative piece by Jeremy McDermott on Vladimiro Montesinos' and his attorneys linking the CIA to drug trafficking. The trial has "seen the US intelligence services become embroiled in an embarrassing row about whether the CIA not only knew what Montesinos was up to and turned a blind eye, but have actively undermined Washington’s multibillion-dollar war on drugs by doing so." Though no hard evidence emerges, the piece includes lines like: "when George Bush senior held the top post at Langley" and ruminations on Robert Gorelick, the former CIA Head of Station in Peru, and ends with a reference to the Iran Contra scandal.

Peru Negro: The New York Times gives a grand preview of Peru Negro’s New York City appearance next Saturday. (Peru Negro is in Washington on Tuesday).

Valentine's Day, cont: The Associated Press reports from Callao on “a mass wedding” where “more than 150 couples tied the knot at the civil ceremony” on Valentines Day. All officiated by Alexander Kouri, the Mayor of Callao.

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