Friday, February 27, 2004

Strike in the Sky: Reuters reports on a strike by Aero Continente, Peru's largest airline. "The stoppage, organized by the company's staff including pilots and cabin crews, caused chaos at Lima's Jorge Chavez airport, where thousands of disgruntled passengers had shown up for flights that had been canceled." Quotes come from Aero Continente President Lupe Zevallos, representatives of Lan Chile/Peru, and disgruntled passanger Luis Espichan. An updated Reuters piece includes quotes from Lan Peru's Managing Director Vlamir Damic who "denied his company had obtained flight authorization irregularly" and then offered planes to help stranded Aero Continente passengers. Reuters offers photos of the scene at the Arequipa airport, the Piura aiport as well as photos of the Lima airport.

Transportation Strike, Over?: The Associated Press offers a few photos of the standstill in the transportation strike. (See "Transportation Strike in yesterday's Peruvia.) The Miami Herald reports this morning that the "inter-province bus companies [have] ended a strike after three days when the government agreed to reduce fuel taxes," eventually by 20%. Quoted is Joaquin Ormeno, owner of Expreso Internacional Ormeno SA and Luis Marcos, a spokesman for the association for the bus owners. At first glance, only the official government newspaper, El Peruano, is leading with this story.

The 3rd Strike: Reuters offers photos of Peruvian HIV/AIDS sufferers who "lie on the pavement outside the Justice Palace Lima, during a protest to demand more help to fight the disease."

AFF, cont: China's People Daily catches up with the efforts to extradite AFujimori from Japan. Special Prosecutor Luis Vargas Valdivia gets a quote and Baltasar Garzon presence in Lima is noted. The Agence France Press relates that Peru believed "any politically based refusal by Japan to extradite former president Alberto Fujimori to face charges of human rights violations was 'unacceptable.' " The quotes are mainly from Ambassador Martha Chavarri.

Doe Run: The Associated Press relates that Doe Run Peru has admitted that "lead poisoning of children by the facility's emissions was a serious problem." The Peruvian government has set a 2006 deadline for the cleanup in La Oroya but Doe Run Peru's President, Bruce Neil, declared that they "would not be able to significantly reduce the contamination until 2011" and sought an extension. Doe Run subsequently offered a press release (in .pdf format) suggesting that "local Leaders in Peru express support for [this] Doe Run Peru Initiative." The press release is based in large part to "a report published Thursday in the newspaper Correo, from Huancayo" which quotes support for the company from Clemente Quincho Panez, the mayor of the Yauli district in La Oroya. See "Doe Run's Solution" in February 18's Peruvia.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- BNAmericas reports on the "scheme for further private sector involvement in the Port of Callao" which will not be available until September at the earliest, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications Silvio de Vega. Under consideration: a feasibility study for a new container terminal at Callao, in conjunction with the 2025 development master plan.
- Dow Jones reports that "Peru's past-due bank loans rose slightly in January from the previous month due to an increase in overdue loans," according to the Peruvian Banking Association, ASBANC.
- the Economist reviews the attempts to change the laws regulating the taxi industry.
- Bharatt Textile reports that Peruvian trade officials are in China debating textile policies between the countries.

AToledo the Athlete: Reuters has photos of AToledo "kick[ing] a soccer ball as children look on" to peg with the upcoming story on his promise to "invest $5 million in improving the soccer fields in the stadiums where the upcoming Copa America tournament will be held next July." The Associated Press shows the president in full action.

- the Associated Press offers a photograph of a "Peruvian-Belgian United Nations officer stationed in Haiti, Pablo Isla, who saw his wife Ana and son leaving the UN compound in Port-au-Prince.
- Harvard University's Gazette reports on Hernando de Soto delivery of the 2004 Albert H. Gordon Lecture on Political Economy and his frequent stories about passports and apples. You can see the video of it here.
- the Associated Press notes Guatemalan singer Ricardo Arjona in concert in Lima's Monumental Stadium with a photo.


Thursday, February 26, 2004

1/2 Terms: The New York Times runs an editorial on "Latin America's Half-Term Presidents" in which AToledo and JBAristide "fit a troubling pattern" across Latin America. The paper believes that "Mr. Toledo's sin in Peru is that he is weak and apparently corrupt — not a good enough reason for yet another interruption of democracy." AFujimori also gets framed.

Transport Strike: Bloomberg reports on the strike led by Peruvian public transportation companies, "to reestablish minimum cargo fees and to seek lower fuel taxes." Quoted are Alfonso Rivas Ruiz, head of the National Association of Cargo Truck Owners (Unión Nacional de Transportistas Dueños de Camiones), Roxana Altuna, a spokeswoman for the Transport Ministry, and Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi. The Associated Press follows up on the government's warning against price gouging in food markets during the second day of a cargo truck and passenger bus strike. According to La Parada market manager, Ronald Franco, "Lima's main wholesale meat and produce market received 1,400 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables" yesterday instead of 2,800. Quoted are Agriculture Minister Jose Leon, Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi, and Transportation Minister Jose Ortiz, and political analyst Santiago Pedraglio.
NOTE: The strike had been announced in January; the last transportation strike was resolved in May.

Airport Development: BNAmericas reports on ProInversion's plan for regional airport concessions. "Development of the country's airports will seek to increase the inflow of foreign tourists to the country and develop its potential as a regional hub, particularly for trans-Pacific traffic." See also Currie & Brown/Masons studies' on this sector.

Garzon in Lima, cont: China's Xinhua Net covers Baltasar Garzon recent trip to Lima as he advised Peruvian authorities "to ask the International Court of Justice ... to file a charge against ousted President Alberto Fujimori." See more in 'Garzon in Lima,' in yesterday's Peruvia below.

Vladi & Colombia: The Miami Herald reports on Colombia "launching judicial proceedings" against VMontesinos "for allegedly organizing the sale of 10,000 assault rifles to leftist guerrillas." Peruvian officials are due to travel to Colombia next month to help out in this effort.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Chiribaya Mummies, cont: The Associated Press files their mummy story pinpointing the discovery site as Cocachacra, (found here), and naming at least one of the archeologists, Marco Lopez. (See 'Chiribaya Mummies' in yesterday's Peruvia.)

IMF Moves: The IMF announced the completion of their "fourth review [and last] Peru's stand-by arrangement and grants waiver." In effect, this "enables the release" of about US$41 million to the country. Dow Jones covers this activity and states that "Officials have said the IMF and Peru are working to negotiate a new accord." Reuters quotes IMF Deputy Managing Director Agustín Carstens for the story.

Peruvian Oscar? Hollywood's VARIETY reviews 'Paper Dove' (Paloma de papel), the directorial debut of Fabrizio Aguilar. The story line is caught in the "Dilemmas suffered by Peruvian peasants trapped between government troops and guerrillas during the 1980s and 1990s, framed through the eyes of a boy." The piece declares that this is a 2004 Oscar entry.

- HdeSoto: Pakistan's Daily Times reports that the country's government "is likely to hire Hernando De Soto, a Peruvian economist, as a consultant to legalise the titles of lands, properties and businesses in order to make them an additional instrument for obtaining credit and developing the country's Small and Medium Enterprises." De Soto is there at the invitation of President Gen Peervez Musharraf, and on Monday, "delivered a three-hour lecture to a gathering of some 200 people including cabinet members, economists, and civil and military bureaucracy about his experiences in Peru and other economies. The meeting was presided over by the president at his camp office in Rawalpindi." The Pakistan Link also reported on De Soto's lecture.
- Florida's Sun-Sentinel follows up on the murder of Monica Marina Rivera-Valdizan, and declares that "whoever killed a nanny last month has stumped detectives, leaving such a 'clean crime scene' that seasoned investigators theorized the suspect may have killed before," according to law enforcement officials. The murder happenned the first week of January.

Peru Negro: The Boston Globe reviews Peru Negro's Sunday show, "as entertaining a show as World Music has offered of late, imbued with theatrical flair and charming comic digressions." The piece ends: "These exuberant folks make fabulous ambassadors."

Threat of Weather: A story in California's Mercury News: "Things were even worse for Peruvian meteorologist Francisco Arias Olivera. In April 1996 the popular TV weatherman did not accurately predict the 19 inches of rain that resulted in a flash flood that killed 17 people in the small town of Sicuani, Peru. He was lynched by an angry club-toting mob and hanged from a tree outside the TV station."


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Chiribaya Mummies: Reuters is the first to announce the discovery of two of the oldest mummies ever found in Peru, "a young boy and a man in his mid-30s," which, according to the Instituto Nacional de Cultura are "at least 700 years old" and identified as being of the Chiribaya culture. The mummies were found on February 12, in Islay, Arequipa. Age and occupations were also noted by Reuter's reporters Miguel Zegarra and Robin Emmott. The Associated Press offers photos as does Reuters. The Voice of America runs Reuters' copy.

AFF: The New York Times interviews former President AFujimori in an "austere [Tokyo] hotel office [with] a white table, white chairs and a scattering of books in French, a language he does not read." The article focuses on AFF's website, and declares him to be "a political exile in the age of the Internet." Others quoted in the article include Hatsuhisa Takashima, the Japanese Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Luis Quesada, a Peruvian diplomat, Nelly Calderón, Peru's chief prosecutor, and his paramour, Satomi Kataoka who "is about to start private Spanish lessons." (The story also runs in the International Herald Tribune.)

Macro/Micro Econ: BNAmericas reports that "[s]everal major international mining companies are interested in participating in the auction" of the Las Bambas copper-gold project in Peru, according to Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria. He also stated that "with the current high copper price the winner would be prepared to invest US$2 Billion in the project," in Apurimac.

Baltazar Garzon in Lima: The Associated Press has photos of Spanish judge Baltazar Garzon during his visit to Peru and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Peru Negro: The New York Times reviews Peru Negro's weekend show at Town Hall. "This was more than two hours of celebration, and those two hours added up to be a very good time." Like the Washington Post reviewer, "[a] few pieces belabored their points, among them two comic sketches: one about a creaky old dancing master and his impudent young students and another about some rival tap-dancers."


Monday, February 23, 2004

Macro/Micro News:
- Dow Jones follows up on yesterday's P-PK interview gave to El Comercio and quotes him saying, "Peru's external debt has grown too much."
- Compania de Minas Buenaventura is offering a web cast conference call this Friday to discuss their 4th quarter 2003 results.
- A Reuters report on China scoping out the Latin American market includes AToledo's announcement last year "that Chinese investors were keen to grow silkworms" in Peru. Also noted are the China National Petroleum Corp.'s recent investments in Peru.

Peruvian Lettuce: Florida's Palm Beach Post reports on Peruvian lettuce, which tastes great and "is sand-free."


Sunday, February 22, 2004

Cutting the Debt: Reuters reports on P-PK's desire "to negotiate a partial repurchase of its Paris Club debt, ... to ease its servicing burden," which he explained in an interview in El Comercio today. The total numbers: "Peru had $27.7 billion in public debt at the end of September, with about $21.7 billion in foreign debt. Paris Club debt totaled $8.4 billion." The 5% growth rate expected for 2004 is repeated as is the "ITF" bank tax.

Travel: Ireland's Business Post does a large travel piece on "a group of 60 others travelling to [Cusco] on a charity fundraising walk with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland."

Contemporary Art: Colorado's Daily Camera reviews a show at the Arvada Center for the Arts, where the work of eight contemporary artists from Peru is on display including: Walter Carbonel, Luis Castellanos Jara, Jorge Castilla Bambren, Fito Espinosa, Sebastian Frank, Michelle Magot, Sol Toledo and Patricia Villanueva Mavila.

Solano is Caught: London's Sunday Mirror includes a bit on Claudia Solano, Nolberto's wife, who was "charged with driving with excess alcohol after she was stopped by police in Durham city centre last week."

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