Saturday, March 06, 2004

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

Peru's Silver Lining? The Miami Herald runs a 'news analysis' on the "political meltdowns and economic stagnation" in Latin America and notes that "U.S. leaders are barely paying attention," based on opinions by Michael Shifter (Inter-American Dialogue), Julia Sweig (Council on Foreign Relations), Stephen Johnson (Heritage Foundation), Philip McLean (Center for Strategic and International Studies), and Robert Pastor (American University). Johnson believes there's a 'silver lining' in the turmoil in Peru: ''There's political chaos but modest economic growth. Maybe that will show not everything depends on a single personality.''

More Mummies: The Agence France Press, Pravda, Reuters, the Voice of America report on the discovery of dozens of mummies dating back more than 500 years found near proposed highway near Puruchuco-Huaquerones. Archeologist Guillermo Cock declared that "[t]he mummies were once farmers and craftsmen and lived under the dominion of the Lati and Ishma Inca leaders." Also included were Armando Molina and Federico Kauffmann Doig who is in favor of continuing the highway construction "because it could yield further findings." The Associated Press has several photographs of the findings.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Monthly Numbers: Reuters reports the Central Bank's announcement of the "US$140.3 million trade surplus in January compared with a $22.5 million deficit during the same month in 2003."
- Block 64: The Oil & Gas Journal reported that Occidental Petroleum's program in Peru is preparing to "begin exploration work on Block 64 in the Marañon basin" after six years of negotiation with "a sector of Ashuar Osham communities in the area." Occidental has a 50% interest in Block 64 while Burlington Resources and Repsol-YPF are partners in the other half. Occidental will now hold "a public hearing Apr. 14 for modifications in the environmental and social impact study covering the northwest portion of Block 64." The leaders in the negotations were Peas Kaisar and Loreto's regional President Robinson Rivadeneyra. Next up: Block 101.
ARCHIVE: See an Oxy White Paper on this; and a separate perspective from Amazon Watch.
- France's Sulliden Exploration announced in a press release that they "acquired the remaining 30 per cent stake in a gold and silver property in Peru that it did not already own in a cash-and-stock deal worth more than $31 million."

Orchid Thief: The Associated Press and the Miami Herald report that Peruvian Manuel Arias-Silver was arrested by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at the Miami International Orchid Show. The article declares that "Arias did not try to bring any of the rare orchids at the heart of the criminal investigation to the Miami show. But prosecutors allege the illegal shipments passed through Miami in 2002 and 2003 en route to husband-and-wife collectors in suburban Houston who were reselling them to high-end hobbyists willing to pay black-market prices."

Copa America: Reuters offers photographs on Peru's Copa America coordinator Irzio Pinasco and singer Gianmarco Zignago, for the "fixture-drawing for the upcoming Copa America soccer tournament. Matches will take place in Lima, Arequipa, Chiclayo, Piura, Cuzco, Trujillo and Tacna."

Watching Macaws, V: Grist Magazine continues with 'Day Five' of a trip to Puerto Maldonado and beyond. See 'Watching Macaws' in yesterday's Peruvia.


Friday, March 05, 2004

The Big Picture: Reuters' Robin Emmott offers an overview of the country's fiscal condition. "Rising inflation, political uncertainty and sluggish internal demand could keep Peru's economy from meeting a growth target of 4 percent this year," according to analysts Jose Cerritelli (Bear Stearns), Enrique Alvarez (IdeaGlobal consultancy), Carola Sandy (Credit Suisse First Boston) as well as recent INEI statistics. The piece ends with the CGTP announcement of a nation-wide strike on March 11.

$Billions Still Not Found: Latinamerica Press states that a new report by the Office for the Repatriation of Illicit Money says that "[o]nly 5 percent of the money paid out in bribes and other forms of corruption during the government of former President Alberto Fujimori has been recovered." Inés Arias, executive secretary of the organization, said that more than US$10 billion was obtained illicitly" by the AFF government.

AG in Colombia: Associated Press and Reuters offer photographs of Attorney General Nelly Calderon's visit to Colombia where she "signed an agreement to speed up the judicial process between both countries, also to gather avidence for the case against Peruvian spymaster Vladimiro Montesinos, who is accused of allegedly organizing the sale of 10,000 assault rifles to leftist guerrillas." The Miami Herald offers a companion wire story (second piece) which focuses on AFF's extradiction and not on VM.

More Macro/Micron Econ:
- No Sale: BNAmericas and Reuters reports that ProInversion "suspended an $81 million auction of state shares in the country's biggest oil refinery, La Pampilla." 'The operation was suspended because "market conditions were not good." La Pampilla is majority owned by Spain's Repsol-YPF."
- Canada's DYNACOR Mines stated in a press release that their 2003 gold production "reached 10,984 ounces at the Acari processing plant ... 111% increase as compared to 2002" representing 5,194 ounces of gold. ARCHIVE: See Dynacor's December 2003 report on Acari.

The Winning Picture:
- Nene in Top 100: The Fédération Internationale de Football Association announced the FIFA 100 to mark their centennial, a list of history's best 100 players which includes Teofilo Cubillas.
- Eurosport reports on Luis Horna's win over Argentine Agustin Calleri in the first round of the Mexico Open, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. Calleri beat Horna in the semi-finals of the Brazil Open last week. Reuters offers a photo of the winner. UPDATE: The BBC later noted that Luis Horna lost to Spain's Oscar Hernandez 6-7 6-2, 6-4. "

Tragedy: A wire story in an Australian newspaper and the German DPA relate the tragic and fatal accident between a cargo truck and a passenger bus in Arequipa. El Comercio also has a story on this.

The Rock: The Miami Herald runs a wire story and the Associated Press runs a photo of Cusco's 12-angled trapezoidal Incan rock which is being threatened by pollution and "tourists' sweaty palms." El Comercio includes the photo in a story and labels the photo from Reuters.

Aristide Believed In de Soto: Texas' Star Telegram runs an opinion piece on a two-year old interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his belief that Hernando de Soto's " 'scientific' approach to economic development fit well with the human dimension [Aristide] stressed in his own writings." Said the exiled Haitian president: "I know the political will I have. We can make it happen."

Watching Macaws, IV: Grist Magazine continues with 'Day Four' of a trip to Puerto Maldonado and beyond. See 'Watching Macaws' in yesterday's Peruvia.


Thursday, March 04, 2004

OdRivero Challenges the Times: The New York Times' 'Letters to the Editor' includes Ambassador to the United Nations Oswaldo de Rivero's response to the newspapers' February 26 editorial 'Latin America's Half-Term Presidents,' which mentions AToledo. "I would like to express my surprise and serious concern on how Mr. Toledo was qualified as 'weak and apparently corrupt.' One of the characteristics of democratic leaders is not to be 'strongmen' but rather to be just and tolerant." The Ambassador ends declaring that "democracy in Peru is firmly supported by all Peruvians." (See the "1/2 Terms" in February 26's Peruvia.)

Hoof/Foot & Mouth: The Pan American Health Organization offered a press release at the conclusion of their conference on Foot-And-Mouth Disease Eradication in the Western Hemisphere. The Associated Press quotes conference attender Jose Leon Rivera, Peru's Minister of Agriculture, declaring that Peru's "success in eliminating foot-and-mouth disease is partly due to the creation of 226 local health committees, which helped adapt animal health care to the needs of the areas they represent. The country also trained 223 community leaders in vaccination and sanitary education."

Boxer Dead: The Miami Herald and the Associated Press announce that Peruvian Lightweight Champion, Luis Villalta, who lost consciousness minutes after his fight Saturday night in Coconut Creek, died Wednesday afternoon. He was 35. Donations can be made to the Villalta Family Fund, 16 Campbell Road, Hillsborough, N.J., 08844. (See 'Boxer Hurt' in Peruvia earlier this week.)

The Richness of Surfing: The New York Times offers a relaxing piece on surfing. Juan Forero's piece suggests that "Long the pastime of the rich, the sport has steadily spread in popularity to the greater middle class, with an estimated 30,000 enthusiasts clambering atop boards." However, the breadth of the article focuses on the Waikiki Club, "a club like no other — a white-glove establishment whose members come from some of Peru's most prominent and powerful families. The club and its social register overshadow whatever social statement Forero was trying to establish. "The club has 600 members, with families paying $10,000 to join." What's more, "You have to be recommended to belong. Someone who wants to just join and knows no one cannot join. This is a very exclusive club." Colourful quotes or quips come from Rocío Larrañaga (a surfing teacher at the Waikiki), Francisco Aramburu ('gentleman' surfer), Rodolfo Klima (surfboard manufacturer), Felipe Pomar and Sofía Mulanovich (Peruvian surfer champions), Leslie Pierce (Alicorp's CEO), Eduardo Arena (1st president of Surfing Federation), Hugo Valdivia (Waikiki's administrator), Víctor Curo (Waikiki waxer), Piero Solari (famous singer), Alberto Figari (owner of 'marketing company'), and Carlos Dogny ('playboy jet-setter'). NYTime's photographer Ana Cecilia Gonzales-Vigil is along for the ride and provides a photo of Klima. Another photo includes a few surfers in action but focuses largely on (the un-named) Rosa Nautica.

In Wash, DC: 'Tradition and Entrepreneurship' is the new display ant the Inter-American Development Bank's Cultural center offering "tapestries, sculpture, etched gourds and other folk objects" according to the Washington Post.

Watching Macaws, III: Grist Magazine continues with 'Day Three' of a trip to Puerto Maldonado and beyond. See 'Watching Macaws' in yesterday's Peruvia.


Wednesday, March 03, 2004

USA Chamber of Commerce: The Associated Press offers photos of AToledo meeting with a delegation from the USA Chamber of Commerce including Lt. General Daniel Christman and John Murphy in Toledo's office.

Trucker Strike, Over: Bloomberg reports on Peru's truckers who "ended an eight-day strike after agreeing to a tax cut from the government on diesel fuel use." Last week, bus drivers ended their strike. (See "Transportation Strike, Over?" in Feb. 27's Peruvia below.) Quoted come from Carlos Bianchi Burga, director of the National Association of Cargo Truck-owners as well as Jorge Luis Rodriguez, economist at Centura SAB.

More Macro/Micro Econ:
- Last Year's Metals: Bloomberg lists last year's mineral output nationally with gold output rising to the highest on record with world gold prices remaining at highs as well. Mentioned in the article are Newmont Mining Corp. and Cia. de Minas Buenaventura in their collaboration at Minera Yanacocha.
- More Copper: Candente Resource Corp put out a press release declaring that their "bulk sampling of copper mineralization is currently underway on [their] Cañariaco Copper property." Candente's Peruvian subsidiary is Exploraciones Milenio S.A."
- Callao Contract: BNAmericas reports that Moffatt & Nichol has been selected by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications "to conduct a feasibility study for a new container terminal at the port of Callao, Peru's principal port," according to Albert Angulo, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the US Trade Development Agency. The M&N Team includes several local subsidiaries including ECSA Ingenieros and R. Rios Ingenieros. The contract is for US$300,000.
- LanChile reports on "a record quarterly net profit, bolstered by heavy passenger and air cargo traffic." See 'A-C Stike Off' in Feb 27's Peruvia below.

Boxer Hurt, cont: Florida's Sun-Sentinel reports that a "fund has been established for the family of boxer Luis Villalta, who remains in critical condition" after collapsing into a coma moments after his North American Boxing Association title defense fight over the weekend. The Villalta Family Fund will benefit his wife and two children who live in Lima, Peru. Those interested in making a contribution can write to Villalta Family Fund, 16 Campbell Road, Hillsborough, N.J., 08844 or call Toresco at 908-963-5200. Villalta has a 13-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. See 'Boxer Hurt' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Watching Macaws, II: Grist Magazine continues with 'Day Two' of a trip to Puerto Maldonado and beyond. See 'Watching Macaws' in yesterday's Peruvia.

'Chino' Gone: The United States National Soccer Players Association reports that D.C. United has waived midfielder Jose 'Chino' Alegria "for showing up to training camp out of shape." The 23-year old paisano also received this public notice in this morning's Washington Post. ARCHIVE: Alegria also trained with Alianza Lima of Peru."

Versions of War: Ohio's Springfield News-Sun quotes a 17-year-old Ecuadoran take on the Peru-Ecuador "Mauricio, 17, used to have nightmares that a Peruvian helicopter would land on his house and take his parents. 'I would awake screaming before being consoled by my parents that nothing was going to happen,' he said.
Peru invaded his country, Ecuador, after a border dispute and took over a large portion of his native land. Mauricio said Ecuador's young men were forced to fight when they turned 18. He said boys had as little as two weeks' training before being sent to war. "


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Peru to Chile: No to Arms Race! MercoPress reports that Peru is warning "about an arms race in the Pacific." Peruvian Foreign Secretary Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros and Chilean Deputy Foreign Secretary Cristian Barros will be meeting in Santiago today "to address defence expenditure issues which are souring relations between the two Pacific neighbours," in anticipation of the 'two plus two' meeting scheduled for the end of March. Also quoted in the piece is Peruvian Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero who made a comparison between hunger and national security. Chile, among other purchases, recently bought the former (and third) HMS Sheffield. Chilean Defence Minister Michelle Bachelet downplays the acquisitions. (An earlier Sheffield was sunk by Argentina 22 years ago during the Malvinas War.)

CFerrero: No to Bank Tax: Reuters reports on Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero's press conference with foreign journalists yesterday. The piece focuses on the possible changes on the "brand new tax on banking transactions." The PM promised that in tomorrow's weekly Cabinet meeting, they will "study the policy [bank tax] 'road map.' " The Associated Press has a photo of the press conference. Reuters helpfully provides a photo of Humberto Castaneda, a Peruvian money changer, who says "a new tax on banking transactions that took effect on March 1 could put him out of business."

Peru to China: Thanks! China's Xinhua Net reports on Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong's stay in Peru during which AToledo "expressed his gratitude Monday for China's donation worth 10 million RMB yuan (1.2 million US dollars), which will mainly help Peru's urban employment scheme." After the ceremony, AToledo "tried on a safety helmet, pulled a trammer and even drove a truck for a little while."

Inca Kola Gets More Coke: Just Drinks, using a Reuters story, reports that "Inca Kola and Coca-Cola are considering stepping up their alliance." IK's Jose R Lindley is set to merge operations with Coke's Embotelladora Latinoamericana. Inca Kola suggested "that the merger of bottling operations is more part of a drive for efficiency and less a reaction to the fierce growth of competitors in Peru such as Kola Real." Archive: 'Inca Kola For the World.'

USA to Peru: No More Coke: The USA State Department released their 2003 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, an annual report prepared in accordance with the USA Foreign Assistance Act. It describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2003. A related Associated Press story stated that coca production in Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia "underwent a combined 8 percent reduction last year."

Peru to IMF: Send More $$: Reuters reports on the IMF mission arriving in Lima tomorrow "to begin talks for a new line of credit similar to the $380 million stand-by agreement it approved in 2002." Background: "Access to capital is seen as key to reassuring investors the government will not default on the $5.6 billion it owes international bondholders." Meanwhile, Bloomberg and Reuters write on Peru's inflation rate which doubled in February "to its highest level in 11 months as a drought in the farmlands and a truckers' strike drove up the cost of food." Bloomberg quotes Jorge Luis Rodriguez (Centura SAB brokerage). See also: the IMF's current 'Analytical accounts of Peru's Central Bank.'

Watching Macaws: Grist Magazine begins a travelogue ('Day One') on macaws by Sue Kaufman, "chronicling her volunteer activities on a recent expedition with Earthwatch Institute to the Tambopata Research Center.

Boxer Hurt, Cont: The Associated Press reports that Peruvian boxer Luis Villalta "remained in a coma Monday" in a south Florida hospital. "There has been no change in his condition,' said Pam Toresco, wife of Villalta's manager, Anthony Toresco. 'We are praying for Luis' recovery." Fighting News declares that Luis Villalta "is still fighting the biggest fight of his life."


Monday, March 01, 2004

Protestants Meet: The ALC News (last item)reports on the Annual Assembly of the National Evangelical Council of Peru (CONEP), held in Chiclayo last week. Rev. Carlos Jara, from the Assemblies of God, was elected president. Dario Lopez, from the Church of God, was elected vice-president. The Assembly was affected by the transport strike as many delegates were not able to travel to Chiclayo. Among the groups CONEP works with are el Acuerdo Nacional, the National Human Rights Council, the National Education Forum, the Special Commission on Justice Administration Reform and the National Environmental Council.

AFF, cont: The Miami Herald reports on AFujimori's interview with Chile's La Tercera where he "reaffirmed his intention to return to power and said he sought to replace the government of Alejandro Toledo, which he dubbed a 'disaster'."

Sexy Moche: The Associated Press runs an article on Moche ceramics and their "sexual values in pre-Columbian Peru." Written by Rick Vecchio, the piece is pegged largely on an interview with historian Maximo Terrazos and the subterranean room marked ''Private'' in Peru's Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History. It also includes historical references to José de Acosta and to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, author of the Kinsey Reports on human sexual behavior.

No More Chickens: China's Xinhua Net reports that Peru imposed "a ban on poultry product imports from 14 bird flu-affected countries to protect thecountry from the disease." The banned imports include chickens, pheasants and their products and the countries affected include Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Belgium, Canada and the United States.

Boxer Hurt: The Associated Press, the Knight-Ridder Tribune news service, and the Miami Herald all report that "Former Peruvian lightweight champion Luis Villalta is in a coma after collapsing moments after his title-defense bout with Ricky Quiles on Saturday night." After losing the 12-round North American Boxing Association title fight, Villalta (29-6-1, 25 KOs) returned to his dressing room and started talking about the fight to his trainer, Charles Johnson. He complained that his head hurt and started vomiting. He then lost consciousness and collapsed.

Where to Go: The Miami Herald has a short travel piece that encourages tourists to go to La Calle de las Pizzas in Miraflores and El Parque Kennedy "for antiques."

'No' on de Soto: Pakistan's Jang News has a few biting comments in an op-ed on Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto: "Yes sirs, it'll all be well in the Land of the Pure, now that we have Professor Dr Hernando De Soto of Lima, Peru, helping 'detect' the 'system fault lines' that encourage bad things such as terrorism. ... So then, it has to be a Peruvian, no matter how qualified, to tell us Pakistanis what we should do to reduce poverty, and therefore the threat of terrorism in Pakistan, eh? Well, where lies the mystery: where is the golden door to which Professor Dr Hernando De Soto has the one and only key? Haven’t we spent our entire lives in this our Fatherland, don’t we know it inside out?"

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