Saturday, March 13, 2004

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

UPDATE: The Canadian Broadcast Corp identifies on of the Peruvians killed in Madrid as Neil Astocondo, "a 30-year-old Peruvian whose wife and two children stayed in Lima." The Spanish New York Daily, El Diario/La Prensa reports that in addition to Astocondor, the two other named Peruvians were Juan Sánchez Quispe and Carlos Fernández Dávila.

Peruvians Die In Madrid: The Associated Press and Reuters is reporting that at least three Peruvian died in the Madrid bombings. The UPI places the number at four. The same news agency has photos of the protestors against the terrorists in Lima. Reuters also has a photograph of Mario Vargas Llosa hugging Spanish Ambassador Gerardo Saldiva at a memorial in Panama.

People in the News:
- Bloomberg and the Financial Times reports that Albert Verme is "Citigroup's new head of investment banking." The company also put out a press release. He used to run Citigroup's Latin American investment bank.
- the Associated Press reports that Lori Berenson "has been granted conjugal visiting rights at her Andean prison." Her husband, Anibal Apari has been given permission to visit her two times a month in her jail setting in Cajamarca. The AP credits Correo for breaking the story and includes issues of pregnancy and birth prevention.
- The Associated Press reports on Peruvian Manuel Arias Silva being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he "conspired to smuggle a prized but endangered species of orchid into the United States." If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (For earlier accounts, see 'Orchid Thief' in March 6's Peruvia below.)

New Music CD: Keri Noble released her debut album and has begun to receive critical praise including notes from the Baltimore Sun and the Detroit Free Press. Many reviews compare her to Norah Jones. Few reveal that her father is from Peru's Amazon region.


Friday, March 12, 2004

Whose Royalties? Reuters offers what seems to be a story on mining royalties that both Peru and Chile are considering. The piece begins with an 'analyst,' affiliated with the Toromocho copper project, who is opposed to the proposed royalties: "We might not have picked Peru for the (Pierina) project if there was a built-in impediment." Also quoted are Jose Miguel Morales, National Society of Energy, Mining and Petroleum, who is equally opposed to the measure. The article ends with two individuals (Philip Daniel, Transborder, and Jim Otto, Colorado School of Mines) who think this change is "not necessarily bad." After including a skeptical quote from Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria, the reporter comes out with his opinion declaring that Peru "can ill afford to kill a goose that lays golden eggs."

Please, No More Conversions! Israel's Arutz Sheva reports that Jewish immigration to Israel from Peru and India "'will be frozen, purportedly due to the fact that immigrants from those countries undergo only Orthodox conversions and often choose to live in Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza)."

Catching Up With Mummies: National Geographic catches up with the story on the mummies at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, and includes quotes from archaeologist, and National Geographic-funded, Guillermo Cock. For more information, see 'More Mummies' in March 6's Peruvia below.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that gold output in Peru "rose 23.2 percent in January year-over-year to 17,387 fine kilos," according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
- Reuters files on the effects of the "controversial tax on banking transactions" which, "is hurting Peruvian businesses and banks just 11 days after it came into effect and must be scrapped if Peru wants to create jobs and prosperity," according to the Lima Chamber of Commerce.


Thursday, March 11, 2004

Alianza 1-Nil: Xinhua Net and Reuters report on Alianza Lima's victory over Cobreloa of Chile, 1-0, in the 2004 Copa Libertadores. The game was in Calama and Jefferson Farfan scored in the 21st minute. The Associated Press and Reuters offer a few photos of the match. Also photographed: Sporting Cristal's loss to Paraguay's Olimpia in Lima.

Whose Free Trade? The Associated Press reports that Alfredo Ferrero, Peru's foreign trade minister, "questioned U.S. insistence that a handful of legal disputes involving U.S. companies be cleared up before free-trade treaty talks between the two nations can begin." The article states that USA Ambassador J. Curtis Struble "stepped up pressure on Peru to resolve the disputes," before a Peruvian congressional committee. Included among the disputes: unpaid tax rebates, breached contracts, piracy and a warehouse permit. ARCHIVE: Ferrero's January interview with Bloomberg in which he predicted "a free trade accord with the U.S. by early next year."


Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Taxes Rise: Dow Jones reports that "Peru's tax revenues rose 10.1% in real terms in the second month of 2004 over February last year, as collections of the value-added tax rose sharply," according to SUNAT. The story also stated that "the new financial services transactions tax had increased tax revenue in the first week of March," according to Enrique Arroyo (Peruvian Banking Association). P-PK is also quoted.

IFC & Yanacocha: Reuters reports that the International Financial Corporation "is considering selling part of its 5 percent stake in Yanacocha." Said an IFC official, "It is standard procedure for the IFC to reduce its equity positions at the opportune time as part of its overall equity portfolio management. The general practice is to sell at a fair market price." Archive: See the IFC's 2003 report on Yanacocha.

Southern Peru Copper: New Ratings reports Southern Peru Copper received an 'underperform' rating with target price is set to $35, according to analyst Daniel C Altman (Bear Stearns).


Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Copa America: Peru as host of the Copa America is the news of the day and Reuters reports that yesterday's draw ceremony "highlighted some of the problems that have dogged South American football in recent years." Even though celebrities like Nene Cubillas and Dunga were seen selecting matches, CONMEBOL "had hand-picked the most important part of the draw last year." However, some of the article is a bit shady. For example, "Chile would be based closed to home" in Arequipa. However, there are no known flights from Santiago to Arequipa. Deserving more scrutiny: the double-billing system which offers two games in one setting. Reuters offers several photographs of the ceremony including Teofilo Cubillas watching Brazil's Dunga draws a ballot; CONMEBOL's General Secretary Eduardo de Luca hides behind Venezuela's name during a draw; and AToledo holding the real Copa America trophy (see yesterday's fakes). The Associated Press gets a close up of Gianmarco Zignano singing the "official Copa America song 'Mas Alla de los Suenos'.

Mining News:
- Canada's Manhattan Minerals Corp. put out a press release on the retirement of their CEO and CFO as well as a plan to "to diversify its asset base and is now evaluating and reviewing copper and gold projects in other countries." Also, Americo Villafuerte, President of the Company's Peruvian subsidiaries, will continue in his current position with responsibility for all Peruvian operations. Reuters reported on the Board changes and said that Manhattan's re-focus came as a result of "a disagreement" with Peru. "Peru's government was a partner with Manhattan in a project to build a small gold mine at Tambogrande in northern Peru, but in December the government ended the deal and said Manhattan could not go ahead with the mine because it failed to meet required terms."
- Gitennes Exploration released a press release on their gold and silver project at Urumalqui, near Trujillo, which begins this month.
- Orex Ventures offered a press release to announce their eventual purchase of two gold mines from Candente Resources. For their part, Candente Resource offered a counterpart press release.

Saving Water: Reuters reports that SEDAPAL will "cut off water supplies in Lima for 12 hours a day from April to November" if the drought continues. About 90% of Lima's water for its 8 million citizens would be affected.

Fujimori Wedding Bells: Reuters announces Keiko Sofia Fujimori, AFF's daughter and Peru's one-time first lady, will marry on July 3 according to the Peruvian daily, Correo. The groom is one Mark Villenueve, "a USA citizen." As the wedding is to be in Lima, the bride's father will have to be absent. Fujimori spokesman Carlos Raffo denied that this was any sort of a stunt. An early Correo story didn't include the grooms' surname though today's edition includes that as well as where the ceremony will take place.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- To Tax Or Not: Dow Jones and Reuters report on Congressional and perhaps constitutional roadblock on the the proposed reduction in the financial sector transactions tax, or ITF. Both article include PPK's exhortations on the matter.
- BNAmericas says that ProInversion "has released the bid presentation timetable for a concession contract to rehabilitate a 58.8km stretch of highway in Ucayali department," a US$62 million project.

Still Peru Negro: New York City's Village Voice finally gets around to reviewing Peru Negro's February 21 concert in the city. The reviewer enjoyed the "black pride - South American style" more than the show's humour.


Monday, March 08, 2004

Big Sale: Telefonica Móviles purchased Bell South's cellular telephone operations in Peru (as well as in 9 other Latin American countries), thereby increasing its customer base from 1.5 milion to 2.14 million, almost 10% of the total population. For its part, BellSouth said it sold the 10 Latin American subsidiaries for "approximately $4.2 billion and reduce consolidated debt by $1.5 billion." Telefonica Móviles, the wireless affiliate of Telefonica, is the leader in the Peruvian cellular market. The Associated Press, the BBC, and two separate Reuters stories report on the sale.

Small Sale: Inca Pacific Resources put out a press release to announce their acquisition of Anaconda Peru's 51% interest in the Magistral Project in Ancash for US $2,100,000 thus increasing its interest to 100%." Antofagasta had announced the sale last month.

Copa America: Reuters reports on AToledo's request and Copa America's denial (by the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol) "to stage the opening match in the ancient city of Cusco. Instead, the former Inca capital which lies 3,300 metres above sea level, was given only the third-place playoff while the tournament will kick off in Lima." Toledo upped the ante by making the ask on live television. CONMEBOL gives it's own version of the meeting in Peru. Reuters reminds that Cusco-based Cienciano won the Copa Sudamericana last year. Peru will spend about US$13 million in stadium refurbishments for the tournament. Reuters has several photos including one of Nicolas Leoz, CONMEBOL's president. The Associated Press and Reuters show AToledo holding "a replica cup." The matches will be played from July 6-25.

More Justice: The World Bank approved a loan for the Justice Services Modernization Project "to improve the delivery of justice services, strengthen justice sector institutions, and enhance public confidence in the justice system." The US$12 million project will also seek to enhance "access to justice for Peruvian society, in particular the poor, in cooperation with civil society organizations."

Art Exhibits: Colorado's Denver Post once again highlights several exhibits in museums with a Peruvian Angle including at the Denver Art Museum, The Museo de las Americas and the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. "The Museo exhibit closes Saturday, and the Arvada Center's photography show comes down on Sunday." For the politics behind some of these museum exhibits, see "Museums & Mining Co." in February 12's Peruvia.

Boxer Requiem: The Miami Herald runs a mini-profile of boxer Luis Villaltas but yesterday's Star-Ledger is more exhaustive. (See 'Boxer Hurt' in Peruvia throughout last week.)


Sunday, March 07, 2004

Calling Pacaran: The Associated Press reports from Pacaran on "how cell phones make medical reporting possible "[s]ince most of rural Peru lacks Internet connections, isolated health workers are often left to rely on paper medical reports that can take weeks to get back to Lima -- giving epidemics a head start on the Health Ministry." Though the piece, reported by Drew Benson, sometimes comes close to being a press release for Telefonica, it details the practical power of technology.

Boxer 'El Puma' Reprise: New Jersey's Star-Ledger offers a large personal profile of nine-time Peruvian lightweight boxing champion Luis Villalta's tragic death including his "flipp[ing] burgers at a McDonald's in Hillsborough, N.J." while he was on an athlete's visa in the USA. Florida's Sun-Sentinel responds to the boxer's death by calling "for stricter medical guidelines and more medical testing for boxers."

More Mummies: MSNBC runs an update of Reuter's Mummy story with additional photographs. Today's print New York Times runs the Tania Mellado's Reuters piece as well.

AFF Diatribe: China's Xinhua Net reviews AFujimori's Saturday radio address in Tokyo on Saturday, repeating his claims that AToledo "was 'ransacking' the country and leading it to an 'abyss.' "

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