Friday, March 26, 2004

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

IADB in Lima, cont: Reuters leads with "Latin America should show economic growth of 4 percent this year," in their daily article from the Inter-American Development Bank meetings in Lima. The Associated Press offers more photographs of Enrique Iglesias, president of the Inter-American Development Bank, with AToledo during their visit to shantytown Villa El Salvador while Reuters has the duo out and about. The president lets a photo get taken of him on a weight bench.
Italy's Agenzia Giornalistica reports on Lombardy Region governor Roberto Formigoni who is in Lima participating in the meetings. And the Korea Times reports that Korea is dispatching "a delegation to Peru to win support for the country's bid to join the Inter-American Development Bank," led by Vice Finance-Economy Minister Kim Gwang-lim.

Andes are 'Teetering': The Miami Herald runs an opinion piece that begins: "The Andean region is teetering on the verge of collapse, and the implications are serious for the security of the United States and the Western Hemisphere." It is written by Dan Christman and John Heimann, affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations' commissioned Andes 2020: A New Strategy for the Challenges of Colombia and the Region. For more, see 'CFR Report on Andes' in January 8's Peruvia.

A Heavy Burden: The New York Times includes Porter (or 'Cargador') the new film by Juan Alejandro Ramírez (second item), as part of the The 33rd New Directors/New Films Series. The 20-minute film will be shown at The Gramercy Theater, on April 3 at 1:30 pm and April 4 at 6:00 pm. Film Synopsis: "Day after day a Peruvian porter carries provisions for tourists up and down the Andes. Burdened with his load, he muses about what meaning his life may have."

Whose Passion?: The Pacific News Service runs a review of 'The Passion of the Christ' by a "a self proclaimed, Latin-Catholic-evangelical-Afro-Baptist-Pentecostal post modernist" - - and a paisano. Agence France Press offers a photograph of "Peruvian clergymen walk out of the cinema after watching Mel Gibson's controversial biblical blockbuster."

Another Passion: Both Reuters and the Associated Press exhibit the same fever: A-L-I-A-N-Z-A Lima.

Looking for You? Florida's Ocala Star Banner says that the producers of the upcoming film 'The Celestine Prophecy' are looking for "a diverse group of local actors, models and everyday people ... who look like the typical Peruvian." For more background, see 'Extra' in January 23's Peruvia.

AFF's Numbers: The New York Times includes yesterday's Transparency International's report on embezzling leaders and includes: "Alberto Fujimori (Peru, 1990-2000), $600 million." (See 'AFF is #7' in yesterday's Peruvia below.)

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that the International Finance Corporation said "it would sell part of its 5 percent stake Yanacocha in a sale it expected to raise $75 million to $100 million."
- Reuters reports that "Peru's gold, copper and zinc output is expected to rise slightly in 2004," according to the National Society of Energy, Mining and Petroleum.
- Compania de Minas Buenaventura released a press release after their Annual General Shareholders' meeting with auditing and dividend information.
- Hunt Oil put out a press release expressing their interest in "a new natural gas liquefaction plant in Peru."


Thursday, March 25, 2004

AFF Reports In: The Associated Press, Kyodo News, and Xinhua Net report that Fujimori "has informed Peru's Supreme Court that he will appoint an attorney to defend himself against charges of corruption and human rights abuse." All of these reports seem to be based on the Andina news agency. "This is the first time that Fujimori has made any response to the Peruvian authorities about the criminal charges against him." Xinhua quotes Supreme Court Justice Jose Luis Lecaros declaring that Fujimori "had sent the defendant paper from Japan to the court via his attorney Raquel Cabrera Bazan."

AFF is #7: Transparency International released their Global Corruption Report 2004 which ranks Fujimori #7 in their Top Ten list of political embezzlers. Fujimori's booty is estimated at US$ 600 million. You can download the whole report or print out the section on Peru on pages 27 - 33 here.

IADB in Lima: Reuters released a general piece on the Inter-American Development Bank's Board meetings taking place in Lima. The Miami Herald reports that "a Florida delegation will travel to Lima today to hold a series of meetings with Peruvian officials and attendees at the Inter-American Development Bank annual meeting." Florida's Sun-Sentinel is blunter and declares that Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood is leading the team to Lima specifically "to push Miami's bid as headquarters for the proposed 34-nation Free Trade Area of the Americas pact."

- Reuters has a photo of Valeria Merea Silva winning the women's 50m breaststroke final at the South American Championship, in Uruguay.
- Associated Press has a photo of Brazilian Paulo Autori, coach of Peru's National team during a press conference about the World Cup 2006 qualifier match between Peru and Colombia in a on March 31.

Coca Chewers: The Associated Press offers photographs of coca farmers protesting and "demanding the release of one of their prominent leaders."

Being Poor 'Not That Bad': The British Melton Times reports that "Life's Not All That Bad in Lima's Shanty Towns," in a story on a local woman who is filming a documentary for EveryChild's Work. She declares, "One thing I did notice about the children was they are all extremely happy, even given their situation. They were lovely."

Ucayali Drilling: Gestion is reporting that Perupetro "is about to sign the concession contract for petroleum exploration and production in Lot 100, with the Peruvian Compania Consultora de Petroleo," in Ucayali.

Nazca Still Has Pollution: The BBC's Hannah Hennessy runs with an evergreen story and returns to Nazca and pollution. For other examples, including quotes from Alberto Urbano, see 'Trash and Tourists in Nazca' in February 1's Peruvia.


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

War of the Pacific, II: The United Press International places the recent frigate purchase in "an arms race" context between Chile and Peru. The piece is full of MiGs, Soyuz, Leopards, Black Hawks, and even T-82 tanks. It also suggests that Chile's purchase of four new missile frigates from the Netherlands "influenced Peru's decision to double" the number of frigates that it's buying. Also included: the "recent border incident in which Chilean marines shot and killed a Peruvian civilian who was allegedly crossing into Chile illegally." Extra detail: the piece suggest that the Peruvian Air Force overpowers its Chilean counterpart. (See 'War of the Pacific, Redux' in Monday's Peruvia below.) Separately: MercoPress runs an article today on "Bolivia remembers loss of Pacific access."

Peruvian Submarine, cont: Florida's Pensacola News Journal (third item) reports that a Peruvian submarine is "set to depart Pensacola Naval Air Station today." It had formed part of the recent USS John F. Kennedy carrier strike group training exercises. "The submarine belonged to the opposing force in the war simulation exercise." (See also 'Peruvian Submarine' in March 15's Peruvia.)

Copa America: The Associated Press has a boring story while Reuters has an invigorating one on Sporting Cristal's victory over Argentina's Rosario Central. Says Reuters: "Captain Jorge Soto scored with a bicycle kick and also converted a penalty to help Peru's Sporting Cristal hammer Rosario Central of Argentina 4-1 in the first round of the Americas Cup. Meanwhile, Reuters inserts some soap-opera news to the tournament reporting that Ecuador threatened pull out of the Copa America "saying their hotel accommodation had been cancelled in favour of Argentina." Reuters offers photos of the Cienciano game as well as the Cristal game.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- the Associated Press offers photos (but no story yet): "a union worker waves Peruvian and Cuban flags during a demonstration in downtown Lima."
- Panoro Minerals released a press release announcing that they have "resumed drilling at its El Rosal property in Peru following a number of mechanical problems with equipment of the former drill contractor which has now been replaced."
- Sulliden Exploration put out a press release announcing that they were about to acquire a 66-per-cent interest in two concessions located adjacent to its Shahuindo gold/silver project" in the Cachachi district of Cajamarca.
- Air Canada released a press release today announcing that "it will continue to expand its services to Latin America with the introduction of non-stop flights from Toronto to Caracas, Venezuela; Bogota, Colombia, and Lima, Peru."
- Reuters reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp "awarded a leaching project at its Toquepala mine to Peruvian firm Cosapi, and the new process would save it $25 million a year."
- BNAmericas reports that Phelps Dodge "is about to give the go-ahead to a US$400mn-US$700mn expansion project at its Cerro Verde mine in southern Peru."
- IADB Conference: Reuters gets AToledo in the same frame as Enrique Iglesias.

From North and East:
- North Carolina's Channel 14 television station reports that the town of Gastonia has become the sister city Santiago de Surco, a Lima suburb. Participating in the local ceremony was Santiago de Surco Mayor Carlos Dargent Chamot. (Archive: See this Dargent profile from Pittsburgh's Tribune Review.)
- India's Delhi's Newsline informs that a the play, "Jameela Bai Kalaali," will be perfomed again. The drama was "adapted from Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa's La Chunga."


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

No More Spies: Agence France Press, the BBC, Reuters, the United Press International and Xinhua Net all report on the dissolution of Peru's National Intelligence Council [CNI] following years of corruption. Most articles include the tale of Ricardo Arbocco, the newly appointed spy chief who had to step down amid a corruption investigation before his first day of work. Reuters says that Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero said "Toledo had ordered the National Intelligence Council, or CNI, closed and had given experts 90 days to come up with an alternative." The Associated Press and Reuters accompany the story with photographs.

Please, No More Conversions!, cont.: Israels' Arutz Sheva has an opinion column on the recent change in the Knesset which "enforced freeze of aliya from Peru. "The Jews of Peru are poor, scared and certainly do not receive sufficient aid from American Jewry. They wish to leave the turmoil of their troubled nation behind them for a better life in a land that is truly theirs. Israel is theirs, held in trust by the Israelis, who have no more a claim to it than any of their brethren. For Israel to bar their entrance is in violation of a the Law of Return and constitutes a moral violation of the highest order." (See also, 'Please, No More Conversions!' in Friday, March 12's Peruvia.)

Macro/Micro Econ:
- The Associated Press reports with photos on Inter-American Development Bank Enrique Iglesias upon his arrival in Lima for the IADB's annual board of directors meeting.
- Bloomberg and Reuters report that Peru sold their entire stake in the oil refinery Refineria La Pampilla (majority-owned by Spain's Repsol YPF), for $71 million, cutting the price as the government seeks to revive the country's asset sales program."

Whose Coca? The New York Times includes Peru in an article on the evaluation of coca eradication in the Andes: "Peru registered a drop of 15 percent, but Bolivia charted a 17 percent increase." Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reports that "Peru expects to start formal talks with the U.S. government in May ... to negotiate a free-trade agreement that would help develop alternatives to drug trafficking for farmers in the Andean countries." For names of the sticking points/companies, see 'Free Trade? II' in March 18's Peruvia below.

McD Tried to Buy BEMBOS! Reuters publishes a feature story on ... Bembos Burger Grill chain including 42 year-old founder Carlos Camino who states, "I knew there was a market for high-quality fast-food." The 26 Bembo's in Lima now bring in USD$14 million in annual sales. Future markets: Mexico, Central America and the USA. No longer on the list: Bolivia. Most surprising detail: "We use Argentinian beef because we feel it is the best, but our fries are from the United States. Peru has so many types of potatoes that locally-produced fries were too complicated." Reuters also offers a photograph/advertisement. (Click here for a Bembo's history. Going to Lima? Print your Bembo's coupons here.)

- The Denver Post reports on Jan Folsom's current exhbity, 'Images of Peru' at the Boettcher Concert Hall, "a collection of 75 colorful images of the country and its people that she has taken during the past six years."
- Cuba's Granma offers a profile of Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, the UN special rapporteur to the Human Rights Commission (HRC), who declared that "when mercenaries are contracted under the shadowy signature of governments or state agencies that want to destabilize or destroy a country, they end up being terrorists." Bernales concludes his United Nations mandate this year.

- Footy Mad! claims that "Nobby Solano's hamstring injury is not believed to be as bad as first feared and the Peruvian international is targetting the game against Manchester City in which to make his return."
- The International Badminton Federation annouces that Lorena Blanca of Peru is one of the first two Olympic contenders set for Athens 2004.


Monday, March 22, 2004

War of the Pacific, Redux:
- a). The MercoPress reports on the purchase of four missile frigates Type Luppo from Italy (which doubles the original purchase intention of two frigates). The stated purpose of the purchase: to maintain a “strategic balance” with neighbouring Chile that has acquired several high technology units as part of its fleet renewal process. See here for more on the frigates.
- b). The Los Angeles Times runs a feature story that declares that Bolivia's landlocked nature and the War of the Pacific are 'controversies' that are "simmering anew." Reporting from Iquique, the story states that some "pro-Bolivian statements made by a few civic leaders in northern Chile have given the Bolivians hope" and suggests that "a few people think giving the Bolivians some land isn't such a bad idea." The piece also clearly states: Neither Iquique nor Arica to the north was ever part of Bolivia — before the War of the Pacific began in 1879, both were Peruvian ports.
- c). Earlier, Dow Jones reported earlier that Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero said that Peru "is working to settle an outstanding dispute with Chile over their maritime border." While Chile considered the issue 'closed,' Ferrero made clear he wants "the maritime boundary more to the south."

In Doe Run's Defense: Scripps News Service offers an opinion piece on Doe Run Peru which began an investment in Peru in 1998 and “promised to quickly begin a massive cleanup called the Program to Administer and Maintain (improve) the Ambient (environment), or PAMA.” The writer, Michael Fumento, is affiliated with the Hudson Institute. This version of the story from his own website is hyper-linked and includes photographs with captions like, “La Oroya is hell no more.” NOTE: “Unfortunately, there's little historical data on blood lead levels in children because tests were conducted differently each time, leaving apples-to-oranges comparisons.” ALSO: “But sadly just as environmentalists rightly complained about the La Oroya facility when it was state-run, now groups with names like EarthJustice and the InterAmerican Association for Environmental Defense are playing DRP as the villain. Yet all they are really claiming is that the place isn't yet as clean as grandma's kitchen floor.”

Fujimori 2006: The Associated Press reports from Lima that supporters of "disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori ... have registered a new political grouping which they hope will be the 'first step' toward his political comeback" changing 'Vamos Vecino' to 'Si Cumple.'

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Arabic News reports that "Peru and Morocco have reaffirmed their determination to further develop bilateral relations and diversify cooperation in all sectors," after a vist by Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros to Morocco.
- Dow Jones reports that "Peru's full Congress approved a reduction in the rate on the new financial sector transactions tax, or ITF, to 0.10% for this year" late last week.
- Reuters reports that the head of Mivivienda, Rene Cornejo, will be the next head of ProInversion, Peru's state investment agency.
- Dow Jones reports that the Inter-American Development Bank has delayed the final signing of $135 million in financing for the huge Camisea natural gas project due to environmental and social concerns."
- BNAmericas reports that the "giant Yanacocha gold mine in northern Peru's Cajamarca department plans capital investment of US$250mn-270mn this year," according to Newmont.
- BNAmericas reports that "US-based energy company Nuevo Energy Company is seeking one or more partners to share exploration costs on Peru's block Z-1."
- Bloomberg reports that Monterrico Metals said "estimates of copper and molybdenum reserves at its Rio Blanco project in Peru may increase after recent drilling at the mountaintop site in the Andes. Its shares rose as much as 9 percent."

Racism Against Peruvian: Virginia's Times Dispatch and the Associated Press report on Peruvian University of Virginia student, Luis Avila, and his US $300,000 lawsuit after being "assaulted at a party because of his ethnicity." A guilty plea and a prison sentence has already been meted out in the case. The campus paper, The Cavalier Daily provides some details: "The suit alleges that threats and phrases [were shouted] during the assault that were "motivated by animosity toward Mr. Avila because of Mr. Avila's racial and/or ethnic background." These are said to include, "You should go back to Mexico" and "You should be washing my dishes."

Grieving in Lima, cont: EFE reports on Jacqueline Contreras, "the 22-year-old Peruvian who died in the Madrid hospital where doctors tried to save her following the March 11 terrorist attack." Reuters offers photographs of her grieving family.

- The BBC and Reuters reports that Nolberto Solano will miss the March 31 World Cup qualifier at Lima against Colombia after pulling a hamstring during a match for English premier league Aston Villa. His recovery is likely to take around one month.
- On this day of the Priztker Award, the Miami Herald includes the Peruvian-born Bernardo Fort-Brescia in a piece on architecture.

Monster Disses Peru: Florida's St. Petersburg Times interviews Monster.com's CEO (it is an online job reference site) and asks him: "Were there any times when you didn't think you were going to make it at Monster?" His answer: "About six to eight weeks after we started, I had about 200 jobs on the site and they were all in Boston, and I had about 200 job seekers and they were all in Peru (laughs). "

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