Friday, April 02, 2004

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

A Sad Story: For all those with sadistic tendencies, the Spanish-language USA channel Telemundo will be re-broadcasting the Perú vs Colombia World Cup qualifying match tomorrow at 4:00pm (ET)/1:00pm (PT). (See 'Bad News' in yesterday's Peruvia.)

Golden Numbers: Dow Jones focuses on the rising price of gold that has "sparked a new gold rush in Peru, pegged to become the world's fifth leading producer of the precious metal by 2005." Companies invested $130 million in exploration last year, compared with $49 million in 2002. Output was 11,000 kgs in 1989 and could reach 180 metric tons in 2005. Quoted in the story are Bob Baxter (Chariot Resources), Carlos Galvez, (Minas Buenaventura). Also mentioned: Yanacocha, La Zanja, Las Bambas and the Alto Chicama.

War of the Pacific, cont: China's Xinhua Net pushes a story on the cover of several Peruvian dailies: "Alejandro Toledo reiterated on Thursday the existence of the maritime border dispute with Chile." While Chile leans on some 1954 accords, "Toledo said the bilateral ties and friendship could be boosted if Chile recognized the controversy and adopted the most apropriate means to solve the dispute."

- Namibia's New Era reports that Peru is threatening their grape production: "Today we have realised that increased competition from new early table grape-producing countries such as Brazil and Peru means that we must focus more on quality and yield rather than earliness of harvest."
- Washington State's Tri-City Herald states that "[Asparagus] Growers and processors have been battered for the past seven years by low-priced imports from Peru and high labor costs," according to Alan Schreiber, executive director of the Washington State Asparagus Commission. The United Press International gets on the band-wagon as well and leads with "Cheap labor in Mexico and Peru is threatening the existence of California's asparagus industry, which has abandoned a third of its acreage in three years," following up an earlier story by the Los Angeles Times. (See 'Tensions Over Asparagus' in Wednesday's Peruvia below.)
- A Maryknoll magazine profiles Karen and Jim Halberg Weaver, Maryknoll Lay Missioner and their work in Casa Karibu Sze-Ming in Peru's altiplano.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that the "March tax revenues rose 13.1 percent in inflation-adjusted terms to 2.086 billion soles ($603 million) compared with the same month in 2003, bolstered by a new duty on banking transactions," according to SUNAT's Nahil Hirsh.
- Reuters reports that Peru "will in a few weeks send the International Monetary Fund proposed economic targets to qualify for a new stand-by credit line," according to Peru's Deputy Finance Minister Kurt Burneo.
- The Miami Herald (fourth item) repeats yesterday's low inflation reports. (See yesterday's Bloomberg report in Peruvia below.)
- Reuters reports that Sempra Energy International and Public Service Enterprise Group "sold 12 percent of the shares they own in Peru's power distributor Luz del Sur for 216.2 million soles (US$62.4 million)."
- BNAmericas relays that Minera Buenaventura "reported a net profit of US$48.2mn in 2003." However, this is bad news because it was "56.3% less than the US$110.5mn obtained in 2002." It names 'derivatives' as the culprit.
- BNAmericas reports that "a user protest group told national government representatives at a public meeting that there should be 'absolutely no participation from the private sector' in Peruvian capital Lima's water utility Sedapal," according to Flavio Ausejo, a representative of waterworks regulator SUNASS. This comes, in part, as a response to P-PK's remarks that "more private involvement could be sought for the country's water sector to improve coverage."

Peruvian Food: Portland's Colombian reviews Andina Novo, a Peruvian restaurant attracts "well-heeled, chic diners willing to invest in $12 entrees at lunch." In addition: "Thanks to diverse climate and geography encompassing a long coastline, jungles, highlands and mountains, Peru's cuisine embraces a varied palate of ingredients." NOTE: Last Friday, the Washington Post reviewed The Nibbler, "a Peruvian restaurant, run by the German former executive chef of a major (then) Japanese-owned Washington hotel and his Filipino wife, with a name that sounds like a salad bar but which serves the heartiest of South American comfort fare."

The Arts:
- Colorado's Post Independent reports on the Aspen Filmfest's Shortsfest which will include the Spanish film, Night in Lima. Film Synopsis: A once-aspiring photojournalist, Marko recalls the pivotal moment when dreams, death, insomnia and intoxication precipitated his ultimate retreat. Set in Lima, Peru, 1992, amidst the Shining Path's final wave of violence, Marko learns about the fleeting quality of life through an encounter with Rivera, a camera mercenary hooked on the adrenaline of the front line." The 15-minute film is directed by Carlos Carcas.
- San Diego's Union-Tribune relates that Leanne Michael will "interpret this year's signature piece, 'Four o'Clock or The Marvel of Peru,' a Moghul still-life from about 1640" at the San Diego Museum of Art's 23rd annual 'Art Alive' exhibition which opens today.

Lies about 1956: - Colorado's Gazette leads a story with: "It's not every day a country calls time out in the middle of a civil war to watch a few basketball games. Legend has it that's what happened for four days in Peru in 1956 when the Harlem Globetrotters played there for four days." Where in the world are such 'legends' perpetuated? Try the Official Harlem Globetrotters Timeline where they claim: " Peru: a nasty civil war is put on hold for four days to allow the Globetrotters to play a few games. When the team's plane departs the war resumes."


Thursday, April 01, 2004

De Soto Wins Prize: The Cato Institute announced that Hernando de Soto is the recipient of their bi-annual Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty which comes accompanied with US$500,000. De Soto was recognized largely for his work on property rights. The Associated Press and the Financial Times are among the first to relay the information. A later United Press International piece includes some quotes from HdSoto upon receiving word of the prize: "an enormous honor for me and my associates who worked, and in some cases, died for the cause of liberty."

Bad News: Reuters delivers a stunning headline: "Colombia stuns Peru for first qualifying win" with a 2-0 win.

More Crime: The Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer writes on the crime rising across the continent. He pushes a new poll by Graciela Romer and Associates and a World Health Organization quote ("Latin America is the world's most violent region") and then writes that, "In the past decade, homicide rates have risen by 380 percent in Peru." Separately, Latinamerica Press reports on a new study by the Special Commission for the Integral Reform of the Justice System (CERIAJUS) which stated that "nine million Peruvians, a third of the population, lack access to the justice system."

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Bloomberg reports that Peru's annual inflation rate dropped to 2.8 percent in March, within 0.3 percentage point of the government's year-end target, from 3.4 percent in February. Peru's central bankers "will probably hold benchmark lending rates at a record low after the inflation rate fell to a three-month low in March on declining food costs," according to Vikash Panda of 4Cast Inc.


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Peru vs. Colombia: The Associated Press and Reuters offers photos about the Peru/Colombia World Cup Qualifying match tonight including a couple of Peruvian Shamans "spit[ting] a ceremonial elixir over a Colombian t-shirt and puppet, which represents soccer player Juan Pablo Angel." Other photos include Claudio Pizarro with a fan, among other photos. One player that will not appear at the game tonight: Nolberto Solano.

IADB in Lima, cont: The IADB meetings are wrapping up its annual meeting, "the regions oldest and largest creditor - which lends about $8 billion annually in Latin America - finds itself facing key decisions on how it lends, its response to the private sector and how to measure the results of its work." Reuters leads with P-PKuczynski making news, declaring that on Friday "European finance ministers are going to take a preliminary or final decision ... on whom to recommend as managing director of the International Monetary Fund." Among the photographs the wires provide of the clsoing of the meetings:
- the Associated Press offered more photos of "union workers protest[ing] during a demonstration against this week's meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank."
- the Associated Press has EIglesias giving AToledo "a collection of the flags of IDB member nations."
- Reuters shows P-PKuczynski with
- Reuters offers a close-up of Enrique Iglesias wearing a chullo.

Tensions Over Asparagus: The Los Angeles Times runs a business-of-Asparagus story that mentions Peru five times. "The California asparagus industry, which grows 80% of the nation's fresh asparagus, is in crisis, upended by the gales of global trade. " Who gets the blame? "Because of Peru's mild climate, it can produce asparagus nearly year-round, and that has exacerbated California farmers' problems." (See also 'No Asparagus?' in February 6's Peruvia.)

Tensions Over Tree Frogs: The Watley Review has an article on American poultry producers that includes a representative saying, "We are sick and tired of people eating ... Peruvian tree frogs, or lemurs or whatever, and saying it tastes like chicken."

Modernizing the Amazon? The Seattle Weekly previews Ted Conover's new book which will be about globalization and what it means when that remote tribe in Peru is contacted by the 21st century for the first time. It will be a very different kind of engagement with the subject.” Last June, Conover wrote "Peru's Highway of Dreams On Assignment" in the National Geographic Magazine.

Please, No More Conversions! Israel's Arutz Sheva reports that there may be an easing of the "enforced freeze of aliya" from Peru. (See also 'Please, No More Conversions!, cont' in March 23's Peruvia.)

USA Taxes in Peru: A Q&A in Bank Rate raises an interesting question tax question: "I am a U.S. citizen, married to a Peruvian woman, and as of May 2003 ..."

Sad Story, cont: Florida's Palm Beach Post follows on yesterday's Sun-Sentinel story on Monica Marina Rivera-Valdizan's tragic murder.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

IADB in Lima, cont: Agence France Press, the Associated Press, Xinhua Net, and the USA government all report on the opening of the IADB meetings. Among the issues including Peru:
- Reuters reports that Peru has joined Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina "in calling on the International Monetary Fund to be more flexible in applying accounting rules in order not to stifle growth."
- Reuters describes the politics behind choosing the new leader of the International Monetary Fund, and shows Peru trying to throw its weight around, including quotes from AToledo and P-PKuczynski on their support for the nominee from Spain. Reuters also shows AToledo decorating Spain Economy Minister Rodrigo Rato, and IMF nominee, with the 'Orden del Sol.'
- Reuters quotes Pedro- Pablo Kuczynski pushing "for support for small and medium-sized companies who had limited access to credit and are often outside the formal economy."
- Several photos of the event include Reuters with AToledo and EIglesias, another with with AToledo, EIglesias and P-PK, still another one with AToledo on the big screen.
- The Associated Press and Reuters shows disgruntled "Peruvian workers holding posters reading 'BID boicot.'

Other Trade News:
- Pakistan's Dawn reports that "Peru has imposed 34.66 per cent anti-dumping duty on Pakistan's fabrics," and suggest that this was a result of a "complaint of Peru Pima Sa - a textile company - [who] initiated an anti-dumping case on July 26, 2002 against five Pakistani exporters, alleging that they were dumping fabrics in Peruvian markets."
- China's Xinhua Net reports that, in Ecuador, "Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador are to hold joint negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement with the United States in May."
- A Tech Central Station opinion piece argues that it is a fair and good trade to have Starbucks in Lima and Peruvian restaurants in Portland. See also 'Redeeming Value?' in January 22's Peruvia.

Just Technology: BNAmericas reports that "Peru's judicial system is investing a total of US$8.2 million to overhaul its technology system, and is seeking further financing to continue with additional projects," according to the judicial system's general manager, Hugo Suero. Fedadoi is funding this effort, including the software platform, called the Integrated Peruvian Justice System.

AFF, cont: While the Associated Press reports that "a Peruvian court has approved a request to have ex-President Alberto Fujimori testify by a satellite link" in VMontesinos' bribery trial. Japan's Kyodo News reports that "Peru believes Japan will not extradite" AFujimori and "therefore take the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague once it receives Tokyo's official refusal."

War of the Pacific, II: The Washington Times reviews how things stand between those who participated in the War of the Pacific: Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The article includes quotes from an interview with Bolivian president, Carlos Mesa, as well as economist Jeffrey Sachs. Xinhua Net reports that Peruvian Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez said yesterday "that the sea border dispute between Peru and Chile was still 'an issue to be negotiated' as no agreement had been signed yet." This despite former Chilean President Eduardo Frei and current Chilean Foreign Minister Soledad Alvear recently affirming "that the 'issue is resolved.' " The Washington Times also re-runs the the UPI report that from 'War of the Pacific, II' in March 24's Peruvia below. (See also 'War of the Pacific, II" for the orginial story used by the Washington Times, in March 24 below.)

Peru vs. Colombia: The Associated Press suggests that the Peruvian National Team is ready for the match with Colombia.

Sad Story, cont: Florida's Sun-Sentinel follows up on the kidnapping and murder of nanny Monica Marina Rivera-Valdizan and reports that the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has released a composite sketch of a man they want to question. For more information, see 'People' in Wednesday 25's Peruvia.


Monday, March 29, 2004

IADB in Lima, cont: Reuters leads this morning from Lima with the Inter-American Development Bank's annual report which "forecasts four percent growth for Latin America in 2004, driven by the global recovery and demand from China's booming economy."
Also, IADB related:
- China's Xinhua Net reports that the Organization of American States' Secretary General Cesar Gaviria declared that the OAS "would not intervene in the extradition of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori from Japan." Gaviria is in Lima for the IADB meetings.
- Russia's Pravda adds to the chorus of critics on the IADB's Camisea loan quoting Jon Sohn of Friends of the Earth, "Camisea is an environmental disaster and the IDB should stop supporting this nonsense with US taxpayer dollars given the issues of non-compliance." (See 'Camisea Controversy' in yesterday's Peruvia.)
- The Miami Herald touts the "traveling road show promoting Miami as the preferred site for a free-trade headquarters" by a Florida delegation to the IADB meetings, headed by Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood and Miami-based businessman Charles Cobb.

False Transcript: The New York Times reviews USA Today reporter Jack Kelley's fabrication of stories and reveals that elements of Kelley's reporting on the missionary plane shot down near Iquitos, particularly his cover story on April 26, 2001, was "suspect." Challenged in the article is the verbatim "contents of a cockpit recording made on a C.I.A.-operated surveillance plane over Peru that was tracking a plane of missionaries." The transcripts were apparently false.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Syntroleum put out a press release to announce they had "closed the sale of its 95 percent interest in the Exploration License for Block Z-1, offshore Peru to Nuevo Peru."

Retrospective: Canada's National Post runs an introspective piece by a reporter who writes, "When I was 26 and dispatched on my first assignment to the interior of Peru as a foreign correspondent, I met a little girl at an army base who has haunted me ever since. Her name was Adelia, and she must have been six years old. According to the Peruvian military commander at the base, she had been found by a patrol in a remote village. Her parents had been killed by Shining Path guerrillas."


Sunday, March 28, 2004

"Less Debt": Reuters reviews Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski's interview with RPP radio where he indicated that that "Peru expects to cut its debt servicing charges by $300 million a year" through debt re-structuring. "Servicing Peru's $22.768 billion foreign debt -- which represents 37.3 percent of gross domestic product -- will cost $2.4 billion in interest alone this year."

IADB in Lima, cont: Reuters covers the gamut on stories as 6,000 officials and bankers from 46 countries arrive in Lima on the eve of the IADB meetings. There are some gloomy pieces like this one which offers skeptical views of the Latin American economy by Agustin Carstens, the International Monetary Fund's deputy managing director, ("A rise in U.S. interest rates and weak banking supervision could undermine Latin America's fledgling economic recovery.") and Guillermo Calvo, chief economist for IADB, ("The biggest risk that we see for Latin America in the future is a possible raise in interest rates in the United States.") There are also some sunnier pieces like this one which uses the Institute of International Finance's press conference to report that, "[a] global recovery will pull Latin America out of a prolonged economic slump this year." This interview with Guillermo Perry, the World Bank's chief economist for Latin America who says: "Latin America is set to post solid growth in the next few years, but the region must get its act together to reduce its vulnerability to the next global slowdown or financial crisis." A piece on the Andean Development Corporation, or CAF, which "expects to issue around $1 billion in debt this year, spread between the United States, European, Japanese and Latin American markets." A separate piece reviews the IADB's policies on the $38 billion in remittances Latin America and Caribbean workers sent to their families back home in 2003. La Republica has a section dedicated to the Banks' events.

Camisea Controversy: International events like the IADB meetings are also opportunities for others to get press attention and Amazon Watch does just that with a press release focusing on the IADB's September 2003 $75 million loan for the controversial Camisea gas project which, according to Amazon Watch, "is paving the way for the destruction of some of the world's most pristine rainforests and threatening the lives isolated indigenous peoples. Indigenous leaders are also concerned that the project consortia are attempting to divide and weaken local indigenous organizations and manipulate local and national authorities to serve their own interests." Reuters says they have received the leaked IADB documents as well as a Health Ministry study that said:"Between May 2002 and May 2003, 22 indigenous people died after exposure to respiratory illnesses from gas pipeline workers and 30 percent of the 500-strong Nanti tribe has died since 1995." Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria had the official government reponse: "No one has been able to prove the source of any deaths. This rumor about epidemics is repeated every few years." The Miami Herald (last item) has IADB president Enrique Iglesias defending the loan. The BBC adds that "Peru had hoped the loan would be signed at the annual Inter-American Development Bank meeting it is hosting in Lima. It hopes the Camisea Project will add 1% a year to Peru's economic growth. " See also an Amazon Watch press release from March 16 that suggests they may be getting the upper hand in this debate.

FZevallos' 3rd Trial: The Associated Press runs a large piece on Fernando Zevallos, AeroContinente's founder, and his "third drug-related trial." Reporter Rick Vecchio says that "U.S. law enforcement documents ... allege Fernando Zevallos has used bribes, threats and intimidation to scare off witnesses and manipulate Peru's justice system during his rise to the highest levels of the nation's business community." Key to this new round is Jorge Lopez, the head of the Peruvian drug gang "Los Nortenos." "Lopez was convicted for Peru's largest drug bust of the past decade -- the 1995 seizure of 3.3-tons of cocaine destined for Guadalajara, Mexico." The piece is full of detail including the suggestion of how AeroContinente purchased its first Boeing jet in 1992; that the San Martin-born Zevallos "became a pilot in the mid-1970s as a cadet in Peru's air force. In 1980, he founded a charter plane company, Tausa, with a single Cessna." Today, AeroContinente runs "40 flights a day with its 23 aircraft, Aero Continente had $140 million in sales in 2003 and controls about 60 percent of Peru's aviation market," according to the company. Earlier: See 'Lots of Coke' in February 13's Peruvia.

Boston Says NO to Pollo a la Brasa: The Boston Globe says that local restaurant Cabrera's Restaurant wants to sell 'pollos a la braza,' Peruvian-style charcoal-cooked chicken," but the city won't give them the permit to use the appropirate stove. Meanwhile, the Cabrera family said the stove "cost $4,000 to ship from Peru and about $6,000 to install safely in the restaurant's kitchen." They have met "several times with Mayor James J. Fiorentini." What may portend as a great danger to Peruvians in the USA: "The Cabreras have given Osborne and the mayor a list of restaurants and states that use the Peruvian stove. Osborne said he contacted multiple restaurants to find out how the appliance was certified in other locations, but that he has not been able to find a restaurant that admits to using the charcoal cooker."

Vampire Bats Near Trujillo: Several South African news sources and The Australian claim that "at least 20 people were attacked and bitten by vampire bats as they returned home from work in the jungle community of Mansiche." The piece quotes one Luis Suarez, the head of the Ministry of Health's Office of Epidemiology.

- Reuters gets several photos preparing for their World Cup qualifying match against Colombia on March 31.
- Reuters says that Copa America hosts Peru have defused a row over hotel accommodation, which had prompted Ecuador to threaten a boycott of the competition. Peruvian Football Federation president Manuel Burga said that "Argentina had agreed to share their hotel with the Ecuadoreans, who claimed their reservations had been cancelled in favour of the twice world champions."
- The Washington Post profiles high schooler Mario Bazan who "balances soccer and school" in Virginia.

Whose Passion, cont: Hollywood's Variety says that Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" is "hot in Latin America" and in Peru, 'Passion' is second only to Spider Man at the box office. (See 'Whose Passion' in yesterday's Peruvia.)

Macro/Micro Econ:
- BNAmericas reports that bids for the Bayóvar phosphates project in Piura are now being accepted, accrording to ProInversión.
- the Agre Report states that "Peru expects this year's cane sugar output to drop 7% on account of severe drought at the beginning of the year."

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