Friday, April 09, 2004

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

Shaky Flight into Lima: Bloomberg and Dow Jones and newsites from Australia and Ireland report that "passengers on a flight from Madrid were in hospital in Peru today after being injured when their Iberia Airlines plane hit turbulence." The stories quote some passangers and make a note about "flying utensils." Bloomberg (citing the Agence France-Presse) puts the number of injured at 44 and noted there was "turbulence from a tropical storm." Dow Jones puts the number hospitalized at 20. Dow Jones also follows up reporting that "the U.S. Embassy notified American expatriates that U.S. personnel had been temporarily prohibited from flying Peru's largest airline, AeroContinente, 'because of reliability issues and operational concerns."

War of the Pacific, cont: The BBC Monitoring Service reports that President Ricardo Lagos Escobar of Chile has not ruled out the possibility of his country subjecting itself to international arbitration in its border dispute with Peru.

Strike Two, cont: BNAmericas reports that "FEMAPOR, the national maritime and port workers' federation representing striking stevedores that have brought Peru's Callao port to a standstill, will suspend their strike for Easter." The truce was arranged between Labor Minister Javier Neves Mujica and FEMAPOR General Secretary Sergio Valdivia. A BNAmericas editorial speaks to the cost of the strike.

Jesus in the Rimac: Reuters has several photos as does the Associated Press of Peruvian actor Mario Valencia, representing Jesus Christ, performs during the baptism ceremony in the Rimac river, something he has done for 19 years.

Who Is Killing the Fish? Reuters offers photos of dead fish washed up on near the Paracas nature reserve in Ica." The two suspects in the killing: fishmeal manufacturers and the new Camisea gas liquefying plant near Paracas.

Peace for Haiti: The Missionary Service News Agency reports that Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile "have expressed interest in providing troops for the multinational peacekeeping mission in Haiti," according to the Brazilian Defence Minister Jose Viegas.

Ballet Folklórico in NYC: The New York Times weekend section notes that the Ballet Folklórico del Peru' will be performing tonight at the City University of New York. (212) 817-8215.

- Reuters writes up Alianza Lima's 3-1 loss to Sao Paulo in the second round of the South American Libertadores Cup. Good photos are overwhelmed by the B-A-D.
- ic Birmingham says that Nolberto Solano may be ready for a match on Monday.

Coming From/Going to Peru: Maine's Times Record News reviews a trip to Peru that a group of Bowdoin University students just returned from: "Perhaps most surprising to the group was the ebullient nature of the children living in these areas. Although not rich by material measure, they possessed an unabashed spirit that was not at all dampened by the overwhelming poverty." Meanwhile, Britain's Lothian News reports on others preparing for "a two-week expedition to Peru with The Vine Trust which works with impoverished street children." The Vine Trust collaborates with "Scripture Union Peru with the development of street children’s work which cares for other 200 youngsters in Lima, the Amazon city of Iquitos and Kusi in the Andes."


Thursday, April 08, 2004

Toledo Televised: Reuters reports that "unpopular President Alejandro Toledo will spend his five-day Easter vacation acting as a tour guide for the Travel Channel as it races around the country filming a television special." The one-hour show will be aired "this fall to an estimated audience of 320 million worldwide." Toledo and EKarp will use the presidential plane and official helicopters to traverse the nation. "PromPeru will foot the bill." A Discovery/Travel channel representative said "it would cost more than $25 million to buy the equivalent amount of advertising air time."

FARC in Peru? China's Xinhua Net reports that the Peruvian Defense Ministry said "that a group of 25 people allegedly kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group were not in Peru." FARC weapon suppler Guerra Siquihua was arrested last March in Iquitos. ALSO: The New York Times runs a correction on a March 23 article that suggested that the Bush administration was using aerial spraying for drug eradication in Peru. It does not. For the original article, see "Whose Coca?" in the March 23 Peruvia.

Truth and Reconciliation, cont: The Church of England Newspaper has a profile on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's actions largely through the eyes of Commissioner Sofia Macher. Others cited include Reed Brody (Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch), Julie Guillerot (APRODEH), and Peace and Hope (Paz y Esperanza).

Strike One, Resolved:Just-Drinks and Reuters reveal that the "20-day strike that threatened to drain Peru of beer ended on Wednesday" after Backus y Johnston agreed to a pay rise for 310 workers at the country's largest brewery. The final pay raise: 2.80 soles, or US$0.81 a day. The workers had demanded a 5 soles-a-day salary hike.

Strike Two, Still Going: Dow Jones and Reuters report that the "eight-day strike by around 4,000 workers at Peru's biggest port has paralyzed the country's foreign trade and could affect the government's $10 billion export target this year," according to Foreign Trade Minister Alfredo Ferrero who suggested that "if no solution is found quickly we will have to declare our foreign trade in a state of emergency." Cited Facts: the revenue lost is $20 million a day; between 80 percent and 90 percent of Peru's foreign trade passes through Callao. (See yesterday's confusion in BNAmerica's report below.)

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that the "Camisea gas project is on course to bring natural gas to Lima by August 9," according to Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria. Tests this week "showed gas was successfully transiting the 750 miles (1,200 kms) of pipeline from the Camisea."
- India's Bharat Textile reports that the Asociacion de Exportadores (ADEX) is "looking for strategic alliances with foreign companies, with the aim of consolidating their exports.
- Bloomberg reports that Monterrico Metals said it "awarded contracts to consultants who will determine whether the company can develop its Rio Blanco project in Peru into a mine producing copper and molybdenum."
- Standard & Poor's Ratings reports that "Sempra Energy International's sale of its equity stake in Peruvian power distributor Luz del Sur will not affect ratings on Sempra Energy or its subsidiaries, but is beneficial to credit quality over the longer term.

- Reuters reports that the Peruvian National football coach, Paulo Autuori, says he "will not be pressured into resigning. Vice-presdient David Waisman has called for his resignation. Peru's next qualifier match is in June against Uruguay.
- Sports Illustrated reports that the Bundesliga's Schalke intends to sign Bayern Munich's Claudio Pizarro. Said Schalke manager Rudi Assauer to Sport Bild magazine, "Pizarro is an interesting player."
- Britain's Middlesborough FMTTM reports that Middlesbrough FC Safety Officer Ron Turnbull "will be representing the FA at a prestigious seminar in Peru ahead of the country hosting the South American equivalent of the European Championships." Peru will be hosting Copa America as well as the FIFA U-17 finals next year.

Paisano Prized: Cornell University's Daily Sun reports that Fernando A. Escobedo, a chemical engineering professor, has received a Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship that comes with $40,000. Escobedo is a graduate of the Universidad de San Agustin.

FOOD! The Miami Herald's cooking column includes this today: "This is a season for humitas, fresh corn tamales, and for malarrabia, the tasty mash of boiled plantains and cheese eaten for lunch on Good Friday in Piura." Also, the Miami Herald joyously reviews Alejandro Sucre's re-opened Tambo restaurant, now in Coral Gables. And finally, the LA Weekly food section Q&A has this query from a reader: "I have a date this Saturday with a lady from Peru. I would like to know any good Peruvian restaurants in the Hollywood area." In the answer: Peruvian restaurants are no "passion pits."


Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Getting In/Staying In USA: The Associated Press and the Voice of America report that the U.S. Coast Guard detained 35 Peruvian and Dominican migrants trying to reach Puerto Rico yesterday. The VOA quotes the AFP saying that "finding Peruvians at sea is unusual and that it is not clear how they ended up near Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that Florida Governor Jeb Bush now supports illegal foreigners obtaining driving licenses. Said the Governor: "We shouldn't allow them to come into the country to begin with, but once they're here, what do you do? Do you basically say they are lepers to society? That they don't exist?" More than 1 million people in Florida from other Latin American nations -- including Peru and the Dominican Republic.

Skiing in Peru: USA Water Ski announced that Peru is the host of the 2004 Pan American Water Ski Championships that begin today in Bujama Lacus, near Cañete. The biennial event runs through Sunday. (Location: Panamericana Sur, Km. 98.)

Who Threw the First Stone? Japan's Kyodo News reports that "several dozen opponents and supporters of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori clashed outside the Japanese Embassy in Lima. ... The skirmish occurred when the two groups began stoning each other, prompting the police to send a riot squad."

Alejandro & Zarai: The Associated Press and the BBC follow up on the Piura Court's order to AToledo "to pay 5 percent of his salary to support" Zarai Toledo. A 5 percent payment is approximately $420 a month. The Associated Press offers a photo of Zarai and her mother from 2002.

Patria Roja in Korea, cont: The Korean Central News Agency reports again from Pyongyang "on the occasion of the Day of the Sun" otherwise known as Kim Il Sung's birthday. Among those who celebrated were: the Lambayeque Province of Peru and the La Industria Newspaper Office of Peru.

Strike Two, cont: BNAmericas reviews the strike affecting port workers in Callao. Contradictory reports are reported, some suggesting that "the port is not paralyzed, vessels are being unloaded" while Ricardo de Guezala de la Flor, president of the Asociación Peruana de Agentes Marítimos (APAM), is quoted as saying that "six vessels anchored outside the port could not be unloaded." Cesar Grados, of the Federación Nacional de Trabajadores Marítimos y Portuarios, Fluviales y Lacustres del Perú (FEMAPOR) declared that "Callao port has been working at 30% capacity since the first day of the strike." Others cited: FEMAPOR general secretary Sergio Valdivia, Minister of Labor Javier Neves Mujica, and Luis Vega Monteferri, president of the Asociacion de Exportadores (ADEX).

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters reports that Peru will lobby the Paris Club "to accept a switch in the terms of its debt," according to Economy Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. P-PK suggested that 81% of Peru's foreign debt "comes due in the next decade because of debt restructuring dating from the late 1990s, and the toughest year will be 2012, when more than $3.5 billion must be repaid." This year, Peru will pay $2.2 billion to service its debt.
- Dow Jones reports that Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is scheduled to appear before Congress on April 15 and respond to 14 questions about "a water project known as Marca II." The project would connect two waterways in the Andes Mountains. Context: "Recent water shortages in the Lima area have raised the profile of the capital's water supplies."
- The Russian News Agency Novosti reviews the economic impact of the integration between the Comunidad Andina with Mercosur.
- Reuters states that mining exports are up 40 percent so far in 2004, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
- Solitario Resources put out a press release declaring their Letter of Agreement with Newmont Peru involving the La Tola property, "an early-stage gold exploration project situated in the heart of the rapidly emerging southern Peru gold belt."
- Bloomberg reports that Gloria, Peru's biggest dairy company, "will pay 62 million soles to shareholders."
- Canada's Inca Pacific Resources released a press release announcing their acquisition "of Anaconda Peru's 51% interest in the Magistral Project for US $2,100,000 thus increasing its interest to 100%."
- Reuters reported earlier on the lifting of the seasonal fishing ban for anchovy until April 16. "The government implemented the ban on Jan. 16 to protect fish stocks in the Pacific." Some facts cited: Peru is the world's largest producer of fishmeal. China is Peru's biggest fishmeal customer.

De Soto's Prize, cont: The UK's Guardian reprints a speech by David Willetts, (the Conservative's head of policy co-ordination), to the Social Market Foundation about the reform the public services in which he cites Hernando de Soto's 'The Other Path' as "one of the shrewdest investigations of the problems of the Third World" and declares that "at last a very limited 'de Soto revolution' is stirring in Britain.

VladiVideos in Mexico? The Agencia Latinoamericana de Información publishes an essay by PUCP Economist Oscar Ugarteche titled: "The Peruvian Mirror of Mexican Political Corruption: A view from Latin America." In it, he focuses on a comparison between the Fuji/Vladi videos and the new videos currently appearing in Mexican politics.

Aristide vs. Montesinos: AlterNet compares the USA charges that Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide's had alleged ties to cocaine traffickers and Vladimir Montesinos' status as a "30-year CIA asset for supplying Colombian drug traffickers with weapons." It is based largely on Associated Press stories and includes a suspicious sounding sentence: "The former CIA Head of Station in Peru, Robert Gorelick, believed to have been the linkman for the agency with Montesinos, has also refused to testify in a Peruvian court."

Peru Negro, cont: The International Herald Tribune includes another review of Peru Negro's Jolgorio. "Peruvian salsa is a mixture of West African roots and Afro-Cuban branches with the traditions and instruments of the Andes. ... The track 'Carnaval Negro' just might blow your mojo."


Tuesday, April 06, 2004

War of the Pacific, cont: The United Press International runs an article on the recent Air and Space fair in Santiago and includes Lockheed Martin's sale of 10 F-16 Falcon Warrior jets to Chile. The article states that "Chile's conservative and center-left governments of the past decade have drawn closer to the U.S. commercially and politically. The Chilean military also perceives a threat from Bolivia and Peru which have historical claims on Chilean territory. The Peruvian air force is equipped with advanced Russian Mig-29s possessing 'over the horizon' combat capabilities which the Chilean air force is anxious to acquire."

Homage To FStahl: ALC Noticias reports on a forum held in the National Congress "in homage of Fernando Stahl, considered the father of rural education in Peru." Stahl was a member of the Adventist Church who arrived in Puno with his wife and children in the 1920s. Among the Members of Congress present were Graciela Yanarico and Henry Pease. Others who participated were historian Jose Tamayo Herrera and Charles Teel of the Stahl Foundation.

De Soto's Prize, cont: India's Financial Express includes an opinion column on Hernado de Soto and his Friedman prize. The adulatory piece includes other awards the Peruvian economist has received including the 2004 Templeton Freedom Prize for Free Market Solutions to Poverty. The author, who has "tried to do the same kind of documentation for India," ends with an invitation for De Soto to India.

AToledo's Pay Cut: The Scotsman runs a wire story reporting that AToledo "has been ordered to pay 5% of his salary to support a teenage girl he reluctantly acknowledged is his daughter 18 months ago." Zarai Toledo had filed a claim "seeking 60% of Toledo's salary, alleging that payments have not always been made punctually."

Patria Roja in Korea: The Korean Central News Agency reports on an event in North Korea that included a "crafts and arts exhibition" which were held under the sponsorship of the Communist Party of Peru (Red Motherland) and the Peruvian Communist Party among others.

Strike One: Just-Drinks reports that Backus y Johnston "is continuing to meet local demand for its products despite a strike" which began on March 18. Workers are "demanding a 7% pay rise." ByJ says they are "meeting market demands, counting on its stocks and its distribution network, as well as its breweries outside Lima."

Strike Two: The World's Socialist Web Site reports that "Peruvian longshore workers carried out a surprise strike on April 1 at the port of El Callao." Workers demand "that they be given permanent employment status, which would make them eligible for social benefits."

Macro/Micro Econ:
- BNAmericas reports that "the Peruvian banking sector should perform well this year and record an average ROE of between 13% and 14%," according to Asbanc's general director, Enrique Arroyo.
- Dow Jones and Reuters report that ProInversion said yesterday "it will delay the planned date for the auction of the Las Bambas copper deposit by one week." A total of 14 companies have prequalified for the planned auction of the Las Bambas copper deposit.
- Sultan Minerals put out a press release which details their agreement "to acquire a 100% interest in the Coripampa 1 Silver Property consisting of four mineral concessions (600 hectares) located in zone 18 of Huaynacotas District, La Union" in Arequipa.

Curse of Modernity: The Catholic News Agency (fourth item) reports that Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani said during a local radio program that "the solution to the violence that is affecting the world and has turned it into a 'tiny cage of insecurity' lies in the acceptance of the moral and the natural order."

Trajedy in FL: Florida's Channel 10 in Fort Lauderdale updates the trial on the Peruvian national charged with killing his 9-month-old baby after "leaving the girl in a hot car last month at Gulfstream Park while he watched the horse races." Francisco is a Peruvian national so "there is a chance he could be deported." (See earlier story: "Father Watches Races While Baby Dies, Police Say.")


Monday, April 05, 2004

Ephemeral Justice: The New York Times runs an article on 'fighting graft' during a time that "should be the golden era of justice in Peru" but which currently has
"Ministers, legislators, judges and other powerful figures — some 1,400 people in all — fac[ing] charges." AFujimori's term was "a quasi-dictatorship steeped in crime" while AToledo's government "has been tarnished by a string of peccadilloes and scandals." Quotes come from Diego Garcia-Sayán, Luis Vargas Valdivia, Ernesto de la Jara, César Pantoja, and Gustavo Gorriti. (LVV gets a photo as does his office.) Listed among the recently convicted: Congressman Ernesto Gamarra; Supreme Court Justice Alejandro Rodríguez; Attorney General Blanca Nélida Colán; and Gen. José Villanueva.

AGarcia Villified, by WSJ: The Wall Street Journal, again, digs into AGarcia, who is "villified" and "disgraced" in the first paragraph alone. Written by Joel Millman (his first exclusively on Peru?), the article is ostensibly about Garcia's preparation for the 2006 presidential race but the article is really about knocking his candidacy. The piece ends with the only quote for the article from Walter Molano, chief Latin American economist at BCP Securities, who compares Garcia to Lula, Chavez and Kirchner.

The Lima/Moscow Line Lives: The Russian ITAR-TASS news agency reports that sales of Russian weapons to Latin America may reach US$100 million. Peru is still listed among the "group of countries [who were] traditional partners of Russia since Soviet times – Cuba, Nicaragua and Peru." The main source for the article is Alexander Betenekov, consultant to Russian Defence Export and formerly associated with the Comite Nactional Para la Cooperacion Economica con los Paises Latinoamericanos who declares, “Peru is the most promising among these three countries.”

De Soto's Prize, cont: The Scotsman continues the accolades bestowed upon Hernando de Soto, for receiving the Cato Institute's Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. Here he is "a man with the potential to change millions of lives" including, apparently, those in Scotland. The piece was written by John Blundell, the director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs whose web site salutes HdSoto. (See also 'De Soto Wins Prize' in April 1's Peruvia below.)

Historic Squatting: The Miami Herald (second item) reports that the National Institute of Culture "wants to remove families it says are squatting near the ruins of Sacsahuaman. In the past two decades, houses, shops and small bars targeting tourists have been built on about 10 percent of the park."

Corporate Responsibility: Delaware's News Journal has a local piece on Univ. of Deleware MBA professor Jennifier Gregan-Paxton's interest in studying 'corporate responsibility' in the jungles of Peru through a mining company's interaction with the surrounding community. Gregan-Paxton has posted the a photo album of her visit to Peru. An earlier university press release detailed her focus further.

Illegal Music/Video: The Associated Press runs a photograph of the raid on the underground market known as 'El Hueco,' which produced "more than 30 metric tons of pirated music and movie discs with an estimated black market value of $2 million."

'Pututo': The Associated Press offers several photographs of "an Andean spiritual ceremony paying tribute to the pre-Colombian earth gods ... part of the inauguration of a three-day meeting of indigenous women from across the Americas." The Associated Press also sneaks in a separate photograph celebrating another religious ceremony: Palm Sunday.

- Chess Wizard: The Miami Herald notes that Daniel Fernandez, 18, and a Peruvian immigrant, remains in the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship finals. Fernandez "received a full chess scholarship and a $4,000 annual stipend" from the University of Texas, Dallas.
- 'Crazy Wilson': The United Press International news agency reports that 'Crazy' Wilson Dominguez has joined the 134th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. This paisano "performs on a rotating pendulum, somersaults on a high wire and spins around the interior of a steel sphere with three other motorcyclists."

Investment Question: The Miami Herald's investment columnist responds to a question that begins: "I have power of attorney for my brother-in-law who lives in Peru."


Sunday, April 04, 2004

TransOceanic Highway: The New York Times runs a rollicky piece on the 'trans-Amazon' road, written from Laberinto, where a 500-mile journey "could easily take 10 days." Details include: challenges from environmentalists and the US$7 million bridge over the Acre River that will "at last, link Assis, in the Brazilian state of Acre, to Iñapari in Peru." (This 'at last' would come as a surprise to those who go back and forth between these towns daily.) Also quoted: Miguel Vega Alvear, (Cámara Binacional de Comercio e Integración Perú-Brasil or CAPEBRAS), Juan Carlos Flores (Amazon Conservation Association), Rafael Valencia (a storekeeper in Mavila), and Abraham Rojas (the mayor of Planchon). Officially, the Times article is accompanied by this photograph but photographer Ana Cecilia Gonzales-Vigil (photography editor at El Comercio) also took several other photos for this story.
- BNAmericas (behind registration now) reports that "Toledo signs Transoceanic highway decree."
- Matthew Parris' 1993 travelogue, Inca Kola: A Traveller's Tale of Peru, described the Urcos-to-Puerto Maldonado voyage as "the most hair-raising segment" of his Peruvian adventures.
- Archive: See this Knight-Ridder story from last October which focuses more on the environmental concerns and this Caretas review of the most recent Toledo/Lula summit.

DeSoto's Prize, cont: The Miami Herald reviews Hernando de Soto's Milton Friedman Prize from the Cato Institute. The article summarizes De Soto argument: "that the world's best poverty-fighting measure is giving land titles" to squatters. The newspaper advances the idea that "there is now talk of a Nobel Prize for economics." (This makes him, putatively, the second Peruvian on the Nobel market.)

Land: Power/Problem: The De Soto piece above is attached to a package of articles in the Miami Herald on the power and problem of land, "who owns it, who doesn't." Today's article focuses on "a revolutionary Peruvian government program that has handed out more than one million land titles to squatters in Lima shantytowns as part of poverty-fighting efforts." A separate piece reviews the local challenges in Maria del Triunfo. The series will continue with articles on Venezuela, Brazil, and the Latin American judicial system.

Lots of Coke; No Pepsi: The South African Press Agency relates that "a Peruvian national was arrested yesterday after police found 8 million Rands worth of cocaine in his luggage at Johannesburg International Airport." (Approximately US$1.2 million.)

Oxy in Block 103: The Oil & Gas Journal reports that "Occidental Petroleum Corp. is expanding its exploration program in Peru with the incorporation of Block 101." According to Donald Lipinski, Occidental Petrolera's newly appointed president (surely not this Donald?), "the company also started negotiations with Perupetro for an exploration and production contract on Block 103, seeking new opportunities."

Fake Dollars: Wisconsin's Journal Sentinel and the Associated Press review the story of seven counterfeit $100 bills by a church in Janesville. After investigations by Secret Service agents, the trail leads to - - a hotel in Arequipa.

AFujimori: China's People's Daily reports that Peru "will seek help from The Hague's International Court of Justice" according to a radio interview with Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez on Saturday.

Yanqui, Come Here!: The New York Times includes an opinion piece by reporter Larry Rohter on recent developments in Haiti entitled, "For Once, Latin Americans Ask the U.S. to Butt In." The Fujimori/USA relations are described.

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