Saturday, May 15, 2004

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

Free Trade? Reuters reports that Medecins Sans Frontieres released a report which declares that "a much-vaunted Andean free-trade pact with the United States could jack up the cost of AIDS drugs by a factor of ten" for Peruvians and called upon the governments of Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador "to exclude intellectual property from the negotiations because of its effect on drugs." (See the MSF report and the press release.) Cedric Martin, MSF's Peru coordinator, said that "the United States would block access to generic drugs that have slashed the cost of AIDS treatments through restrictions on patents. ... other drugs, not just AIDS therapies, are at risk as well." Using United Nations estimates, "there are around 100,000 people with AIDS in the Andean region whose lives depend on affordable drugs." Also cited: Juana Ramos (Ecuador's Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories) and Cailin Morrison (MSF legal adviser). Separately, Human Rights Watch put out a press release that stated that in Peru, "a particularly cruel dimension of the proposed reform to Law 26626 pits children's rights against women's human rights. The connotation of these arguments, put forward, amongst others, by the president of the congressional health commission, Daniel Robles, is that any woman who values her right to consent or not to HIV testing is failing her moral duties to her future child. This is a false dichotomy. One need not violate a woman's human rights in order to protect those of a child, or to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to infants." By switching to mandatory HIV testing during pregnancy, "Peru would be abandoning a voluntary testing approach that was never properly implemented."

UdeLima Poll, cont.:Canada's Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy reviews last week's poll by the Universidad de Lima which found that "Peruvian adults in two cities think a proposed free trade agreement with the United States will be detrimental." The two cities: Lima and Callao. The numbers: 603 adults polled on May 8; margin of error is 4%; 55.4% believe the free trade accord will be negative for Peru.

Inca Kola Still #1: Beverage World runs an "in-depth feature" on Jose Robinson Lindley and the J.R. Lindley Corporation, maker of the country's leading soft drink Inca Kola which was introduced to the Peruvian market in 1935. Lindley "has buried all rumors of its death. Five years ago, when Coca-Cola announced that it was buying 50 percent of the Inca Kola brand and a 20-percent share in the company's bottling plant, most analysts predicted that the U.S. multinational would simply absorb the Peruvian company and add Inca Kola to its long lists of products." However, "just the opposite has happened. J.R. Lindley has not only consolidated its own presence in the market, but in late January acquired a 60-percent share of Coca-Cola's principal bottler in Peru." Today, J.R. Lindley bottles more than 60 percent of the soft drinks consumed in Peru and it gained two of the country's most important bottled water brands, San Luis and San Antonio." Says Manuel Salazar, general manager of J.R. Lindley, "While many people thought Inca Kola would disappear, we are stronger today than five years ago. The money (Coca-Cola) put into the company was to grow the brand, not eliminate it." (See this diagram on the Inca Kola site for this argument.) Also Cited: Ricardo Cortes, general manager of Coca-Cola Services of Peru, who says "the original strategy five years ago was to grow the brand internationally, an effort that is well underway. Inca Kola is now bottled in four plants in the United States and sold in 20 states. It also is sold in 20 countries." The official description: Inca Kola, a citrus-flavored, bright yellow soft drink. Two brands that could disappear are Schweppes and Tai" but not Crush. Also: Coca-Cola's Dasani mineral water may replace San Antonio, San Luis and Bonaqua.

UN Help to Huancavelica: United Nation's World Food Programme put out a press release to "pledge support for the Peruvian government in the implementation of a pilot nutritional project in the remote, south central department of Huancavelica," which accompanied the WFP's executive director James T. Morris two-day visit to Peru. "The project will produce and distribute a cost-effective fortified food (Inka Mix) to 92,000 children in pre-schools and daycare centers, while providing nutritional training to 14,000 pregnant women and mothers of young children in a region with 53 per cent of chronic child malnutrition, the highest of Peru." WFP will provide US $3.2 million to help finance this project. The release plugs the AToledo government's attempts at decentralization. Also cited: Peruvian diplomat Miguel Barreto who recently became President of WFP’s Executive Board in Rome; Zoraida Mesa, WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Dorte Ellehammer, WFP's Peru representative.

Health Workers Strike, cont.: The Associated Press runs several photographs of state medical workers, tied to a wooden cross in their protest in front of the headquarters of the government health office in Lima. "The medical workers are protesting to demand better pay."

Enviro Prize with Nahuas: The Scotsman reports that Conrad Feather has won the St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, "the United Kingdom's biggest international environment prize" for his conservation work with the Nahua indigenous community in Madre de Dios. "A Cambridge graduate from north London, Mr Feather is studying for a doctorate in social anthropology." He will received over £17,000 (US$30,000) in prize money. See also this (Scotland) Herald article from April on his work on helping the Nahua "map and signpost their territory using the latest GPS, photographic, radio and video equipment." The prize is a joint international initiative of the University of St Andrews and the energy company ConocoPhillips.

The Corruption of VMontesinos: Stanford University's Business Magazine reports on Professor John McMillan of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and doctoral student Pablo Zoido-Lobaton and their research in an upcoming article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives which includes "an unusually detailed record of corruption," through a study of the fall of Montesinos. "What they found was a stunningly bold and effective effort to circumvent three institutions key to maintaining democracy in Peru: the judiciary, the legislature, and the media." The Numbers: "The typical bribe paid to a television-channel owner was about a hundred times larger than that paid to a politician, which was somewhat higher than that paid to a judge. One single television channel's bribe was five times larger than the total of the opposition politicians' bribes." Also an explanation on the difference between print and television: "A vladivideo shows [Montesinos] saying he was unconcerned. 'What do I care about El Comercio? They have an 80,000 print run; 80,000 newspapers is shit. What worries me is Channel 4. … It gets to 2 million people. '" Note: Michael Smith's GCI275 pointed to a version of the academic article last month.

AFujimori Extradiction, cont.: Xinhua Net follows up on yesterday's Reuters story that "Peru urged Japan to hand over the former President Alberto Fujimori in accordance with the extradition request issued in 2003." It quotes Minister of Foreign Relations Manuel Rodriguez saying he "reiterated the formal extradition request to his Japanese counterpart Yoriko Kawaguchi, through the Japanese Embassy to the capital Lima."

Gas in Trujillo? The Oil & Gas Journal reports that "Peru's nonproducing Trujillo basin is a twin province, represented by two distinctively different basement types, that contains a number of structures of 50 sq km or more."

Peruvian Climbing Everest: Mount Everest, a service of ExplorersWeb, notes that Maximo Henostroza from Huaraz, Peru and Marek Wencel from USA/ Poland made the first summit of Shisha Pangma last week. Maximo is the first Peruvian on the summit of Shishapangma Central which stands at 8,027 metres. The story is accompanied by a photo of Henostroza and Wencel on the summit of Huascaran.

Jack Davis, cont.: North Dakota's Grand Fork's Herald profiles the Rev. John "Jack" Davis a member of the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle who has spent 30 years with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Parish in Chimbote. He recently accepted the Pax Christi Award from his alma mater, St. John's University in Minnesota. Says Gary Zespy, chairman of Las Amigos de Padre Juan [sic], a group of people from several states who garner support for Our Lady Parish: "What overwhelms you is the poverty. But the one thing these people (Peruvians) have is hope. They are a very forgiving, very generous people. The visits become personal." Also noted from Chimbote/Ireland: Sister Peggy Byrne and the Rev. James Jeffrey. Note: Says Rev. Davis: "We spend much of our energy responding to the basic needs of people, stuff the government does in [the United States]." (See also 'Etc' in May 3's Peruvia.)

Music [Sort of] Premiere: Florida's Tampa Tribune notes that "the USA East Coast premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank's visceral Three Latin-American Dances was performed last night, which the composer introduced onstage. The 16-minute triptych combines South American mythology and folk idioms with classical forms that reflect her Peruvian-Jewish heritage."


Friday, May 14, 2004

Econ Growth: 4.5 or 5.5? Reuters reports that "Peru's economy grew at a 4.59% annual rate in the first quarter, well above market forecasts of a 3.8 percent rise, driven by strong output in mining, construction and fishing," according to the National Statistics Institute (INEI). Bloomberg reports that the growth was 5.51 percent and says that this is the 33rd month of growth, "longest expansion in a decade, fueled by surging exports of fish and metals such as zinc, gold and copper." Also Cited: Boris Segura (Standish Mellon Asset Management). Dow Jones focuses on the INEI unemployment numbers: "Lima's Unemployment Rate Rises To 10.7% In April." A separate Dow Jones piece gives the run down of yesterday's economic activity.

Artichoke to Follow Asparagus: Reuters profiles the artichoke as the "next big agricultural export star, with sales this year expected to bring in $20 million," according to Jorge Fernandini, president of the Peruvian Institute for Asparagus and Vegetables. The Numbers: "Peru has some 4,942 acres (2,000 hectares) of artichoke crops and the area devoted to the crop is doubling every year." Complains Fernandini, "There are rumors that China is experimenting with artichokes and it would be a pain if they got into it and proved successful." The article also notes that artichokes are exported duty-free to the USA "under an Andean free-trade pact designed to promote legal trade and eradicate drug trafficking in the world's top cocaine producing countries.

AFujimori Extradiction: Reuters reports that the Ministry of Foreign Relations said in a statement that "Peru reiterates to the Japanese government the urgent need for a response to the extradition request [of AFujimori] which ... we presented to the Japanese authorities more than nine months ago." Peru has stated that the next option is for it "to go to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for a ruling on whether Japan or Peru should try him."

Coca Burning: Reuters shows several photographs of police burning seven tons of confiscated cocaine, marijuana, poppy and opium with Interior Minister Javier Reategui and Colonel Oscar Quea presiding. The Associated Press also has a few photographs of the burning. (This Reuters photo in particular looks eerily similar to photos of FRospigliosi in action.)

Free Trade? Pakistan's Daily Times reports that Peru "has imposed a 33 percent anti dumping duty on the import of poplin or cotton/polyester fabric from Pakistan." That turns out to be a tax of $1.13 per tonne on the import of poplin. The Pakistani commercial counsellor in the Pakistani embassy in Buenos Aires said that "concerned [Pakistani] companies did not fight the case at any level which is why the authorities in Peru gave their verdict in favour of their business community."

Health Workers Strike, cont: Reuters has a clear photo of police emitting tear gas at health workers' faces during their strike.

Orchid Grower Guilty: The Miami Herald (second item) reports that Manuel G. Arias, 70, "a prominent Peruvian orchid grower pleaded guilty on Thursday to smuggling a protected species in violation of international treaties for black-market resale in the United States." He faces up to two years in prison. "Arias, who had permission from the Peruvian government to export certain numbers of artificially propagated orchid species, admitted falsely labeling prohibited species of ''tropical lady slippers'' in shipments between 1999 and 2003. Arias would provide Norris with a code to decipher the real identity of the mislabeled plants."

Brazilian Beer Still Peru-bound: Just Drinks reports that Brazilian beer producer Companhia de Bebidas das Americas (Ambev) is still hoping to build a brewery in Peru. According to El Comercio, the company's international director Juan Vergara said: 'We have bought land in Huachipa, we have leveled it and we have 100% of the parts for the factory. What is happening is that we keep finding legal obstacles that keep us from going as fast as we want."

MLaura's Weaving: North Carolina's Herald-Sun profiles Maximo Laura a weaver from Ayacucho whose exhibition 'Destiny Knotted' features 14 of his tapestries. One of them, 'The Sowing Ritual,' is "predominately blue and green to represent spring, shows a group of people performing a ritual of prayer and music before they begin to plant seeds in the ground."


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Shining Path in Ilave? MercoPress reports that "the Peruvian government believes remnant elements from the Shining Path guerrilla-terrorist organization are behind the uprising in the southern city of Ilave where the mayor was mob-lynched by a furious crowd in the main square a few weeks ago." The article cites articles in the Lima press including "Correo" which quotes Interior Minister Javier Reategui saying, "There are some serious indications that protestors and agitators were mostly from Shining Path and maybe even Red Nation [Patria Roja]. These are terrorist groups that take advantage of situations looking for political reactions." MercoPress seems to put more credence in a different report that states that an "Aymara Indian organization is spearheading the indefinite walkout in Ilave claiming it’s the first step to recovering the Aymara nation." (See earlier reports under "Mayor Lynched" below.)

Coca Rising, cont.: Reuters reports that coca growers from Tocache "threatened to occupy government offices and take officials captive if President Alejandro Toledo failed to meet their demands within three days," according to Luis Salinas, vice president of the main coca growers group in Tocache. Also cited: Nancy Obregon.

Health Workers Strike, cont.: Reuters provides a photo of "health worker yells slogans as police put out a coffin that protesters burned to signify what they call 'Peru´s dying public health service'." In another Reuters photo, the protestors burn a coffin.

Mining Taxes: Reuters reports on the debate in Congress over "a bill to impose a 3 percent royalty on mining production, a move that mining companies say would make Peru a much less attractive prospect and could scare off investors." Lawmakers are expected either to vote on the bill on Wednesday or to send it back to the Congress Energy and Mines Commission for changes. Quotes come from Apra Congresswoman Judith de la Matta: "The people have to receive a return for what is mined from the ground. It is not right that some get rich while the people remain poor." Dow Jones reported later that Congress has "decided to delay until next week any vote on a proposal that could apply royalties on mining companies." This action was praised by Finance Ministry chief adviser Cecilia Blume. However: anti-mining group Conacami Peru published a newspaper advertisement that said "that neither the 3.0% flat tax proposal nor the variable royalties proposed by cabinet were adequate." Peru's National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy, alongside various mining institutes, also pulled out advertisement which "said royalties would make Peru less competitive compared with emerging mining nations such as Argentina, China and Mongolia."

Free Trade? Dow Jones reports that President AToledo declared that "Peru expects free trade talks with the U.S. to conclude later this year or at the latest by February 2005." The president spoke at a ceremony unveiling Peru's negotiating team for the free trade talks scheduled to start on May 18. Even more, Toledo stated that "the next government will receive from us open markets in the United States and I hope in Europe and in Asia, especially in China." Also cited: the Lima Chamber of Commerce's new president, Graciela Fernandez-Baca. Also noted: a new University of Lima poll which found that "only 7.8% felt Toledo was doing a good job." Reuters runs a feature article on international trade with "drug-trafficking Andean nations" and the "Free Trade Area of the Americas." Some duty-free incentives will expire in 2006 "unless negotiators from Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador succeed in locking them in at free-trade talks with the United States starting on May 18.

Trade with China: Xinhua Net reports that a goodwill delegation from the Communist Party of China is on its way for a visit to Peru. "The delegation, headed by Yang Anjiang, member of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC and deputy secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, is making the visit at the invitation of the Possible Peru Party."

Paita Port in Piura: BNAmericas reports that "Paita port in Peru's northern Piura department will be one of the leading contenders for private sector participation once the national port development plan is promulgated," according to Jose Luis Guerola, president of the national port authority. "Development of Paita would provide a northern trade hub for the country to complement Callao port to the south. Callao handles 70% of the country's trade and 90% of its container traffic. "

More Gov't Employees? Bloomberg reports that the labor committee in Congress "approved a plan to add 84,000 people to the government payroll as President Alejandro Toledo faces opposition to his efforts to lower the budget deficit." Citations come from Patricia Teullet (APEX), and Congressman Jaques Rodrich who said, "We will do anything for this not to become law."

Doe Run, Cont.:The Presbyterian Church USA reports on Movement for the Health of La Oroya (MOSAO), a group supported by the Presbyterian Church "were attacked and pummeled with rocks on April 14 by five busloads of Doe Run smelter employees outside the National Congress in Lima, where the group was invited to testify by the Congressional Environment and Ecology Commission." Said Rev. Elinor Stock, "Doe Run is for the fourth time attempting to avoid responsibility and delay necessary actions which would reduce chronic industrial lead poisoning in the children of La Oroya." Also cited: the Rev. Hunter Farrell, a presebyterian missionary in Peru who works with MOSAO. (See 'Doe Run' in April 21's Peruvia.)

More Mining: Chariot Resources's Home put out a press release "to announce that it has entered into a letter agreement to earn-in and purchase the Chonta Gold Prospect from BHP Billiton Exploration and Mining Peru B.V."

Finding Other MPicchus: The New York Times's Juan Forrero reports from Cuzco in an article that serves as a profile for Peter Frost, "a British-born explorer and mountain guide" and the surrounding region that is still "chock full of ruins" and "secrets." The article also serves to suggest those who have chosen to follow the "Indiana Jones fantasy" including: Also cited: Ives Bejar Mendoza, Johan Reinhard, ("explorer in residence at National Geographic"), Scott Gorsuch, Vincent Lee, Hugh Thompson, Robert Nichols and, of course, Gene Savoy. The latter is described as "a larger-than-life American with a handlebar mustache who started a church that revolves around him and his discoveries." Bejar states: "About 90 percent has not been investigated. There are maybe 1,000 books on Machu Picchu, but only five or six are really scientific." (See also this 2002 BBC piece titled, "Peru's New MPicchu" and this article from a travel site on "Chacha Picchu." In Spanish: For a fight-through-words about who discovered Corihuayrachina, see the '¿Quien Descubrio Que?'letters in Caretas.)

Cuisine in Miami: The Miami Herald runs a cooking piece titled: "Bold, sunny Peruvian cuisine spans the oceans," and is pegged largely on the late chef Felipe Rojas Lombardi and his magisterial work, The Art of South American Cooking. "Peruvian cuisine is one of the richest and most diverse in Latin America, a reflection of both Peru's ancient history and the important role it played during the colonial period."

UNDP Report in Lima, cont.: BusinessWeek magazine (this version of the article obviates registration) runs an opinion piece pegged on the UNDP reports on the crisis of democracy in Latin America. It states that "in Peru, Stanford University-educated economist Alejandro Toledo is the first President of Indian origin and a democratic alternative to the strong-arm rule of ousted leader Alberto Fujimori. Yet Toledo's approval rating recently slipped to 8% because of corruption allegations and a failure to make much improvement in citizens' lives after three years in office." (See also "UNDP Report in Lima" in April 28's Peruvia.)

More Crime, cont.: PriceWaterhouseCoopers released a study (see the press release) that finds economic crime to be a significant problem in 38% of South and Central American companies, including Peru. (See another report of crime in Latin America in 'More Crime' in April 1's Peruvia.)

Silicone Customs: The New Jersey Daily Record reports that Miryam Wiener-Morales "a 40-year-old woman from Lima, Peru, was indicted Wednesday on charges of injecting two sisters in Dover with silicone to enhance their buttocks, thighs and stomachs when she was not medically licensed to do so." Her lawyer defended that "in Peru, giving silicone injections to improve physical attributes is equivalent to a beauty salon practice and does not require a license as it does in the United States. The two charges are punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison."


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Coca Rising +, cont.:Reuters reports that "police fired tear gas at thousands of anti-government protesters on Tuesday as a march in Lima and strike by southern peasants who killed their mayor last month piled pressure on the unpopular government. Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero was under pressure to fix things fast." Among those "anti-government protestors" are: "coca growers who tried to push their way into the prime minister's office during an otherwise peaceful protest" (see Reuters photos of them and an AP photo); "health workers who carried coffins to signify what they called 'Peru's dying public health service.' (see Reuters photo and Associated Press photos); members of the General Confederation of Workers of Peru "demand[ing] better working conditions and more pay." (see Reuters photos of them as well as the AP photo) The Union Network offers background on the nurses strike. Cited: Congressman Rafael Rey Rey. The United Press International also reports on the cocaleros, quoting Elsa Malpartida: "We march because there is nothing concrete. Now there are only offers and promises, and for this we are going to follow through with our protests." Also noted: the General Confederation of Peru Workers "as well as some state officials and students from different universities who will march with them." ALSO: A strike in Ilave, near the Bolivian border, went into a second day. About 4,000 people flooded into town and briefly blocked a bridge between Peru and Bolivia in generally peaceful protests on Monday.

Mayor Lynched, cont: Dow Jones reports that the government is "ready to declare a state of emergency is violence persists" in southern Puno. The Associated Press shows photos of a "highway scattered with rocks;" a photo of a bridge being blocked; another AP photo shows the military police out in force among the local population. A couple of other photos (one, two) show people protesting. More broadly, the Miami Herald reprints some Q&A from the InterAmerican Dialogue's Latin American Advisor responding to violent incidents in Latin America including those in Ilave, Puno. Answers come from Phillip McLean (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Marisa Ferreira, (Schmeltzer, Aptaker & Shepard), and Shannan Mattiace (Allegheny College): "One potential response -- particularly in the case of Peru -- would involve the genuine decentralization of economic and political power to local governments."

AToledo's Numbers: MercoPress reports that "opposition leaders, members of Congress and even presidents of the 25 regional councils of Peru are demanding elections be advanced since theres a general feeling that President Alejandro Toledo's administration is rapidly nearing its end." Quoted: Jehude Simon ("an outstanding regional leader"), AGarcía; LFlores Nano; and Congressman Jose Barba Caballero.

Camisea on Hold?, cont: Dow Jones reports that "thousands of protesters blocked the Panamericana highway, denouncing a government ruling involving the land dispute" involving a liquefied natural gas plant that "will make use of gas coming from the $1.6 billion Camisea project and adjacent blocks located in southern Peru." The plant is to be constructed either in Ica or in Lima. "A government agency, the National Technical Directory for Territorial Limits, recently released a report placing the land where the plant is to be built in the province of Lima." (See the Reuters piece in yesterday's 'Camisea on Hold?')

Andes are 'Teetering', cont: The Miami Herald runs another op-ed by John Heimann and Dan Christman of the Council of Foreign Relations, this one titled, "Land reform can help eradicate dire poverty" pegged partly on the recent UNDP study that showed "enormous dissatisfaction with democracy among Latin Americans." The authors repeat the importance of their own study: Andes 2020: A New Strategy for the Challenges of Colombia and the Region. Among their recommendations: "a comprehensive land-reform plan is effective property-tax collection of large landholdings, particularly those that lie fallow." (See 'Andes are 'Teetering' ' in March 26's Peruvia.)

LHorna Loses: Reuters notes that Luis Horna was bested by Argentine Guillermo Coria 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in the second round of the Hamburg Masters today.

Miners Strike, cont.: Reuters reports that "workers at two Southern Peru Copper Corp. mines and at [Toquepala and Cuajones mines] stopped work on Thursday in response to a nationwide strike call to push for contracts and benefits for all mine workers." Yanacocha was not affected. Minister of Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Quijandria downplays the overall effects. Pedro Escate (Mining Federation), Ernesto Valdez (Volcan), Carlos Galvez (Compania de Minas Buenaventura, and Julio Ortiz (Shougang union). "Workers at Chinese-owned Shougang Hierro Peru, Peru's only iron miner, were on strike, public relations chief Guillermo Alfaro said. He gave no details other than that the stoppage was peaceful." (See also 'Miners Strike' in April 30's Peruvia.)

More Mining:
- Pan American Silver Corp. produced a press release that reported their increase in production and their lower cash cost. A separate press release noted "the separation of the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer previously held by Ross J. Beaty. Mr Beaty will remain fully engaged as Chairman and Mr Geoff Burns, formerly President and Chief Operating Officer, will become President and Chief Executive Officer."
- Reuters reports that Yanacocha "produced 803,000 ounces in the first quarter of this year," according to Carlos Santa Cruz, managing director for South America for Newmont Mining. Yanacocha produced 2.8 million ounces of gold in 2003. Peru is the world's No. 7 gold producer.
- Dow Jones runs another confirmation on the delay of the auction of Las Bambas copper project until July 23. "Yes, it is totally true," said a ProInversion spokeswoman, confirming what an agency official had said earlier this week."
- Meridian Gold put out a press release that state: "On March 25, 2004, Meridian advised Buenaventura that it would not exercise its option to earn a 51% interest in the Los Pircos project located in Peru. While Meridian remains upbeat on the exploration potential in Peru, this property did not meet all of Meridian's operating criteria."
- Arcturus Ventures put out a press release to announce their completion of "initial reconnaissance-style geological examination of its newly acquired Esperanza Property in Peru. The Esperanza Property is located in the northern portion of the Department of Arequipa and is approximately 600 km southeast of Lima.

Gorby at Gold Conference, cont.: Dow Jones and Pravda catch up with the Gorby in Lima story but adds nothing new to the Associated Press story. (See also 'Gorby at Gold Conference' in May 10's Peruvia below.

Copa America Preps, cont.: Reuters offers photographs of construction workers "during an expansion of the stands project at the Elias Aguirre Stadium in Chiclayo prior to the July 2004 Copa America soccer tournament." The stadium will be the venue for the Copa America's group B with Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and Ecuador. Copa America 2004 will be in Peru from July 6-25" including one of herons. (See also 'Copa America Preps' in May 5's Peruvia.

Electricity Production Up: - Dow Jones reports that "Peru's electricity production increased by 4.3%, according to the National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy. "The largest producer in March was state-owned Electroperu, which generated 637.2 gigawatt-hours, 8.1% higher than in the same month last year."

Ceviche in NYC: New York Press reviews Mancora restaurant in the East Village in New York City that begins: "You don't often hear someone say they're in the mood for Peruvian." It also includes these pointers:
1. What passes for ceviche in this town is disgraceful;
2. The causal factor is a lack of awesome ceviche;
3. If Mancora's ceviche met every other ceviche in Manhattan in any sort of contest, it would romp;
4. Such a contest should be held as soon as possible, as a matter of public interest.


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

El Comercio to Ferrero: Be Astute: Dow Jones reports on the front-page editorial in today's El Comercio which stated that "Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero has to take greater control of the government in order to avoid an early end to the term of President Alejandro Toledo. ... Carlos Ferrero hasn't been able to transmit that he has confronted problems nor has he assumed the political direction that the nation needs." The article blames the APRA party for the removal of FRospigliosi from his post as Interior Minister. In Spanish: Read the El Comercio editorial.

New Interior Minister: Dow Jones reported on Javier Reategui as the new Interior Minister. The piece is the only one to report on Toledo's first choice, journalist Gustavo Gorriti, who "turned down the offer to join cabinet."

Mayor Lynched, cont: The Miami Herald reports that "riot police guarded bridges and highways near Lake Titicaca Monday as a three-day protest began to demand the release of six people arrested for last month's killing of a provincial mayor." Quoted: Miguel Maquera, a Roman Catholic priest who seems to be an intermediary with the protest leaders.

More Mayors Brawl: CBS News includes (near the bottom) a piece on a fistfight between the ousted mayor of El Santa in Chimbote, Estuardo Diaz Delgado and his replacement Leandro Perez Rodriguez. "The suspended mayor pulled up a chair alongside Perez, sat down and tried to push him out of his seat. Soon, supporters of the two men joined in the melee and municipal police arrived and helped force Diaz out of office." The news site offers a video link of the brawl.

Camisea On Hold? Reuters reported recently that "a land dispute and a delay in agreeing royalty payments is holding up Peru's plans to export gas to Mexico, so sales will begin in 2008 or 2009, not in 2007 as originally slated," according to Carlos del Solar (LNG Co. export consortium). "Peru is eager to begin exporting gas from the controversial Camisea gas field in the southern jungle as soon as possible. Sales are estimated to be worth up to $700 million a year and will turn the Andean nation into a net energy exporter." The consortium is made up of USA's Hunt Oil and South Korea's SK Corp. The challenge is that the place a liquefaction plant is to be made is on contested land: both Lima and Ica believe they own it.

More Mining:
- Goldamarca Unlimited put out a press release to announce an update on their the acquisition of a majority interest in Atomaer.
- Andresmin Gold Corporation (formerly Anton) released a press release to announce their purchase of Grupo Minero for US$230,000.

War of the Pacific, cont: Xinhua Net files a story that states, "Chile has denied that it faces a regional isolation in South America due to the recent tensions with Bolivia, Peru and Argentina." The article uses the Chilean argument suggesting, "it is even impossible to brand as bad the relations with Peru, whose government requested the revision of the joint maritime borders."

Iodine and Nutrition: Medical News Today reports on the Pan American Health Organization's regional meeting on nutrition and iodine in the Americas held in Lima on May5 and 6 in which is was announced that "a significant percentage of people in the Americas suffer from nutritional disorders linked to iodine deficiency," and that PAHO "is seeking to eliminate this problem by 2005 through universal consumption of adequately iodized salt." ALSO: "The content of iodine in soil, water, and food of mountainous regions such as the Andes and drained areas such as the Amazon is very low or absent due to geochemical factors, meaning populations in those areas are at permanent risk."

San Martin de Porres in Jazz: The New York Times reviews "Black Christ of the Andes" by jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, "a little-known album recorded for Folkways in 1962 and 1963, came after her return to New York and her internal synthesis of religion and the history of jazz. The album is personal, and some of it slightly awkward. But its scheduled reissue as a CD on May 25 by Smithsonian Folkways shows yet again how capacious jazz can be. Though the title track is about the Peruvian saint Martin de Porres, canonized in 1962, "the album's original title, only slightly less audacious, was "Music for Disturbed Souls." See also: this album review from the Hartford Courant and this piece in Jazz Times.


Monday, May 10, 2004

Mayor Lynched, cont: Over the weekend, the Associated Press reports Ilave's Deputy Mayor Alberto Sandoval "as well as three municipal officials and three townspeople on suspicion of inciting the lynch mob." Meanwhile, "about 10,000 Aymaras have split into two groups -- supporters of the murdered mayor in the town itself and followers of Sandoval from surrounding villages." The piece suggests that the murdered mayor and his ostensible replacement were "both Aymaras and former university professors in Puno -- were political enemies belonging to rival communist factions." (Robles had run previously run on the FREPAP party slate.) The piece also reports on "a classified police report [that] warns that simmering social unrest near Lake Titicaca could explode as rival groups of Aymara Indians try to wrestle power from provincial mayors." 300 riot police are still "on a state of alert" in Puno. The piece also quotes El Comercio reporting that "constituents have accused mayors in seven towns and villages of corruption."

New Interior Minister: Reuters reports on the push back that new Interior Minister Javier Reategui received. (Reategui replaced FRospigliosi after the latter was censured by Congress for his actions surrounding of mob violence in Puno.) "Politicians and commentators condemned the appointment of Peru's new interior minister as the latest misstep by deeply unpopular President Alejandro Toledo." The article includes several headlines of Lima's news papers ("'Worse, impossible": Peru.21; "An Improvisation; Mediocrity": El Comercio). Quotes come from Congressman Jose Barba and Benedicto Jimenez, former head of Peru's anti-terrorist police, who stated: "He has little knowledge or experience in issues related to the interior ministry." Reuters has photographs of incoming Interior Minister Javier Reategui.

Gold Conference: The 6th International Gold Symposium ended over the weekend, most on high notes. Reuters reported that "mining exports rose to $1.51 billion in the first quarter, up 52.3 percent compared with the same period in 2003, spurred by higher demand and booming metals prices," according to the private National Society for Mining, Petroleum and Energy. Another Reuters piece gushes that "Peru is already universally considered one of the hottest mining prospects in the world, but the success of a new gold mine in the country's southern Andes is sparking a rush of interest in other sites there." It uses quotes from Antamina's Augusto Baertl who says, "Maybe 10, 12 years ago when Yanacocha was just opening up, we didn't realize all the potential of the north." Others cited: Donald McIver (Retamas), Bobby Godsell (AngloGold Ashanti) Chris Lodder (AngloGold Ashanti), Fausto Zavaleta (Minsur), Ramon Araneda (Barrick), and David Lowell (Barrick). HOWEVER, a separate Reuters piece dampens the celebratory mood with quotes from Alberto Benavides, president of Compania de Minas Buenaventura, "Peruvian mining's most respected elder statesman" who "slammed royalty charges that are under consideration here as a 'tragic' way to cut investment, reserves and ordinary people's pension savings. The royalties proposed will hurt miners but to a greater extent and more importantly, they will hurt ... people who have their savings in pension funds and the country, whose reserves will clumsily be undermined by such a senseless position." On May 12, the Peruvian Congress will consider a 3% levy (the Reuters pieces says "slap") on "production on mining operations and another from the government to charge miners up to 3 percent of sales as an early income tax payment." Benavides points out that "pension funds have 17.5 percent of their funds invested in mining stocks." BNAmericas also reports on "the sticky royalty issue" which "cast its long shadow" over the conference, "offsetting general optimism that positive metal prices would lead to increased investment and the promise of new discoveries." Citations come from Alberto Arias (Goldman Sachs) as well as Alberto Benavides' "tragedy" speech. Newmont's CEO Wayne Gurdy is quoted as stating, "We're proud that we pay large cash taxes in Peru on income, and we should. The current tax regime in Peru is competitive at an international level, it's not that it's giving us freebies but it's competitive compared to other tax regimes."

Gorby at Gold Conference: The Associated Press reported on former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the keynote speaker at the gold conference where he declared that "the United States and other western nations misinterpreted the end of the Cold War as a victory for capitalism. Now, the United States must listen to growing criticism that its economic policy is a one-way street that hasn't benefited 80 percent of the people." (The Moscow Times used this AP story.) Among his other comments: "The U.S.-led campaign to break down trade barriers in the past decade has been perceived as 'a one-way street' benefiting rich nations and international corporations." Also: "Free-trade economic policies set in Washington have led to 'uncontrolled globalization' that mainly benefits 'those who had the advantages in the first place.' " The Associated Press has photographs of Gorbachev talking at the conference (pictured with Minister of Economy and Mines Jaime Quijandria, National Energy and Mining Association President Jose Morales, consultant Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos and the head of the Mining Association's Gold Committee Carlos Galvez.) Other AP photos get Gorby with JQuijandria, AToledo. Reuters has photographs of MGorbachev and the President.

More Mining: Dow Jones reports that "Peru has set a base price for the Las Bambas copper project at $40 million with a minimum 2% royalty on sales," according to ProInversion.

Berenson Wants Out The Associated Press reviews Lori Berernson's case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica where her mother, Rhoda Berenson "charged that the Peruvian judicial system permitted human rights violations. She also argued there was bias against her daughter that prevented a fair trial." Berenson has "more than a decade remaining on her sentence." The radio program Democracy Now runs an interview with Berenson's father Mark. (See here to here the program.) The Associated Press runs several photos related to the trial including those of USA Embassy staff in Costa Rica Nicholas Manning and Silvia Cabezas speaking with Rhonda Berenson. There are also several photos of Mr. Berenson as well as the parents together. There is a curious photograph of Mr. Berenson taking photographs of the Peruvian lawyers. The Miami Herald ran a short version of the Associated Press story.

De Soto Prized, cont.:The Las Vegas Review Journal ran an editorial this morning pegged on the Associated Press' reporting of Hernando de Soto's acceptance of the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. Says the Review Journal: "The Associated Press commented that de Soto "is a rarity among economists: a champion of both capitalism and the rights of the impoverished masses." ... The AP writer is a victim of a common misunderstanding -- that those who champion capitalism favor only the interests of "the greedy rich," while anyone who feels compassion and sympathy for the poor must surely understand the necessity of sending men with guns to the homes of the rich, there to seize some quantity of their stuff and redistribute it to the poor. ... If it seems unusual to today's Americans to find a learned economist who understands this, then perhaps we need to ask why so many of America's economists (both in our political capitals and on our college campuses) still embrace a mid-20th century redistributive economic model that had already proved a dismal and deadly failure by the time of the deaths of its greatest champions: Lenin, Hitler, Stalin and Mao." The Associated Press catches de Soto shaking hands with Milton Friedman at the award ceremony last Thursday. A separate photograph has de Soto in black tie with Fareed Zakaria.

WRGrace Turns 150: According to a company press release, W. R. Grace & Co. is celebrating their 150th Anniversary. "William Russell Grace, an Irish emigrant to Peru, founded the company that bears his name in 1854 when he took over operations of a ship chandler's business, selling supplies to ships engaged in Peru's guano and nitrates trade. Over the next few decades and through the first half of the 20th Century, Grace became one of the world's largest shipping companies, not only owning the ships but frequently having a stake in the cargo as well. While freight was the company's bread and butter, The Grace Line of passenger ships became the company's calling card."

Backus Deal Worth US$1/4 Billion: Reuters reports that Union de Cervecerias Backus & Johnston "has proposed a swap of its investment shares and B-class shares for a new class of non-voting preference shares in a deal worth up to $244 million."

Saving Water, cont.:The BBC and London's Independent catch up with the water rationing in Lima, "after one of the worst droughts to hit Peru in a decade." Details: Sedapal's president, Jorge Villacorta, said "water levels in the high altitude reservoirs had fallen to 165 million cubic metres, 120 million less than in a normal year." Water is presently cut off between 5am and 5pm everyday. Said Villacorta: "People in Lima use twice as much water as the World Health Organisation deems necessary for personal use. People need to lose less and leak less water in their houses." (See 'Saving Water' in April 30's Peruvia.

Health Workers Bleed: The Associated Press runs a photoraph of "Peruvian health workers bleed during a protest in front of the International Labour Organization building in Lima." They are shown cutting their arms with needles during the protest demanding higher salaries.

LHorna Wins in Hamburg: The ic Network notes that Luis Horna beat Arnaud Clement of France was a 6-2 6-3 victor against in the Tennis Masters series in Hamburg.

Architectural Designs for MPicchu: Architectum had been running an architectural "contest of ideas" through the construction of a hostel in Machu Picchu that would "celebrate" the natural scenario more than "distract" with its own facilities. Second prize, according to Virginia's The Winchester Star went to two students, one of whom had never been to MPicchu. First prize went to a five-member design team from Peru.

Dinner on Huascarán Bested: The Scotsman tells of a record being broken: "Six Britons have completed their bid for a new world record for the highest altitude formal dinner. The team carried tables, chairs, silver cutlery and a five-course meal to the summit of the 7,045m (23,113ft) Lhakpa Ri mountain in Tibet. But hurricane-strength winds forced the team to descend to a more sheltered point at 6,805m (22,326ft) to hold the formal dinner." The current record, set in June 1989, is held by an Australian team who dined at 6,768m (22,204ft) on Mount Huascarán in Peru.

Wedded Bliss: The New York Times noted yesterday that Olga Gomer and Jose Manuel Hernendez "were married last evening by Rabbi Anthony D. Holz at the Harbour Club in Charleston, S.C. "Mr. Hernandez, 27, is an associate specializing in mergers and acquisitions in Latin American investment banking at J. P. Morgan Chase in New York. He graduated from Harvard. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jose Manuel Hernandez, live in Lima, Peru, where the bridegroom's father is an owner of ATA, a civil and agricultural engineering consulting firm."

MMarceau in Lima: Reuters has photographs of French mime Marcel Marceau, 80, performing in Lima.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?