Saturday, June 05, 2004

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

Will AToledo Survive? The Miami Herald runs a Q&A from the Inter-American Dialogue's 'Latin America Advisor' with this question: "Will Toledo be able to see his term through to its end in 2006? What impact would his early departure have on Peru's business and investment climate?" The responses come from three observers. David Scott Palmer, Boston University: "On balance, any announcement of Toledo's departure before the 2006 elections is premature and, for this observer at least, unlikely." Michael Shifter, Inter-American Dialogue: "Most Peruvians want Toledo to complete his term. They regard his Cabinet as quite competent. The conventional wisdom is that if he can last through the year, he can probably survive until 2006, since next year the presidential campaign begins." Raymundo Morales, World Bank: "I think that Toledo will finish out his term. I believe that the only risk in Toledo's future would consist of public protests, which are not likely." All three make clear that Toledo depends on the strengths of the international economic prospects and how that impacts on popular democratic will.

Note To USA Travellers, cont.: According to El Comercio [in Spanish], the American Express company will no longer allow purchases for Aero Continente on their cards.

Red Cross Visits AGuzmán, cont.: The BBC reports that Abimael Guzmán "is in good health after having begun a hunger strike one month ago," according to Philippe Gaillard, head of Peru's International Red Cross Committee. And though Guzmán "had lost 7kg but was unlikely to starve himself to death." ALSO: "Separately, Peruvian authorities say Shining Path rebels have attacked two police patrols, killing two officers," in Tingo Maria and led by Artemio. For more on Artemio, see 'Sendero Suggests Strikes' in May 1's and April 20's Peruvia.

Peru Stands Out: The New York Times publishes an editorial on the increased militarized relationship between the USA and Latin America with 'terrorism' being exchanged for 'communism.' It argues that "the terrorism concern is overstated" for Latin America except Colombia "and, to some degree, Peru." The piece also begins and ends with a slap at President Bush who came into office promising a renewed focus on the region: "Now that Latin America is on the back burner as far as American diplomacy is concerned ... No matter how preoccupied they are with Iraq, the White House and the State Department cannot brush Latin America aside."

Newmont Mining and Its Critics, cont.: Colorado's Rocky Mountain News (where Newmont Mining is headquartered) runs an op-ed on the irony of Cajamarca: "home to Yanococha, the richest gold mine in Latin America" as well as "the region is one of the poorest in the country." The author is Father Marco Antonia Arana Zegarra, a diocesan priest and executive director of GRUFIDES, an environmental and social justice organization based in Cajamarca who writes directly: "When you consider that the mining industry is the No. 1 toxic polluter in the United States, you can imagine what happens in countries where pollution laws are weak or nonexistent and very little monitoring is done." He also recalls the mercury spill in nearby Choropampa in June 2000 where "more than 900 people, more than half of whom were children under the age of 5, were poisoned when a truck from the Yanacocha mine spilled 330 pounds of liquid mercury along a 25-mile stretch of highway passing through the center of Choropampa and two neighboring towns." For More Background: 'Newmont Mining and its Critics' in April 29's Peruvia.

Asparagus Wars, cont.: The Associated Press as well as local Washington State television stations KAPP and KATU, all mention Peru as they report on the closing of the asparagus canning factory near Seattle. "Instead of switching from coca to asparagus, Peruvians are now growing both crops," said Don C. Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business. "According to the General Accounting Office, this 1991 act has not stemmed coca production, but has put asparagus growers in Washington, California and Michigan at risk." See 'Asparagus Wars' in yesterday's Peruvia below.

Growing Trade Surplus: Reuters reports that "Peru posted a $46.4 million trade surplus in April compared with a $52.4 million deficit a year earlier," according to the Central Bank. ALSO: "Peru's trade surplus in the first four months of the year rose to $605.4 million compared with a deficit of $70.1 million in the same period in 2003."

APEC Meetings:
- Agence France Press reports on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Chile which included the participation of Armando Caceres, principal researcher at Peru's Group of Analysis for Development.

The Road To Puno: The Associated Press offers several photographs of Bolivian protestors blocking the roads blocked on the La Paz-Peru highway "as part of growing opposition to the referendum set by the government for July 18 to decide on the future of gas reserves and other energy issues."

MEDCO Bought by IVAX, cont.: The Miami Herald, the South Florida Business Journal, and the United Press International pick up on yesterday's announcement of Peruvian pharmaceutical MEDCO being acquired by IVAX.

The 'Other' World Cup, Part II: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on this weekend's World Cup Seattle, "a gathering of nearly 700 local players representing 31 nations, from Laos to Peru." Team Peru is being organized by Jose Luis Amesquita. The event is the product of Jessica Breznau, director of Sister Communities, a non-profit organization designed to foster better relations between different groups. "Like the real World Cup, the local men's amateur event combines sport and nationalism, a merging of cultures, colors and competition. Players and fans representing five continents, most of whom would not otherwise interact, are giving new meaning to the term 'multicultural'." For Background: See this opinion column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Sister Communities site. See also 'The Other World Cup' happening in Korea, noted in Thursday's Peruvia below.


Friday, June 04, 2004

Vladi's Russian Connection: The Russian Information Agency Novosti reports that former KGB General and Rosvooruzheniye CEO Yevgeny Ananyev has been issued a warrant for his arrest by Italian authorities for his ties to Vladimiro Montesinos. Ananyev, along with Olga Beltsova and Giulio Rizzo "are charged with money-laundering operations; the three persons were apparently bribed during the signing of a contract for the sale of Russia's Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum air-superiority fighters to Peru." Novosti states that "all those people were linked with Torres Montesinos [sic], who had signed a contract with Rosvooruzheniye for the purchase of three MiG-29 aircraft worth US$117 million in 1998 on behalf of the Peruvian Government." The total graft expected in the deal was $18.4 million "with the Peruvian citizen getting nearly $11 million. Ananyev was entitled to the remaining sum total." Russian newspapers Gazeta and Pravda follow the story based on Novosti's reporting.

Note To USA Travellers: The USA State Department Consular Information Sheet on Peru has this update: "NOTE: As of June 1, 2004, it is illegal for any person within the United States, as well as U.S. citizens, nationals, and resident aliens elsewhere, to fly on Aero Continente. Persons who violate this provision are potentially subject to criminal and civil penalties under U.S. law. Further information on this matter is available on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website at http://www.treas.gov/ofac." The Department of Treasury's page on Asset Control includes not only FZevallos' date of birth and libreta electoral number but also information on sisters Lupe Maritza Zevallos Gonzales (now CEO of AeroContinente) and Milagros Angelina Zevallos Gonzales, brother Winston Ricardo Zevallos Gonzales as well as Maximo Zadi Desme Hurtado, John Yvan Mejia Magnani, and Carlos Enrique Morales Andrade. According to a source, the USA Consul Charles Smith stated clearly, "it is no longer legal for U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to fly on or otherwise conduct business with Aero Continente." However, Smith also noted that at this time, "we do not have information about penalty enforcement."

Asparagus Wars, cont.: The Seattle Times reports that "Washington's last and largest asparagus cannery will close next year as the work moves to cheaper plants in Peru." Though the focus is on the Seneca Foods' asparagus canning, it also notes that "[i]ts carrot-canning line also will close next year." Alan Schreiber, administrator of the Washington Asparagus Commission says, "the move will eliminate 2,000 seasonal jobs in asparagus fields across Southeastern Washington." Last year, Del Monte contracted with canneries in Peru, where wages are far lower, allowing it to undercut Seneca's prices." Seneca, however, was the largest asparagus canner with "roughly half — an estimated 28 million pounds — of Washington's $30 million asparagus crop for General Mills' Green Giant label." The Tri-City Herald also reports on the plant closing and quotes Schreiber saying that "U.S. growers and processors have been battered for the past seven years by federal trade preferences for Peru." According to the newspaper, "the federal policy that helps Peru export its low-priced asparagus to the United States is supposed to help wean that South American country's struggling economy from illegal coca production, but it has pinched domestic asparagus producers." See also: 'Tensions Over Asparagus' in May 1's, 'Asparagus Wars' in April 11's and 'No Asparagus?' in February 6's Peruvia.

Mining Gets the Tax, cont.: Follow-up stories on the congressional approval of the mining levy continue today. Reuters quotes mining analyst Luis Bravo saying, "Although this bill has to be reviewed by the executive branch, which would probably reject it, we consider that it is only a matter of time for it to become law." The Miami Herald uses yesterday's Associated Press story with a few added details: "The unicameral legislature on Thursday defined the tax -- 1% on mining company sales up to US$60 million, 2% on sales from US$60 million to US$120 million and 3% on sales over US$120 million." Additional quotes come from Leopoldo Scheelje (CONFIEP's president) and Congressman Javier Diez Canseco. Reuters reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp. says their annual profits will be cut "by about US$20 million" because of the royalty plan approved by Congress. ALSO: Southern's president Oscar Gonzalez said they would "definitely not bid next month for the huge Las Bambas copper project if royalties went ahead, and at least two other projects would have to be reviewed." A separate Reuters story reports that investment brokerage Centura SAB said "it had raised Peru's top precious metals miner, Compania de Minas Buenaventura to a buy from hold after approval of a royalty plan in Congress." This came asa a result of the "falls in the company's shares over the past week made it an attractive bet." ALSO: Australia's ABC News reports that "BHP Billiton is fighting a new mining royalty affecting its operations in South America, after Peru approved a charge of up to 3%." It also notes that "Peru is the latest country in South America to announce a mining royalty, after Chile did the same six weeks ago." While BHP is "not expected to be affected by the Peruvian charge in the short-term" their royalty payment in Chile "is due to start in 2007."

Cerro Verde Gets A 'No': BNAmericas reports that CONASEV, Peru's securities regulator, "has rejected the environmental impact study for a sulfide expansion project at the Cerro Verde copper mine, owned by US miner Phelps Dodge" and located in Arequipa. In turn, the company stated that "Cerro Verde is reviewing the resolution to determine what action is necessary." They also will "have to take into consideration a sliding scale 1-3% royalty on the value of mineral concentrates sold, approved by Peru's Congress on June 3." IN SPANISH: The letter of rejection.

AToledo Comes in Last: Canada's Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy reviews the poll undertaken by the Barómetro Iberoamericano de Gobernabilidad where poll takers through Latin America asked: 'How would you rate the performance of your country's president?' "Alejandro Toledo of Peru garnered the poorest ratings, with less than 10% while Argentina's Néstor Kirchner was the best-rated head of state in Latin America. These latest numbers are not yet on their site but you can see the 2003 poll in which Peru came in fourth from the bottom.

Rating the Economy, cont.: The Miami Herald includes a summary of yesterday's outlook by Fitch Ratings [Peruvia readers can use 'Peruvia' as the username] including a quote by the author of the report Therese Feng: ''Fiscal consolidation has been achieved in spite of a challenging political climate, which has helped to stabilize Peru's high indebtedness and enhance the credibility of fiscal management.'' The report questions Toledo's ability to finish his term and makes an anonymous dig at APRA presidential candidate Alan Garcia: "... President Alejandro Toledo will serve out the remainder of his term, though a scenario involving impeachment cannot be ruled out. ... [T]he existence of a major contender in the presidential elections who followed a heterodox policy path as president in the late 1980s increases uncertainty about economic policy beyond 2006."

Smoking Peruvian Cigars: Reuters runs a story on cigar-maker Tabacalera del Oriente, based in Tarapoto, which "only started selling its tobacco in 2001 but its fans already include U.S. President George W. Bush and King Juan Carlos of Spain." The piece is pegged on an interview with Nicola Felice Aquilano who started Tabacalera del Oriente in 1997 with $2 million and "produced just 300,000 hand-rolled cigars last year, compared with Cuba's 300 million a year." However, they aim "to produce 1 million cigars by 2005 and 5 million cigars by 2008, generating annual sales of $15 million." ALSO: "Cigarette consumption in Peru is low compared with the rest of Latin America." The names for its three cigar brands: Jose de San Martin, Admiral Miguel Grau and the Lord of Sipan. Reuters also offers photos of the fields and the rollers. IN SPANISH: See some advertisements from the company.

UN Special Rapporteur Comes To Lima: According to a United Nations' press release, Paul Hunt, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights "on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, will visit Peru at the invitation of the Government from 7 to 15 June 2004." ALSO: "He will focus on issues related to access to health services and goods, in particular for marginalized groups -- including indigenous peoples -- and rural communities. ... He will also consider donor financing and the role of international financial institutions."

Evo Passes Through Lima: The Associated Press reports, through two photographs, the arrival of Bolivian indigenous leader and Congressman Evo Morales at his news conference in Lima today. On a stopover in the Lima airport on his way to Ecuador, Morales "denounce[d] a Peruvian congressman who said weapons were allegedly found in a Lima port heading to insurgents working for the Bolivian leader." The Congressman he named was Xavier Barron (Unidad Nacional). He blamed this on "lies being spread by the U.S. government to discredit him." IN SPANISH: See also this piece in El Comercio.

Red Cross Visits AGuzmán: The Associated Press reports that the Red Cross will visit Abimael Guzman "who is weak and bedridden because of a hunger strike," according to his lawyer Manuel Fajardo. The story mentions that "Abimael Guzmán and his former lover Elena Iparraguirre began refusing food on May 3 in a bid for amnesty for leftist insurgents." See May 5's Peruvia for news at the beginning of the hunger strike.

Pneumonia Kills in Cuzco: Xinhua Net reports that "over 30 children under five have been killed by pneumonia caused by cold current in the central region of Cusco since April," according to the Ministry of Health. "More than 790 people have contracted pneumonia and 36,200 others suffered from serious respiratory diseases in the area."

MEDCO Bought by IVAX: Florida-based pharmaceutical IVAX put out a press release to announce their acquisition of acquired Medco, "a Peruvian pharmaceutical company, with headquarters in Lima. Medco develops, manufactures and sells branded over-the-counter and prescription products, as well as generic prescription drugs." According to Roberto Prego, vice-president IVAX Latin America, “Medco is a company with a superior reputation and management which will be an important addition to IVAX’ operations in Latin America. The combination of Medco with our existing company in Peru will create the fourth largest company in this growing pharmaceutical market."

Huawei's Success: Huawei, a Chinese high-tech enterprise which specializes in research and development, production and marketing of communications, put out a press release to announce they "successfully participated in the Telecommunication Congress which was held by the Ministry of Transport and Communication in Peru. ... In the exhibition, Vice Minister Pacheco tested a call himself on Huawei CDMA450 system. Huawei's CDMA450 system was the highlight in the exhibition."

Peru vs. Venezuela on June 6: The Associated Press and Reuters offers several pictures of Team Peru in preparation of the World Cup qualifying match against Venezuela on June 6. Photos include Coach Paulo Autori, Jefferson Farfan, Nolberto Solano; Martin Hidalgo and Pedro Garcia (with watches on?); and Garcia and Hidalgo.

From Riding to Cutting: The Courier Times (near Philadelphia) profiles former Peruvian Jockey Francisco Calderon in a story pegged on this weekend's horse races at the Belmont Stakes in New York. Calderon was a jockey for 20 years which "affords him a unique perspective and the luxury of fully understanding." As the owner of "Newtown's Pizzazz Hair Salon," the story has this twist: "Once touted with accolades as a jockey, Calderon gave up riding racehorses to beautify women and defeat men in hand-to-hand competition."

Chasqui Charity: The Chasqui Humanitarian hosts its 4th Annual Chasqui International Golf Classic today at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club. (They were originally named the Andean Children's Foundation.)

Eating in the USA: The Los Angeles Times reviews Kikiryki and the Washington Post reviews (again) The Nibbler.


Thursday, June 03, 2004

Mining Gets the Tax: Bloomberg, BNAmericas, and Reuters reports that the Peruvian Congress "approved a controversial plan to charge mining companies a royalty of 1 to 3% of their sales," with a vote of 68-30 and 13 abstentions. The Lima Stock Exchange's president Rafael D'Angelo Serra gets quotes in both Bloomberg and Reuters and said "the stock declines wiped $250 million off mining stocks in an hour." Cerro Verde's "shares fell 9.75% before recovering after Thursday's vote to stand 0.91% down." Bloomberg quotes Congressman Victor Valdez, a member of the Congressional Mining Committee. BNAmericas gets quotes from Armando Mendoza, a political advisor to lawmaker Javier Diez Canseco, who was a prime sponsor of the bill in Congress. NOTE: BNAmericas says "Mining is the cornerstone of Peru's US$60bn economy, accounting for 50% of exports." ALSO: Reuters says that "in a separate resolution, Congress approved a scheme to divide the royalty revenue among local, provincial and regional authorities where the mining operations are based." A separate Reuters piece suggests that "Peruvian mining companies could take legal action" against this legislative action, according to Jose Miguel Morales, president of the private National Society of Mining, Energy and Petroleum. He appears to have his own strategy: "It's not a case of taking to the streets or burning tires or blocking roads, we have to use the legal means available to Peruvians to defend ourselves from this type of action." Separately, Reuters reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp. was trading "more than 4% lower on Thursday after Congress voted in favor of a controversial plan plan to charge miners a royalty." They are the only major mining corportation not to have "the so-called tax stability contracts that lock in unchangeable tax rates for long periods, meaning they will not be subject to the royalty." Still another Reuters story relates how the "big North American mining companies strongly hinted on Thursday that they might look elsewhere for gold, copper and other minerals following Peru's decision to charge them royalties." Cited were representatives of Newmont Mining ("Changes to the current tax regime could impact future investments in Peru") and Barrick Gold ("It will definitely affect the investment climate there"). SEE ALSO: an early Reuters story reported on how the deliberations began and a separate one filed at the start of the trading day.

FZevallos in Top Ten, cont.: Reuters has Fernando Zevallos' (and AeroContinente's) response to his being labelled a "drug kingpin" by the USA government. Said Zevallos, "The Chilean government and LanChile, hand-in-hand, are behind this. The objective is to destroy Aero Continente." The Associated Press and Reuters have several photographs of Zevallos' press conference held on a street across from Lima's U.S. Embassy. The New York Times includes part of yesterday's Associated Piece on Fernando Zevallos in their America's column today. ALSO: the New York Times includes Aerocontinente in an article on the industry in Latin America and says that it is being beat back by Lan Chile, "Latin America's most successful airline." It also reports that AeroContinente has already been hit hard this year by a strike, a Federal Aviation Administration ban on AeroContinente flights to the United States for 'significant safety issues,' and investigations into drug trafficking accusations against the airline's operators, the Zevallos family of Lima." Lan Chile and Marriot come together in a joint-marketing scheme, according to this press release. ALSO: Xinhua Net has their own take on the story and the Miami Herald runs an Associated Press piece (supplemented by their own reporting) on the Fernando Zevallos story. "In a heavy legal blow to a Peruvian airline mogul, the U.S. government placed him on its list of overseas drug kingpins Tuesday and froze the U.S.-based assets of Peru's largest airline and several related companies." The 'Drug Kingpin Act' denies access to the U.S. financial system and any transactions involving U.S. companies and individuals. Says the Herald: "Boeing airplane parts are now banned from [being provided] to AeroContinente to maintain its fleet of jets." Background: Peruvian investigators and the U.S. DEA believe ''the 3.3 tons of cocaine seized in Piura in 1995 represented approximately one half of a 7-ton shipment destined for Mexico and the United States." The Associated Press offers a photo of an AeroContintente airplane as well.

Rating the Economy: Fitch Ratings puts out a a new outlook on Peru: "the Rating Outlook on Peru's long-term foreign currency rating to Positive from Stable, on improving public and external finances, and reduced public financing vulnerabilities. The long-term foreign currency rating remains at 'BB-'. The long-term local currency (Peruvian Nuevo Sol) rating was affirmed at 'BB+' with a Stable Outlook." See also Reuters take on the report.

Refugee Program Praised: The United Nations news service reports on Francis M. Deng (Secretary-General Kofi Annan's representative to internally displaced persons, or IDPs) "praised Peru for the passage of a new national law prohibiting arbitrary displacement and clarifying the rights of those who have been forced to leave their homes by armed conflict or other causes." Deng "hailed President Alejandro Toledo and the Congress of Peru, where an estimated 600,000 people, mostly from indigenous communities, were displaced during the 1980s and 1990s. See the official press release from the United Nations. ALSO:Latinamerica Press also includes a piece on the "Law of the Displaced" and notes that this was one of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

JSilvaRuete Cleared in RDiez-Canseco Scandal: Dow Jones reports that Central Reserve Bank President Javier Silva Ruete "wasn't responsible for a tax break that benefited the family of the girlfriend of former Vice President Raul Diez-Canseco." Background: "Congress' investigation was tied to one of Silva Ruete's terms as finance minister, when he co-signed a decree giving the tax breaks."

Shhhh! More Military Maneuvers: The Sun, a newspaper in Illinois, includes notes about "the Peruvian Navy's Silent Forces Exercise" which included the participation of the USA Navy and which "allows American forces and foreign militaries to train together in an effort to deter further terrorist acts." ALSO: These excercises included anti-submarine warfare training with France and with host country Peru.

Copa America News: The Associated Press offers several photographs of "workers prepar[ing] the field at Peru's National Stadium in Lima" after Copa America organizers "decided on May 25 to use the 1950 stadium to open and close the July tournament instead of Monumental Stadium _ one of the continent's most modern venues." Reuters offers an additional photo. Reuters also has photos of a Peruvian "worker" purchasing Copa America soccer tournament tickets as they went on sale yesterday.

Petroperu Can't Privatize: Dow Jones reports that Petroperu "cannot be privatized and has been authorized to embark on exploration and exploitation activities," according to a law published in El Peruano. Says Petroperu President Alejandro Narvaez: "We could palliate the effects of the current price increase if we had an integrated business. If we had wells that allowed us to obtain crude at the production cost, the impact would be much less on the consumer. We would also contribute more through income tax."

Markham Exhibit: The UK's Independent reports on a new exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society which includes Clements Markham's archives. He is a previous Society president. Included in the exhibit: his map of "The basin of the Amazons" which was drawn up on an expedition to South America between the 1850s and 1860s. "The aim was to seek out the cinchona tree from which quinine - the best treatment for malaria available at the time - could be extracted. Markham's pen and ink map, measuring 75cm by 50cm (30in by 20in) and folded in four, was drawn in the 1850s. But his comments on the aboriginal Indians he meets on his travels are perhaps most revealing. ... His comments, penned in spidery handwriting on the map and typical of the era, described the Cocamillas Indians of northern Peru as "lazy, drunken, good boatmen."

The 'Other' World Cup: The Korea Times reports on a Peruvian team's participation at the first Migrant Worker's World Cup Soccer Championship hosted by the Uijeongbu Migrant Worker's Center at the Uijeongbu Complex Stadium. "The opening ceremony started at 11 o'clock after the first game of the tournament between the Myanmar and the Korean team. The Uijeongbu city mayor Kim Mun-won and Peruvian consul to South Korea Wilbert Haya took part in the ceremony."

SMulanovich is #1, cont.: The Los Angeles Times catches up with Sonia Mulanovich's victory at the Roxy Pro in France "with lots of sets, rips and super-consistent conditions" and who now holds "a pretty whopping lead in the WCT standings."

Eating in the USA: The Orlando Sentinel reviews positively La Granja, and the Houston Press cheers on Pezcalato.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Peru 3 - Uruguay 1: Agence France Press, the Associated Press, and Reuters among others, report on Peru's victory in their match against Uruguay. Reuters says that this "puts [Peru] back in the hunt for a place at the 2006 World Cup finals." Peru now has eight qualification points, the fourth in their group where "the top four teams qualify directly for the World Cup and the fifth plays off against the Oceania region winners." Nobby put in a "curling free kick for Peru in the 12th minute;" Pizarro scored on the break seven minutes later. Jefferson Farfan made it 3-0 in the second half. Uruguayan defender Gonzalo Sorondo received a red card for "spitting at Roberto Palacios." A separate Reuters story (which focuses exclusively on the match but lacks some details) reports that Peru "spurn[ed] opportunities" several times. The Washington Post includes this: "visiting Peru shocked Uruguay, 3-1." Agence France Press adds that "the Peruvians are attempting to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1982 when Teofilio Cubillas was rated one of the best players in the world and the side rivalled Argentina and Brazil." The Associated Press has the lineups for each team. Next up for Team Peru is a match at home with Venezuela on June 6 and, as the Associated Press reports, a friendly with Argentina on June 30 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Newcastle's Evening Chronicle has some kind words from former resident Solano: "Nobby on target for Peru."

Peru 3 - Uruguay 1, PHOTOS: The Associated Press offers post-game congratulations including one of Wilmer Acasiete and crowd shots. Also shown: Nobby's goal, Andres Mendoza in action; and Nobby and Pizarro celebrating.
Reuters offers photos of a victorious ClaudioPizarro, Jeferson Farfan's third score. ALSO shown, Farfan passing to Galliquio; and Nobby in action.

Football Needs Peace: Reuters reports that Arturo Woodman and the other "organizers of next month's Copa America soccer competition, Peru's biggest sports showcase in years, called on protesters on Tuesday not to ruin the event with planned strikes and demonstrations against Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo." The Tournament is scheduled for July 6-25. A 3-day strike by farmers and peasants is scheduled for July 12 and the CGTP is planning a general strike on July 14. Woodman pleaded: 'I hope that in July union leaders understand that they must agree some kind of truce and put their demands on hold. We have an important international event that merits peace. There has to be a break (in protests) because apart from being a sporting party, the Copa America also brings big benefits to the country and to tourism." Woodman was accompanied in his news conference by Minister of the Interior Javier Reategui.

FZevallos in Top Ten: The US White House released a presidential directive, a press statement, and a fact sheet which adds Fernando Melciades Zevallos Gonzales to the list of 'narcotic kingpins.' "I transmit herewith my designation of the following eight foreign persons and two foreign entities as appropriate for sanctions under section 804(b) of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act," says the letter. The BBC reports that Zevallos, "the founder of Peru's main airline, Aero Continente" has had his US-based assets frozen by Washington as well as "five other people, and seven companies linked to him." Also: "The White House's announcement came hours after a court in Lima opened proceedings against Mr Zevallos, 46, on cocaine trafficking charges." The Miami Herald uses an Associated Press story on this news and Reuters reports that this will deny Zevallos "access to the U.S. financial system and all trade and transactions involving U.S. companies and individuals."

Military Maneuvers: China's Xinhua Net reports that "fourteen American countries will take part in the military maneuvers 'Unitas' on Peruvian seas and rivers beginning on June 23," according to the Peruvian Navy. "About 15,000 mariners from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, the United States, Mexico and seven other American countries will participate in the largest maneuvers ever held in east Pacific Ocean, which is scheduled to end on July 24. Among those expected: the US nuclear aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, missile corvettes, coast guard and air-seaunits. ALSO: "The maneuvers will also be conducted on Peru's Amazon rivers to practice navigation techniques and deal with traps and how to survive in jungles." (See also this US Navy article from the 2003 Unitas exercises in Argentina.)

Violence in Pucallpa, cont.:Reporters sans Frontières reports that "police in Pucallpa arrested Samuel Gonzales Pineda on 28 May on suspicion of being involved in the murder of journalist Alberto Rivera Fernández." Rivera, the president of the Ucayali Journalists Federation, was gunned down on April 21 as he was entering his home. For background, see 'Violence in Pucallpa' in April 26's Peruvia.

INEI's #s: Reuters offers more details on yesterday's INEI numbers and reports that Peru's mining and fishing sectors "kept up their fast-paced growth in April, but agriculture remained in the doldrums." Other Numbers: Mining "surged 10.6%"; fishing "rose 8.7%"; agriculture "slumped 5.3%." "INEI is expected to publish Peru's full gross domestic product data for April on June 15."

Mining: Tinka Resources put out a press release to announce their agreement with Sierra Peru "to form an exploration alliance to define gold and silver targets throughout Peru."

Peruvian Stuck in Mexico: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution runs a story on illegal immigrants in Mexico detained on their way to the USA and includes Peruvian Wilma Arroyo sitting in "the women's section recently, weeping, 'I thought I would make a better future for my daughter in the United States. I thought bad,' she said, explaining that she spent $8,000 in savings and loans in her failed bid to get to the United States. She hugged her 5-year-old daughter."


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

May Inflation Up 0.35%: Reuters notes that "Peru's consumer price index rose 0.35% in May, pushed up by higher food, drink, clothes and shoes prices," according to the latest numbers from INEI.

Tragedy in Trujillo: Reuters reports that "a Peruvian school teacher blinded four of her pupils and left 20 suffering from severe eye irritation after she used a traditional hair shampoo to wash away hair lice." The school is located in Paijan, near Trujillo, and the shampoo was a mixture of alcohol and chirimoya seeds.

Train Still to Arrive in Lima: BNAmericas reports that a "revised timetable for the international bidding process for Lima's urban train concession project is expected by month-end," according to the city's private investment promotion entity CEPRI. This "33-year concession is for the construction, equipment supply and operation of the 10km Villa El Salvador-Avenida Grau extension to the existing metro line from Atocongo (Villa El Salvador) to the Dos de Mayo hospital. The work is estimated to cost US$174 million."

Peruvian Art in Catalunya: Barcelona's Museu Nacional d'art de Catalunya is exhibiting Peru: Indigenous and Viceroyal through August 15, according to Art Daily.

Camisea on Hold?, cont.: The Washington Post includes two sentences on the possible delay by environmental protestors of the opening of the Camisea natural gas pipeline. (See also yesterday's Bloomberg report.)

Chinos & Cholos: Z Magazine publishes an essay by Chibu Lagman, a professor at Canada's Athabascau University, on his travels in Cuzco and Lima in May and his rambling thoughts on cocaleros, chinos, cholos and road blockades, many of them distilled from cabbies in those cities. Though some of his statements are flat-out wrong ("The Peruvian government hired a US based investigating agency to track down the hidden wealth of the Fujimoris. Millions of dollars in fees later, the private investigating agency found nothing."), it is an interesting first-person account by a foreigner to what has been happenning in Peru this last month.

Israeli Conversion Law May Shift: The Miami Herald publishes yesterday's Associated Press story on Israel's Supreme Court ruling that non-Orthodox converts to Judaism should be accepted as citizens. The story (and court case) is pegged Peruvian Ghustina Castro's experience. Israel's Haaretz says it is an interim ruling and reports that "only a handful of the 15 converts who petitioned the High Court of Justice with a demand to have their conversions recognized attended yesterday's session to hear the justices' ruling in their case." Their attorneys from the Center for Jewish Pluralism explained that "the road to a final decision on their case remains a long one." The paper suggests that "the news wasn't good for the petitioners." Ha'aretz also includes quotes from Justina Castro: "I am very sad; I thought it would be over by now." It also offers more details on Castro, the family she has been nannying for, and her boyfriend. ALSO: Haaretz includes a quote from Interior Minister Avraham Poraz who welcomed the court's decision, noting that it "shortens the road to the recognition of Reform and Conservative conversion and the breaking of the rabbinical-Orthodox monopoly."

Peru vs. Uruguay Tonight: Reuters offers a few more photographs of Team Peru in Montivideo preparing for the match against Uruguay including Andres Mendoza, Mendoza and Santiago Acasiete and Carlos Orejuela and Martin Hidalgo.

Japan - 'No More Coca': Japan's Asahi Shinbum runs an editorial, "Stop Drug Trafficking: "Eradication should start at the source." The article focuses on coca and poppy cultivation, calls for international enforcement and declares, "As with terrorist acts, there is no magic bullet for drugs. Drug-trafficking rings and channels of distribution should be crushed by closer international cooperation. Efforts must also be made to eradicate the sources of supply. If political unrest subsides and the economies improve in the drug-producing countries, a way out will be opened for poppy and coca farmers."

SBaca on Tour: Susana Baca will be presenting a concert in Skopje, Macedonia this weekend, according to the Macedonian Information Agency.

MVLl: The London Observer's literary editor Robert McCrum, writes a retrospective which includes his time as Mario Vargas Llosa's editor at Faber & Faber (though his dates seem to be at least a year off): "In the summer of 1990 Mario announced he was going to run for the presidency of his native Peru. It seemed both thrilling and utterly natural. A novelist for Presidente? But of course. As soon as possible I contrived to get on a plane for Lima to enjoy a grandstand view of what some commentators were predicting would be a one-horse race." But McCrum's memory (or perhaps editing skills?) is again a bit off as he notes that, "When I arrived in Lima in March 1991, he was 20% ahead of his nearest rival in the polls." ALSO: Perhaps in a demonstration of who was in MVLl's inner circle, McCrum writes: "On polling day I paced the corridors of the Lima Sheraton with his political advisers as the results were posted."

National Anthem Revisions: A Reuters story in the Sydney Morning Herald reviews the national anthem as a 'slave' anthem: "Peru today named a group of 10 experts to assess if the national anthem, composed 183 years ago, still strikes the right note." Justice Minister Baldo Kresalja charged the panel "to see if the anthem 'reflects the feeling of the population and unity of the nation and to study the text of its verses'," according to a resolution in El Peruano. The resolution said that "historians agreed there were 'substantial errors and an apocryphal verse'."
The story includes a full translation of the chorus and first verse:
We are free; let us always be so,
And let the sun rather deny its light
Than that we should fail the solemn vow
Which our country raised to God.

For a long time the Peruvian, oppressed,
Dragged the ominous chain;
Condemned to cruel serfdom,
For a long time he moaned in silence.
But as soon as the sacred cry of
Freedom! was heard on his coasts,
He shook off the indolence of the slave,
He raised his humiliated head.

"Lawmakers have in the past sought to scrub the offending verse and reinstate the original: 'Now the sacred cry of the free has silenced the din of chains which we heard for three centuries of horror and the world heard in astonishment'." (In Spanish: an AFP report.)


Monday, May 31, 2004

ON THIS DATE: On May 31, 1970, the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca were buried by an "earthquake-induced rock and snow avalanche on Mt. Huascaran. The death toll from the Debris Avalanche was 18,000 (total fatalities from the earthquake and the debris flow was 66,000). The avalanche started as a sliding mass of glacial ice and rock about 3,000 feet wide and one mile long. The avalanche swept about 11 miles to the village of Yungay at an average speed of more that 100 miles an hour. The fast-moving mass picked up glacial deposits and by the time it reached Yungay, it is estimated to have consisted of about 80 million cubic yards of water, mud, and rocks."

Whither Cabinet #6? Dow Jones reports that the Minister of Economy and Finance Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski said a cabinet shuffle "would do more harm than good. I do not believe in constant cabinet shuffles to address problems of another nature. Changing cabinets gives investors an impression of disorder," according to a interview he gave to RPP radio. This is in contrast to opposition leader Alan Garcia who "recently called on President Alejandro Toledo to shuffle the cabinet and in particular to seek a new prime minister." Premier Carlos Ferrero was named in December. The Lima dailies have been front-paging rumours of Housing Minister Carlos Bruce to be a possible replacement for Ferrero. Bruce is said to be a close, personal friend of the president. See 'Cabinet #5, cont.' in February 18's Peruvia.

More Mayors Under Attack? Reuters reports, rather breathily, that Mayors Cesar Eugenio of Molino ("central Peru") and Antolin Huaricacha of Asillo, Puno, were "terrified of being lynched like a colleague a month ago [and] gave pursuers the slip -- disguised as police." Both mayors were accused of corruption.

Massacre from 1980s Uncovered, cont.: The Miami Herald runs yesterday's Associated Press piece about the discovery of "the bullet-ridden remains of 15 peasants murdered by soldiers."

AFF Should Not Be A Candidate: Canada's Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy reports on the new Universidad de Lima poll which suggests that 67.9% or Lima/Callao residents disagreed with this question: "Do you agree or disagree with former head of state Alberto Fujimori becoming a presidential candidate once again in 2006?" ("Methodology: Interviews to 603 adults residents of Lima and Callao, conducted on May 8, 2004. Margin of error is 4%.")

Camisea On Hold? Bloomberg reports that "the Camisea natural gas pipeline, Peru's biggest energy project, may be delayed by environmental protests," according to a report in today's Gestion which cited a letter from the company to the Ministry of Energy and Mines. "A committee from the area of La Convencion-Quillabamba in the Cusco jungle said people in the area would 'take measures' against the pipeline if Transportadora de Gas del Peru SA doesn't compensate the area for $20 million of environmental damages by June 12," according to Carlos Cuaresma, the president of Cusco region.

Mining News:
- Sulliden Exploration put out a press release to announce that it has exercised its option to accelerate the remaining payment for the Shahuindo gold/silver project in Cajamarca.
- Bloomberg reports that Minsur, Peru's only tin mining company, "may fall after the London Metal Exchange tin price fell 4.8% to $9,000 a metric ton, its biggest decline since July 2002. The stock fell 26 centimos, or 2.9 percent, to 8.74 soles."

Net Reserves: Dow Jones reports that "Peru's net international reserves totaled $10.841 billion on May 25, compared with $10.886 billion as of May 18," according to the Central Reserve Bank. "As of May 25, net international reserves this year have increased $647 million."

Please, No More Conversions!, cont.: The Associated Press reports that "Israel's Supreme Court ruled Monday, after five years of deliberation, that ... many converts ... could be eligible for citizenship." The story is pegged around a "Peruvian housekeeper Ghustina Castro [who] converted to Judaism in 1996, with the help of a non-Orthodox rabbi, but was not recognized as a Jew by Israel." ALSO: "Castro, 49, said she was born Christian but was drawn to Judaism at age of 25. She soon began praying in synagogues and completed a year of Jewish studies after she came to Israel in 1983. When Castro told the Israeli family she works with that she wanted to convert, they kidded her that they would not accept strict kosher laws in their kitchen, because they are secular Jews. Castro adds: "I love Israel, and I love the Torah. I am here to stay, for better or for worse.'' (For more, see 'Please, No More Conversions!' in March 31's Peruvia.

Peru vs. Uruguay on June 1:Reuters offers two more photographs of Team Peru in Montivideo preparing for the June 1 match against Uruguay: Jefersson Farfan and Juan Jayo and Carlos Orejuela and Henry Quinteros.

SMulanovich #1, cont: A press release notes that "twenty year-old Peruvian surfer Sofia Mulanovich has defeated world #2 Keala Kennelly of Hawaii to win the Roxy Pro France in six-to-eight foot (2-2.5m) surf at La Madrague beach. Mulanovich's win is her third straight World Championship Tour victory and marks her as the undisputed favorite for this year's Association of Surfing Professionals women's world title. Mulanovich battled thunderous seas to defeat the big-name Hawaiian, riding only two scoring waves in 30 minutes."

Peruvians in Canada Disguised As Mexicans: The Canadian Press reports that "a human smuggling operation was cracked Monday at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, resulting in the arrest of two men," according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Peruvians were being smuggled through the airport using Mexican passports, a spokesman for the federal force said. 'They need a visa and they have to be sponsored,' the spokesman said. 'With a Mexican passport, it's no questions asked. They can fly from Lima to Montreal with no questions asked.' The Peruvians were being charged between $1,000 and $5,000 each, police said."

Miss Peru, cont.: The Associated Press publishes one more photo of Miss Peru Liesel Holler, who is participating in the Miss Universe contest in Quito which begins tomorrow.

The Bridge of Happiness: Florida Today runs an essay on the "Inca trail, arguably the most spectacular hike in the world" in which "to cross the wicked Urubamba River and reach the trail that takes you to magnificent Macchu Picchu was a bridge only the Marquis de Sade could love. ... I should mention here the name of the place on which we stood was named Cusichaca, which is Quechuan for 'Bridge of Happiness.'" NOTE: Cusichaca, among other 'quechuan' names are thought by many to have been designated by Hiram Bingham.


Sunday, May 30, 2004

Vidalias: The Peruvian Connection? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution runs an article on the impact of globalization on Geogria including onion farmers. Delbert Bland is one such farmer and he suggests that since 1994, he has been working with Peruvian farmers because "[t]he taste and quality of the onions grown in Peru surpassed expectations." The 45 farmers he contracts with there, however, use his vidalia onion seeds. And then there is this: last year "an unusual virus — possibly imported from Peru — threaten[ed Bland's] fields. Less than 10 percent of this year's crop was lost, less than normal, which can be attributed to bad weather as much as disease. Still, there's talk of spraying Peruvian fields or fumigating imported onions. 'They've got some problems in Peru,' says Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin. "We don't want their problems.' " (Peruvia readers may remember Delbert Bland. See 'Onions Burned' in February 9's Peruvia which includes him in a front-page story in the Washington Post.)

PERUVIA EDITORIAL: The publishers of Peruvia are not agronimists but there are some journalistic questions that do arise with these onion stories. The WPost, the AJC, and the Associated Press have all linked Peru as a possible link to a possible virus affecting USA onions but the link is far from clear. The articles quote experts who acknowledge there is a problem but do not conclusively point to Peruvian crops. Yet each story points toward Peru as the culprit for the "mysterious disease." (WP: "the mystery thrips discovered in the Vidalia area this year may have hitched rides to the United States in loads of onions from Peru." AJC: "an unusual virus — possibly imported from Peru — threatening their fields." AP: "Peruvian onions have tested positive for both tomato spotted wilt and iris yellow spot virus, but no one is sure that either of those has caused the upsurge of leaf damage.") These three reporters placed too prominently a possible Peruvian connection to these onions without enough proof. There could very well be a connection to Peru. (From the reporting offered, it may be that USA seed infected Peruvian crops.) However, all of these articles have inferred a Peruvian connection before offering the proper, firm evidence. (UPDATE: A Peruvia reader sends along a quote from the source the AP uses who declares that "the [Georgia] onions today look totally different from what they did two months ago. I never expected this crop to look this good at this point after looking as poorly as it looked this winter.")

Massacre from 1980s Uncovered: The Associated Press reports that "authorities have unearthed the bullet-ridden remains of 15 peasants murdered by soldiers after the lone survivor of the massacre came forward following two decades of silence." (The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post use abbreviated versions of this story in their print editions today.) The discovery was made near Totos, Ayacucho according to chief forensic investigator Luis Castillejo who said the massacre occured near a military post on May 28, 1983. The survivor's identity is being withheld.

Poverty Still Exists in Southern Peru: The Miami Herald reports ostensibly about the 'Plan for Peace and Development,' Toledo's anti-poverty program "which is supposed to spend $800 million by 2006," in several departments. However, the reporting is principally from Pampa Cangallo, a village of 8,000 in Ayacucho. Quotes come from Gastón Garatea Yori, "a well-known antipoverty activist," who is a Catholic priest and President of the Consensus Building Forum for the Fight Against Poverty; Luis Thais, president of the Peru’s National Council for Decentralization; and Isabel Dolores Corál Cordero, "a senior government official who travels frequently in the zone." (She is the president of the Centro de Promoción y Desarrollo Poblacional.) Omar Quesada, the president of Ayacucho state, and who was featured in last week in the Miami Herald, also gets another quote as do Pampa Cangallo's Mayor Oscar Tineo and school Norberto Tenorio. To broaden its scope beyond Ayacucho, the article fits in quotes by Luis Barra, president of Apurimac state and ends by quoting Manuel Duarte, president of Junín region: "We're convinced that where the state has a presence and does good works, terrorism withers away. Terrorism thrives in areas of extreme poverty."

USA Copters to Pakistan Not to Peru: Hi Pakistan reports that three of five Huey-II helicopters the USA government was set to sell to Peru were sent instead to Pakistan who wanted them urgently to "enhance the border security, counter narcotics and other operations on the western border."

Pacific War Excercise: Hawaii's Star-Bulletin reports that "the 19th in the series of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime [miliary] exercise will run from June 29 through July 27 and will involve eight nations" including Peru, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Sonia #1!: The Honolulu Advertiser reports on Sofia Mulanovich victory in the Roxy Pro France in 6- to 8-foot surf at La Madrague Beach. This is Mulanovich's third straight victory in a World Championship Tour surfing event. Australia's The Age calls Mulanovich "the pocket rocket from Peru" who "won the decider by a measly 7.6 points to 3.8 because both women kept getting pounded by sets, preventing them from reaching the takeoff zone until halfway through the 30-minute final." Said the champion Peruvia surfer, "I got so many sets on the head it was ridiculous." Also: Australia's Western Advocate puts it this way: "the little Peruvian dynamo Sofia Mulanovich took another gigantic step towards this year's world surfing title by winning the Roxy Pro France." Next Up: Florianópolis, Brasil in late September.(See also 'SMulanovich Champion!' in April 24's Peruvia.)

Peru vs. Uruguay on June 1: Reuters shows several photographs of Team Peru arriving in Montivideo for the World Cup Qualifying match on June 1. Players photographed include Roberto Palacios, Norberto Solano, and coach Paulo Autuori. The Associated Press also offers one of Nobby.

Titcaca Travel: The Washington Post's Travel section fronts an article on travelling to Titicaca by Ormeno bus [sic], an 18-ride from Arequipa, after the writer has "traveled across two continents." WPost Travel reporter Gary Lee arrives in Puno for a transcental, mythical experience. ("The waters had given rise to no less than the creator god Viracocha, by their account. Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the mythical founders of the Incan empire, were also said to have risen from the lake. Did that sacred spirit linger here? I had come to find out.") While the article states that "many visitors devote only a couple of days to the lake," the writer and his travelling companion has decided on a "five-day stay ... just enough time to begin to grasp the history and depth of the place." Travel was done in January so while they avoided Bolivia and the strikes there, travel was relatively unimpeded in Peru though they did make it Copacabana, on the Bolivian side of the lake. Also included: Challapampa, "one of the small port towns along the coast of Isla del Sol." And the floating islands of the Uros and the island of Taquile.

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