Friday, June 18, 2004

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

Less Coca: The United Nation's Office on Drugs and Crime Prevention released the 'Peru Coca Survey' (.pdf) which studies "the five-year period following the 1998 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, [and shows] the total area under coca cultivation in the Andean region – Bolivia, Colombia and Peru – declined by 20%, reaching a 14-year low of 153,800 hectares in 2003." SEE ALSO: See the press release and related Agence France Press, Associated Press, and Bloomberg stories on this report. NOTE: "In Peru, the total area under coca cultivation in 2003 is estimated at 44,200 hectares, representing a 5.4% decline compared to an estimated 46,700 hectares under cultivation in 2002. The total production of dry coca leaf for 2003 was estimated at 50,790 metric tonnes, a 3.3% decline or 1,759 tonnes less than in 2002." ALSO: "The lower coca cultivation level in Peru constitutes no grounds for complacency. Coca farming techniques have been enhanced in key growing areas. In the future, we could face higher yields per hectare." The AFP notes that "On May 4 Peruvian police clashed with hundreds of coca growers who had marched 500 kilometres (300 miles) to Lima to protest against the eradication programme."

A 'New' 400-year old Cathedral: The Associated Press reports on the completion of the "cleaning and rebuilding [of] Lima's 400-year-old Roman Catholic cathedral." Quotes come from Alvaro Carulla, spokesman for Banco de Credito del Peru, "which paid for most of the project," Claudia Paz, an architect, who credited electricity company Edelnor "for rewir[ing] the cathedral and install[ing] more than 600 lights," and lead architect Jorge Levano. Note: "Seven massive wooden doors [w]eighing three tons each and up to 30 feet high, all but one had been stuck shut for more than 50 years." Historical Note: "The Lima cathedral oversaw much of the evangelization of indigenous peoples on the continent." The Associated Press also offers several photographs: sculptures restoration, songbook restoration, the main altar, Santa Rosa de Lima, lighting changes, and " a worker fastens a gold leaf crown atop a statue of the 'Virgin of Pain'."

KVital Charged with Corruption: The Associated Press reports that retired Police General Ketin Vidal has been charged with "corruption," by State prosecutor Isabel Huaman. This took place on "June 11 after a two-year investigation into [Vidal's] property purchases." The story is based partly on anonymous sources. The Allegation: "[T]hat Vidal's salary as the head of Peru's police national police force could not have enabled him to pay cash for four houses across Lima." According to Lima daily Correo, "Vidal has denied any wrongdoing," and says that "This is a dirty ploy. This hurts all the more because there is no gratitude." Vidal has been seen as "a national hero for his role in the 1992 capture of [Abimel Guzman]."

Broadcast Law Limits Foreigners: Dow Jones reports that Peru's Congress "voted to limit foreign ownership to 40% in the nation's broadcast outlets." in the 'Law On Radio and Television,' but "it left some articles to be voted on for a second time next week, including the article that places limits on foreign investments." NOTE: "A second vote in Congress is normally needed on legislation that modifies the nation's constitution." Quotes come from Mario Ochoa, president of the Transportation and Communications Commission. "Opposition proposals to place the limits at either 25% or at 49% were rejected." Peru Posible voted in favor of the 40% limit but "Congressional President Henry Pease had to cast the deciding vote for the 40% foreign ownership limit after a tie in the voting."

Copa America - Not Quite Ready: Reuters reports inspectors from the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, have approved six stadiums of the twelve for the July tournament but that the Cuzco stadium "is not ready." Arturo Woodman, president of the Copa America organising committee, tried to be reassuring declaring that, "In the case of the Cusco stadium, they haven't given it the green light but it's very clear they know Cusco will be perfectly ready."
NOTE: "Only one match, the third-place playoff, will be played in Cusco, on July 24."

Camisea Spigot Turned On, cont.: Reuters follows up on Bloomberg's story yesterday that Transportadora de Gas del Peru "was planning to issue $275 million in bonds to partly finance the pipeline." Reuters gets the company's Managing Director, Alejandro Segret, to confirm this and quotes Geraldine Marino, a spokeswoman for parent company Techint saying, "The bond is for Transportadora de Gas del Peru, for $275 million. There's no time frame, they're still at the roadshow stage."

More Mining:
- Bear Creek Mining announced in a press release that announces the "results from its first drilling program on its Ataspaca project in southern Peru. A total of 616.6 meters of core in 4 holes were drilled to evaluate the near surface potential of the large copper-gold signature located in an important porphyry belt that hosts Southern Peru Copper's Toquepala and Cuajone copper deposits."
- BHP Moves: Bloomberg follows up on Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald's report that "BHP Billiton, the world's third- biggest copper miner, will relocate the head office of its base metals division to Santiago in Chile from Houston to be closer to the company's South American mines."

"Do Not Trust Peruvian Chickens": The Missouri television station KVFS follows up on yesterday's egg story and reports that US Federal agents have "seize[d] dangerous egg white product" imported from Peru because theyw were not properly inspected.

He's Been Pisco Sour'd: Ohio's Ledger and Enquirer runs a semi-humorous travelogue piece that jokes about the the "Boca Manu International Airport [with] a field and a hut equipped with a CB radio." He complains about hearing 'El Condor Pasa' by Simon & Garfunkel in Cusco and says, "I'd rather take a hammer to the head than ever listen to that song again. Yes I would. If I could. Or better yet, I'd rather get hammered ... with Pisco sour."


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Camisea Spigot Turned On, cont.: Bloomberg reports that Techint Argentina "plans to sell as much as $275 million in bonds to finance the construction of gas pipelines across the Andes in the biggest debt sale in the Peruvian market in at least 12 years." Techint is the parent organization of Transportadora de Gas del Peru which has an "$800 million investment in a 460-mile pipeline connecting Peru's Camisea gas fields with Lima, that is slated to go into operation in August and is Peru's biggest energy project." Also Quoted: Ricardo Markous, Transportadora's chairman of the board.

Ilave Protests Again: Reuters reports that "an estimated 7000 native Indian peasants held peaceful protests in [Ilave] on Wednesday to demand that ... Mayor Ramon Arias resign ... saying he was inept and tainted by association with predecessor Cirilo Robles." The story is reported from Lima and is based on a telephone interview with Fidel Mamani, "a community leader," who said "thousands of people holding banners and chanting slogans against Arias and Toledo were marching to the main square."

Priceless Books Missing: The Associated Press reports that about one hundred books "are missing from a public library in Cuzco," according to Clodomiro Caparo, a city councilman. Missing: 'La Florida del Inca,' by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, printed in 1605, and 'Leyes de Indias' a 1681 volume from a series about colonial laws. QUOTED: "Historian Hector Lopez.

Priceless JFarfan Found: Soccer 365 reports that "Peru starlet Jefferson Farfan should be sold by next week to either a PSV Eindhoven/Chelsea consortium, Real Betis or a mystery Ligue 1 side," according to Alianza Lima chief Alfonso de Souza Ferreira. Betis is offering "three instalments of $500,000, and we want the whole sum - it's not that much money." The teenage striker has been a valuable asset to the national team in the last month.

"Do Not Trust Peruvian Chickens": The Southeast Missourian declares that "Peruvian chickens can't be trusted" in a story about "a local business owner fighting with the U.S. government over 8,800 pounds of condemned powdered egg white product." In 2003, Creative Compounds "purchased the egg product from a manufacturer in Peru intending to use it in a line of sports nutrition products. But then came a snag: According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the imported powdered eggs are in violation of the federal Egg Products Inspection Act. The country of Peru has no continuous inspection system, which means the eggs are prohibited for human consumption in the United States."

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Agence France Press reports on the mining ministers of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Antofagasta "where they are discussing ways to liberalise the trade in minerals and metals." ALSO: "Latin American APEC members, including Mexico and Peru, produce 64% of the world's gold, 50% of its bauxite, 66% of its nickel, 82% of its copper and 75 of its zinc."
- Hop-On announced in a press release that it has received approval to sell is its cellular telephone from the Peruvian Ministry of Transportation and Communication.
- MercoPress reports that "Chile and Brazil agreed to renew efforts with the purpose of achieving South American countries integration emphasizing trade, communications infrastructure and science and technology development."

Governing Women: The Miami Herald's [registration: peruvia@peruvia.com/peruvia] Andres Oppenheimer pegs his column on the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America's IX Regional Conference on Women last week which "laid out ambitious plans for greater women's participation in congress, municipalities, civil society and the private sector." ALSO: He notes the two women in Toledo's 16-minister: the Minister of Women's Affairs and the Minister of Health."

Copa America, cont.: Xinhua reports that Argentine football player Hernan 'Crespo' Crespohas will not be playing at Copa America. "Argentina will play in Group B in the northern Peruvian cities of Chiclayo and Piura with Mexico, Uruguay and Ecuador."

Photog Retrospective: The Washington Post announces that Washington Post photographer Michael Robinson-Chavez, recently named Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographers' Association, will discuss his work on June 22 his 10-year project in Peru in collaboration with the exhibition "The Eyes of History, located at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

SBaca in Concert: The Guardian reviews Susana Baca's concert last night at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on stage with two other "Latin American divas." "Barefoot and backed by a classy and subtle quartet of guitar, bass and Peruvian percussionists, she presented an elegant treatment of soulful ballads and stately dance songs like Negra Presuntuosa."

Tragedy in Junin: Xinhua Net reports that "at least six people were killed and nine others injured after a bus fell off a cliff" near Rio Negro, in Junin. "Police said it was caused by the slippery road conditions after rain."

Conversion Definitions: CounterPunch, in an article titled 'Toward a Single State Solution,' writes about "a group of Indians from Peru who had converted to Judaism and moved to Israel, where they were relocated on what was once Palestinian land." It mentions Nachson Ben-Haim (formerly Pedro Mendosa) who said "he was looking forward to joining the Israeli army to defend the country. Ben-Haim and his coreligionists had moved to Israel with the agreement of the Jewish community in Peru, which did not want them because of the Indians' low socioeconomic status." The article states that to be recognized as Jewish in Israel, conversions must be approved by a religious official, which in effect means an Orthodox rabbi. See Also: 'Israeli Conversion Law May Shift' in June 1 and 'Please, No More Conversions!' in May 31's Peruvia.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Ilave May Protest Again: Reuters reports that peasants in Ilave, "most of whom are Aymara Indians," will launch fresh anti-government strikes today against the new provisional mayor and to demand more investment in the impoverished region," according to Mariano Encinas, a community leader. In an interview with RPP radio, Encinas declared that provisional mayor Ramon Arias is "incapable." ["Incapaz," perhaps?] Minister of the Interior Javier Reategui "denied in a statement that dialogue had collapsed and said it was continuing in Lima." UPDATE: Reuters has and updated story by Tania Malledo with an interview with Fidel Mamani, another "community leader" who gives Mayor Arias until Friday to leave and reveals they are considering a "Marcha del Collasuyo," to Lima." See Also In Bolivia: Reuters: "Bolivians Burn Alive Mayor Accused of Corruption." Financial Times: "Bolivian demonstration ends in lynching."

Worries about Copa America: Reuters reports on Minister of Labor Javier Neves and his efforts "to persuade workers to postpone a general strike until after next month's Copa America soccer competition, the country's biggest international sports event in years," according to a radio interview. The CGTP plans a general strike on July 14; the tournament runs from July 6-25. Minister Neves said "the government was forming a commission.

Morning-After Pill Makes Waves: Reuters reports on the Minister of Health Pilar Mazzetti's move "to allow free distribution of the morning-after pill [which] has sparked protests in the Roman Catholic country where abortion is banned and unmarried woman have only been allowed contraception for 20 years." Minister Mazzetti is a "respected neurologist" who said that the pills “would be available in about three months." NOTE: Hector Chavez Chuchon, head of the Health Commission in Congress and a surgeon, "slammed what he said was an anti-life policy." ALSO: While Church leaders showed their displeasure. Flora Tristan said that there there were over 410,000 'back-street' abortions last year and that the "pill has been available in Peru since the 1970s, but until 1985 only married women could have it, with their husbands' permission." Others quoted: Jorge Avendano (a constitutional lawyer who headed the Justice Ministry panel), Elio Ugaz (who sells shorts on a street corner in Lima) and Angela Pumalloclla (a newspaper vendor).

Basadre Lives: The Associated Press offers a photograph of President Alejandro Toledo accompanied by the late historian Jorge Basadre's anthology, 'Peru's Memory and Destiny,' during a ceremony at a public school in Lima. Title in Spanish: "Memoria y Destino del Perú. Jorge Basadre: Textos Esenciales" Editor, Ernesto Yepes del Castillo, Lima: Fondo Editorial del Congreso de la República. See Also: An interview with the books editor in La República

Trading with Thailand: Thailand's The Nation ponders why the 30-member Thai delegation made the 30-hour trip from Bangkok to Lima to talk trade when “Peru ranks as the 89th-largest export market for Thailand, and the Kingdom is 21st for Peruvians." ANSWER: Because Thai Trade Representative Kantathi Suphamongkhon believes "Peru could serve as a gateway for Thai exports to Latin American countries and Thailand can do the same for Peru in Southeast Asian markets." The examples given, however, were suggestive: "Thailand exports washing machines, rubber and automotive parts to Peru and imports metal products, fresh shrimps, fish oil and pesticides from the mountainous country." Minister of Trade and Tourism Alfredo Ferrero added that direct foreign investment was also a goal. NOTE: Reuters stringer Tania Mellado (described as a "local reporter") was a quoted source in the story criticizing the Toledo government." (See Ms. Mellado Reuters story on Ilave above.)

Trading with Russia: The Russian news agency Novosti reports on the recent (June 13-15) visit by Deputies of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament in Lima in which they saw "Peru as promising not only in terms of inter-parliamentary links, but also in terms of building up potential in various fields," according to Nikolai Tulayev, leader of the delegation and a Senator from Kaliningrad. ALSO INCLUDED: Congress President Henry Pease and Lima mayor Luis Castaneda.

Trading With Zambia? The Times of Zambia reports that "three Peruvians have been arrested in Chingola for allegedly working in the country without valid documents. Their work permits at the AAC, a company contracted by Mopani Copper Mines, had expired. Initially, they "fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo" but were forced to return to Zambia. An immigration spokesman said that "Zambians were capable of doing the work and engaging foreigners, especially those without valid documents, was illegal."

Camisea Spigot Turned On, cont.: The Oil & Gas Journal reports that the "Camisea consortium expects to invest as much as $500 million in Block 56 development, following the recent agreement on royalties for natural gas exports," according to Antonio Cueto, president Perupetro. NOTE: "Block 56, adjacent the Camisea natural gas megacomplex in Peru's Amazon rainforest, holds reserves estimated at 3 tcf of gas from Pagoreni and Mipaya fields discovered by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group in the late 1990s."

Who Is Buying the Beer?, cont.: Just Drinks and Reuters report that Bavaria denied a report in El Comerico that "it used bribes to gain control of Peru's only brewer, Union de Cervecerias Backus & Johnson. The front-page article in the Lima daily stated that Bavaria had "paid $2 million in bribes to allow it to buy Backus ahead of arch rival Venezuela's drink maker Empresas Polar." A statement by Bavaria states that it "emphatically rejects the imputation in El Comercio." The now-jailed former adviser to President Alejandro Toledo, Cesar Almeyda, was also looped into the story.

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Reuters gives an updated story on yesterday's INEI economic numbers which showed a "strong performance in Peru's economic powerhouses mining and fishing, and in dynamic sectors like textiles and furniture, pushed gross domestic" and offers a breakdown sector by sector.
- Lucent Technologies announced in a press release that it was selected by Nextel Peru "to provide managed services -- full responsibility for the maintenance and operations -- for Nextel's multi-vendor network."
- AgReport reports that Peru expects to expand asparagus production 1.5% in 2004, … allowing the vegetable to retain its status as the country's most valuable agricultural export. Asparagus exports contributed a record of about $206 million in export sales in 2003, reports the U.S. agricultural attache [in Lima].”

Europe Should Help The Andean Nations: The International Crisis Group released their report, 'Increasing Europe's Stake in the Andes,' that calls for the European Union to "play a more substantial role in helping the [region] achieve stability and deepen its regional integration. Europe has demonstrated at home how to solve regional problems with a regional approach. A truly Andean cooperation strategy that incorporated the programs of its member states could give the European Union contribution far greater impact than the sum of its individual donor parts." Read the press release and the report.

Mining Unions - 'Please Listen': Reuters amplifies the advertisements placed by unions at two mining companies in anticipation of Toledo's Cabinet review of a mining royalties policy. The union at Southern Peru pulled a large advertisement in today's El Comercio which "urged the government to change the bill and to apply it only from 2010 if it had to be applied at all." A smaller advertisement from the union at Mina Animon, (part of Volcan Compania Minera) said "royalties would hurt wages, put jobs at risk and close mines." Said the larger ad: "Please listen to our plea and rectify this bill ... and if you think it should be applied, do so after 2010." Not surprisingly, these two companies "would be the worst hit as they are the only two without so-called tax stability contracts which fix unchangeable rates for long periods and will thus protect them from royalties." ALSO: "Many here now believe some kind of royalty is a certainty and ... are lobbying to get ... more favorable terms." Quotes come from Minister of Energy and Mines Jaime Quijandria.

More Mining:
- Dow Jones reports that Phelps Dodge Corp.'s Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde "resubmitted an environmental impact study for the possible mining of sulfide copper reserves in Peru," according to the company. Cerro Verde is located 34 kilometers outside Arequipa, "where two open-pit mines - Cerro Verde and Santa Rosa - are being mined." See Also: 'Cerro Verde Gets A 'No'' in June 8's Peruvia including the rejection letter.
- Sulliden Exploration announced in a press release that they "closed the previously announced agreement to acquire the 30% interest in the Shahuindo gold/silver property held by Socrate Capital Inc."
- The Sydney Morning Herald reported that mining company "BHP Billiton is moving the corporate headquarters of its $5.7 billion base metals division from the United States to Chile. ... The move will put the corporate centre for base metals closer to its major assets, especially its copper operations." ALSO: "It is believed Mr Goodyear expressed his displeasure to Mr Lagos over government plans to introduce a 3% royalty tax on gross sales for mining companies."
- Gold Point Exploration announced in a press release on its exploration activities and acquisition of the Envidia mineral property, located in Lambayeque. "The Envidia property covers an area of 200 hectares (two square kilometres) and is located in the district of Pitipo, province of Ferrenafe, department of Lambayeque, near Chiclayo.

Zevallos Still Blocked: The US Treasury Department announced through a press release today the testimony of Richard Newcomb, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control before a US Congress' Subcommittee in which he reviewed President Bush's "Drug Kingpin designations" in which his office "blocked, in furtherance of investigation, the Peruvian airline company, Aero Continente, six other companies, and six other individuals connected to the newly named Kingpin, Fernando Zevallos." See Also: 'Aero Continente/FZevallos Woes' in June 7's Peruvia.

Protecting Peruvians in Chicago: The Chicago Tribune reports that Efrain Saavedra, the consul general of Peru in Chicago is "pressing state authorities to investigate firms that sell prepaid phone cards that make false promises to their customers," in a section of the article subtitled, 'Protection of Peruvians.'

From Atlanta With Love: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on a local woman etting involved with the New York-based group, Cross-Cultural Solutions, which "found her work caring for children in Peru, in [Ayacucho] that was the center of a vicious civil war in the 1980s and 1990s between Marxist guerrillas and government forces.” NOW: "She plans to become a social worker and return to Peru to live."


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Camisea Spigot Turned On: Several reports by BNAmericas and one by Dow Jones update the news on the Camisea project. BNAmericas reports that the "Camisea natural gas project has started producing natural gas liquids that are unable to be processed because the Pisco separation plant is not yet finished," according to the Minister of Mines and Energy Jaime Quijandría. Camisea "is on schedule to start delivering gas to Lima on August 9." Separately, BNAmericas reports that "Peru's government expects to sign an agreement in one month with the Camisea upstream consortium for an exploration and production contract on block 56 after it reached an agreement on royalties," according to a Peruvinversion spokesperson. ALSO, BNAmericas reports that the Peruvian subsidiary of Argentine energy company Petrobras Energía "aims to invest US$97.7 million to drill 51 wells in block X in Peru's northwestern Talara area during the next seven years," according to a spokesperson for Perupetro. Finally, Dow Jones reports that "Peruvian government and companies developing the Camisea natural gas project have fulfilled conditions set out by the Inter-American Development Bank for a loan disbursement for the project," according to Minister Quijandria. Background: In September 2003, after several delays, "the IDB approved a $75 million loan and a $60 million syndicated loan for Transportadora de Gas del Peru to support the transportation component of the Camisea project." ALSO: According to Quijandria, the Andean Development Corp. will separately disburse $50 million for the project shortly. The Camisea project has become the flagship of President Alejandro Toledo'a government."

Who Is Buying the Beer? Reuters reports that "a $43 million block of ordinary shares in Peruvian brewer Union de Cervecerias Backus & Johnston changed hands on Monday at a price 41% above the stock's closing price on Friday," according to market sources. "The buyer and seller were not known." Just Drinks headlines their story, "Massive mystery share transaction for Backus."

Trade, Trade, Trade: The Associated Press reports on the second round of negotiations of the U.S.-Andean Countries Free Trade Agreement at the Hilton Atlanta hotel. "U.S. trade officials want to craft a trade agreement with those countries to pave the way for a larger FTAA deal that would include virtually every nation in the Western Hemisphere." The Associated Press offers a photograph of Ministry of Agriculture employees Julio C. Paz Cafferata and Maria Elena Rojas. NOTE: Paz is the co-author of 'Farming Prices Policy Options in Peru: The case of groups of prices.' MEANWHILE, Reuters offers a group photograph that includes Vice President David Waisman among others, with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Secretary-General of UNCTAD Rubens Ricupero at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Sao Paulo. (The caption incorrectly names Ana Vilma Albanez de Escobar as a vice-president of Peru instead of El Salvador.)

Macro/Micro Econ:
- Bloomberg and Dow Jones report that Peru's economy "expanded in April for a 34th month, led by increased metal production in the country's copper, gold and iron mines. The $61 billion economy grew 3.28% in April, compared with growth of 5.5% in March and the lowest figure since December," according to the National Statistics Institute. IN SPANISH: See the INEI report.
- BNAmericas interviews Sebastian Briozzo (Standard & Poor's analyst) on Peru's banking sector who states that, "after several difficult years Peru's banking sector is today in a healthy financial shape and very liquid." NOTE: "Briozzo also believes the banking sector should seek to increase its focus on the many millions of low-income individuals as well as micro and small businesses that do not have access to the banking sector today."
- Reuters reports that Peru's Central Bank "abandoned another certificates auction on Monday, its second in a row and an unusual move prompted by the fact investors were offering rates the bank considered too high, dealers said. ... In May the Treasury scrapped an auction of domestic bonds for the same reason, but in its next auction, successfully placed 110.4 million soles in bonds."
- The Inter American Economic Council announced in a press release the organization of the 'Business Roundtable' as part of OAS General Assembly Meeting in Quito. "The IAEC is dedicated to promoting better government policy making by providing a forum for direct interaction with the private sector. The purpose of the Business Roundtable was to provide a forum for high level public-private discussions and centered around the theme of (Economic Growth and Development in the Andean Region." Minister of Foreign Relations Jose Manuel Rodriguez participated in these meetings.
- Dow Jones reports that "Peru's overall cement sales in May fell 1.5% to 340,113 metric tons from the same month a year before," according to the National Association of Cement Producers.
NOTE: "Cement production, an indicator of domestic demand, is a key component of activity in the construction sector." This story also reports on the unemployment rate and consumer price index.

More Mining:
- Dow Jones reports that "the bidding for the Las Bambas copper project will go ahead as planned on July 23 regardless of a congressional bill that might impose additional royalties on the project," according to Minister of Mining and Energy Jaime Quijandria. "The idea is not to change the date but to maintain it because the bidders are still interested," Quijandria said at a meeting with the foreign press association. Fourteen companies are 'prequalified' to bid for the project, although two of those, Southern Peru Copper Corp. and Barrick Gold Corp., have since dropped out. "Southern Peru Copper Corp. cited the proposed royalties for its withdrawal, while Barrick pulled out due to low gold grades."
- The World Socialists Web Site reports that "striking iron miners at the mine owned by Shougang Iron Peru rejected an agreement negotiated by their union leaders prompting management to declare an impasse, setting the stage for Peruvian authorities to intervene in the negotiations." The Ministry of Labour "is expected to present its own proposal this week, which is widely expected to be very similar to Shougang Iron’s latest offer."
- Tinka Resources announces in a press release that they have "staked five claims totalling 5,000 hectares, known as the Demetrio Project. The project is located between the Peruvian departments of La Libertad and Cajamarca, within the Pataz mining district, 26 km northwest of the Poderosa gold mine (100,000 oz annual production) and 510km north of Lima. The Demetrio Project is the second project to be acquired under the Company's exploration alliance with Sierra Peru."
- Brett Resources announced in a press release their acquisition of "up to a 90% interest in the El Inca project, located in north-central Peru. ... El Inca is located 40 kilometres southeast of Barrick's Alto Chicama project and 15 kilometres southwest of Inca Pacific's Magistral copper-molybdenum deposit, along a northwest-trending corridor hosting many prominent precious and base metal deposits."

Copa America, Inspections: The Associated Press offers photographs of Mansiche Stadium in Chiclayo as stadiums are being inspected by Conmebol officials in advance of the Copa America which will be hosted by Peru July 6-26.

How Much Coca in Your Tea? The Chicago Sun-Times reports on coca tea. (Agence France Press also reports on the story.) "The Illinois Court of Appeals ruled [an investigator with the Cook County sheriff's department]should not have lost her job in 2001 because the positive test result probably didn't come from cocaine, but instead from the tea she'd been drinking." Charmaine Garrido, the wife of a Chicago narcotics officer, said she drank "a significant amount" of the coca-tinged tea, which she got from Peru, just before her drug test. Though the sheriff's merit board didn't buy it -- and fired her -- the judges ruled the small traces of cocaine metabolites in Garrido's system were more likely to have come from tea than drugs." The ruling is not yet on the Courts' web site. Separately, Agence France Press offers a photograph of a "man chews coca leaves during a protest in Lima."

De Soto in DC: The Washington Times reports that Hernando de Soto will participate in a discussion on democracy and the Middle East in a forum tomorrow, organized by the Institute for International Economics.

Trafficking in People: The USA State Department released their 'Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000: Trafficking in Persons Report' and included Peru (near the end in this section) in 'Tier 2 Watchlist' for the first time. "Peru is a source country for women and children trafficked internally for sexual exploitation. Most Peruvian victims of internal trafficking are girls forced or coerced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, and brothels. Some victims are girls trafficked as domestic servants. Most internal trafficking networks move girls from rural to urban areas; traffickers recruit victims through local, informal, and family-based contacts. Peruvians have also been trafficked to Western Europe, particularly Spain. Illegal migrants, some of whom may be trafficked, also transit Peru. More complete information on trafficking, pointing to a significant number of victims, has made it possible to include Peru in this report for the first time."

Fishing 1000 Years Ago: The University of Maine announced in a press release refers to 'Geoarchaeological evidence for multidecadal natural climatic variability and ancient Peruvian fisheries,' an article in the new Quaternary Research Journal (the new issue is not yet online). "Old fish bones can tell scientists about more than what people used to eat. They can also provide clues to the climate in which those people lived. ... With data gleaned from excavations in the ancient village of Lo Demás just south of modern day Lima, the researchers reported that a shift from anchovy to sardine abundance occurred at about 1500 AD." NOTE: "Native people used the site to gut fish and hang them to dry. Because of the dry climate, the bones are well preserved. We found the post holes and the drip lines in the soil above the racks where the fish were hung. The soil was still saturated with fish oil. There were 500-year-old pottery shards that still smelled like rotten fish," according to the lead researcher Daniel H. Sandweiss. See also Sandweiss' Peruvian research on Quebrada Jaguay, "the oldest known fishing site in the new world."


Monday, June 14, 2004

Lan Peru on the Rise: Lan Peru announced in a press release "five new routes, including expanded service to Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico. Now, the company operates to seven cities within Peru and 11 international destinations, offering the best option for passengers traveling to and from Peru, as well as efficient connections throughout the region." According to Vlamir Domic, Lan Peru's CEO, "This project would not be possible without the effort of the more than 900 Peruvian workers who ensure the success of our national and international operations."

Lima is #118: Mercer Human Resource Consulting released their Global Cost-of-Living Survey which places Lima as "the most expensive city in Latin America," but comes in number 118 over all compared to cities worldwide.

Peru Stands Out, cont.: The International Herald Tribune reprints the New York Times editorial 'The Pentagon Looks South.' For the original editorial, see ‘Peru Stands Out’ in June 5’s Peruvia.

National Reserves Grow: Dow Jones reports that "Peru's net international reserves totaled $11.067 billion on June 8, up $244 million from the end of May," according to the Central Reserve Bank of Peru. "The increase was due to increased deposits in the financial system, which posted a rise of $211 million, and in public sector deposits, which increased by $35 million."

AWatson Part of Declaration: The Los Angeles Times notes that former USA Ambassador to Peru Alexander F. Watson is one of the "Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, a group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, [who] plan to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November." See Also: This Press Club press release and the Washington DC-based Press Club calendar announcing the event on June 16.

Canadian Communist has Peruvian Roots: Yesterday's Edmonton Journal profiled Communist Party of Canada leader, Miguel Figueroa, who was "born in Montreal to a Peruvian aeronautical engineer father and 'fervent Canadian nationalist' mother."

Robbers Aborted: The International Maritime Bureau reports that on June 4 at 9:15pm, at the "Salaverry anchorage, four robbers attempted to board a general cargo ship via anchor chain. Alert crew spotted them and raised alarm. Robbers aborted attempt and fled in a boat."

Posh in Peru, cont.: The BBC catches up with the tabloids and includes a bit on Posh in Peru (third article down.) "Pop star Victoria Beckham has been visiting disadvantaged communities in Peru, as part of three-day trip filmed for a BBC Sport Relief documentary." See yesterday’s ‘Posh in Peru’ for a rundown of the tab coverage.

Feather with the Nahua: A blog called The Feature reviews Conrad Feather’s work with the Nahua. See also: ‘Enviro Prize with Nahuas’ in May 15’s Peruvia.

On June 6, (last item) Peruvia published an editorial responding to a Council of Hemispheric Affair's press release titled, 'President Toledo's Trophy Prisoner,' written by COHA Research Associate Abigail Jones. (It was also posted on Counter Punch.) What follows is a response by Ms. Jones to Peruvia's editorial.

To the Editor: Let me respond to the Peruvia editorial posted on June 6, 2004, in which the author broadly addresses the points that were raised in my Council on Hemispheric Affairs memorandum, "Whatever Happened to Lori Berenson, President Toledo's Trophy Prisoner?" This piece was released on June 7, and was subsequently posted on Counter Punch's estimable website.

In its editorial, Peruvia repeatedly fails to engage my central thesis, and, almost to the point of embarrassment, proudly embraces some of the most sordid personalities and institutions in Peru's national life. Also, by seeming to enthusiastically support several of its recent presidents, whose moral content has plunged to rock-bottom levels as viewed by the country's public, Peruvia reveals its right-wing credentials as well as, sadly enough, its irrelevance.

What the editorial does do is present its writer's own political agenda which is far less muted than mine. Peruvia's obvious political baggage becomes the propellant for the publication's counter attack as it even leaps to the defense of the whole apparatus in Lima that has taken sadistic joy in persecuting U.S. national Lori Berenson on trumped up charges of sedition. Peru's hooded judges—a notorious phenomenon whereby retired military officers without a day of legal training and wearing hoods to conceal their identity, would hand down a guilty verdict 97 percent of the time without due process or the right to introduce evidence or even have one's lawyer present in the courtroom. This practice was condemned by credible international barristers, distinguished judges, law journals, bar associations and human rights authorities, but somehow is warmly received by Peruvia's editorial writer.

As for Peru's leaders, does the editorial writer mean to suggest that the last two Peruvian presidents are authentic democratic figures? Fujimori is, at the very least, responsible for the murder of thousands of indigenous living throughout the altiplano. For his part, President Toledo has alienated himself from 90 percent of the country's electorate as he mockingly carries on a charade of justice in the Berenson case, while his administration stumbles from one scandal to another beating its chest over its toughness on Berenson.

Alas for Peruvia and Perú, Toledo's approval rating has plunged to a record low of six percent. This hardly indicates that the citizenry condones his seriously flawed presidency. As for Ferrero Costa, Peru's ambassador to the U.S., his mendacious nature was audaciously revealed in his pathetic videotaped exchange with Fujimori's notorious Rasputin, Vladimir Montesinos, discussing how to block any international pressure to release Lori Berenson. It could be argued that such an odious quality made the ambassador a slam-dunk choice for his new Washington position.

In the Berenson case, we are thus left with an egregious miscarriage of justice that has been committed by the badly tarnished Peruvian criminal justice system. This editorial blithely chooses to ignore this injustice and bury it under a hecatomb of indifferent distractions. Peruvia's obfuscations are little better than an irresponsible and shortsighted sortie in blind defense of an obviously indefensible position. While I am in accordance with the editorial's view that the U.S. also stands in violation of the American Convention on Human Rights, its criticism on these grounds has no bearing, for my memorandum was clearly not written in defense of Washington's very tarnished human rights record, but was based, to a very large extent, on its espousing scapegrace values that appear to be very close to the heart of Peruvia's editorial writer.


Abigail Jones
Research Associate, Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Peruvia Responds Again: To suggest that we "embrace[d] some of the most sordid personalities and institutions in Peru's national life," is a canard. In our public and private lives, we have battled the criminal actions of the Fujimori government and the malfeasance of the Toledo government. However, no amount of finger-pointing their way will ever explain or excuse Lori Berenson's case. Clamoring about the foibles and follies of others can only be put into the context of demonstrating that Lori Berenson is indeed innocent. And this, Ms. Jones did not do in her essay. Most Peruvians have seared in their memories Ms. Berenson defending her revolution at full volume before the Peruvian magistrate and the camera. (See the video with Berenson's parents explanations here.) To challenge what ever happened to Lori Berenson, one must review the charges, her actions, and her intents and not just point at the errors of others.


Sunday, June 13, 2004

Strike Postponed: Reuters reports that "Peruvian airport workers have suspended a boycott against Chilean flag carrier Lan Chile and its LanPeru subsidiary planned for later this week," according to the Minister of Transportation Jose Ortiz. The Unions had "called the boycott for June 16 and 17 in solidarity with Aero Continente." NOTE: Union leaders were not immediately available for comment. ALSO: The Chicago Tribune and the Cleveland Plain Dealer report in their Travel sections that Aero Continente “is now off-limits to Americans." HOWEVER: "As a practical matter, it is unlikely that the U.S. government would find out about any American flying on the airline in South America."

Going to Huacachina: The Los Angeles Times publishes a fun, adventurous, travel story from Huacachina, Ica, "about 190 miles south of Lima." This is "love at first slide for a novice sandboarder, who falls -- again and again -- for the gritty sport while visiting a Peruvian oasis." History: "During the early and mid-20th century, the oasis rose to prominence as a getaway for the Peruvian elite, who spent their nights here in formal wear, listening to an imported orchestra and promenading around the lagoon."

Mummies Detained Before Leaving Peru, cont.: The Miami Herald has yesterday's Associated Press story on the five mummified skulls caught by customs agents. See 'Mummies Detained Before Leaving Peru' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Poor Kids in Lima: The BBC reports on children in poverty, focusing on Las Lomas de Carabayllo, "a shanty town in the desert on the outskirts of Lima," and a British nonprofit, Proceso Social, that is trying to address some of their needs. While this had none of the flair of the stories of Posh in Peru (see below), the place from which this story is reported is precisely where the British superstar went to last month.

Posh In Peru: The British tabloids get all excited about Mrs. David Beckham's visit to Peru last month. The reports include:
- The Sunday Mail: Posh in Peru
- The Sun: Posh Visits Kids in Peru
- icNetwork: 'Posh Brings Glamour to Peru Slums
- Sky: Poverty-stricken children working on a rubbish tip in Peru'
- The Mirror: Slumming It ... Posh Does Her Bit in Peru.
See Also: 'Posh In Peru' in May 25's Peruvia. Then it was the broadsheet The Guardian who reported, 'Posh, Peru and the paparazzi.' IN SPANISH: See also Caretas' take on this whole affair (second story.)

Burn Victims: The Boston area's MetroWest Daily News has an article about "Peruvian victims assisted by MetroWest's League of United Latin American Citizens." The tragedy was a fire in Andahuaylas in 2002 and the charity assisting the victims is the Shriners Burn Hospital in Boston. "To support Peruvian burned children at Shriners Hospital, contact Soledad Johndro at (508) 561-7056 or send a check to Gustavo Vara-Billota, COPEMA, P.O. Box 35470, Brighton, MA 02135."

Joint Forces: The USA Joint Force Command annouced that "over the next two weeks, U.S. and multinational forces face realistic and dynamic exercise scenarios that closely replicate operational challenges military forces routinely encounter around the world." Peru is part of the 'coalition forces' in these excercises.

Candidate for LAmerica?: The Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer publishes an essay on 'Is Kerry better than Bush for Latin America?' The answer isn't clear and Oppenheimer mentions Peru only in passing.

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