Saturday, July 31, 2004

Copa America Turns a Profit: Soccerway reports that Copa America produced "profits of close to US$2 million" for Peru. "Tournament organisers say ticket sales for the matches alone generated close to $4.7 million, all venues having reported being at least 70% full for each game."

TB & AIDS in Lima: The British Medical Journal reports that the World Health Organization "uses work on tuberculosis in Lima as model for tackling AIDS." Dr Jim Yong Kim is the director of WHO's department of HIV and AIDS and the co-founder of the Boston based advocacy group Partners for Health, which set up the two pioneering schemes to treat tuberculosis. He has "trained community health workers in Peru and Siberia to give patients daily injections for up to 18 months, 'supervised by nurses, occasionally overseen by doctors, in a sterile and effective manner'."

JCampos' Dreams: New Jersey's News Tribune profiles Jose Luis Campos Ruiz, a 14 year-old Peruvian who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta ('brittle-bone disorder') and now lives in Perth Amboy. "According to his mother, Haydee Ruiz, he has broken about 150 bones to date -- more than 11 broken bones per year. " NOTE: "The teenager came to the United States seeking treatment three years ago, leaving behind five siblings he hasn't seen since -- Yesenia, 23, Isaura, 22, Darwin, 20, Alberto, 16, and Francisco, who just turned 13. They are what he misses most about Peru, he said. The brothers and sisters talk to Jose on the phone and via e-mail, but until their immigration status is resolved, the family will remain apart."


Friday, July 30, 2004

Nikkei Aid to Peru: The Associated Press reports on remittances from Japan that Peruvians receive from re-located family members. The article begins with Elisa Rey as "one of thousands of foreigners who have migrated to Japan in the past decade and turned this country into an unexpected source of remittances. Payments sent home by foreign workers here now surpass Tokyo's foreign aid budget." NOTE: "Rey, the Peruvian electronics worker, said she and her two brothers sent their parents about 40% of their monthly salaries. These remittances financed a four-story home that the family finished this year in Chancay, just north of Lima." CITED: Armando Ouchida, executive director of Convenio Kyodai, "a cooperative that many of Japan's 52,000 Peruvians, the fifth-largest community of foreign workers here."

Free Trade?, cont.: Dow Jones and Xinhua Net offer different takes on the free trade talks between the USA and the Andean countries, upon the completion of the third round of talks which took place in Lima from July 26 to 30. Xinhua reports that "the Andean countries and the United States maintain their differences on the removal of agricultural tariffs for a free trade agreement," according to a spokesmen of the Andean nations. NOTE: "Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have reiterated that they will not remove the tariffs on agricultural products unless the United States stops subsidizing its farmers." ALSO: "Peru's chief negotiator Pablo de la Flor said, 'For the Andeanist, it is fundamental to have a scheme that could neutralize the subsidies applied by the United States, and the 'price band' is one of several mechanisms that could be resorted to'." Dow Jones offers a perspective closer to the USA negotiators and reports that the USA "has offered to drop tariffs for another 30% of the items from the Andean nations within five years, another 4.8% within 10 years, and the rest in a period of more than 10 years." NOTE: "Peru has also proposed placing sugar among the group of products that will receive immediate duty-free access, reports said." The fourth Round of negotiations will be held in Puerto Rico in September.

Las Bambas - Bidder Stays In: Reuters reports that "Noranda expressed confidence that a new royalty tax in Peru will not affect its Antamina copper and zinc mine, but it was less certain about the effect of a similar tax looming in neighboring Chile," according to chief executive Derek Pannell. NOTE: "As compensation for mining out its finite resources, Peru last month passed a bill to charge miners a sliding scale royalty of between 1 to 3% of sales on concentrates or their equivalent, depending on company sales."

Aid to Puno, Cuzco: World Vision announced in a press release that the have begun distributing blankets to rural communities in Cusco, including "one thousand blankets are being distributed to families from projects in Cusipata, Calca, and Lamay." NOTE: "The long-term solution includes a mitigation project for communities located in the area," said Jose Luis Ochoa."

Social Forum in Quito: InterPress Service reports on the first Social Forum of the Americas, which ended Friday in Quito. Said Marlene Román, a young activist with Peru's Pro Human Rights Association, "This is the first forum in the region and we hope that in future editions there will be greater participation by grassroots social movements, because I believe the Forum was a bit lopsided due to the heavy presence of non-governmental organisations." NOTE: "According to the organisers, 10,000 people from 45 countries attended ... 7,500 of whom registered as delegates of 814 organisations or as individuals." ALSO: "Román said Peru's trade unions were basically absent, and that there was a weak presence of Ecuador's social movements."

New Ticuna Church: California's Press Enterprise (registration: peruvia@peruvia.com peruvia) reports on a church built in Ticuna land by members of the Hemet Valley Baptist Church (see photograph). The church group of about 20 people travelled from Los Angeles to Bogotá, then to Leticia. "From there, they took a boat to San Antonio, a small village on the island of Cacao in Peru. Two days and thousands of miles later, they were on an island in the middle of the Amazon River." CITED: Jean and Irwin Bourne (Amazon Missions Association).

LHorna Victor: The Globe and Mail notes that Luis Horna defeated Fréderic Niemeyer (Canada)6-7 (7-5), 7-5, 6-3.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Toledo's Account(s): The Associated Press, the BBC, Reuters, and the Voice of America review President Toledo's speech before Congress to the nation and they all agree on the the main point: the invitation to "government auditors to review all of [Toledo's] bank accounts." AP reporter Drew Benson describes him as "beleaguered" and "facing allegations of corruption" and the AP offers a photograph of the president holding up "letters he said he sent to investigators 'to review my personal and joint wealth and lift the privacy on my bank accounts in Peru and worldwide'." Reuters offers similar photographs and notes that the President requested "a revision of my personal and conjugal position and for my bank secrecy to be lifted in Peru and the world." CITED: Caretas, El Comercio, Margarita Toledo, Pedro Toledo, Eliane Karp, and State Attorney Julia Principe who declared, "We have asked for bank secrecy to be lifted on Mrs. Karp's accounts, and for her to be barred from leaving the country, over the CONAPA investigation." (CONAPA is the National Commission of Indigenous, Amazon and Afroperuvian Peoples, whose funds Karp allegedly mishandled.) NOTE: "Toledo also called for a special assembly to reform Peru's constitution."

Free Trade? Bloomberg reports that "the Peruvian government, in negotiations for a free trade accord with the U.S., offered to immediately eliminate tariffs on some U.S. imports in exchange for an end to U.S. quotas and tariffs on Peru's sugar exports." Said Vice Minister of Foreign Relations Pablo de la Flor (who is also Peru's chief trade negotiator), "What we really want is to conquer the U.S. sugar market.'' NOTE: "Peru offered to eliminate all tariffs on 41% of the products imported from the U.S., accounting for the 37% of the value of the imports." DETAILS: "Sugar was Peru's second-biggest agricultural commodity export, as it sold 60,000 metric tons, worth $19.2 million, abroad last year. The country exported $181 million of coffee."

Camisea Delayed? The InterPress Service reports (and OneWorld reproduces) that "environmental and human-rights groups in the United States and Peru have launched a last-ditch effort to delay final approval as early as this week by the Inter-American Development Bank of [the US$1.6 billion Camisea Gas Project] which they say threatens the destruction of some of the world's most unique rainforests and the survival of some of Latin America's last isolated indigenous populations." NOTE: "In letters to the U.S. Treasury, which represents Washington on the IDB's executive board, and IDB president Enrique Iglesias, the groups, which include Amazon Watch, and Friends of the Earth argue that the Camisea Gas Project has failed to meet both the letter and spirit of several conditions attached by the Bank on its agreement to provide a $130 million loan to support the project." ALSO: "Under strong pressure from environmental and rights groups and lawmakers in Congress, the administration, which holds 30 percent of the voting power on the IDB board, abstained in last September's vote. Many groups had expected Treasury to cast a 'no' vote, particularly because the U.S. Export-Import Bank, citing environmental concerns, had rejected a request by the Camisea consortium for a $214 million loan guarantee the week before." CITED: Nadia Diaz (Institute for Policy Studies) and Aaron Goldzimer (Environmental Defense).

Food for Puno: Reuters reports that "the U.N. food aid agency [the World Food Programme] has begun delivering $180,000 in supplies to 17,000 people in Peru's high southern Andes after the worst frost and snowstorms in 30 years killed livestock and wiped out crops. "

Travel Tips: The National Geographic news site offers travel tips to Peru by "three National Geographic explorers—archaeologist Johan Reinhard, author Karin Muller, and explorer Peter Frost [who] share their favorite places and best advice for making the most of this diverse land." Reinhard (the discoverer of "Juanita") offers tips on Machu Picchu, Arequipa, and the Cordillera Blanca region. Muller (author of 'Along the Inca Road') points to Cajamarca and the northern Huaringas area. Finally, Frost (who discovered the Inca settlement Qoriwayrachina) recommends Tambopata-Candamo Reserve and Manu National Park. ALSO: "The town of Lambayeque itself hosts the newly opened Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum. Housing artifacts of the Moche people, the museum is designed like one of their pyramids." NOTE: A special warning for USA citizens against using [the defunct] AeroContinente.

Measuring Interest? The Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer notes that interest in the USA's Democratic party convention is low in Latin America. "And the event's opening night was not even mentioned on the covers of Argentina's influential daily La Nacion, or the mass-circulation Clarin. Nor did it appear on the front page of Peru's leading daily, El Comercio." (Editorial Note: This seems to be an odd way to measure interest in an international affair, particularly in the case of Peru which is celebrating a news-heavy Independence Day.)


Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Kuwait Salutes Peru: The Kuwait News Agency reports that "His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah ‏Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent on Wednesday a cable of congratulations to ‏the ‏President of the Republic of Peru, on the occasion of his country's National ‏Day."

Toledo Salutes Low Inflation: Reuters has a short and early piece on Toledo's speech before Congress Peru in which he declares, "Today I have the satisfaction of reporting that in July, inflation was 0.19%." NOTE: "Consumer prices rose 0.56% in June to bring the total this year to 3.01% , or 4.26% in annualized terms -- well wide of the central bank's 3.5% annual goal."

IMF Salutes Peru: On this Independence Day, the IMF released a new country report for Peru which includes a "Request for Stand-By Arrangement," a staff report, and statements from the Executive Board Discussion (on p. 78) as well from Guillermo Le Fort V. (Executive Director for Peru) and Carlos E. Pereyra Giusiano (Senior Advisor to the Executive Director) (on p. 82). The reports also includes a May 2004 letter from Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski and Javier Silva Ruete (on p. 57)

Talking Trade: The Voice of America notes that the "third round of negotiations on establishing a free-trade pact between the United States and the three Andean region countries" is being held in Lima. NOTE: "The U.S. representative at the four day talks, Regina Vargo, has described previous negotiations as 'very productive.' Colombia, Ecuador and Peru currently have tariff-free access to U.S. markets for hundreds of products, but that pact is set to expire in 2006."

Cold in Puno: The USA's State Department's US Info reports that "the United Nations is appealing to the international community to help hundreds of thousands of people, especially children, who face starvation and disease in Peru as a result of severe cold weather in the Andean nation." NOTE: "More than 60 children have died from acute respiratory infections as a result of freezing temperatures, UNICEF said in a July 25 statement. Access to the affected areas in isolated mountain regions continued to be difficult due to precarious road conditions and high altitudes."

Silver Up: Pan American Silver announced in a press release (not yet on their revamped website) their "net earnings of $1.3 million for the quarter versus a net loss of $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2003. Consolidated revenue increased 67% over the second quarter of 2003 to $20.9 million." ALSO: "Record quarterly silver production of 2.6 million ounces, an increase of 19% over the same period of 2003."

Beer Down: Just Drinks reports that Union de Cervecerias Peruanas Backus & Johnston "has posted a drop in net income in its second quarter."

JMontoya Walks the USA: Pennsylvania's Delco Times catches up with Julio Montoya and "during a 1,511-mile trek from Boston to Miami that he hopes will inspire the disabled to "enjoy the world again." Montoya, 36, joined the Peruvian Army at the age of 15 and served until July 1999, when he stepped on a land mine while building a road through the jungle. He suspects the mine was set up by guerilla soldiers opposed to the army’s plan to open roads in their territory." SEE ALSO: 'Montoya to Walk the USA' in July 9's Peruvia.

Book Seller/Computer Thief: Malaysia's Utusan Online reports that Jose Marcellino, "a Peruvian bookseller, was jailed for two years for stealing a bag containing a laptop." Marcellino, 50, pleaded guilty to stealing the bag belonging to Mohamed Isa Osman" on June 14. Chief Inspector Nadzir Othman said "Mohamed Isa had left two bags to queue to check-in for a flight to Kota Kinabalu but found the bag with the laptop missing when he returned to the spot. He saw Marcellino hurrying away with the bag and followed him with the station's security guard."

Orchid Dealer Sentenced: The Associated Press reports that Manuel Arias Silva, "a prominent Peruvian orchid grower, was sentenced Tuesday to almost two years in federal prison for scheming to smuggle prized tropical lady slipper orchids into the United States." Arias Silva internationally shipped "protected wild orchids intermingled with nursery-raised flowers to a Texas dealer several times to feed the desires of high-end hobbyists from 1999 to last year." NOTE: "Arias, 70, was one of three Peruvian growers with permission to cultivate endangered and newly discovered orchids from recently deforested areas."

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