Saturday, August 07, 2004

War of the Pacific, cont.: Merco Press suggests that Chile went on the offensive "after several weeks of difficult diplomatic exchanges with Peru repeatedly calling for a review of maritime borders, and sent a 'dissuasive' signal to its northern neighbor with a military display" of weaponry in Iquique. [Editorial Note: The piece has a significant Chilean bias.] Xinhua News reports that Minister of Foreign Relations Manuel Rodriguez "has defused tensions between [Peru] and Chile by saying that the 1929 Treaty that has set borders between Chile, Peru and Bolivia is 'perpetual'." Earlier, President Toledo "had told the Bolivian press that Peru was negotiating with Chile a revision of the 1929 Treaty. Toledo's remarks drew strong protest from Chile, which said Toledo was "ill informed." Rodriguez' comments were placed in the Chilean daily, La Tercera.

Camisea Spigot Turned On, cont.: Algérie Presse Service notes that President Toledo was accompanied in the Camisea inauguration ceremonies by Algerian Energy and Mining Minister Chakib Khelil and Sonatrach Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Meziane. The Algerian petroleum company Sonatrach owes 10% of the shares in the development project of this gas and condensate deposit in a consortium made up of Argentinian (Pluspetrol), American (Hunt Oil), South Korean (SK) and Peruvian (Tecpetrol) companies. Separately, Pravda offers a different take on the gas from Camisea with this title: 'Peru inaugurates devastating gas plant in the Amazon.' The piece focuses on the environmental challenges the project poses (leaning heavily on Amazon Watch) as well as Toledo's weak political positioning. The BBC and Reuters offer follow-up stories that are similar in tone and scope.

Trans-Amazon Highway: Xinhua Net reports that "the presidents of Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia will meet next week to unveil a bridge in the border area between Brazil and Bolivia, and to lay the cornerstone for the Integration Bridge that will link Brazil and Peru." The bridge will link Brasileia in Acre and Cobija in Pando. ALSO: "During the summit, the three presidents will also discuss issues of common interests, particularly those related to the common borders of the three countries." [Editorial Note: Xinhua suggests the Brazlian town is 'Brasilia' but that is incorrect. It should also be stated that a bridge is currently operational and is used by dozens if not hundreds of pedestrians and vehicles daily.]

USA Returns Montesinos' Millions: The Associated Press reports that "USA officials on Friday returned $20 million in embezzled Peruvian government funds that had been deposited in American banks under the direction of fallen spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos," according to Peruvian Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero. The Prime Minister said that "prosecutors believe that some $1 billion was skimmed from state coffers and squirreled away in foreign banks during Montesinos' tenure atop Peru's now-defunct National Intelligence Service."

Japans Returns Fujimori's Identity: Xinhua News reports that "the Japanese government has asked the Peruvian government to clarify the nationality of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori," according to this morning's El Comercio. "The newspaper quoted Peruvian Judge Jose Lecaros, who is in charge of the Fujimori case, as saying, "Japan's petition opens possibility that the fugitive ex-president be brought to trial with transparency and impartiality." NOTE: El Comercio suggests this shows "a change in the Japanese government, which has until recently refused to address the issue."

LBozzo Talks on NBC: Tomorrow at 7:00 pm (EST), on the USA NBC television network program Dateline, "Peruvian talk show host Laura Bozzo talks with Dateline's Victoria Corderi about her over the top, flamboyant television personality that has garnered her popularity throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Bozzo also discusses why she is currently living under house arrest."

Trade Surplus & Interest Rate Rise: Reuters reports that "Peru's trade surplus rose to $1.009 billion in the first six months of 2004 from $187.4 million in the year ago period," according to the Central Bank. However, "for the month of June, Peru's trade surplus slipped 1.2% to $135.4 million from $137.1 million in June last year, the bank said in its weekly report." NOTE: "Mineral-rich Peru is enjoying a boom in commodities prices and traditional exports -- metals and fishmeal -- rose 19.4% in June. Peru's nontraditional exports -- including such sectors as light manufacturing, textiles and agriculture -- rose 21.3% in June." Separately, Bloomberg reports that "the Peruvian central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time since October 2003 in a bid to cool the country's longest economic expansion in a decade. The bank boosted the rate, at which it lends overnight money to commercial banks, by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.5%." CITED: Minister of Economy and Finances Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski SEE ALSO: See yesterday's Peruvia for Reuters' take on the interest rate story.

Flying Peru: The Independent (at end of article) notes that Nuevo Continente has replaced Aero Continente. The paper, however, editorialises that "the geography of Peru makes flying the ideal way to travel, but the country's aviation record is not a happy one. David Gilmour, director of the specialist agency South American Experience, says: 'A few years ago, Fawcett Airlines (whose inflight entertainment consisted of bingo), went into liquidation, as did AeroPeru'." SEE ALSO: 'Nuevo Continente' in July 22 and 23's Peruvia.

Peru & Bio-Trade: Inter Press Service reports on "environmentally sustainable 'bio-trade' [which] is gaining ground among the long-standing commercial products that the Andean region puts on the international market," which has spurred the interest of the CAF, the development agency of the Andean Community of Nations. As an example, it states that "Peru supplies minerals and fish for restaurants, but also ornamental fish for home aquariums." ALSO: "In Peru, for the past 10 years the local company OAFA (Ornamental Amazon Fish Aquarium), an exporter of aquarium fish, has run a 250 million-dollar-a-year business, and aims to become the main supplier for Europe," declared OAFA manager Edgar Panduro. "OAFA is working on setting up an office in Germany to avoid reliance on European importers, who currently earn up to 1,000% on the final sales."

Korean Politicians Travel to Peru: The Korea Times reports that Korean legislators, members of the environment and labor committee in the National Assembly, are beginning a trip to Latin America. "Reps. Kim Young-joo of the Uri Party and Dan Byoung-ho of the Democratic Labor Party departed Incheon International Airport with another six colleagues ... [on a] nine-day tour of Peru, Argentina and Brazil."

Winning the National Lottery: The USA State Department's current 'Visa Bulletin' (Number 72, August 2004) cites 2,514 Peruvians have registered for the USA's 'DV-2005' visa lottery program.

HdeSoto in Manila: The Manila Times profiles Hernando de Soto and his relationship with the newly re-elected President Arroyo. "Just a few weeks ago, de Soto became front page material when Malacañang announced that he was going to be appointed as a presidential economic adviser." The article cites his local detractors as well as his supporters. NOTE: "By virtue of his effective policies in fighting poverty, de Soto has gained international following which includes, but is not limited to, various heads of state. These include President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand, President Vicente Fox of Mexico, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, former US President Bill Clinton and, most recently, President Arroyo."

Development in Piura: BNAmericas reports that "Peru's housing, construction and sanitation ministry has opened an international bidding process for a project to expand and improve the water and sewerage system in Piura and Castilla municipalities in northern Piura department," according to the official government news agency Andina. NOTE: "Bidding rules will be on sale until September 16 with the winner to be chosen November 5. ProInversion, will be managing the bidding process." IN SPANISH: See Proinversion's 'Investment Opportunities' page.

Mining in Arequipa: Arcturus Ventures announced in a press release that their Peruvian subsidiary, Exploraciones Coropuna S.A.C., "has tripled the size of its Esperanza property located in northern Arequipa. The Esperanza property is now made up of three claims and totals 3,000 hectares."

Air Force Offers Medical Help: The USA Air Force Link reports on the Kansas Air National Guard's 184th Medical Group "providing humanitarian medical assistance to a needy portion of the civilian population" in Tacna. "In nine days, seven medical doctors, one physician assistant and an entourage of medical specialists treated 5,092 patients in austere conditions." NOTE: "The medical group was asked by the Peruvian minister of heath to participate in this joint exercise with the Peruvian military."

Abortion Battles Brought to Peru: LifeSite News announced in a press release that U.N. emissary to Peru is "urging the predominantly Catholic and legislatively pro-life country to allow abortion." It refers to United Nations Special Rapporteur Paul Hunt's "25-page report on his June 6-15 mission to Peru" in coordination with the Second National Health Conference in Lima. The press release continues this organization's public battle with Minister of Health Pilar Mazzetti and their support of former Minister of Health Fernando Carbone. SEE ALSO: 'Morning After Pills Make Waves' in June 23's Peruvia.


Friday, August 06, 2004

Camisea Spigot Turned On: BNAmericas, Dow Jones and Reuters report that President Toledo, "flanked by Camisea development consortium leaders, turned on the main tap at the gas distribution center on Peru's desert coast, sending a large flame into the air to show that gas was finally flowing." (See also this Reuters 'Fact Box' on the story and this Reuters photograph of the president.) NOTE: Tractebel Chief Executive Officer Dirk Beeuwsaert said, "The development of gas conversion takes time. ... It won't arrive in Lima by magic in one day." A separate Reuters story focuses on the environmental factors and "the fear of extinction among the remote jungle tribes along the pipeline corridor." Once again, Amazon Watch is noted (see articles in yesterday's Peruvia). CITED: Ashaninka community leader Alberto Sinangama, and indigenous leader Zaida Saavedra. "Environmentalists say Shell's contact in the 1980s wiped out half of the Yora tribe, pushing it toward extinction." Tractabel gets reported on by BNAmericas, Gestion, and Reuters. A separate Dow Jones story focuses on Transportadora de Gas del Peru. ALSO: This coming Sunday's Los Angeles Times magazine has a cover story on Rainforest Action Network including how they pushed Citigroup out of a project in Peru.

War of the Pacific, cont.: Xinhua Net reports that "Chile conducted a military drill near its border with Peru on Thursday against the background that the bilateral relations are in tension because of their dispute over maritime boundary. The drill, involving 290 troops, was overseen by Defense Minister Michelle Bachelet and Amy Commander Juan Cheyre, the defense ministry said." See Also: 'War of the Pacific' in yesterday's Peruvia.

Interest Rates Inch Up: Reuters reports that Peru's Central Bank "raised interest rates by 0.25% to 2.75% to cool inflation that threatens to be over a 2004 target of up to 3.5%, the first rate change since November. The increase boosted interest rates for overnight bank deposits to 2% and to 3.5% for short-term Central Bank loans to commercial banks," according to the Central Bank.

More Sulpher: Canada's Aker Kværner announced in a press release that their chemetics divison and Kvaerner Perú SA "have been awarded the contracts by Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC) to build the second sulphuric acid plant and effluent treatment plant at its copper smelter in Ilo. The lump sum contracts which are valued at approximately US$59 million include the complete design, supply, erection, and commissioning of the plant."

Peru is Melting?, cont.: The Guardian and the EDIE include the 'glaciers are melting' story. Says the Guardian: "The shrinkage of glaciers reported this week from Peru, although it only affects a handful of people - mostly climbers and tourists - should be just as alarming. According to Peru's national environmental council, the country has lost 20% of its glaciers in the last 30 years." SEE ALSO: 'Peru is Melting' in July 23's Peruvia.


Thursday, August 05, 2004

Camisea Spigot Turned On: The BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters all report on the formal start of the gas flow from the Malvinas plant in La Convencion, Cuzco. All three mention environmental concerns, Bloomberg focuses on the Hunt Oil business angle and Reuters offers a stronger political story. (The BBC's story is the weakest.) The BBC suggests that "Peru's biggest gas project is likely to change the fortune of cash-poor, but resource-rich Peru." Bloomberg focuses on the Hunt Oil business angle and states that the project was "the culmination of a 20-year project that was delayed by guerrilla warfare and political opposition." The article also acknowledges Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Exxon Mobil Corp.'s early involvment. CITED: Javier Diez Canseco (Congressman), Carlos del Solar (Hunt Oil), George Beranek (PFC Energy), and Norberto Benito (Pluspetrol SA). ALSO: "The [Malvinas] extraction plant [is] a 46-hectare island of technology in the middle of what was once a rainforest. The plant is only accessible by plane and by the river. 'It's like working on an off-shore rig,'' said Benito." NOTE: Environmental concerns are expressed by Maria Ramos (Amazon Watch) and Walter Kategari (a Machiguenga leader). Reuters reports that "Peru hopes the $1.6 billion Camisea project, which took decades to develop because of doubts about its commercial viability, will invigorate its economy, adding up to 1% point to annual gross domestic product growth when gas sales are fully underway." CITED: an enthusiastic Minister of Energy and Mines Jaime Quijandria, a less enthusiastic Gustavo Rangel (Barclays Capital) ALSO: "For environmentalists, Camisea is an ecological peril." Says Maria Ramos (Amazon Watch): "Camisea is simply not sustainable development."

Times Misses Camisea; Gets Beleaguered Toledo: The New York Times has Juan Forrero reporting from Caracas in article entitled, 'Peruvians Tire of Toledo, but Worry About Ousting Him.' "The press and political analysts in Peru increasingly say Mr. Toledo may be critically weakened." NOTED: "Mr. Toledo's party lost its leadership of Congress after an opposition lawmaker, Antero Flores, was chosen on July 26 to head the single-chamber legislature." CITED: Mirko Lauer, (La Republica), Augusto Álvarez (Perú 21), Michael Shifter (Inter American Dialogue), polls, (see below), and the Caretas cover story that suggested "Toledo had taken a $5 million bribe to favor a Colombian brewer in its purchase of a Peruvian beer maker." ALSO: "The major beneficiary of Mr. Toledo's troubles is Alan García."

CPI Poll: The Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy reviews CPI's latest poll which shows Toledo "gradually recapturing public support in Peru" with 13.2% of respondents approving his performance, "a 3.6% increase since June."

War of the Pacific, cont.: The BBC and the Voice of America report that President Alejandro Toledo and Bolivian President Carlos Mesa yesterday "signed an agreement for landlocked Bolivia to export natural gas through its Andean neighbor." Toledo stated that Peru and Bolivia were not competitors but 'associates.' He also said "the special economic zone would be developed around the southern port of Ilo." Separately, MercoPress quotes Peruvian Vice-President David Waisman saying "he openly supported Peruvian Defence Minister remarks that 'our Armed Forces are ready morally and technically for any armed conflict', in direct reference to the maritime dispute between both Pacific countries." Declared Chilean Cabinet Secretary Francisco Vidal: “As far as we are concerned the maritime borders (with Peru) were finalized with the 1952 and 1954 treaties and are unmovable”. ALSO: "In related news Chile and Ecuador (north of Peru) agreed on naming a special and standing committee to address Law of the Sea and maritime borders issues, with the purpose of a common strategy to face the increasing demands from Peru." The article ends with some editorializing on "the appeal to Peruvian nationalism."

Fuji and Vladi Updates: Kyodo News reports that the Japanese government "has asked Peru to present more evidence concerning former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's involvement in crimes in connection with the Peruvian government's request for his extradition," according to Peru's Ministry of Foreign Relations. NOTE: "In July 2003, Peru submitted a 700-page document to back its charge that Fujimori was involved in the murder of 25 citizens in 1991 and 1992 when he was in power." Separately, the Sun-Sentinel re-runs the Los Angeles Times profile on Vladimiro Montesinos who is now seen as "a frumpy, balding man with bad posture, sitting behind bulletproof glass in a special 'anti-corruption' courtroom. But no one can say with certainty that the genie Montesinos is really back in the bottle. CITED: Gustavo Gorriti, Moises Wolfenson. The article ends with this ominous sentence: "If Toledo falls, many Peruvians wonder, will the prosecution of Montesinos and his allies fall by the wayside?" Purchase: Sally Bowen/Jane Holligan's biography of VMontesinos, 'The Imperfect Spy' at the Peru Bookstore.

Library Languishes: The Associated Press (re)-runs a story on "Peru's once-grand National Library, where the ravages of humidity, auto exhaust and decay are taking a heavy toll in one of the world's most important repositories of papers from the Spanish colonial era." HISTORY: "Donating his personal collection, San Martin said he hoped the library would serve as 'one of the most effective mediums to put intellectual values in circulation'." CITED: librarian Delfina Gonzales, David Block (curator of Cornell University's Latin America library collection), Ricardo Palma, and Jorge Basadre. NOTE: "Air quality studies have shown that Abancay Avenue, the eight-lane thoroughfare outside the library, is one of the most polluted streets in Latin America."

Hunger Located In Peru: A United Nations press release, CNN, and Reuters announced the launch of the UN's World Food Programme's new interactive Hunger Map which includes a special focus on Peru. It is to track hunger in real-time. See also the WFP’s Counting the Hungry, an online educational resource on global hunger.

Macro/Micro Econ:
Richard LeTourneau Dies: The Texas' Longview News-Journal offers the obituary of Richard LeTourneau, 79, the oldest surviving son of R.G. LeTourneau and his wife, Evelyn. NOTE: "LeTourneau maintained missions started by his father in Peru," particularly those associated with the Christian Missionary Alliance church. Mr. LeTourneau sold LeTournau Inc., a heavy equipment and offshore jack-up rig manufacturer, for $70 million to Marathon Manufacturing Co. ALSO: As of November 2003, the LeTourneau family were still seeking redress from Velasco's appropriations of properties in 1970. In Spanish: Tournavista in Huanuco.

Is Peru Melting?, cont.: Gregory Rummo offers an editorial from Huraz that questions the latest signs of glacier warming in the Andes. NOTE: The piece is a bit defensive and declares, "to blame Americans or even global warming turns out to be not only historically inaccurate but premature."

To Save Money, Swallow: A wire story notes that "a Peruvian woman has swallowed the equivalent of £450 in cash to avoid being robbed by a gang. Marleny Villa was on a bus travelling to Tacna, south of the capital Lima, when a gang boarded the bus. The Terra Noticias Populares says the 35-year-old rolled all the notes up individually and swallowed them one by one. After the robbery Villa was taken to the nearby town of Cocachacra to have her stomach pumped. A police spokesperson said: "She is one brave, crazy person, but fortunately it turned out well and she will still have the money."


UNITAS Recaps: The USA Navy Newstand reports from Callao on the USS Crommelin whose crew "reached out to disadvantaged people while conducting port calls in Salaverry and Callao in July as part of UNITAS 45-04." NOTE: "Members of the Crommelin crew participated in building a wall at Virgin De La Puerta Elementary School in Salaverry, Peru, donating more than $500 to the project and making further improvements to the school’s restrooms and small classrooms." SEPARATELY, the USA DC Military web site offers another review of the UNITAS excercises off the Peruvian coast in July.

New Restaurants: The Miami Herald reviews 'Miami Lakes Seafood,' noting that "the appetite for Peruvian cuisine doesn't seem to be waning." The Cinncinati Post reviews 'Sabor Peruano' after giving it a positive review in January of this year. And the Houston Chronicle finishes up a column saying that for Peruvian ceviche the Pezcalato Restaurant is "the best, bar none."


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

War of the Pacific, cont.: The Associated Press reports that "the presidents of Peru and Bolivia pledged Wednesday to export some of [Bolivia's] reserves of natural gas through Peru." NOTE: "Despite being a cheaper option, many Bolivians opposed piping gas through Chile, a nation many still resent for annexing Bolivia's Pacific coastline during a war 125 years ago."

No Camisea Tax: Reuters reports that Minister of the Economy and Finances Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski announced that the government had "dropped plans for a 10% consumer tax on local consumption of natural gas from its massive Camisea reserves following criticism the levy could hold up distribution." NOTE: "Some 70,000 households and businesses are expected to switch to Camisea gas by 2009." CITED: Pluspetrol (who leads the Camisea development consortium which includes Hunt Oil and SK Corp.), Techint, Sonatrach, Grana y Montero and Tractebel.

Tax Revenue Up: Dow Jones and Reuters report that "Peru's overall tax revenues, excluding certain contributions, reached 1.837 billion soles in July, a 2.2% increase in real terms over the same period a year earlier," according to SUNAT. NOTE: "The increase was weaker than in recent months due to lower collections of the selective consumption tax, or ISC, as there were fewer tax payment periods in July compared with the same period last year." Reuters quotes 'an agency spokesman' who said, "This is the longest run of tax revenue growth since the SUNAT was created in 1990."

CPI Poll: The Miami Herald (yesterday) offers a summary of a new CPI poll on Toledo's popularity which was "apparently buoyed by a call he made last week for investigators to review his bank accounts. The survey of 500 people in metropolitan Lima by polling firm CPI on Friday and Saturday showed that 13.2% of those asked said they approved of Toledo's job performance, up from 9.6% in June."

More Trucks: The World Mining Equipment website reports that San Martin, Peru's largest independent mining contractor, "has drastically increased its fleet with the recent acquisition of 22 trucks." Says San Martin's Commercial Manager, Alberto Coya, "With this renewed fleet, we have more than doubled our hauling capacity." The company has "moved in excess of 2.2 million tonnes/month in four locations for three clients in both the mining and cement industries in Peru. The company's clients include Yanacocha, Milpo, Buenaventura, and Barrick's Misquichilca."

Electronic Commerce: ePay News reports that "the Wong Interbank Visa card launched in 2001 by Peru’s Interbank and local eCommerce firm, E Wong, supports online remittances at reduced fees, and can be used for purchases anywhere in the world." NOTE: "MasterCard sees the Latin American/ Caribbean region as having the best growth potential in the world for its business, given the low bank penetration, growing card culture and improving economies."

Bugs Save Amazon: The Salt LakeTribune and a University of Utah press release report on the work of Paul Fine and other researchers who "discovered that tree-chomping bugs seem to increase the variety of tree species" in the Peruvian Amazon. (The press release is titled, 'Save the Rainforest - Eat a Tree.') Said Fine: "These insects actually increase the number of habitats, and by extension the number of species." NOTE: "Fine and his Peruvian collaborators, including Italo Mesones of the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana, started an NGO to lobby for protecting the rainforest reserve. The team raised awareness as well as enough money to hire park guards to keep speculators away from the land, in northern Peru near the city of Iquitos." SEE ALSO: 'Herbivores Promote Habitat Specialization by Trees' in the July 30, 2004 issue of Science. Fine, Mesones, and Phyllis D. Coley are the co-authors.

Peruvian Gets Sentenced: Kyodo News reports on Enrique Toguchi who sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Utsunomiya District Court "on a charge of reckless driving resulting in the death of two people and seriously injuring four others." This was "is the highest penalty ever for the charge." Toguchi, 22, a Peruvian living in Japan, did not have a driver's license, and was intoxicated during his melee in 2003. IN SPANISH: See also this story in the International Press.


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

War of the Pacific, cont.: BNAmericas reports that the President Toledo and Bolivia's President Carlos Mesa "plan to sign on August 4 a letter of intent to create a 'special economic zone' to facilitate the export of Bolivian gas to Mexico through a Peruvian port," according to Bolivia's official news agency ABI. NOTE: "The presidents are scheduled to meet on August 3 in the Peruvian port of Ilo to sign a general economic and social integration agreement, before moving to Lima on August 4 to sign a letter of intent for a possible gas export agreement." ALSO: "Exporting gas through Chile is financially more viable, but historical Bolivian resentment against Chile makes the choice of a Chilean port politically risky." Separately, MercoPress reports that in an official communique, the Chilean Army announced this Monday it will eliminate 6,526 anti personnel and anti tank mines in five fields close to the Peruvian border. Said the press release, "this is yet another signal of mutual unilateral confidence building of Chile towards its neighbors”. ALSO: "The mine sweeping is to begin this week with a cost ranging between 300 and 1,000 US dollars per explosive and is expected to demand eight months." NOTE: "The mining dates back to the seventies when Chile as well as neighboring Peru and Bolivia were ruled by military regimes and the Chilean high command feared a repeat of the 1879 Pacific war with Peru and Bolivia."

Strike Over? Dow Jones reports that Shougang Hierro Peru "has restarted its operations in southern Peru," according to a union official. NOTE: "The company had shut down operations on July 25 due to ongoing protests by contract workers that had caused its production and exports to grind to a halt." CITED: Deputy Labor Minister Alfredo Villavicencio who said "there were some outstanding issues." ALSO: "Contract workers had been blocking a road between the city of San Juan de Marcona and the southern Panamericana highway since June 30."

Badminton and Football: USA Badminton announced the results of the results of the 2004 Junior Pan American Badminton Championships Individual Competitions held in Lima. Separately, Soccer 365 reports that the USA Under-16 Men’s National Team will travel to Peru "to participate in the Peru International Friendly Tournament from Aug. 10-14." Competition between the USA, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador will be played in Trujillo, Chiclayo and Piura. NOTE: Peru is also hosting the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship.

Mining News:
Reality in Peru? The Sydney Morning Herald reviews the 2003 National Geographic television program "Worlds Apart" about "the Lockett family of Detroit, Michigan, [who] sign up for nine days with a Peruvian family who live high up in the Andes." When they arrive, "they're all cheery and filled with the spirit of adventure. ... As you would expect, the cheeriness doesn't last once the mollycoddled, middle-class Westerners find themselves washing their hair in urine (oh, yes), eating guinea pigs ("I had enough gerbils yesterday," Walter says on their second day." The review says what saves the program is the "humanity in the subjects, not just the Locketts but the Peruvian family with whom they stay, which touches you in places Survivor never could." SEE ALSO: This CNN interview with one of the Locketts; and these reviews from the Detroit News. The program has continued in other locations.

Tragedy in Anchash: Japan Today reports on a tragic accident in Collapata, Ancash where a "bus plunged off a cliff on Sunday, killing at least 34 passengers and injuring 21," according to police.



Monday, August 02, 2004

Free Trade? Dow Jones reports that "Peru won't sign a free trade pact with the U.S. if it doesn't improve the Andean nation's trade position," according to the Minister of Trade Alfredo Ferrero. NOTE: "Ferrero added that Peru won't sign a deal if it doesn't improve on the conditions already gained under Andean trade promotion legislation known as ATPDEA." ALSO: "The U.S. has offered to negotiate immediate duty-free access for Andean nations on 59.9% of 10,493 items that the tariff-free status could apply to."

Aid to Puno: Reuters and a World Food Program press release report that the WFP, the U.N. food aid agency, "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. ... [C]ereals, oil and sugar were being distributed in Puno, near the border with Bolivia, where temperatures have plunged as low as -31 degrees Fahrenheit (-35 degrees Centigrade) and 80 percent of land is covered by snow." CITED: Dorte Ellehammer, the program's country director.

Ancient Brewery: The Associated Press, the BBC, and Reuters report that scientists from Chicago's Field Museum and the University of Florida "uncovered a brewery [in Cerro Baul] in the mountains of southern Peru where members of the Wari Empire made an alcoholic chicha more than 1,000 years ago. (AP photos are found here and in MSNBC story). NOTE: "It wasn't just a mom-and-pop operation, but something that could deliver the goods when dozens, if not hundreds, of Wari decided it was chicha time." CITED: The AP pegs their story on an interview with Patrick Ryan Williams (assistant curator at the museum) who estimated "the facility could produce as much as a few thousand liters of chicha a day." The BBC cites Susan deFrance; Reuters cites Michael Moseley. SEE ALSO: The Field Museum's site on Cerro Baul as well as their press release from last week.

Farming/Mining Down But Fishing Up: Reuters reports that "output in Peru's agriculture and key mining sector fell in June compared with a year earlier but fishing output soared," according to the INEI. NOTE: "Mining production, which generates half of Peru's exports, fell 2.48% in June compared with the same month a year ago after slipping 0.1% in May compared with the same month a year earlier. ... But fishing output jumped 27.56% in June, compared with a year earlier, INEI said, without giving any reasons for the surge. " A separate Reuters article offers more details, sector by sector.

Las Bambas - One Less Bidder: Reuters reports that Chile's Antofagasta "is pulling out of the auction for Peru's Las Bambas copper project," according to a company representative, who cited Peru's "new mining royalty as a reason to quit the bidding." NOTE: "Both Mexico's Penoles and South African miner Anglo American Plc have withdrawn from the auction citing the royalty that President Alejandro Toledo signed into law in June." ALSO: "Fourteen companies -- virtually all the world's big copper miners except for Chile's state-owned Codelco -- had originally pre-qualified for the auction."

Latin Democracy is Deeper: The Financial Times publishes an op-ed by the Brookings Institution Carol Graham and is, in effect, a response to those who have conflated the Ilave lynching and the UNDP report 'The State of Democracy' into a "crisis of democracy in Latin America." Graham states that while "i is true that Latin America has problems that merit serious attention from the international community ... the region's citizens are not about to toss out democracy and return to authoritarian times. They are seeking better performance than most current governments can provide." SEE ALSO: 'UNDP Report in Lima' in April 21 and 22's Peruvia.

PAlva in Miami: The Miami Herald profiles Trujillano/Ohioan Pepe Alva who is performing in Miami on Thursday. " He is the founder of the 1990s musical group Alma Raymi which played "a then-groundbreaking fusion of rock and Peruvian folkloric music that gathered a loyal following."

MSchumacher = Peru: Planet F-1 states that racing superstar Michael Schumacher "earns more money than the GDP of Peru."


Sunday, August 01, 2004

Race & Peru: The Miami Herald offers an in-depth look at racism in Peru, written by Tyler Bridges, and pegged on "the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Peru ... and a few determined Afro-Peruvians are using the occasion to tell their countrymen that racism is alive and well here, in ways both similar to and different from racism in the United States." NOTE: "This Dec. 4 will mark the day that Peru's president in 1854 freed the last of the 3,000 to 4,000 remaining slaves." CITED: Jorge Ramírez Reyna (Black Association for the Defense and Advancement of Human Rights - Asociacion Negra de Defensa y Poromocion de los Derechos Humanos); Rafael Santa Cruz (a black actor who in 1991 portrayed the first successful black professional in a Peruvian soap opera ('Querer Volver') who says, "In Peru, you're black if you look black. The darker you are, the lower you are socially and economically.'); José Luis Risco (one of Peru's three black congressmen; Unidad Nacional); Oswaldo Bilbao Lobatón (Center for Ethnic Development - Centro de Desarrollo Étnico); Josefina Stubbs (World Bank). The Numbers: "Black leaders in Peru, where 8 to 10% of the 27 million people are considered black, express similar hopes amid their frustrations." The Facts: "Newspaper job ads request someone with a ''good appearance,'' which blacks here say is a code for no blacks need apply. Peru has no black Cabinet ministers, no black ambassadors, no black bishops, black leaders say." Says Ramírez, "Racism in Peru is not in the laws. It's in the mentality of people." A photograph of the cover of the 2004 Lima phone book which "features a white doctor, a white nurse, a white chef, a white man on the phone, two white men doing home repairs -- and a black bellhop carrying luggage," accompanies the article. (The article also briefly reviews race relations in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.) [Editorial Note: A Peruvia editor noted the presence of the Black Association for the Defense and Advancement of Human Rights last week at Miraflores' Parque Kennedy at an event sponsored by the Municipal government.] SEE ALSO: 'Race and Poverty: Interagency Consultation on Afro-Latin Americans' which includes 'Discrimination by Afro-Peruvian Groups' by Jorge Ramírez. IN SPANISH: Read commentary by Jorge Ramírez here; and the open letter to President Toledo asking him to recognize December 4 as the 150th anniversary of abolition in Peru.

War of the Pacific, cont.: Bloomberg reports that "the Peruvian government will offer Bolivia an area in which to build a plant to export natural gas," according to EFE which quoted the foreign ministers from both countries, Manuel Rodriguez and Juan Ignacio Siles. NOTE: "The proposal reopened a 125-year-old territorial dispute in which Bolivia and Peru lost land in a war fought against Chile in 1879 and Bolivia lost access to the Pacific Ocean. Building the plant in Peru would cost an extra $600 million because a longer pipeline would be needed, analysts have said."

Inca Observatories Found: Agence France Press reports that "Peruvian archaeologists have discovered two Inca observatories in central Peru, which they said are the most imposing of the stone structures found to date.The discovery of the observatories, announced Friday, is the result of five years of searching in Huanuco." NOTE: "One of the two, known as Ushnu, is larger than the observatory of Cuzco, the largest previously found," according to archaeologist Juan Luis Pino. ALSO: "The observatory's principal function was to help the Incas decide where to build according to the positions of the sun and the moon, Pino said. The Portuguese version of the story connects the story to the University of San Marcos in Lima and the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Curious Charity Ties Peru & Japan: Kyodo News reports that "supporters of convicted murderer Norio Nagayama held a charity concert in Tokyo on Sunday, the seventh anniversary of his execution, as part of efforts to realize his wish to aid poor children in Peru. Four-time killer Nagayama, also an award-winning writer, wanted the royalties from his books written in prison to be used to help poor children around the world, particularly those in Peru, escape poverty and ignorance." SEE ALSO: This Asahi Evening News piece and this one from India's Express News, both from 1997.

SMulanovich is #2: The San Diego Union-Tribune notes that Sofia Mulanovich placed second in her competition at the 11th annual U.S. Open of Surfing, the largest professional surfing event in the world." She is "the current top-ranked surfer on the Woman's World Championship Tour (WCT) and won $3,000" at this event.

Comparing Incomes: The Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer, in a column about Latin American emigration to the USA, compares the per capita income in the United States ($36,000) with that of Mexico ($9,000) and Peru ($5,000) and declares that "as long as U.S. Hispanics continue believing in the American Dream, the exodus will continue. The only solution will be helping speed up Latin America's development."

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