Saturday, September 18, 2004
AFujimori In Scam: Japan's Asahi Shinbum reports that Alberto Fujimori was used in a scam that bilked thousands of Japanese investors" of nearly 10 billion yen." Toshio Yabuki's company "is suspected of getting 4.22 million yen from four people in July and August 2002 by soliciting investment in gold coins, promising high returns. The so-called commemorative coins were billed as 'marking the 3,000th anniversary of the Inca empire in Peru.' Coins were never sent to the 'investors' the police said. The company allegedly used Fujimori's name to publicize the sales. He was introduced as an adviser."
KFujimori, Charges Dropped: The Associated Press reports that Judge Humberto Lecca dropped criminal charges against Keiko Fujimori that carried a sentence of five years in prison. She was "accused in July by a prosecutor of mishandling donations as Peru's first lady in 1998." NOTE: The charges were dropped because of "lack of evidence." NOTE: "Analysts have speculated that she might run for president, standing in for her father." See Also: 'Keiko: Wedding and/or Jail?' in July 7's Peruvia.
Free Trade Talks, cont.: Puerto Rico's Caribbean Business reports on the fourth round of free trade negotiations this week between the U.S. and Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. The talks were held at the Wyndham El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa in Fajardo with Pablo de la Flor as the chief Peruvian negotiator. NOTE: "A parallel, private-sector business roundtable is to be held on agricultural issues, intellectual property rights, labor, and environmental protection. .. Small and medium-size businesses from the Andean region are participating in the round of trade talks." ALSO: "Wanda I. Colón Cortés of the Caribbean Project for Peace & Justice suggested that, “if the talks had been held in any of the Andean countries, there would have been large [antiglobalization] protests.” NOTE: "The talks are of particular importance to Puerto Rico given the increased access they may give local businesses to South American markets. ... Puerto Rico exported products in the amount of US$1.5 million to Peru and imported US$16.8 million from Peru. See Also: 'Free Trade Talks' in September 14's Peruvia.
Kerry's Peruvian Connection: Reuters has several photographs (one, two, three) of USA presidential candidate John Kerry in Colorado who was visited by members of the Denver Power Soccer Academy, founded by Edgar Campos, "a former professional soccer player [from Peru who] put to use his cultural, educational, professional knowledge and experience to build a respected program for youth."
Museum Opens in Wash DC: Catholic News Press and the Washington Times report on Tuesday's opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. NOTE: "There are drinking cups more than 1,000 years old from Peru." See Also: 'Toledo in DC Again' in September 13's Peruvia.
Peruvians Salute N.Koreans: The Korean Central News Agency reports that "floral baskets were sent by parliaments, political parties, ministries, organizations and high-ranking officials of different countries to the DPRK embassies in the capital cities of the respective countries on the occasion of the 56th founding anniversary of the DPRK." Among others they included "Peasants and Students of Peru, the Peruvian Committee for Supporting the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea, the Peruvian-Korean Institute of Culture and Friendship." See Also: 'Juche in Peru' in April 19's Peruvia.
Camisea Reveals Ancient Treasures, cont.: The Los Angeles Times runs an edited version of the Reuters report about the archeological finds that the construction of the Camisea pipeline has unearthed. See Also: 'Camisea Reveals' in September 15's Peruvia.
- The Independent runs the obituary of geologist Wallace Spencer Pitcher, Professor of Geology at Liverpool University from 1962 to 1981 and a leading international authority on the nature and origin of granites. NOTE: "With Land Rover, horse and tent, Pitcher set out to map, with E.J. Cobbing and others, a large segment of the granite batholith and to relate the structure and composition of this to the process of subduction along the east Pacific margin [in Peru]. This, as before, led to considerable number of individual theses and papers and is summarised in the definitive volume Magmatism at a Plate Edge: the Peruvian Andes (1985).
- The Indianapolis Star reports on Ricardo Herrera, 42, was sentenced in July to 16 months in prison for the trafficking of forged immigration documents. NOTE: "Herrera, a Peruvian national, will be deported after his release from prison."
- Houston Chronicle profiles Raj Mankad, the new managing editor of Feminist Economics who, in 2000, after his first year of medical school, went to a mountain village in Peru to help with medical research. "We were studying a parasite," he said, "and it was my job to collect everybody's feces in the town." He became a writer and turned his experience in Peru into a book-length master's thesis. See Also: Mankad's short review of Yawar Fiesta.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Newmont's Troubles: Reuters has an update this morning on Yanacocha, "on ice after two weeks of protests, pending talks and a study of its impact on water supplies." (The Denver Post and Denver's Rocky Mountain News offer short summaries. The DP quotes Marco Arana saying the strike "may be nearing an end." Says the RMN, "an eyewitness said the protesters apparently came to a resolution with the Peruvian government to suspend all mining at the Cerro Quilish deposit and call for new negotiations with Denver's Newmont Mining Corp." ) NOTE: The Ministry of Mines and Energy "said late on Thursday in a highly technical statement that it had revoked part of a resolution awarding Yanacocha a permit to explore Cerro Quilish so as to allow dialogue between all sides and for a hydrological study to be carried out." ALSO: "Regional leaders called off the strike that had blocked roads around the mine with rocks and earth, preventing Yanacocha from getting supplies to miners," according to Minister Jaime Quijandria. The story also repeats quotes from yesterday by Carlos Santa Cruz, director of Newmont's South American operations and adds that "Santa Cruz said Yanacocha would not appeal the government's decision to suspend its exploration permit but said it was 'a lack of a general culture of support for investment'." NOTE: "Santa Cruz said earlier the company was two weeks behind on a $250 million investment plan because of the protests." Meanwhile, NEM reports that Newmont Mining "was downgraded to "sector performer" from "sector outperformer" by CIBC World Markets, which cited rising uncertainty at the company's key gold asset Yanacocha in Peru."
New Backus CEO: Just Drinks reports that Darío Castaño Zapata replaces Carlos Bentín Remy as CEO of Union de Cervecerias Peruanas Backus & Johnston. Bentín, who had been CEO since 1989, remains on the board of the company. The Bentín family sold their shares in the company to Grupo Cisneros in 2002. Castaño has been the President of Cervecería Nacional in Panama, also owned by Grupo Cisneros. Left unsaid was that Manuel Romero Caro was named ‘Executive Director’ of the Board. In Spanish: Backus has a press release on these changes and a colourful powerpoint document as well. See Also: This August 2002 Caretas piece on the company sale.
UN Rep to Peru: The United Nations announced that Gabriela Rodríguez Pizarro, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, will visit Peru from 20 to 30 September 2004, at the invitation of the Peruvian Government. NOTE: "During the visit the Special Rapporteur will focus on the causes and consequences of emigration in Peru and the consular protection and assistance offered by the Government to Peruvian nationals abroad." ALSO: "Ms. Rodriguez will begin her official mission in Lima and then visit Tacna and Tumbes."
More Flight to Peru: Polar Air Cargo announced in a press release (not yet on their press release page) that they have "begun offering service to Lima on its Boeing 747 freighter aircraft. The once-weekly flight leaves from Miami on Friday and travels via Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Lima and back to Miami on Saturday." According to Maria Chavez, Polar's Director of Sales for Latin America, "We look forward to providing a premium service for the Peruvian market into the United States, with unbeatable connections into Asia."
Petroperu Doubles Profit: Gestion reports that Alejandro Narvaez, president of the Peruvian state owned Petroperu, informed the company has posted net profits of S/.133million from January to August, a figure that doubles the target established to it by Fonafe of S/.78million for the whole 2004 period." NOTE: "Narvaez observed there are a series of procedures that harm the speed of investments from Petroperu, consequently hinders the company profitability and its ability to compete with private oil companies. For instance, the fast way to modernize the Talara petroleum refinery would be a decree exempting Petroperu to fulfill some norms." In Spanish: See the August 2004 edition of Petroperu’s Boletín Mensual.
Electrifying the North: BNAmericas reports that Peruvian transmission concessionaire Red de Energía del Perú (REP) has completed construction on the Peruvian stretch of a 230kV interconnection with Ecuador, REP's parent, Colombia's state transmission company ISA, said in a statement Thursday. The Peruvian stretch of the line runs 51km from Zarumilla to Zorritos, and took 11 months to build and cost US$7mn.
Oil Contingencies: BNAmericas reports that Peru "has approved establishing a contingency fund to protect domestic consumers from the impact of fluctuating world oil prices on domestic fuel prices," according to Minister of Mines and Energy Jaime Quijandría. NOTE: "The fund, known as the Fondo para la Estabilización de Precios de los Combustibles Derivados del Petróleo, is designed to absorb the impact of fluctuating world oil prices by building up a credit when prices fall and paying out a subsidy when prices rise." ALSO: "The government will guarantee the fund for up to 60mn soles (US$9mn), Quijandría said." The fund will be valid for a period of 180 days, after which it can be renewed. In Spanish: See the decree about the Fondo noted in Wednesday’s El Peruano and CPN Radio.
Why Not Peru? The Los Angeles Times has a humour piece by comedian Bill Maher on the USA presidential campaign that begins like this: "Let's stop re-fighting the Vietnam War on the campaign trail and re-fight it where it'll do some good: in Vietnam. That's right, let's stop mucking around and just … reinvade Vietnam." The piece ends like this: "It's about us, and our need for closure and completion and all that other stuff Dr. Phil talks about. ... [Now that] Vietnam is behind us. Now let's go kick the heck out of Peru."
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Did CIA ‘Lie’ on Missionary Plane: Reuters reports that “the U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether CIA officials lied to Congress about the Peru aerial drug interdiction program, which remains suspended three years after an American missionary plane was mistakenly shot down, several U.S. government sources said on Thursday.” NOTE: “The CIA's inspector general has been helping the Justice Department in its investigation and congressional intelligence committees were asked to turn over materials such as transcripts from closed-door hearings, sources said.” ALSO: “The joint U.S.-Peru air drug interdiction program has been suspended since April 2001 after a Peruvian air force plane shot down a small aircraft it mistook for a drug smuggling flight, killing an American missionary and her daughter.”
Newmont’s Troubles, cont.: Several reports follow the one-day strike by thousands of farmers in Cajamarca, calling for “an end to a gold exploration project they say is polluting their water, intensifying local resistance” against Newmont Mining’s/Buenaventura’s work at Cerro Quilish. The Rocky Mountain News and United Press International have short summaries of the story. Reuters early on reports on Alejandro Rebaza Martell, vice president of the Cajamarca region and community leader Luis Yopla Castrejón who was “on his way to join the protests.” (Though it is unmentioned, Yopla is a leader in COPAMIC, the Coordinadora de Pueblos Afectaods por la Mineria.) An updated Reuters story says that Yanacocha “could miss a 2004 output target of 2.9 million to 3 million ounces of the precious metal if protests against exploration at one of its properties persist for another month,” according to Carlos Santa Cruz, director of Newmont's South American operations. He stated that “This is having an impact on construction projects. We have a $250 million investment plan this year and because we cannot move staff, we are running two weeks behind.” CITED: Haytham Hodaly, an analyst at Salman Partners. The Denver Post has the most colorful reporting (“The 36-ton Caterpillar trucks at Newmont Mining Corp.'s Yanacocha gold mine in Peru ground to a halt Wednesday after two weeks of road blockades, protests and violence against the operation took their effect. Denver-based Newmont suspended blasting and hauling ore for the first time in the mine's 11-year history, in part because roadblocks are preventing fuel, supplies and workers from reaching the mine.”) Mineweb has the most comprehensive piece and reports that “officially-sanctioned protests, which, at times, escalated into violence, and a two-week blockade of Minera Yanacocha have finally caused Newmont to blink.” NOTE: “Once again, Peru's well-honed skill for gathering thousands in the streets for blockades and protest worked. Newmont now joins the ranks of such luminous protest targets as Peru's current and past presidents.” ALSO: “Newmont is expected to pay $90 million in mining canon taxes to the Cajamarca region for 2004, according to Hock. The company paid $72 million in mining canon taxes in 2003. This year Newmont has also helped to launch the Association Los Andes de Cajamarca, which is aimed at promoting sustainable development in the community.” Finally, the Associated Press (which also played on Denver’s KESQ website) had dated information (“operations continued with workers and supplies being ferried to the mine by helicopter”) but offers a new quote: “ ‘We are not going to permit them to explore today or ever, for one simple, technically sound reason - this zone is very fragile,’ Luis Iván Salas Rodríguez, a protest leader, told Radioprogramas radio in Peru." ALSO: "The area has suffered a four-year drought."
The Official Response: Newmont Mining and Compania de Minas Buenaventura responded to the protests today with a press release which declared that “Minera Yanacocha has begun to scale back mining operations at its mine north of the city of Cajamarca. The decision was made after careful consideration of safety and operational concerns resulting from a blockade of the access road to the mine. Gold production will not be affected in the near term.” NOTE: “Since September 2, a group of local people have blocked the road to the mine in protest of exploration drilling conducted, in accordance with the relevant permit, on the Cerro Quilish gold deposit. On September 7, Minera Yanacocha agreed to suspend exploratory drilling in an effort to calm the situation and restore order.” NOTE: BNAmericas, the Denver Business Journal and Reuters also reported and reacted to this press release. This Reuters piece quotes Roque Benavides, president and chief executive of Buenaventura, saying that “we have been working and will continue to work for a peaceful resolution based on the rule of law, the right to work and stability in the city of Cajamarca.”
Trans Amazon Cooperation, cont.: Agência Brasil and Inter Press Service report on the end of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (OTCA) meeting in Manaus where Peru’s Minister of Foreign Relations Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros declared that the concluding theme was “sovereignty with responsibility” by the member countries. Peru will be the host of the next meeting of ACTO ministers, scheduled for September 2005 in Iquitos. CITED: The Manaus Declaration which “underlines their determination to ‘fight biopiracy and ensure the full exercise of the sovereign rights of the Amazon countries over the resources of the region's biological diversity.’” ALSO: The “gradual formation of a South American Community of Nations.” NOTE: “The foreign ministers' meeting is followed by the 2nd Amazon International Fair, taking place September 15-18.” Agência Brasil quotes Manoel Rodrigues saying that “sustainable development in the Amazon had to focus on the local population. He also urged the participants to act with what he called responsible sovereignty.” See Also: ‘Trans Amazon Cooperation’ in Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s Peruvia.
GDP Up, cont: Bloomberg and Reuters report that Peru's economy “grew 3.75% in July compared with the same month last year, led by a surge in fishing and industrial output,” according to a new report from INEI. NOTE: Bloomberg says that “the $61 billion economy, in its longest expansion in two decades, grew 3.75% in July after expanding 3% in June.” Reuters says “Peru's $60 billion economy has been one of Latin America's fastest-growing since 2002. Despite a cooling of growth in June, when the economy grew 3.02%, the economy is expected to expand more quickly in the second half of the year.” Bloomberg cites Jose Cerritelli, an analyst at Bear Stearns & Co. IN SPANISH: See the INEI report. See Also: ‘GDP Up’ in September 12’s Peruvia.
A Diversity of Protests: The Associated Press has photographs of several protests including one in front of the Ministry of Labor where “the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers, or CGTP demands more jobs to Peru's President Alejandro Toledo.” The second one is of a group of students from the Peruvian Engineering University (UNI) “shout[ing] during a protest in front of Peru's Congress [and] demanding that the government spend more money on public universities. The last two are of another group of students from the National University of the Altiplano in Puno “burning the head of a figure of Peru's President Alejandro Toledo during a protest in front of Peru's Congress in Lima.”
Chachapoyas Discovery, cont.: National Geographic reports on Sean Savoy's Gran Saposoa-El Dorado IV Expedition in Amazonas surrounding the Chachapoyas culture. Savoy is “the vice president of operations for the Reno, Nevada-based Andean Explorers Foundation and Ocean Sailing Club” and the article includes a photograph of Savoy. NOTE: “The organization was founded in Trujillo, Peru, in 1957 by Savoy's father Gene Savoy. It has brought widespread attention to the Chachapoya, beginning with Gene Savoy's discovery in 1965 of Gran Pajaten, a ceremonial center atop a jungle-covered peak.” CITED: Charles and Tina Motley (operators of a lodging and guide service to the accessible Chachapoya ruins of Kuelap and Gran Vilaya in Amazonas). See Also: Stories by the Agence France Press, the Associated Press, and Reuters on the expedition in ‘Chachapoyas Discoery in August 18’s Peruvia.
More Mining: Candente Resource announces in a press release that “results from the Phase I drilling program on the wholly-owned Alto Dorado property located in Northern Peru have been compiled. Gold and copper mineralization has been found in a porphyry body, which appears to be in excess of one kilometre (km) in length and 600 metres (m) in width in the Ana-Olla zone.”
More Crude: El Comercio reports that “Occidental Corp. believes that a field in the North jungle of Peru, part of Lot 64, might have reserves securing a production of 100 million barrels of crude. Last month Occidental has teamed with Amerada Hess and Talisman Energy to invest US$50 million in the exploration of Lot 64, the same area from which Burlington Resources departed due to resistance from the local community to its activities.”
Film in Vancouver: Dias de Santiago will be screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival on September 26, 29 and October 1. Synopsis: “A gritty revelation, Josué Méndez’s taut, edgy drama--about a young war veteran's inability to re-adjust to civil society. Santiago (Pietro Sibille, who vaults to the top ranks of South American actors with this intense performance), though only 23, has finished his stint as a navy SEAL and returned to the slums of Lima. Trained for nothing but fighting--and the recipient of a very large chip on his shoulder--he finds that his family wants to keep him at a distance and his young wife wants to leave him. Unable to get his half-hearted dream of further education off the ground and taunted by his old cronies who want to enlist him in a cockamamie bank robbery scheme, he finds himself drawn into a cycle of violence that leads to tragedy.” See Also: The film’s official website; and January 21’s Peruvia note on the film at the Rotterdam Film Festival.
Church in Chiclayo: Minnesota’s Sun Current reports Transfiguration Lutheran Church’s mission trip to Chiclayo. The pastor’s brother, Henrik Christopherson are missionaries with the World Mission Prayer League in Las Lomas. NOTE: “The mission team was introduced to ACHKIY – a group of Peruvian women that meets three times a week creating crafty products. Every first Sunday of the month, TLC has supported ACHKIY (which means something that shines) by selling their beautiful and original cards, jewelry and notebooks.” CITED: Ruth Pacheco, the founder of ACHKIY.
LFN in China: Xinhua News reports on Lourdes Flores Naro (sic) leading a delegation of the Popular Christian Party of Peru in China from September 14 to 20 and that vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Uyunqimg met with them yesterday in Beijing.
MVLl in Spain: Associated Press reports that Mario Vargas Llosa is President of the festival jury at the San Sebastian International Film Festival this weekend.
GClaux in New Mexico: College Sports reports on Giselle Claux, a native of Lima, Peru, a freshman at the University of New Mexico, and “a talented golfer with international experience [who] competed for the Peruvian National Team in several Junior South American tournaments.”
Alianza Atletico Moves Up: Reuters reports that Peru’s Alianza Atletico “progressed to the second round of the Copa Sudamericana after a night of eccentric goalkeeping.” NOTE: “Alianza Atletico wrapped up a 4-1 win second-leg win over Coronel Bolognesi when Bolognesi goalkeeper Diego Penny was caught in possession near the opposition's corner flag.” ALSO: “Earlier, Argentine Emerson Panigutti had scored twice as Alianza bounced back from a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the all-Peruvian tie.”
Zalia in Production: Kentucky’s Herald-Leader reviews Monica Ramirez and her Zalia Cosmetics, a cosmetic line for Latinas. NOTE: “How does a first generation American of Peruvian parents, with no experience in makeup manufacturing, get a shot at sales with one of the hottest retail chains for women? Ramirez credits a new partner who worked 10 years with Estee Lauder for helping with contacts.” ALSO: “The company expects top dollar for the items, with lipsticks starting at $11.50 each. "Zalia's definitely not a mass-market brand," Ramirez said.”
Mars & Peru: Reuters reports that “people could land on Mars in the next 20 to 30 years provided scientists can find water on the red planet, the head of NASA's surface exploration mission.” Arthur Thompson, the mission manager for MER surface operations, gave Reuters an interview during his visit to Lima.
Saving MPicchu: The World Bank announced in a press release that they "approved a $5 million loan to support the Government of Peru’s efforts to protect some of Peru’s most important cultural sites in the Vilcanota Valley, including Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas." Reuters, UPI and the Voice of America followed up with their own story. Said Marcelo Giugale, World Bank Director for Peru and other Andean countries, "the Vilcanota Valley is one of the most important and beautiful pre-Colombian sites in Latin America. This project will help the Government of Peru preserve and sustain the human, social, natural, cultural and historical assets of the valley.” The press release included a video interview of Giugale. NOTE: "The project will be implemented in partnership with UNESCO, the National Geographic Society, the World Monuments Fund, NGOs and bilateral donors. It will also complement an ongoing Bank-supported water and sanitation project (PRONASAR) and help to mobilize private- and public-sector investments in the Valley."
Newmont's Troubles, cont.: The Miami Herald Latin America Briefs column reports that "some 10,000 people stopped work Wednesday in the northern city of Cajamarca after the breakdown of negotiations to prevent gold prospecting by a U.S.-run company on a nearby mountain that protesters fear will pollute and dry up their water supply," according to a police official said. The note does not mention that it is Newmont Mining.
Telefonica is 'Stable': Fitch Ratings announced in a press release that to affirm "Telefonica del Peru S.A.A.'s international scale local currency unsecured debt rating of 'BBB+' and foreign currency unsecured debt rating of 'BB-'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Fitch's Peruvian affiliate Apoyo & Asociados has a national rating of 'AAA(pe)' for TDP." NOTE: You can use 'Peruvia' to register at Fitch Ratings or read this version of the press release.
Film in DC: The Con Game (Doble Juego)will be playing in Washington DC at the Organization of American States Film Festival on September 23. Directed and written by Alberto 'Chicho' Durant whose other work includes Courage, the bio-pic of María Elena Moyano. Synopsis: "As President Fujimori gets ready to skip, bribe revelations are updated regularly, and everybody's looking for an angle in tough times. Film buff Fabrizio Aguilar won't work for his father or on a TV soap, but will make a porno to finance his dream script for Madonna; his pianist-wannabe wife sells clothes on the side, an accountant drives a cab, a divorcée needs to sell that apartment—and then wheeler-dealer Fernando Cayo shows up. But he never seems to have any cash." Con Game played at Sundance in January and reviewed in Variety then.
Art on Sudan: The Korea Times has an opinion piece by Peter Moszynski who won the Kwangju Biennale Award with Peruvian artist Jota Castro for their exhibit entitled “A Drop in the Ocean,’’ describing the realities of famine and genocide in Sudan today.
Food in CA and FL: California's Huntington Beach Independent reviews the Caravana Peruvian Rotisserie where "white or dark is the main question and dinners can choose from several of scrumptious sides." ALSO: "There are actually no Inca artifacts on the wall, but there is Inca Cola, a citrus flavored carbonated sugar water that is pervasive throughout Peru." The Miami Herald reviews Las Olas Café in Fort Lauderdale where "Peruvian-born chef Ernesto Rado's cuisine is continental/eclectic, with globe-trotting influences from Cajun shrimp to wasabi-crusted tuna and duck quesadilla."
NYC/LIM: American Airlines announced in a press release new fares from New York City including a US$479 roundtrip fare from Kennedy to Lima.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Camisea Reveals Ancient Treasures: Reuters reports that a by-product of the laying down of Camisea's high-tech gas pipeline from the southern jungle to Lima have been ancient artifacts "which total 72 tons in weight and include mummies, textiles, jewelry, ceramics and weaponry." NOTE: "They proved an obstacle for pipeline builder Argentine-led Transportadora de Gas del Peru which had to add 21 miles to its proposed pipeline route to prevent damaging the relics." CITED: Archaeologists Lucia Balbuena and Luis Salcedo Camacho and "the little-known Echarate culture." ALSO: “The Echarate culture is the predecessor of the Marvalle tribe that was until now the oldest in Cuzco,” according to Salcedo who "hopes to eventually publish his research and is developing a small museum in the coastal town of Lurin, south of Lima, where some of the relics can be shown." See Also: This IADB report on work on Km. 66.
Doing Biz in Peru: The World Bank released their Doing Business database which "provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement. The Doing Business indicators are comparable across 145 economies. They indicate the regulatory costs of business and can be used to analyze specific regulations that enhance or constrain investment, productivity and growth." The section on Doing Business in Peru includes several sub-sections on Starting a Business, Hiring and Firing Workers, Registering Property in Peru, Getting Credit, Protecting Investors, Enforcing Contracts, and Closing a Business, all tailored to Peru. An Economist editorial and an article in Toronto’s Globe and Mail attribute the database on "the pioneering work of Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, [the] first to chronicle barriers obstructing ordinary business folk. He said poor nations shoot themselves in the foot with heavy- and ham-handed regulation."
Trans Amazon Cooperation, cont.: Agência Brasil, the Miami Herald, and Xinhua Net report on the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization meeting in Manaus where "Amazon nations urged to protect rain forest. NOTE: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guayana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela signed the Amazon Cooperation Treaty in 1978. According to the Agência Brasil, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim "expressed support for an association between the Mercosur and the Andean Community and declared that, "all the Andean countries are Amazonian." ALSO: "Today, as part of the Manaus event, the ministers will inaugurate the II Amazonia International Fair and the First International Seminar on Amazon Regional Integration and Cooperation." Xinhua reports that ACTO Secretary General Rosalia Arteaga stated in her opening speech that, "Maybe it will not be exaggerated that, in a not very distant future, our countries will require the creation of an organization of Water Producing and Exporting Countries Organization, as there is the one for other strategic resources, like petroleum."
Two To Record: The Dallas/Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez will join his compatriot, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya "to record classic Latin American songs on Decca label late in September."
Minister Rodriguez in Korea: The Korea Herald and the Korea Times notes the presence of Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros at a United Nations human rights seminar opened at South Korea’s foreign ministry.
Mining Bits: The UK's Socialist Worker notes the water dispute in Peru in an editorial against Newmont Mining. The Metal Bulletin reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp. "confirms strike ends at two Peruvian copper mines."
Loan Ratios Better: Dow Jones reports that Peru's past-due bank loan ratio "may end the year at 4.7% as the nation's banking system recovers. That would be the lowest rate in the last 20 years, " according to Juan Jose Marthans, the government's superintendent of banking and insurance, in El Comercio. ALSO: "The banking system is starting to reflect in a very clear manner the reactivation process, which reinforces the possibility that the economy will keep growing," he was quoted as saying. NOTE: "Marthans was quoted as saying in newspaper Gestion that deposits could reach $ 13.9 billion by the end of the year, which would be a record high."
Falabella Expands: NamNews reports that "Chile-based retailer Falabella plans to open a new hypermarket of its Tottus chain in Lima in November or December 2004," according to the company. NOTE: "The new facility will be part of a retail complex where the first Falabella's home improvement store Sodimac will also be located. San Miguel's Tottus will be Falabella's third in the country. At present, Falabella has a 3.4% market share in Peru and aims at raising it through projects in Lima's San Juan de Lurigancho and Atocongo."
More Juche: The (North) Korean Central News Agency reports that "a Peruvian national symposium on the Juche idea covering the social, cultural, economic and geopolitical fields of the DPRK was held at Federico Villareal National University on Sept. 6. At the symposium speeches were made under the titles "President Kim Il Sung and the History of the DPRK", "World-historic Significance of the Foundation of the DPRK", "Anti-Japanese War Hero Comrade Kim Jong Suk and Women's Role in Building a New Society." NOTE: "Thanks to the unique Songun politics and wise leadership of Kim Jong Il, the DPRK is eloquently displaying its invincible might despite the unfavorable international political situation and grim difficulties hitherto unknown."
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
War of the Pacific, cont.: China's Xinhua Net offers two reports on the Peru-Chile maritime border dispute. First, Xinhua reports from Lima that "the Peruvian armed forces said Monday they will analyze the rejection of the Chilean government to negotiate the demarcation of the maritime border between the two countries," according to Peruvian Joint Chiefs of Staff Aurelio Crovetto Yañez. NOTE: "The government of Peru demands 30,000 square km from the commonsea border with Chile from Santiago, and has mentioned its intention to take the case to the International Court of Justice of The Hague should there be no positive reply." ALSO: Chilean President Ricardo Lagos is quoted saying that the maritime demarcation with Peru in the Pacific Ocean "is a problem for Peru." Later, Xinhua Net reported from Santiago that "Chile has rejected the petition of Peru for a revision of the maritime limits between the two countries and affirmed these borders are determined by international treaties in effect for over half a century," according a statement by the Chilean Foreign Minister María Soledad Alvear Valenzuela. She also tried to bring the border with Ecuador into her disucsion declaring that "Peru has signed border treaties not only with Chile, but also with Ecuador." On Saturday, President Ricardo Lagos stated that, "from the Chilean perspective, this is a very simple issue: there is no issue." See Also: 'War of the Pacific via Fishing' in yesterday's Peruvia.
Newmont's Troubles, cont.: The Denver Post has a story titled, 'Peruvians Battle Newmont' on "the hundreds of farmers who have invaded Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp.'s Yanacocha gold mine" on September 3. The paper reports that the dispute continues to be about the proposed mine expansion at Cerro Quilish and the 'farmers' "fear it could reduce and contaminate water supplies they need for growing potatoes and watering livestock." CITED: Marco Arana Zegarra (a Catholic priest and a leader of the protest); and Stratus Consulting's two-year water study in which, according to Nick Cotts, Yanacocha's Director of External Affairs, "the outcome of that study was very clear. In no way has Yanacocha affected water for human consumption." The article also cites last week's New York Times' "scathing account of water pollution at Newmont's gold mine in Indonesia." ALSO: "The farmers have blocked all the roads leading into the mine, and protests have mushroomed at Cajamarca, a city of 100,000 that lies 30 miles away from the mine. As many as 10,000 people filled Cajamarca's main square Thursday, according to Peru's El Comercio newspaper, and demanded that the government rescind the permission it gave Yanacocha in August to begin exploring Cerro Quilish." NOTE: "Last year, Yanacocha produced 2.9 million ounces of gold at an estimated $527 million in profit, according to production figures and prices released by Newmont." Curiously, the newspaper article is accompanied by a photograph of the protestors; the photo credit goes to Grufides, an environmental group associated with Marco Arana. The article also offers a map of the 'sacred mountain under dispute'; the map credit goes to Newmont. See Also: 'Newmont's Troubles' in yesterday's Peruvia; and (in Spanish) 'Mapa Minado' from the Sept. 9, 2004 issue of Caretas.
Paniagua Pulls Ahead? Canada's Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy offers more data from last week's Datum poll and states that "former head of state Valentín Paniagua is the top presidential hopeful in Peru," even though the poll was narrowed to Lima. NOTE: 21% of respondents would support Paniagua in the 2006 election; Alberto Fujimori is second with 17%, followed by Lourdes Flores Nano; Alan García is fourth with 14%. SEE ALSO: 'Toledo's Numbers Rise' in yesterday's Peruvia.
Free Trade Talks, cont.: The Associated Press and Xinhua Net report that the fourth round of negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Andean countries began Monday in Puerto Rico, "with an agenda which includes subjects such as better access to markets and possible benefits to the agricultural and textile industries." NOTE: "Together with the delegates that are participating in the meeting, groups that oppose the trade agreement also arrived. They are going to hold an educational forum and a protest, however specific dates and places have not yet been announced."
Sugar Wars: Louisiana's Gambit Weekly publishes a fascinating look at Peru's sugar industry reported from Lambayeque. The piece, authored by C.J. Schexnayder, publisher of The Northern Report, is pegged on the free trade talks taking place in Puerto Rico (see paragraph above) and looks at the tensions trade creates. NOTE: The American Sugar Cane League is based in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Says league president Jim Simon, "the [sugar] industry is very fragile in terms of the changes of supply and demand. We are teetering right now on break-even." ALSO: "Experts warn that, if the United States persists in denying the world access to its domestic sugar market, there could be drastic repercussions to other agricultural areas." CITED: Martin Torres, (Committee for Sugar Cane Production for the Department of Lambayeque); Mayor Moises Martinez; Yehude Simon (President of the Department of Lambayeque); Bob Odom (Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture); Eduardo Gozalo and foreman Miguel Villaleza (Empresa Agroindustrial Tuman); Stephanie Childs (Grocery Manufacturers of America); and William Garcia (on a harvesting crew in the fields around Tuman).
Trans Amazon Cooperation: The Voice of America reports on the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty Organization meeting in Manaus where "foreign inisters from eight South American countries have gathered to consider a pact for preserving the Amazonian rain forest." NOTE: "They are reviewing a strategic plan drafted for 2004 to 2012. The plan is designed to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable use of the region's natural resources. It includes a scheme for regional economic integration that would reduce harmful development of the Amazon forest." The Associated Press offers photographs of Foreign Minister Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros at the meetings.
APESOFT Says 'Growth': BNAmericas reports that APESOFT, the Peruvian software association, "expects software exports to grow 35% this year for total sales of US$13.5mn compared to US$10mn last year," according to Apesoft general manager Yosif Humala Acuña. NOTE: "Apesoft's 35 members achieved total sales of US$69mn during 2003, and Humala expects 20% growth this year to give a total of US$82.8mn." SEE ALSO: APESOFT's PowerPoint presentation: Plan Para el Desarrollo de la Competividad de la Industria del Software; and this 2003 report The Critical Role of the Software Industry in Economic Growth: Peru.
- Bear Creek Mining announced in a press release their "staking of the La Yegua claims covering a new grass roots copper-molybdenum-gold mineralization discovery made by Bear Creek geologists. The La Yegua claims comprise a total of 2,800 hectares of mineral rights held 100% by Bear Creek, and are located approximately 100 kilometers southwest of the city of Cuzco."
- Inca Pacific Resources announced in a press release the "fifth set of results from the 2004 diamond drill campaign: Drill hole PM-97, the last hole to be drilled in the San Ernesto area, exhibits the near-surface, high grade copper mineralization typical of this part of the deposit. Holes PM-98 through PM-101 were drilled in the northern section of the Chavin zone."
- Tinka Resources announced in a press release that they "commenced the first of four comprehensive exploration programs planned on the company's Peruvian mineral properties. A field crew has been mobilized to the company's 3,500-hectare Luminaria project, located in Huaraz, Ancash. They will be on-site for approximately four weeks to undertake a comprehensive rock-chip channel sample, and geological mapping program."
Tiwanukus in Denver: Art Musuem Network News relays a press release from the Denver Art Museum on the new exhibition "Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca" that will open on October 16. It suggests that this will be "the first comprehensive art exhibition ever to focus on the Tiwanaku civilization. This exhibition is comprised of well-preserved textiles, finely crafted ceramics, works of gold and silver, delicately carved wood objects and detailed stone sculptures that come from both public and private collections in Europe and North and South America." CITED: Margaret Young-Sánchez. SEE ALSO: The Daily Camera reported on the opening in August; and 'Arts Abroad' in January 26's Peruvia.
- The San Francisco Chronicle notes the death of Elizabeth Bueno, born in Apurimac, Peru in 1910. NOTE: "Her generosity is marked by her devotion to Comedor San Martin, a project she organized to help feed the poor children in Peru."
- Ohio's Miami University Student reports on Hernando de Soto's talk which "highlighted some of the major problems associated with Latin America’s ongoing pursuit of integration into the Western world."
Monday, September 13, 2004
Toledo in DC Again: A press release announces President Toledo will be at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian (part of the Smithsonian Institution) on September 21. Today's Washington Post leads into their story on the new museum with this: "More than 500 years ago a Chimu Indian living in Peru hammered a sheet of gold into a mask. For centuries, few people have seen this object. But in eight days, visitors will [view it at]the National Museum of the American Indian opens on the Mall." The USA State Department's Washington File also offers a story on the museum.
War of the Pacific via Fishing: MercoPress reports that Peru and Chile "are again at odds over maritime borders which directly affect fisheries. Chile officially reiterated this week that it will not reconsider its position regarding maritime borders in spite of Peruvian decision to seek international arbitration." CITED: Soledad Alvear, Chile’s Foreign Secretary and Chilean Congressmnan Jorge Tarud. ALSO: A story in El Comercio said that "the Peruvian Foreign Affairs release actually referred to the International Tribunal of The Hague, which was specifically mentioned almost two months ago when Peru proposed maritime border talks to Chile."
Free Trade Talks: Reuters interviews Peru's Deputy Foreign Trade Minister Pablo de la Flor who states that Peru "will fight to keep duty-free U.S. access for the vegetable at talks on a U.S.-Andean free-trade treaty this week [saying] 'We will ask the United States to improve its (agricultural) offer and in particular to include asparagus, which is of great interest to Peru, among products which will have duties lifted immediately." NOTE: De la Flor suggests that "the initial U.S. proposal, which is part of their strategy of negotiation, is to keep our asparagus hostage until the end in order to obtain immediate duty-free status for those products that they consider a priority." ALSO: "Peru wants duty-free status for its sensitive products -- such as rice, cotton, corn, wheat and sugar -- plus mechanisms to compensate for trade distortions caused by U.S. subsidies."
Port Unions Question Development: BNAmericas reports that "port workers union FENTENAPU predicts that Peru's national port development plan will create conflict between regional and national authorities given its bias toward private-sector interests," according to the union's general secretary Adolfo Granadino. NOTE: Fentenapu "recieved a pre-publication copy of the national port authority's (Autoridad Portuaria Nacional) 397-page plan Friday. ... Under the plan, regional port authorities are to be created for the south, north, center and east regions of Peru that would in effect "liquidate" the central administration of the Empresa Nacional de Puertos del Perú (ENAPU)."
Peruvian Pain: The BBC runs a story on Peruvian suffering - - in football and focuses mainly on Coach Paulo Autori who "refuses to talk to the Peruvian media - a stance he intends to maintain while he holds his current job, which may not be for very long."
Peruvian Ex-Pats in Japan: The Miami Herald runs an older Associated Press piece on remittances from Japan to Peru where "foreign workers in Japan have become an economic juggernaut back home." CITED: Armando Ouchida, executive director of Convenio Kyodai, a cooperative that many of Japan's 52,000 Peruvians.
Strike At Southern Over? Trying to get on both labour and management sides of the work dispute at Souther Copper, Reuters reports that about 1,500 miners "ended a 13-day stoppage over pay demands [today] after failing to win a raise, but vowed to strike again in 30 days if the company did not grant them a salary hike," according to Clemente Trujillo, who was quoted as he entered the Toquepala pit to start to work. However, Guillermo Panca, secretary general at the Toquepala union, said "We will only go back to work for 30 days, because our strategy is to hold a truce with Southern to regroup and negotiate a salary increase." Reuters also offers management's side and reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp. "is still hoping to meet its 2004 output target despite a 13-day pay strike that halved production," according to Southern President Oscar Gonzalez. NOTE: "Gonzalez said production at Southern Peru's mines fell to half of normal levels during the strike to around 150,000 tonnes a day. But sales were not affected because the company was able to draw on inventories at the company's smelter in Ilo on the southern coast, which was not involved in the strike." ALSO: "[N]o pay negotiations could begin until miners' current contracts expire in May 2007." Earlier: Reuters reports that strike at Southern is 'over.' Bloomberg quotes an analyst on copper saying that "Supply disruption at mines in Turkey and Peru are keeping sentiment bubbling along." See Also: 'Strike at Southern' in Setpember 2's Peruvia.
Newmont's Troubles: A Boston Globe editorial charges Newmont Mining Corp with unethical disposal practices that affect human populations with gold mining dross like arsenic, mercury, and lead. Though the editorial focuses on Indonesia (and refers to a recent New York Times piece on Newmont's work there), it also states that "in Peru last Friday, farmers blocked a highway to stop exploration by Newmont in an area where several hundred people had to be treated for a mercury spill in 2000." Separately, EthicalCorporation.com reports that "Newmont gold dispute in Peru is near resolution." NOTE: The blocking of the highway in Cajamarca has been going on for over a week.
- Fluor Corporation announced in a press release that it had begun "construction on the first smelter modernization of its kind in South America. The smelter is owned by Southern Peru Copper Corporation ... [and] when complete, the Ilo smelter will be the first modernized copper smelter in South America to use ISASMELT technology (by Xstrata Plc)."
- Shane Resources announced in a press release that they have "acquired 50% interest in a 100-hectare gold property in Peru. The purchase price is $120,000 and will close on Oct. 1, 2004. To date, the vein has averaged one metre in width for a length of over 30 metres, and is averaging assays of 29 grams per tonne."
- The Miami Herald notes the presence of Consul General of Peru Jose Marcos Rodriguez Chacon at Amika, "a new lounge on South Beach, for the unveiling of this year's Miami Book Fair International poster." The Book Fair is in November.
- An Associated Press report from Florida on cheap internet-based telephone calls, leads with used-car dealer Jorge Chavez, "sitting in his office on a used car lot in Hollywood, picks up the phone and dials his sister in Peru. Nothing unusual about that - except that the call went out over the Internet, sounded as clear as if he had been calling Fort Lauderdale, and cost just a few pennies."
Tragedy on the Cotahuasi: Scotland's The Herald offers a sad story on Sarah Jones, a British tourister who died while white-water rafting on the Cotahuasi River in May of 2000. Her parents have now authored a book on losing a child in a different country titled, 'First Year, Worst Year: Coping with the unexpected death of our grown-up daughter.' You can read the first chapter here.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Fancy Train Ride: The New York Times published a letter-to-the-editor by Marie-Danielle Samuel, co-founder of Yachay Wasi to their August 15 travel piece on luxury train rides in Cuzco. NOTE: The letter does not appear to be online. It is found on page 19 of the Travel section today. Samuel critiques the rail company's charge of "US$416.50 for a three and a half hour ride [where many local people] liven on less than US$100 a month." She also refers to the "United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development which stated in 1999 that ethics should be at the core of sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism, not to be confused with eco-tourism, would empower indigenous and/or local communities to gradually take control of this rich industry, which currently benefits outside ownership." In turn, the Times prints a response from Filip Boyen, managing director of Orient-Express Peru, in which he states that "Orient-Express provides contant community support in the region, which has a strong focus on environmental protection and local training programs. We fell this clearly demonstrates a responsible outlook by the comany, as well as Orient-Express's steady commitment to sustainable tourism in the region."
Shamanistically Speaking: The New York Times magazine supplement, 'Sophisticated Traveler,' has a not-too-sophisticated travel piece by Kira Salak on visiting a shaman in a village on the Aucayacu River, on a trip arranged through 'Blue Morpho Tours.'
MPichhu Once More: Washington's The Olympian runs a pedestrian travel piece on Machu Picchu by the paper's executive editor, Vickie Kilgore.