Saturday, August 20, 2005
Editorial: Today's Peruvia leads with the two most-widely published stories in today’s news on Peru around the world: articles on the death of Edgar Vera at the hands of police in Texas and a lethal bus accident in Huanuco.
Death in Texas: The Associated Press (see longer version here) and the Dallas Morning News follow up on the death of Edgar A. Vera Morante in Arlington, Texas after being pepper-sprayed by Allen police. (The USA Embassy in Lima offered condolences through a short press release, though not on their English-language site.) "The FBI is conducting a civil-rights investigation. The Texas Rangers are looking at whether there was criminal misconduct. And the Allen police are performing an internal investigation. The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave." NOTE: "Peruvian government officials met with Allen police and the Vera family last week to discuss the internal investigation." ALSO: "The father of two boys was in Allen on August 4, waiting outside another family member's house and minding his own business, relatives said. Police, however, say they responded to a suspicious person call and, after arriving, learned that Vera had an outstanding warrant for a seatbelt violation." NOTE: "The incident drew international attention last week when Eduardo Rivoldi Nicolini, Peru's Houston-based general consul, visited family and authorities in Texas." ALSO: "About 50 protesters stood outside the U.S. Embassy in Lima on August 12 to protest Vera's treatment. ... Jorge Lazaro, secretary of Peruvian Communities Abroad in the Foreign Ministry, said that Peru had sent letters to Texas police and the mayor of Allen reiterating the Andean nation's concern about Vera's death." See Also: For more information see yesterday’s Peruvia in the ‘People’ section.
Tragedy in Huanuco: The Associated Australian Press and agencies in South Africa and China report that "fourteen people were killed and nine injured when a bus plunged off a mountain road in [Huacaybamba, Huanuco] after its steering column broke, police said." NOTE: "Passengers were "returning home from visiting relatives and attending a local religious festival."
Rumsfeld in Lima: MecroPress reports on the two "drug control aircraft" that Secretary Rumsfeld left with the Peruvian government. The story includes some of Toledo’s interview with Radio Programas del Peru where he said Rumsfeld's visit was "extraordinarily productive because we examined the situation of Peru and Latin America with regard to democratic stability, governance and prospects for economic growth." NOTE: "Mr. Rumfeld’s visit has been linked to Washington’s increasing concern with Venezuelan ‘interference’ it neighbouring countries affairs." The Washington File (official State Department, USA) posts a story on Rumfeld’s Lima visit and offers another version of the transcript of the Toledo/Rumsfeld press conference. See Also: 'Rumfeld in Lima' in yesterday's Peruvia.
Rumsfeld in Lima Analyzed: The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (Washington) offers an essay "prepared" by Hampden Macbeth titled ‘Rumsfeld and Rice on Chávez: But Where’s the Beef?’ which includes commentary on the Lima visit. "Rumsfeld traveled to Peru yesterday where the current issue, unlike in Bolivia, is not the destabilizing of the political system but the instability of the political system after four years of failed political leadership by the country’s hapless president, Alejandro Toledo." The piece concludes that "the successive presidencies of Fujimori and Toledo raise serious questions about the future of democracy in Peru. ... Furthermore, given that current polls for next year’s presidential election indicate that no candidate is supported by more than 25 percent of the public, it is questionable whether any of the contenders will win a backing wide enough to effectively represent all stratum of the population ..." See Also: For other analyses, see "On Toledo" in yesterday’s Peruvia.
Rumsfelds Lima Secret: The Baraboo News Republic (Wisconsin, USA) has a columnist who thinks he has the inside scoop on Rumsfeld: "Don Rumsfeld visited Peru Wednesday just days after a government shakeup down there. He said he wants to strengthen U.S. ties with Latin America. He thinks we don't know that former Nixon aides always make sure they have a safe place to retire."
- Debt BuyBack: International Financing Review interviews Profuturo AFP’s Guillermo Garrido-Lecca and reports that "in a bid to boost both its debt profile and credit rating, Peru is opting for domestic markets, where there is increased international investor participation. The Andean issuer is fresh from completing a duration-extending Paris Club buyback and plans to do more liability management."
- Debt Locally: The International Financing Review reports that Peru's plan to raise more of its debt locally and stay out of external markets puts it on a path to reducing its vulnerability to external shocks. But it has a long way to go before it can align itself with similarly rated LatAm credits. "Even if there is an improvement, they will continue to be vulnerable," said Mauro Leos, senior LatAm credit officer at Moody's. "They are starting from a relatively bad position."
- Reuters reports that Banco Wiese, Peru's third largest bank, on Wednesday raised its 2005 profit forecast to $12.6 million from $8 million, citing an improved outlook for deposits and loans. The bank initially forecast an $8 million profit for 2005 in May. NOTE: Ivan Rosas, the bank’s director of planning said, "We achieved $6.3 million in the first six months of the year, and so we expect at least another $6.3 million in the second half because there is normally more business at that time."
- BNAmericas reports that "the concession plan for Peru's Callao port will go to national port authority APN for review Monday or Tuesday next week, [according] to a source at investment promotion agency ProInversión." NOTE: "A seven-member committee of government ministers has to approve projects prepared by the investment agency. The US$175mn port project, including a container-docking terminal, will then be in the final planning stages."
- BNAmericas reports that La Pampilla (Relapasa) plans "to hold a Dutch auction on the local market for up to 65mn soles (US$20mn) worth of one-year bonds on August 23." NOTE: Local financial institution BBVA Banco Continental will structure the transaction and BBVA Continental SAB will be the placing agent.
- BNAmericas reports that Perupetro "has received 8-10 letters of intent for exploration and production contracts on selected offshore areas." NOTE: "The areas cover four basins in offshore Peru. The areas are mainly in the Trujillo basin off the coast of Lima in central Peru and the Talara-Tumbes basin near the border with Ecuador." Earlier: BNAmericas reported "Perupetro has invited oil companies to participate in a technical forum in Houston on August 26 to promote the exploration of oil and natural gas in Peru. This forum will be held in Houston's George R Brown Convention Center as part of the NAPE Expo."
- Nobby News: The Guardian follows up on yesterday’s reports about Nolberto Solano who declares, "But it's not in my hands. Of course, if I had the chance of another contract at Villa it would interest me. I was very pleased with this club when I moved here and you see the response when I still try to do my best for this club." Ireland Online reports that Solano "was axed from Aston Villa's starting line-up by manager David O'Leary this lunchtime in the wake of the winger's admission he would be interested in a move to Liverpool."
- Bolivarian Games: Reuters offers a photograph of Gold Medalist Luis Alberto Olcese performing in the Laser Standar sail competition of the XV Bolivarian Games in Cartagena. Reuters shows Maria Isabel Ferrand competing during the women's pole vault finals. And Reuters also shows Edwin Centeno and Dionicio Neira, among others, compete in the men's 20km walk finals.
- New Jersey.com reports that "a state Superior Court judge on Friday refused to accept what he called a lenient plea deal" for Michael Urbano "who admitted to selling fraudulent Social Security cards to illegal immigrants." NOTE: "Urbano, 33, a native of Peru, wanted to plead guilty to one count of falsifying a motor vehicle insurance identification card in exchange for the prison term. ... Authorities said they caught Urbano selling Social Security cards to four people who wanted to use them to get driver's licenses, and further investigation tied Urbano to at least 59 forged cards."
- Tomorrow’s Daily Mail (UK) includes a story on Henry Ian Cusick, "the hunky actor who has become the first Scot to land a role in hit TV drama Lost. ... in Hawaii filming an episode for the next season of the US show about a group of plane crash survivors." NOTE: "Henry - who has a Scots father and Peruvian mother and was born in Trujillo, Peru - will star alongside fellow Brit Dominic Monaghan, who plays rocker Charlie."
- The Orange County Register (California) profiles Rob Champion, a Paul Hogan lookalike who suggests that ""One time when I was down in Peru doing a bit for Outback Steakhouses, there was an assassination of some top government official," Champion recalled. "My wife and I didn't know anything about it until some guys took us in to question us. Luckily, I didn't have my knife in my bag then or they might have figured I was in on the assassination."
- The Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania, USA) reports on the local Catholic Charities Counseling Services and includes Maritza Sakie, a bilingual therapist. "Sakie, her husband and two daughters moved to the area from Peru, where she worked as a licensed counselor for the country's air force."
OTHER: The (North) Korean Central News Agency reports that "President Kim Il Sung's work ‘Let the North and the South Open the Way to Peace and the Reunification of the Country in a United Effort’ was brought out in pamphlet by a Peruvian publishing house to mark the 60th anniversary of Korea's liberation. The work is the talk with the delegates of the two sides to the Inter-Korean High-Level Talks on Feb. 20, Juche 81(1992). Read earlier KCNA press releases in Peruvia.