Wednesday, February 15, 2006

NEW APOYO #s, III: Angus Reid reports on the new APOYO poll on presidential candidates, as it appeared in El Comercio. Lourdes Flores Nano is the choice of 35% (the web site refers to her Popular Christian Party, and not her alliance, Union Nacional). Ollanta Humala is at 25%; Alan García is at 17%; Valentín Paniagua 8%; Martha Chávez at 6%. NOTE: "In two run-off scenarios, more than 60 per cent of respondents would vote for Flores Nano in contests against Humala and García." Prensa Latina reports on the APOYO poll but focuses on President Toledo’s popularity: "75% of the population disagree with the current dignitary, while only the 17% said to be in favor." SEE ALSO: ‘New Apoyo Numbers’ in Monday’s and Tuesday’s Peruvia.

HUMALA QUESTIONED: BBC Monitoring picks up an interview Ollanta Humala had with "a Spanish daily" where he "shrugged off accusations of human rights violations against him." The Sunday interview with ABC was titled ‘Somos nacionalistas porque mi país se ha convertido en una neocolonia.’ A separate piece by the BBC Monitoring Serivce reports on Ollanta Humala in Piura "demanding that Defence Minister Marciano Rengifo allow the army to pass judgment" on the alleged human rights violations of which he is accused.

ECONOMIC GROWTH: Bloomberg (Alex Emery) and Reuters report on Peru's economy growing "at its fastest rate in eight years in 2005 as gross domestic product expanded 6.67%, led by strong mining and construction activity," according to the government. NOTE: "The 2005 growth rate surpasses analysts' forecast of 6.3% in a Reuters poll this week and is the highest since 1997, when the economy grew 6.84%." Bloomberg credits a Credicorp report for the information, specifically CFO Walter Bayly. Perhaps it is because Bloomberg has an interview with him in which he states, "Growth of 5% to 6% this year will help the company boost its lending by one-fifth and beat its 2005 earnings, which rose 39% to US$182 million."

ECONOMIC GROWTH & POLITICS: An updated Bloomberg (Alex Emery) story added financial and political news. It reported that the Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada's third-biggest bank, "will take over Peru's Banco Wiese Sudameris in June, while London-based HSBC Holdings plc, Europe's biggest bank by market value, has applied to open a subsidiary in Lima, according to Peru's Banking & Insurance Superintendency." It also cited Credicorp Bayly suggesting that "the prospect of change in the political environment after April presidential elections hasn't slowed lending," presumably thinking of Humala. Standard and Poors' Marta Castelli stated that "There's a disconnection between politics and the economy. The banking sector is pretty efficient and has brought down past due loan ratios.''


TRAFFIC DEATHS: Xinhua News reports that "two traffic accidents in Peru have killed 44 people and injured 68 others," according to police. "The first accident occurred in Matucana, 80 km from capital Lima, when a public bus fell into the Rimac River." The second bus "was traveling in the ‘seven turns’ area in Aymaraes province, in the southern Andean department of Abancay."

INDIGENOUS CONGRESS IN QOSQO: Prensa Latina (Cuba) publishes an essay on the V Indigenous Consultative Authority venue in the Peruvian city of Cusco, "the old imperial capital of the Incas gathering the native leaders of 20 Latina American and the Caribbean countries." CITED: Luis Evelis Andrade, President of the Colombia Indigenous National Organization and the V Indigenous Consultative Authority; Vicente Rojas, the presiding Peruvian officer; and Enrique Riveros, Indigenous Adviser of Peru.

ASPARAGUS WARS, CONT: University of California, Riverside offered a press release announcing that their researchers have "released a new variety of asparagus that offers a higher yield than previous varieties of the vegetable and boasts an excellent spear quality, marked by a high percentage of marketable spears." NOTE: It was named "DePaoli" after William P. DePaoli, the first manager of the California Asparagus Commission. Mikeal Roose, a professor of genetics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and the leader of the asparagus breeding project, stated, "particularly now, the asparagus industry in this country needs new varieties of the vegetable – varieties that can compete with those produced in other countries where labor cost is low, such as Peru and Mexico." SEE ALSO: Peruvia’s archive on ‘Asparagus Wars’ particularly on June 30, 2004.



LA ELECTORAL ANALYSES: Several new essays appeared that surveyed the Latin American electoral map.

NAVAL EXCERCISES IN PACIFIC: Agence France Press reports that "amid persistent warnings about China's growing military clout, the US military has said it is to hold one of its biggest naval exercises in the Asia Pacific this summer." One of the three exercises wll involve "navies from at least eight countries, including Australia, Chile, Japan, South Korea and Peru, would occur near the Hawaiian Islands." The San Diego Union Tribune (Otto Kreisher, Copley News Service) also covers the story as does Kyodo which reports on the event through an interview with US Pacific Flet Commander Admiral Gary Roughead who spoke at the Asia Society.

COCA EXCERCISES IN BOLIVIA: Swiss Info runs a Reuters (Bernd Debusmann) story on coca legalization titled, ‘Bolivia's coca: From cottage industry to mass export?’ from La Paz on Bolivian President Evo Morales’ initiatives. "His moves as president are being followed closely, not only by his core constituency in Bolivia but also in Colombia and Peru, where there are fledgling coca-based legal industries. ... A Peruvian company makes a coca-based energy drink called Vortex, and there is a line of packaged coca cookies." (For Peruvia coverage on Vortex, see ‘Coke in a Bottle’ Feb 10, 2004; ‘Have Some New Coke’ April 17, 2004; and ‘Coca Rising’ in May 6, 2004.)

FREE TRADE EXCERCISES IN COLOMBIA: The Financial Times (Andy Webb-Vidal) includes Peru in an article about Colombia’s president Alvaro Uribe, his visit to Washington, and his quest for a free trade agreement, "to avoid being left behind as other countries in the region strike trade deals with Washington. Peru signed a free trade deal with the US in December."


SAN VALENTIN: The Herald News (Karen Keller; New Jersey) offers a Valentine’s Day themed story titled, ‘Courtroom Bliss’ included Peruvian couples being married in Paterson on February 14. NOTE: "Peruvian-born bride Luz Lenti, 45, wept under the trellised arch as she married Julio Coloma, 47, who was also born in the Andean nation. It was the second marriage for each. The Paterson couple had lived together for four years, so "there won't be any surprises," Lenti said." The Herald-News (Brian Spadora; New Jersey) and the Denver Post (Douglas Brown) include Peruvian takes on Valentine Day aphrodisiacs. The Herald News is more descriptive describing a variety of cultural offerings in ethnically diverse Passaic County. "For Peruvians, passion can be found in the mix of ingredients that make up ceviche, a popular seafood dish. ... When these elements are brought together, they form something called ‘leche de tigre,’ [and] a particular effect on people, though Josue Galdos, manager of El Fogon,a Peruvian restaurant on Main Avenue in Clifton, was too polite to say exactly what that effect is. ‘People say it just gives them more...’ he paused, trying to summon the words. ‘Especially to guys. You know what I mean, right?’ Jully Tapia, 22, who was eating lunch at El Fogon on Monday, said the effect of ceviche is simple. ‘It's really hot and spicy. It makes you crazy.’ Aldo Guevara, 18, was more straightforward. ‘You feel like you want to kiss the girl.’ " The Denver Post has a different take on the same subject and includes "Peruvian maca root and horny goat weed -- are among the most common prescribed by naturopaths and used in supplements."


INCA TRAIL CLOSED: Europe Travel News reports that "on February of every year, the National Institute of Culture in Cusco closes the World Heritage site of the Inca Trail for maintenance." NOTE: "The shut down begins close to the archeological site of Piscacucho, where tourists start their trek to the citadel. February is chosen as there is a natural lull in the tourism that also coincides with the rainy season in the Andes."

RABBI ARRIVES: Jewish Telegraphic Agency reprints yesterday’s Arutz Sheva story on the Jewish community in Tarapoto. SEE ALSO: ‘Rabbi Arrives’ in yesterday’s Peruvia.

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