Thursday, May 04, 2006

For election updates, visit University of British Columbia's Max Cameron's blog.

ROUND TWO: Late yesterday afternoon, Reuters reported that ONPE President Enrique Mendoza officially declared the runoff candidates to be Humala and Garcia as "the remaining ballots will not produce any variation in the final results." A separate Reuters (Robin Emmott) story focuses on Flores "admitting defeat." The Associated Press (Carla Salazar) analyzes Flores failure – but the article does not seem avaiable in English. Lots of reasons are given but it is friend and colleague Xavier Barrón who slips in the sharpest words. A separate Associated Press (Rick Vecchio) story reviews the race between "a moderate leftist former president against a nationalist ... [a]n admirer of Peru's 1968-75 left-wing military dictator, Gen. Juan Velasco." The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post include several sentences of wire copy about this in their print editions. The New York Times (Juan Forero) reviews the same information in the ‘World Briefing’ column. The Miami Herald (Tyler Bridges) offers a sort-off redemption story on Garcia. The piece repeats a few canards (he "left office universally hated"). CITED: John Crabtree (Oxford Analytica and author of Peru Under García: An Opportunity Lost.); Mauricio Mulder and Jorge del Castillo (APRA Congressmen) and the latest DATUM poll. How did he beat Flores? "García neatly positioned himself between the conservative Flores and the leftist Humala, promising to push exports, strengthen workplace rights for workers and get tough with crime."

WHITHER POPULISM? The New York Times offers an op-ed by Jorge G. Castañeda on the ‘Good Neighbor Policy’ which seeks to tie the immigration debate in the USA and the populist electoral wave in Latin America together. Castañeda suggests that "ultra-nationalist candidate, Ollanta Humala, seems poised to win a runoff this month in Peru's presidential elections. He wants, among other things, to renationalize Peru's natural resources, promote coca cultivation and align Peru against Washington with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and his Bolivian neighbor, Evo Morales." Though it doesn’t refer to it, the essay is a summary of his argument in ‘Latin America’s Left Turn’ in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs. The Independent offers a similar op-ed by David Usborne who asks ‘How far-reaching is the populist left tilt in Latin America?’

NO MORE LAURA: The Miami Herald (Christina Hoag) reports that "Laura en América to end six-year run on Telemundo ... after six years of ratings success." The article quotes Telemundo spokesman Alfredo Richard suggesting it was Laura who "decided to walk away." NOTE: Bozzo is still prohibited from leaving Peru. See Also: ‘LBozzo Talks on NBC’ in August 7, 2004’s Peruvia.

WAR OF WORDS, CONT: Venezuela Analysis reports that Venezuela and Peru have withdrawn their respective Ambassadors.

MACRO ECON: Bloomberg reports that Peru's Central Bank boosted the benchmark Loan Rate to 5.25%. NOTE: "The Peruvian sol has gained 4% against the U.S. dollar so far this year. The annual inflation rate accelerated to a 15-month high of 2.9% through April from 2.5% in March."

AMNESTY CHALLENGES: Amnesty International reports on the Peruvian Supreme Court ordering on April 18, "the re-detention of the two former prisoners of consciences," namely Herminio Palomino Soto and Julia Rodríguez Suárez.


MOVING BOLIVIA: The Washington Post (Steve Mufson) offers a front page story in their business section on ‘Bolivian Gas Takeover Sets a Familiar Scene.’ The writer argues that this is a repeat of 1937. CITED are many of the likely suspects: Bernard Aronson (Acon Investments LLC); Bernadino Leon (Spain’s Foreign Ministry); Jose Sergio Gabrielli (Petroleo Brasileiro SA); Peter Hakim (Inter-American Dialogue) and Michael Shifter (Georgetown University). Reuters (Helen Popper) also tries to broaden Evo Morales’ actions in Bolivia suggesting it "may spur Andean leftists." CITED are less likely suspects: Xavier Albo (Bolivian anthropologist); Hernan Reyes (FLACSO); Larry Birns (Council on Hemispheric Affairs); and Gonzalo Garcia (Humala advisor) who said Morales "decision resonated in Peru, where the camp of nationalist Ollanta Humala, the first round winner of a presidential race, applauded the move. ‘We respect what Bolivia has done ... it is a search for autonomy.’ "

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