Friday, February 17, 2006
NEW APOYO #s, IV: Dow Jones (Robert Kozak) analyzes his earlier reporting on the APOYO poll suggesting that "less than two months before the April general elections, support for the various candidates running for president could still shift sharply, [according to political analysts." Martín Tanaka: "I think that voter opinion is very volatile. There can still be important movements. What Peruvian voters have, to a large degree, is the ability of being unable to be pigeonholed on what they will do." Nelson Manrique Galvez: "We don't have the structure of having a multi-party system, so there is no long-term tradition of party adhesion. There isn't any consistency of programs either. In 15 days everything can change radically." The piece cites Mirko Lauer’s La Republica column from Wednesday that "said that voter indecision could be tied to disappointment with the candidates or to other factors. In either case, a possible reaction before this indecision is to look for a different option. In this stage that could mean a widening of the number of real competitors that could enter into a second round."
ALVAREZ VITA TO JAKARTA: The Jakarta Post notes that "Peru has appointed one of its top diplomats -- Juan Alvarez Vita -- as its new ambassador to Indonesia," according to the Peruvian embassy in Jakarta. NOTE: "Ambassador-designate Juan Alvarez Vita has already arrived in Jakarta. He will submit his letter of credence to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono soon," said Carlos Javier Castillo Morales, head of the consular and commercial section. Alvarez has a short bio here; he is an author and has been Ambassador to Cuba and former Vice President of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations.
- The Miami Herald runs a column by Marifeli Pérez-Stable (Inter-American Dialogue) on the ‘Multiple Elections Changing Region’s Leadership This Year.’ "Though the conservative Lourdes Flores is now comfortably ahead, many Peruvians harbor an undercurrent of anger that may yet propel one of her radical opponents." NOTE: "Elections in Latin America are usually free and fair. Public trust, however, isn't just an electoral function. Good governance and an inclusive economy must also nurture the citizenry if Latin American democracy is to consolidate. That's the tall order that lies ahead."
- Indian Country (USA) offers an essay about the relationship between the indigenous communities in North and South America and upcoming electoral prospects.
- SEE ALSO: 'LA Electoral Analyses' in Wednesday's Peruvia.
USA MILITARY AID: Television station KVOA (David Marino; Arizona) reports that last year, "the U.S. spent almost a billion dollars training foreign military and police in Latin American countries. … U.S. aid to Colombia was more than $640 million, and Peru saw $54 million in anti-drug money. Another $52 million went to Bolivia, and Mexico received $58 million."
- The Pensacola News-Journal (Amy Sowder; Florida) reports on a local 23-member medical team missionary team from the ‘Love for Peru Foundation’ in Lima. Dr. John Meade, the team's medical director and a Gulf Breeze resident, stated that, "Unlike a lot of areas that are poor, where they can have chickens and pigs running around, this place is surrounded by desert. It's not like they can run into the jungle and get a banana." Also noted are the founders of the Foundation, Peruvians Magali and Piero Solimano.
- The New Hampshire (University of New Hampshire) features David Holmes’ the University’s Peace Corps representative who started his service in the Peace Corps in Peru in 1963.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
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.''
- BNAmericas and Dow Jones (Rebecca Howard) reported that ProInversion is "calling for bids for a concession to operate a new wireless fixed-line telephone concession in the capital city of Lima and Callao." BNAmericas follows the report in Gestion while Dow Jones bases its story on El Peruano. NOTE: Dow Jones says, "according to the latest figures from Peru's telephone regulator Osiptel, fixed-line telephone density was 7.77 per 100 residents." BNAmericas reports that "the winning bidder will have a 20-year monopoly on the spectrum, which will be awarded jointly. ... The tender will be supervised by Peru's transportation and communications ministry and telecoms regulator Osiptel. The minimum bid amount will be announced on March 17."
- BNAmericas reports that the Peruvian unit of Mexican mobile operator América Móvil "plans to invest US$100 million in the country during 2006," according to an interview with AMX Perú president Humberto Chávez in Gestión. NOTE: "The plans follow the US$98mn AMX invested in Peru in 2005 to expand coverage and improve network quality, in addition to the US$503mn spent to acquire mobile operator TIM."
- Dow Jones reports that Telefonica del Peru "swung to a profit in the fourth quarter from a loss a year earlier," according to the company.
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.
- Gitennes Explorations offered a press release to "provide additional results for a recently completed core drilling programme at the Tucumachay Project in central Peru. A Nevada-style carbonate-hosted zone of gold mineralization is being delineated within the La Nariz portion of the property."
- BNAmericas reports on the sales volume which negatively affected Minsur’s 2005 earnings with net profits dropping 16.2% to 486mn soles (US$148mn).
- BNAmericas reports that Lima-based iron ore miner Shougang Hierro's net profit soared 252% to 230mn soles (US$69.8mn) last year.
- Finally, Reuters from Sydney profiles the world’s larges miner, BHP Billiton, which reported "a 48% jump in first-half net profit on strong demand for commodities." NOTE: "With vast holdings in the far western Australian outback, BHP Billiton, ranks third worldwide in iron ore mining behind Brazil's CVRD and Rio Tinto. It also churns out more than 1 million tonnes of copper a year, much of it from its ore-rich mines in Chile, Peru and Australia."
- World Screen reports that the Argentine Telemedia InteractiveTV Group’s game show Llama y Gana is set to air on America TV in Peru. "The show will be produced and broadcast from Telemedia Latin America’s new studios in Buenos Aires, using Peruvian anchors. It will air daily at midnight."
- BNAmericas (Jorge Porter) reports that Credicorp "expects to achieve a 20% ROE by 2007 thanks to its newly created pension fund manager AFP Prima," according to the company’s CFO Walter Bayly in a conference call. "Last year the holding reported an ROE of 16.4%." NOTE: "Credicorp entered the pension fund business with Prima AFP last August offering the lowest commission of 1.5%. Initial expenses were lower than expected and growth exceeded expectations with 50,000 customers and US$250mn in assets under management," according to Bayly.
- BNAmericas reports that Internexa, the fiber optic services company, has invested US$770 expanding into the Andean countries and Central America including establishing ISA Peru.
- Dow Jones rerports that Union de Cervecerias Peruanas Backus & Johnston said Tuesday that "fourth-quarter net income totaled 14 million soles ($4.26 million) compared with PEN93.6 million ($28.4 million) in the previous year quarter. Improved sales helped lift full-year 2005 net income to $84.3 million."
- PENNET reports that Voith Siemens Power Generation is "to supply equipment to a new hydropower project in Peru after it was awarded a €25m ($29.8m) contract from the plant's developer, Peruvian Cementos Lima." NOTE: "Voith Siemens will supply The El Platanal plant with two vertical Pelton turbines, each with an output of 110 MW and operating with a net head of over 600 metres."
LA ELECTORAL ANALYSES: Several new essays appeared that surveyed the Latin American electoral map.
- The American Spectator (David Griswold; Cato’s Center for Trade Policy Studies) writes that "if the United States successfully concludes ongoing FTA talks with Panama and the Andean countries of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, it will have achieved FTAA-style free trade with countries that already account for 88% of our two-way trade. At this point, concluding an FTAA would be merely a mopping-up operation for the United States."
- National Catholic Reporter (Barbara Fraser) offers ‘Revolution at the polls: Latin American voter disenchantment provokes leftward shift’, reported from Lima. NOTE: "A quiet revolution appears to be under way in Latin America, as changes that guerrillas failed to achieve -- or achieved only partially -- in the 1970s and 1980s are coming about at the ballot box." CITED: Farid Kahhat (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru) saying, "There has never been a left in Latin America that has had the electoral success that various leftist forces are having today. ... If they don’t achieve both economic improvement and a redistribution of wealth -- and not just [economic] growth, as in Peru in recent years -- they’ll probably just create a new sense of disenchantment, which could be dangerous, because it could create support for more radical or even violent antisystem options." [IN SPANISH: Kahhat wrote an op-ed this week in El Comercio on Hamas.] Lisa Haugaard (Latin America Working Group) says, "It’s important to look at the different kinds of leftist presidents [in Latin America] and not just see them as one unit. The United States typically misunderstands leftist movements in Latin America, and the danger is that it will see them as a threat and overreact."
- The Council On Hemispheric Affairs offers an essay by Michael Lettieri on ‘Electoral Courts and Councils Take on the Challenge of Guaranteeing a Free and Fair Vote Throughout Latin America’ and focuses on Venezuela, Honduras, and Mexico. NOTE: "It’s voting season in Latin America, and as controversy in Venezuela and strife in Haiti has revealed, managing the elections is a complex challenge that has rarely been met by regional governments. ... As issues of disenfranchisement, as well as poverty, come to the political forefront in, for example, Peru and Ecuador, the strength of Latin American democracies will be tested." ALSO: "Latin American political systems face a myriad of challenges as they transition from an authoritarian past towards a hopefully democratic future. With new social movements leading to a widespread expansion of electoral participation, the stakes in modern political campaigns are now greater than perhaps ever in history, and the newfound significance of elections has made campaign competition into an intense, winner-take-all scenario."
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."
- The Harvard Crimson (Anne Kendrick) reports on the announcement of the the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships For New Americans which award funding for two years of graduate study in three United States to immigrants or children of immigrants. One of the thirty is Peruvian Alvaro Bedoya. Bedoya is the author of a paper titled, ‘The plight of Peruvian sheepherders illuminates broader exploitation of immigrant workers in U.S. agriculture which was highlighted in the Seattle Times last year.
- The Times notes the naming of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowships which includes a grant, usually for a stay of four to eight weeks, covering living and travel expenses. This year’s recipients include two with Peruvian interests: Mr David Esplin, Edinburgh, assistant Scottish secretary, British Medical Association, Alternative methods of dispute resolution; and Miss Mairee Vincent, Rochester, assistant bird keeper, Leeds Castle, The nutritional study of wild Toco Toucans.
- The Newham Recorder (UK) reports that "youth worker Meggie Nyabango is gearing up for a spectacular challenge - a trail that will see her trekking across the Peruvian valleys and venturing into the sacred lost city of the Incas. The 25-year-old from Gibbins Road, Stratford, is appealing to Recorder readers to help raise sponsorship for the Peru Inca Trail Challenge in aid of Weston Spirit."
- The Children’s Trust (UK) will run the ‘Peruvian Andes Challenge’ next September.
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."
- The Associated Press reports on the debut in the Copa Libertadores.
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."
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
PERUPETRO TO PETROPERU: Dow Jones (Rebecca Howard) opines that "investors may be scared off by a new proposal from Congress that folds government agency Perupetro, which signs energy sector contracts, into state-owned fuel refiner and distributor Petroleos del Peru S.A. or Petroperu," according to an interview with Perupetro’s chief Antonio Cueto. NOTE: "Perupetro has made a concerted effort to drum up interest in Peru's flagging oil sector in recent years and has managed to attract significant investment after making contracts more flexible and attractive." ALSO: "President Alejandro Toledo has 15 days to propose changes to the bill or to veto it, although Congress can overturn that veto."
PROTESTANT FREED FROM PRISON: BosNewsLife (Stefan J. Bos) carries a story about Walter Wilmer Cubas Baltas, a Peruvian Protestant, who was freed from prison "after serving 13 years in prison for terrorist crimes he did not commit, human rights groups confirmed." NOTE: "Amnesty International and Christian Solidarity Worldwide said Walter Cubas, a former labor union leader, was released from Lima's maximum security prison Miguel Castro Castro jail on February 1." ALSO: "CSW said it is believed that his participation in union activities at the factory where he worked, played a major role in the detention."
RABBI ARRIVES IN TARAPOTO: Arutz Sheva reports from Tarapoto about Shavei Israel receiving their first rabbi. "Comprising several hundred people, the Tarapoto community consists of descendants of Moroccan Jews who migrated to the area in the late 19th century. Settling in towns in Peru's Amazon basin such as Iquitos in the 1880s, many became involved in local trade and commerce."
JAPANESE-PERUVIANS HONORED: Asahi Shinbum reports on the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum in Yokohama whose collection includes photos and artifacts of emigrants to Peru and Brazil among other places. "Themes include the expanding emigrant presence, the spread of Japanese descendants, anti-Japanese sentiment in wartime and the daily life of emigrants."
- Mining Weekly reports that Monterrico Metals is "currently completing the bankable feasibility study on a 50-million-ton-a-year expansion programme at its Rio Blanco copper-molybdenum project in Peru." Dow Jones reports that Antofagasta "is out of the running to acquire a stake in Monterrico Metals Rio Blanco project," according to Monterrico Chief Executive Chris Eager said Monday. NOTE: "Eager cited a dispute between the Luksic family, major shareholder of Antofagasta, and the Peruvian government over a food processing factory. The Financial Times (Rebecca Bream) reports that shares in the British company fell about 16% after news of their production pitfalls. Monterrico’s ails are also noted in the Independent in a market report that suggests, "production is likely to be set back another year as it expands its Rio Blanco copper-molybdenum project in Peru and looks for a partner. Despite the setback the house broker Collins Stewart said the stock is "grossly oversold" at this level, and retained its "buy" recommendation." SEE ALSO: Yesterday’s Peruvia for earlier stories on Monterrico
- BNAmericas reports that Southern Copper "is interested in buying the Tintaya red metal mine."
- Geologix Explorations announced in a press release their "strategic alliance with Newmont Peru S.R.L., a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation to explore a highly prospective geological gold and silver-bearing environment in Central Peru. The alliance will be initially focusing on existing targets and subsequently expanding into untested areas."
- Plexmar Resources offered a press conference to update their work on its Bolsa del Diablo property. "Mapping, sampling and trenching is currently on-going. Over 100 samples are currently being assayed at ALS Chemex Laboratories in Lima." NOTE: "Plexmar controls over 220 km2 of land in Northern Peru near the border with Ecuador. Over 400 artisan miners are pulling gold on a daily basis from trenches or pits located on Plexmar's properties. Most of the miners are located on the Angolos and Molinetes concessions which are both under 100% earn-in options. Artisan workings are now found on adjacent 100% owned properties."
- BNAmericas reports on how higher prices helped El Brocal 2005 profits "soar over 300%." THe Peruvian polymetallic miner's profits grew to44.4mn soles (US$13.5mn) last year.
- Reuters notes that "Peru posted a record high trade surplus in 2005 of US$5.16 billion, the central bank said on Thursday, mostly because of higher mineral exports and a rise in international mineral prices." NOTE: "Exports for the year rose to $17.25 billion from $12.62 billion in 2004. Imports grew to $12.08 billion from $9.82 billion, a reflection of the high economic growth in 2005 of around 6%."
- BNAmericas (Julian Dowling) reports that President Alejandro Toledo "has approved US$120mn in co-financing for the construction of the Angostura dam as part of the Majes-Siguas II irrigation and hydroelectric project" in Arequipa, according to Néstor Díaz, the southern region coordinator for ProInversión. NOTE: "Majes-Siguas II is the second stage of the Majes project, which began with the construction of the Condoroma dam over 10 years ago that currently irrigates some 15,000ha of cultivable land." ALSO: "The dam will be located in Tisco district in the province of Caylloma near the confluence of the Hornillos and Apurímac rivers."
- Bharosa offered a press release about opening new offices in the USA. NOTE: "With this move to expand its operations, Bharosa aims to accelerate the widespread adoption of its products within the financial services industry. Its products are already licensed to three of the top 100 US banks [and] one of the largest financial institutions in South America (Peru's Cavali ICLV SA).
- DeltaThree offers a press release to announce that it is "expanding its presence in the Central, South American and Caribbean markets. Launching strategic partnerships within Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic has led to a significant expansion of Deltathree's global VoIP network."
- Reuters offers a quick summary of the 4th quarter earnings of Peru’s Credicorp, which holds a 97.3% stake Banco de Credito. "It increased its share in the bank from 90.5% in March 2002 at a cost of $35 million. Credicorp said on Monday its earnings rose due strong growth in consumer banking business, helped by Peru's strong economy. The company also reported a 2005 net profit of $194.9 million compared to $141.5 million in the previous year.
- BNAmericas reports that America Movil plans to invest US$100mn in Peru in 2006.
- BNAmericas reports on President Toledo inaugurating the Chiclayo-Chongaoyape highway, built as a cost of US$27 million.
- Cuban National News Agency reports that "a campaign of solidarity with Cuba in favor of five Cuban men unjustly imprisoned in the US is underway in Lima, Peru. Several activities have been organized by Peru's Committee for the Freedom of the Five and the Friendship-with-Cuba Centers in Lima and in the port city of Callao." ALSO: "Among the activities scheduled is a Monday poetry recital entitled Con Cuba en el Corazon (With Cuba in Our Heart), in which prestigious Peruvian literary figures are expected to participate" including Peruvian actresses Monica Sanchez and Delfina Paredes.
- NaviGayTion (Andrew Mersmann) offered a travelogue titled ‘Packages from Peru.’ "When travelling in Peru, the best-intentioned souvenir gifts you acquire may very well end up on your own knickknack shelves. Grabbed up from a streetside vendor because they were too inexpensive to pass up, upon closer inspection when unpacking back home, they may seem too good to give away." NOTE: "Many have adopted Americanized names, so you can remember them easily as well. Mercedes Benz, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Kevin Costner were all on a first name basis with me in Cusco."
PERU JOINS UN: The Associated Press notes in its ‘Today in History’ post that on February 14, 1945, Peru joined the United Nations.
Monday, February 13, 2006
NEW APOYO #s: The Associated Press (Monte Hayes) and Bloomberg (Alex Emery) report on APOYO’s latest poll on presidential candidates which puts Flores Nano with 35%; Ollanta Humala at 25%. (Download the poll here; the Miami Herald also offers a summary of the AP piece.) Bloomberg has the better, more detailed version. The AP version lets opinion seep in several times, noting that Ollanta’s “surge in voter support in recent months had rattled Peru's financial markets and its political establishment.” Numbers of other candidates include: Alan Garcia (17%); Valentin Paniagua (8%); Martha Chavez (6%). ALSO: “The poll did not survey potential voters in Peru's most remote rural area representing 19% of the electorate.”
LURCHING LEFT? Without explicit Humala undertones, the Christian Science Monitor offers an oped by Christopher Sabatini (Americas Society) and Eric Farnsworth (Council of the Americas) titled ‘Latin America’s Lurch to the Left.’ NOTE: “Indeed, with 12 presidential elections in 14 months, 2006 could well be a watershed for the region, recasting US policy toward its neighbors. Yet, characterizing the region as hopelessly drifting away from US interests or as uniformly jettisoning the market economy "model" underestimates the complexity of both US relations and democracy in the region.” SEE ALSO: The Los Angeles Times reprints yesterday's Telegraph opinion piece by Niall Ferguson on ‘Who Lost Latin America’ (see yesterday's Peruvia).
AT SEA IN CHINA: Xinhua News reports that the Peruvian navy training vessel Mollendo “arrived in east China's Shanghai on Monday for a four-day goodwill visit ... with 397 officers and soldiers aboard.” The Captain is identified as “Zuazo Del Asuila Percy Dany.” The Captain’s name is Percy Dany Zuazo Del Aguila. In January, the Mollendo docked at Pearl Harbor, according to this US Navy report before continuing toward Korea, according to the Korea Times.
AT SEA AT HOME: BNAmericas reports that ProInversión has “pushed back the date to award the 30-year concession contract to build and operate the Muelle Sur terminal at Callao port.”
CABLE CAR IN AREQUIPA: BNAmericas reported that the regional government of Arequipa has “approved the launch of the bidding process to build a cable car system to attract more tourists to Arequipa,” according to El Peruano. NOTE: “The cable car system would lead from the city to El Misti.” ALSO: The project will require an investment of US$12 million and tickets are expected to cost US$42-50 each. This project has been developing over many years; see this 2003 story.
TRANS-AMAZON HIGHWAY: BNAmericas reports that “several companies have expressed interest in the concession to upgrade and operate stretches 1 and 5 of Peru's Interoceánica highway and have until June 5 to present documents,” according to ProInversión’s Guillermo Rebagliati Escala, the coordinator of the project. NOTE: “Stretch 1 involves upgrading and repaving the 763km San Juan de Marcona-Urcos route while stretch 5 involves paving 62km and upgrading another 752km on the road from the port of Ilo to Juliaca and the Matarani-Azángaro link further inland.” ALSO: See here for more background information; progress in Sections 2, 3, and 4 are already under way. AND: 'Trans Amazon Highway' in Aug 27, 2005's Peruvia and 'Trans Amazon Cooperation' in Sept 16, 2004's Peruvia.
PERUVIAN JAZZ: The Jazz Police (Minn) reports on an upcoming concert by Peruvian musicians Andrés Prado and Enrique Luna. Prado’s sets “range from Coltrane to Peruvian folk themes … with his wide-ranging repertoire rooted in the Andes and Amazon, from Creole waltzes to Afro-Peruvian grooves.” NOTE: Prado, a guitarist, recently released 'Chinchano' on the RPM Records label— and along with bassist/composer Enrique Luna, the co-founder of the jazz-fusion band Peru Jazz, they relased 'Jazz Imagery' on the same label.
AFRO-PERUVIAN PHOTOGRAPHY: The Battalion (Texas A&M University) reports that in honor of Black History Month, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives “is displaying 23 prints by Peruvian photographer, Lorry Salcedo-Mitrani. From his portfolio, "Africa's Legacy: Photographs in Brazil and Peru," the prints on display are drawn from a larger portfolio of nearly 100 prints recently acquired to support the study of Afro-Latino culture.”
JOURNALISTS UNDER SEIGE: The Guardian (Dan Glaister) reports on Latin American journalists who “face increasingly violent intimidation from drug gangs who do not want to see their activities in print.” NOTE: “In Peru 40 journalists were attacked last year.”
- SC Magazine (William Eazel) reports that “significant concentrations of PCs infected with the Kama Sutra virus (also known as Blackworm, CME-24 or Nyxem.E) remain in Peru, India and the United States,” according to CipherTrust, a security firm.
- Telecom Paper suggests that Peru is takinga ‘technology-agnostic approach to licensing.’
- Bloomberg reports that “Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. expects its Latin American sales to grow by 12% this year on rising tourism and business travel,” according to vice president Filip Boyen, in an interview at the company's five-star Hotel Miraflores Park Plaza in Lima. NOTE: Said Boyen, "Our number one priority is Latin America. The region has great potential for growth now most countries have stabilised."
- AFX reports Monterrico Metals will delay the completion of the BFS on Rio Blanco until the fourth quarter. Separately, Monterrico Metals offered a press release which focused on their strategic objectives for the year and to announce that “it will complete a series of initiatives this year to further advance the development of its principal and wholly owned asset in Peru, the Rio Blanco copper-molybdenum project.” Finally, Dow Jones reports that Chilean copper miner Antofagasta is “out of the running to acquire a stake in Monterrico Metals Peruvian Rio Blanco project, Monterrico Chief Executive Chris Eager said Monday. Eager cited a dispute between the Luksic family, major shareholder of Antofagasta, and the Peruvian government over a food processing factory.” NOTE: Rio Blanco is one of the largest economically viable copper resources in the world.
- Fortuna Silver Mines offered a press release about the “additional channel sample and drill results from recent exploration work on the Animas and La Plata veins at the Company's 100% owned Caylloma silver mine project in Peru. Fortuna is currently re-equipping the mine and working towards restarting mining operations at the historic silver mine.”
- The Evening Chronicle reports that ‘Nobby Silences the Villa Boo Boys.’ “The Peruvian, who left Villa Park at the end of August to return to St James' Park, was booed from the first time he touched the ball yet within 71 seconds he had started the move which led to Shola Ameobi putting United ahead.”
- The Associated Press updates the Davis Cup results: Flavio Saretta, Brazil, def. Ivan Miranda, Peru, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. And Luis Horna, Peru, def. Ricardo Mello, Brazil, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. In doubles, Gustavo Kuerten and Andre Sa, Brazil, def. Luis Horna and Ivan Miranda, Peru, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Finally, in reverse singles, Luis Horna, Peru, def. Flavio Saretta, Brazil, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 while Ricardo Mello, Brazil, def. Ivan Miranda, Peru, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
- The Jacksonville Daily News reports on Padre Marcos Leon who is leaving his parish, the Infant of Prague Catholic Church on Marine Boulevard in Jacksonville, where he has served as parochial vicar for more than a year. Leon is Peruvian born and while in Jacksonville, “the church to begin a parade in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
- The Salem Stateman-Journal (Roy Gault) reviews a trip a local made to the Peruvian Amazon in January and their presentation titled "Macaws in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle" at the Salem Audubon Society.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Coca in Chimbote: Xinhua News reports that "the coast guards of Peru and the United States seized four tons of cocaine on a fishing boat and arrested all of the seven crew members on aboard in a joint operation." NOTE: "The U.S. Coast Guard, which carried out an operation immediately after receiving the information, successfully detained the Peruvian boat which departed from the Chimbote port in west Peru carrying huge amount of drugs."
Coca In Bolivia: The New York Times (Juan Forrero) reports on the challenge of Bolivia’s President Morales: ‘No to Cocaine, but Yes to Coca.’ (The piece is accompanied by a video with a much more favourable title, ‘Bolivia Shifts the Drug War Debate.’) The piece suggests that Peru has replaced Bolivia as the world's No. 2 producer of coca. NOTE: "At a recent coca fair in La Paz, two dozen small Bolivian and Peruvian companies displayed coca-based products they said they hoped would one day be accepted worldwide. Besides the soap, shampoo and toothpaste, there were digestive potions pitched as calcium and iron supplements, or, alternatively, a cure for balding or as a diet aid. And there was a light green flour, for making bread." NOTE: "One of our most important products is granola, fortified with coca," said Marco Alarcón." The Washington Post has a short summary on Morales and his coca conundrum and repeats Peru’s status as the number two global producer of the leaf.
Peruvian Chocolate: The Boston Herald’s Valentine Day’s story leads, "Have you ever had chocolates made with Peruvian plums?" The piece features Monica’s Chocolates in Maine. "Owner Monica Elliott, a native of Peru, immigrated to Lubec in 1999, bringing with her recipes for Peruvian caramel and chocolate. She makes all her chocolates by hand in small batches."
Peru/Ecuador Battle Costs: Knight Ridder (Tyler Bridges) reports from Ecuador on the lethal after effects of the battle zones along the border with Peru (‘Land Mines a Hidden Killer in Amazon Jungle’). "Ten years after Ecuador and Peru fought a three-week border war, Ecuadorean minesweepers are still searching for and then destroying some of the 11,000 land mines that remain along the isolated border — mines like those that have killed or maimed 114 Ecuadoreans and Peruvians since the last shot of the war was fired." ALSO: "About 60 Ecuadorean soldiers are carrying out the work from Teniente Ortiz, a military outpost one mile from the Peruvian border and an arduous hourlong hike from the nearest town, Santiago. The base sits on a ridge and is about the length and width of a football field. One of its barrack walls still shows the bullet marks from Peruvian helicopter gunships a decade ago."
Will OAS Monitor Peru's Elections? The Miami Herald’s Andres Oppenheimer is sour on President Bushs’ budget cut for the OAS. "According to the 2007 budget proposal that Bush sent to Congress last week, the United States will reduce its special contributions to the OAS from $64 million in 2006 to $57 million in 2007." Oppenheimer suggests that "the OAS may be the last line of defense for representative democracy and human rights in the region. While its record has been spotty, the OAS has recently helped avoid coups in Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador and Haiti." NOTE: Other nations are in arrears in their annual payments including "Argentina, which hasn't paid for three years, owes $10.7 million, while Brazil owes $3.4 million, Venezuela $2.4 million, the Dominican Republic $700,000 and Uruguay $600,000." ALSO: OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza suggests "the proposed U.S. budget cuts could affect observation missions to this year's elections in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru or Ecuador."
Who Lost Latin America? The Telegraph has an op-ed by the saucy Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson asking ‘Who Lost America,’ for "since the election of Hugo Chávez as President of Venezuela in December 1998, there has been an inexorable erosion of US influence south of the Rio Grande. The most recent manifestations are the election victories last month of the coca-chewing populist Evo Morales in Bolivia and the socialist Michelle Bachelet in Chile. Some opinion polls suggest victories for the militant Ollanta Humala in Peru this April and the staunchly anti-gringo Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico in July. And it's anyone's guess what will happen in Brazil and Ecuador." NOTE: "This seems to me the really big story of 2006 - and yet virtually no one is paying it any attention. And it's not as if the new populists in Latin America aren't looking for some attention." ALSO: "South and Central America account for 8.5% of the world's oil reserves (and 4% of its natural gas reserves). Besides energy, however, there's democracy; to be precise the fate of the President's project to spread democracy around the world. And besides democracy, there's immigration."
- The New York Times (Joseph Berger) offers another immigrant-acclimating-in-USA story from Port Chester, New York where "a locale distinctive in Westchester County because almost half its residents hail from Latin America" that includes "a dozen Peruvian, Brazilian, Colombian and Ecuadorean restaurants." The story follows the financial and legal drama of becoming an entrepreneur in the USA. CITED: "Robinson Plasencia, a Peruvian baker who set up Nino International Bakery on South Main Street 10 years ago ... At 57, divorced and living alone, he has plans to return to his Peruvian home city, Trujillo." ALSO: "Juan Cepeda, who bought Machu Picchu, a Peruvian seafood restaurant that he is renaming Brias Marina Bar and Grill."
- Deseret News (Deborah Bulkeley) reports on a different immigrant angle: a Peruvian’s struggle to secure a student visa for an American university and a hindering bill in the US Congress. "But immigrant rights activists who oppose HB7 say it's difficult or impossible for an undocumented student to leave the country and obtain a student visa for readmission."
- New Jersey (Kevin G. DeMarrais) reports on the economic grown in Passaic County including "the story of Manny and Mark Silva, Bronx-born sons of a Peruvian father and Puerto Rican mother" who moved their successful business from New York City to Paterson.
Peru Negro 2006: The San Francisco Chronicle previews Peru Negro on their new tour with few new details even with a telephone interview with Ronny Campos in Lima. "The 30-member troupe that plays Zellerbach Hall on Friday has come a long way since Rolando Campos founded the group with his family in 1969." CITED: The cajón ("originally a fruit crate -- is now a carefully designed rectangular box, with a booming low end."); the quijada de burro ("a donkey jawbone with the teeth loosened") and lando ("a slow, soulful ballad form that spoke of the hardships of slavery.") The tour stops at U Cal Berkeley on Friday.
Malaria & Amazon Deforestation: The Voice of America (Jessica Berman) reports on a study that points to "a direct link between epidemic malaria and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest." NOTE: "Curious about a return of epidemic malaria in the Peru Amazon in the 1990's, investigators found there was a connection to uncontrolled deforestation. During a one-year period, they collected mosquitos at sites with varying levels of deforestation. The locations included untouched areas within the Amazon rainforest and locations that have undergone rapid development and landscape change." CITED: Lead author Jonathan Patz, University of Wisconsin. SEE ALSO: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Jan. 2006); National Public Radio (Jan. 5, 2006); University of Wisconsin press release (January 3, 2006).
- The Chicago Tribune catches up with an Associated Press story and reports that "the Peruvian government is enforcing the limit of 500 trekkers starting the hike each day by requiring that tour operators submit the names and passport numbers of their clients to purchase necessary permits." However, in a separate article, the Chicago Tribune states that "officials have closed the Inca Trail for a month of maintenance. Work is being done during the rainy season when tourism to Machu Picchu drops by half, and plans are to reopen the trail March 1."
- Reuters updates Peruvian football championship results and standings (Alianza Lima 2; Alianza Atletico 0).
- The Guardian praises superstar Nolberto Solano: "Solano Maintains Toon Revival."
- Reuters reports that "Peruvian Jefferson Farfan curved a free kick around the wall and into the net after 71 minutes to give PSV Eindhoven a 1-0 win over Heracles Almelo in the Dutch first division on Saturday."
- The Associated Press puts up the Davis Cup results which includes Luis Horna defeating Brasil’s Ricardo Mello (6-4, 6-4, 6-4) but has Ivan Miranda losing to Brasil’s Flavio Saretta (6-2, 6-2, 6-3). In doubles, Horna and Miranda lose to Brasil’s Gustavo Kuerten and Andre Sa (4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 5-7, 6-3).
- The Miami Herald notes that the game of polo was brought to Nicaragua "in 1959 by a Peruvian horseman who convinced a group of wealthy farmers to give it a shot."
The Penn/Peru Corridor: Pennsylvania’s Times-Leader reports that "the Rotary Clubs throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania are seeking applicants to participate in a program that will send local professionals to Peru for one month." NOTE: "The Group Exchange Program will allow a team of one Rotarian and four non-Rotarians to share vocational information and professional techniques and ideas with Peruvian professionals in similar fields."
- The San Francisco Chronicle offers an obituary for Elena Grgich who "was born in Peru as Elena Merel on Dec. 26, 1921. The story goes that her father celebrated her birth with great zeal, arrived a day late to officially register her birth, and thus gave her a legal birth date of Dec. 27. Although quiet as a young woman, she surpassed expectations by having a profession in the banking sector in Peru and then emigrating alone to the U.S. in her early 30’s"
- The Washington Post offers the obituary of Robert Leonard Walker who "as a child, he lived in the Andes mountains in Peru, where his father was superintendent of a copper mine."