Thursday, November 22, 2007
- 'How Trade Breakthrough Almost Broke Down in Congress' (Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin) "Just weeks ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hailed the 285 to 132 vote in favor of the Peru Free Trade Agreement, which she had helped shepherd through the chamber, as a moment steeped in Democratic tradition."
- 'A (Toxic) River Runs Through It' (Inter Press Service, Milagros Salazar) re: "The Mantaro river basin, one of the main water sources in Peru’s central Andes mountains, is a dump for toxic substances, according to an independent scientific study. Lead levels, for instance, are 180 times higher than those accepted by the World Health Organisation." See also Oct 9 report;
- 'Report Urges Foreign Aid Strategy That Bridges Security, Altruism' (Washington Post, Walter Pincus) "For example, Pentagon anti-drug assistance, originally authorized for Peru and Colombia, has expanded to 14 countries. Combatant Commander Initiative Funds, originally limited to small public works programs in Iraq, can now be used worldwide."
- Text of Report: 'Embassies Grapple to Guide Foreign Aid' - TEXT | PDF; see focus on Peru on p. 38 or report; see also related press release and excerpt at bottom of this post.
- Peru 1, Ecuador 5 (wires in Los Angeles Times) "In qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, Ecuador routed visiting Peru, 5-1."
- 'Playing To Meet A Self-Imposed Standard' (New York Times, Nate Chinen) review of Maria Schneider Orchestra playing 'Aires de Lando' “based on folk forms native to Peru. In her introduction to the piece, as in her detailed liner notes for “Sky Blue,” Ms. Schneider explained that the lando rhythm, a polyrhythmic 12/8 over 6/4, had inspired her to superimpose additional meters, like 3/8 and 5/4." (from the Sky Blue album)
- "U.S. Government priorities in Peru are: (1) Counter-narcotics and alternative development; (2) Spreading the benefits of economic growth, including improvements in the public health and education systems, to the long-neglected majority of Peruvians; and (3) Strengthening national government institutions to address low levels of confidence in democracy. The U.S. Government provides assistance to the Government of Peru totaling in FY07 approximately $143 million in economic and military aid. Such assistance was $159 million in FY05 and $142 million in FY06. The request for FY08 is only $90 million,reflecting a drop in the narcotics control and Andean counterdrug initiative account. The U.S. Government considers Peru to be a developing country. The USAID budget in Peru accounts for the most significantportion of U.S. bilateral assistance. It totaled $80 million for FY07 and is used for activities that emphasize trade-led economic growth and increased market access for micro, small and medium enterprises. Limited government presence in the highlands and jungle allows illegal coca cultivation, drug trafficking, and illegal logging. Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group continue to threaten and intimidate some communities, and remote areas suffer from poor health care. USAID programs offer alternatives to illicit coca and strengthen government effectiveness to provide services in health, education, and environmental management in areas most affected by illegal drug cultivation. In the governance sector, perceptions of unresponsiveness to citizens' demands and an inability to deliver services effectively and transparently result in a continuing low level of confidence in democratic institutions. USAID works to improve the accountability and effectiveness of selected regional and local governments and to encourage constructive dialogue with citizen groups. A free trade pact with Peru is still awaiting action in the U.S. Congress."