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Thursday, March 29

Financial Times Candidates fail to appeal in Peru: "The latest nationwide poll gives Mr Toledo 29.7 per cent support, Ms Flores 22.5 per cent, while Alan García, the controversial ex-president, has 15.8 per cent. He has gained potential votes from both the other candidates and could yet displace Ms Flores as the sole rival to Mr Toledo in any second round." Garcia keeps inching up in the voter surveys. A week of campaigning will probably not alter the trends. But who can predict Peruvian elections -- except when they're rigged?

Wednesday, March 28

Yahoo / Reuters Fujimori Name Is Non Grata in Peru: "Polls suggest the ex-president's party would end up with no more than four representatives in the 120-seat Congress -- a far cry from the absolute control Fujimori once commanded there." People are painting over Fujimori's name on school buildings and soup kitchens.

Yahoo / Reuters Peru's Toledo Plays Race Card: "Setting himself apart from his lighter-skinned election rivals, Toledo has turned the accusations against him into a historic question of racial persecution. A white elite for hundreds of years has dominated this nation where 80 percent of the population is Indian or mestizo." Just as Fujimori ran as the "Chino" or Chinaman, Toledo casts himself as the "Cholo." The real question should be what other qualifications he has to run the country.

Yahoo / Reuters U.S. banks caught in Peru money laundering web: "In Venero-Garrido's case, the money was surreptitiously moved from Peru through banks in the Cayman Islands. He used wire transfers to deposit funds into the account, opened accounts under corporate names and even used relatives to deposit money from Peru, according to sources close to the investigation." Details about Montesinos's money schemes and how US banks played into his hand.

Christian Science Monitor - In Peru, a second chance at fairness for Lori Berenson: "Rivera says Peru's civilian terrorism courts have been cleaned up significantly in recent years under Judge Marcos Ibazeta, the presiding judge in Berenson's case. A respected independent, Mr. Ibazeta promises a fair trial and has allowed the proceedings to be broadcast live." The fact that the trial is open and televised shows a sharp reversal of previous terrorism trials by court martials. It becomes much easier to pass judgment on the quality of jurisprudence.

Lycos / Reuters Berenson: I'm a Political Prisoner: "I am innocent of what they are charging me with,'' Berenson, 31, told Panamericana television in an interview aired Sunday night. "If they accuse me of thinking what I think, then yes, I am guilty.'' I am going to watch this TV special once I get near a computer with sound. It is available online on the Panamericana's Panorama site.

Tuesday, March 27

The Guardian - Peru Quizzes Berenson on Activism : "Berenson said she was involved solely in the peace talks that ended El Salvador's civil war in 1992. She pointed out that the ex-guerrilla is now a congressman, who goes by his real name, Leonel Gonzalez." Berenson's association with the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN has been used by the prosecutors to imply a penchant for supporting political violence.

The Daily Soccer / Reuters Peru outclass Chile in passionate World Cup qualifier: "Peru created more than 20 clearcut openings but their old failing in front of goal kept them waiting until the last 20 minutes for victory in an enthralling clash between the two neighbors." Peru finally wins a game -- and against Chile. But it's still too little to late, as the cliche goes.

The Globe and Mail - Peruvian mine site a political flash point: "The company is also caught up in a crisis caused by revelations of corruption in the government of Peru's ex-president Alberto Fujimori. That has also built on long-standing complaints that the financial benefits from regional programs were siphoned off from the localities to the central government. 'There's a mistrust about any authority -- government, businesses and their own elected leadership,' Mr. Clow said." The article discusses the problems revolving around the Tambogrande mine in Piura. There are interesting details about the work of NGOs assisting the local community in negotiating with the mining company.

Monday, March 26

BBC / Reuters Death squad arrests in Peru: "The generals, Juan Rivera and Julio Salazar, are accused of having links to the Colina group - a death squad formed to quash the Peruvian Shining Path guerrilla movement in the 1990s." This could open up some real changes within the military if the next government decides to follow through on this ruling.

Thursday, March 22

A Service Announcement: I will be working in Brazil from March 23 to April 1. That means that I will be posting on my weblog less frequently. I also suspect that I will not be updating the rest of the site unless there is a real need.

To hold you over, please check out the Nicholas Asheshov addition, Witch's Broom and Chocolate Special g c i 275 feature, in the Confession of a Stringer section.

Yahoo / Reuters - Peru's Toledo in Storm Over Cocaine Allegations: "Toledo slammed the report as a rehash of news released last year by his wife, Elaine Karp, after he was briefly kidnapped, drugged and possibly photographed in ``comprising positions'' in a blackmail attempt." Toledo will continue to be grilled from now until the runoff in May. His personal life (accusations of an illegitimate daughter and reports of alcohol abuse) offers tempting targets for his opponents and the press.

Lycos / Associated Press - Peruvians Just Want More Work: "While the scandals have pulled the spotlight from Peru's stalled economy in election coverage, polls say most Peruvians still consider job creation, not corruption, as the most important campaign issue." Amen.

The Nando Times / Associated Press - Jailed U.S. woman testifies in Peru terrorism trial: "(Prosecutor) Navas alleged that police found copies of rebel documents, including copies of Voz Rebelde, or 'Rebel Voice,' the group's publication, with her handwritten notes in the margins. Berenson denied ever seeing such documents. She and her lawyer, Jose Luis Sandoval, complained they were never shown the alleged evidence." Lori gets to come out from behind the bars.

Wednesday, March 21

Financial Times - Berenson trial begins in Peru: "The retrial is being seen as a test of Peru's criminal justice system, which was greatly discredited during the 1990s for being corrupt and effectively under the control of ex-spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos." One trial is not going to re-establish the credibility of the Peruvian justice system.

New York Times - Latam Rights Court Cites Peru Military for Massacre: "Latin America's top human rights court on Tuesday called on Peru to investigate and punish members of a paramilitary death squad responsible for a 1991 massacre of 15 people in Lima." Peru starts facing the runnings in a backlog of human rights cases before the Inter-American Human Rights Court.

Tuesday, March 20 - Peru Offers U.S. Woman Plea Bargain in Rebel Trial: "Prosecutor Mario Cavagnaro said, however, that if Berenson admitted guilt and cooperated with authorities she could receive a reduced sentence. The judge gave Berenson two days, until the next hearing on Thursday morning, to consider the offer." Berenson's parents have already said that Lori will reject the offer..

Le Monde Diplomatique - Peru pays: "In other words, under Alberto Fujimori, it was not repression of the peasants or alternative production programmes that led to a decrease in the land area cultivated, but the break-up of a large mafia-style organisation at the highest level, and the change in strategy of its successors." A short story about the Fujimori crack down on coca growing and alternative interpretation of trends.

Financial Times - War still haunts Ayacucho: "The scars left by the conflict run deep in Ayacucho. Its legacy can be seen in high unemployment and alcoholism. Prostitution, which prospered when garrisons were stationed in the town, has produced cases of Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases in recent years. The suicide rate is well above average. The number of single mothers, unusual in such a conservative community, is less surprising given how many young men were killed." Another story that I missed in February. Good reporting.

Financial Times - Alpaca farmers pin hopes on state: "One of the biggest challenges will be to introduce a Peruvian registry of alpaca to safeguard the domestic genetic pool - a vital component in the export of live alpaca. With the blessing of any new administration, the International Alpaca Association has said it could produce a listing of pedigrees to satisfy international standards." The first thing to remember is that alpaca producers (campesinos) have frequently been shafted by merchants and manufacturers (mainly in Arequipa). Somehow, this article got passed me last month.

Washington Post - A Second Chance in Peru: "Recounting his testimony, retired Adm. Luis Giampietri, one of the three former hostages, said in an interview that a rebel nicknamed 'the Arab' -- later killed in the raid that rescued the hostages -- once told a group of captives that Berenson was wrongly convicted." This is the first time I've seen a reference to any testimony that led to overturning the first verdict against Lori Berenson.

Monday, March 19 - Peru announces its World Cup qualifying squad: "Peru currently sits in ninth place with a ludicrous eight-point record that gives Uribe’s troopers a steep road to climb and clinch a berth to the World Cup next year." That's putting it mildly. - Peru's Garcia May Become Kingmaker From Third Place "Garcia, who's power base is northern Peru and who enjoys greater popularity in the provinces, may be something of a stealth candidate, perhaps landing more than 20 percent of the vote, analysts said." Alan Garcia, the candidate that Wall Street loves to hate.

Philadelphia Inquirer / Knight Ridder Services - U.S. woman faces a new trial in Peru "Berenson's parents, both professors, have tirelessly championed her cause, appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show and winning support from the Rev. Jesse Jackson. They have tried to keep her case before the American public, frequently granting interviews, and maintaining a Web site on their views of the case." Nothing new in this story, but included because it probably typically of the international coverage of the trial.

New York Times - Second Trial of New Yorker Jailed in Peru to Begin: "But in several interviews since she was imprisoned, Ms. Berenson has refused to criticize the Túpac Amaru group and she has chosen to remain in the same prison ward with Túpac Amaru prisoners rather than transfer to wards with prisoners who have repented." That she has chosen to share quarters with Tupac Amaru prisoners should not be held against her. I know Peruvian prison conditions and you need some kind of organized support in order to survive. Both MRTA and Sendero provide that kind of emotional and material support. Also see a 1996 story.

Amnesty International - International Week of Action to Stop Torture: "The Peruvian authorities have passed legislation making torture a punishable offence. However, since the legislation was adopted in February 1998, only two police officers have been brought to justice under this law." The article cites two cases of teenagers being tortured in police custody.

Sunday, March 18 - Peru's military battered by scandal, cutbacks: "The list of officers behind bars on accusations of accepting kickbacks or abuse of authority includes the former commanders of the army, navy and air force, as well as division commanders and Montesinos' lieutenants in the intelligence service. Another 300 military and police officers have been cashiered in the scandal." The armed forces have also had their budget cut by a quarter. - The Aspargus Wars: "Federal auditors note in a new report that asparagus imports soared by 215 percent during the 1990s. Much of this came from Peru, benefiting from a trade law designed to wean Andean countries off of the illegal drug trade." US growers had 2-8 percent of their production displaced but consumers benefited from having fresh asparagus all year round. There will be a battle in Congress to have asparagus remvoed from the Andean Trade Preference Act's list of approved imports.

EWTN - Multitude gatherers to pay homage to Peruvian Catholic Leader: "With a Eucharist celebration, more than three thousand faithful commemorated last Tuesday the first month of the death of the Peruvian layman and Catholic leader, German Doig Klinge. Doig, one of the most prestigious laymen in Latin America, was Vicar General of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae and International coordinator of the Christian Life Movement." The conservative wing of the Catholic church scores points, even when losing one of its lay leaders.

Lawrence Journal-World / Newsday - WWII internment camp survivors seek apology: "More than 2,000 Latin Americans of Japanese descent, most of whom were from Peru, were held in internment camps run by the Justice Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the war. Although the U.S. government never fully explained why it held Japanese-Americans, officials acknowledged one of the reasons was hostage exchange." After the war, the detainees were considered illegal aliens and forced to leave the US. Now there is an initiative to redressthem for their treatmenet.

Saturday, March 17

Bonus Points - I got some good news that the Washington Post has linked to Peruvian Graffiti Special g c i 275 feature as an additional resource in its Peru section. The fact that I worked for the Post for seven years and know a dozen editors and reporters personally had no bearing on the selection. Really. The Post website is a separate business unit.

New York Times - In the War on Coca, Colombian Growers Simply Move Along: "American and Colombian officials who defend the eradication have noted that coca farmers with small- scale farms could voluntarily stop their coca in exchange for a benefits package. Many of those who fled Putumayo for Narińo came from a region where farmers declined to sign pacts with the government to destroy their crops voluntarily. Ana Teresa Bernal, director of Redepaz, which works with the displaced, said 65 percent of those who fled worked in coca fields." A long story about Colombian coca growers and other players moving out of Putumayo into other provinces. The same thing happens in Peru.

Friday, March 16

Yahoo / Associated Press - Berenson Retrial in Peru Nears: "The photo ID could represent a dilemma for Sandoval in a case that involves disputed testimony by convicted rebels, most of whom, he says, have recanted or disavowed alleged statements that had implicated Berenson in the first trial." Berenson and her lawyers will get a lot more of a chance to examine the holes in the government case than they did four years ago.

Yahoo / Associated Press - Ex-Hostage: 2 Rebels May Be Alive: "Rivera said he was told that a rebel known as 'Comrade Tito' tried to pass as a hostage but soldiers discovered him and sent him back inside the building." This is still hearsay and won't carry much weight in court.

Wednesday, March 14

Sun-Sentinel / Reuters - Dominican authorities deny Peru's fugitive Montesinos in country: "A well known television commentator in the Dominican Republic, Cesar Medina, gave the rumor an airing on Monday, saying the reason that Chavez had arrived at dawn at a military airport last Friday -- rather than at a more normal hour at a civilian airport -- was because Montesinos came on his plane." Surprising that more of these rumors have not been in the news recently.

IMF - IMF Approves One-Year Stand-By Credit for Peru: "The International Monetary Fund today approved a one-year stand-by credit for Peru for SDR 128 million (about US$166 million) to support the government's economic program for 2001 and to ensure macroeconomic stability in the transition to the next administration." A no-brainer.

Syracuse - Berenson's parents going to Peru: "Mark Berenson said he was told the trial could last anywhere from 15 days to four months. He said he hoped to 'bring Lori back in freedom.'" Hope springs eternal.

Independent - Bodies of Peruvian rebels may implicate Fujimori in murder : "The five bodies examined on Monday show damaged ribs, believed to be a sign of torture, and two bullets fired at close range into one skull, indicating a final coup de grâce to a rebel leader known as 'Tito'." The correspondent does not mention sources for these conclusions.

The Guardian - Peru's ex-leader accused of ordering death of rebels: "The complaints were filed after Hidetaka Ogura, a Japanese embassy employee who was held hostage, told Peruvian radio last December that he had seen three rebels captured alive during the raid." Another take on the investigation of the Japanese Embassy siege and rescue.

Freedom Forum - Disclosures of Peruvian media corruption stun even most jaded observers: "Analysts say that Peru's television networks were particularly vulnerable to Montesinos' entreaties because many of them were deeply in debt. An economic recession during the late 1990s had significantly cut private-sector advertising." What was unique about Fujimori-Montesinos is that they bought out all major broadcasting media, not just one or two channels.

Tuesday, March 13

Yahoo / Reuters - Peru Mig-29 Crashes During Tests Linked to Spy Probe: "A MiG-29 fighter jet crashed on Tuesday outside an airport in northern Peru during tests to determine whether it was obsolete and purchased as part of a massive corruption scheme, a congressman said." The arms purchases are the closest thing to a smoking gun for Fujimori and Montesinos, but the guys who are going to pay the bill are the Peruvian generals who carried out the purchases. The pay-off for civilian rule is that the Peruvian armed forces has never been more demoralized and leaderless. Ten years ago, Lima would have been rife with bolas (rumors) about the military not accepting a female president, thus vetoing the candidacy of Lourdes Flores Nano.

Miami Herald - Crusading Peruvian journalist fired from Panama newspaper: "Gorriti's passion may grate even on some co-workers, but it led him to break a long string of corruption scandals -- many involving Pérez Balladares -- in a country long known for its endemic corruption." Gustavo was the executive director of La Prensa and lost out in a realignment of the board of directors. Panama's loss is Peru's gain.

Monday, March 12

Yahoo / Reuters - Peru Exhumes Bodies of Rebels in Execution Probe: "State attorney Ronald Gamarra told local radio that one body had 'evident' signs of two bullet holes in the skull. Scientists will have post-mortem results in 10-15 days." This judicial initiative is aimed at getting something hard and firm to accuse Fujimori with. Many of the accusations of graft will not stand the test of law in a court.

Sunday, March 11

Retrospective - Peru's Second Round: A Political Revolution Revisited: "In doing so they have fallen into a kind of false triumphalism, celebrating the end of military oligarchies and radical Marxist populism. What we have not understood is that what has triumphed is a special, highly authoritarian form of democracy, which relies not on parties and legislatures, but on a strong presidency led by a populist outsider who proclaims his ability to bring about change without the devious incompetence of party democracy. This new democracy is baffling in many ways, not least for the fact that its leaders are largely unknown and untested." Former US Ambassador Anthony Quainton wrote this piece in May last year. He had another article, Where do we go from here? after Fujimori stole the runoff.

Boston Globe - Crowds in the clouds: "For a desperately poor country that takes in $200 million a year from Machu Picchu tourism, increasing the number of visitors is a lure hard to resist." The author discusses the dilemma of pushing an environmentally sensitive site as a tourist attraction.

Media Central - Peru economy struggling ahead of April elections: "Peru's gross domestic product (GDP) fell 1.6% in January year-on-year after slipping 1.8% in December 2000." Despite the bad news, Peru's fundamentals are good -- $8 billion in international reserves, inflation insignificant and government deficit under control. The next government will just have to step on the gas. - Peru spy chief masterminded U.S. woman's civilian retrial: "Montesinos, who ran Peru's national intelligence service, said the military court ruling could be voided and the case handed to the civilian court. He suggested Berenson receive a sentence of 10 or 15 years." The tape confirms what was always suspected -- that Fujimori and Montesinos were trying to appease the US government so that Washington would slack off on the democracy front.

Saturday, March 10 - U.S. expanding Plan Colombia into regional Andean plan: "The original US commitment to Plan Colombia for Bogota's neighbors was $180 million. But a senior official tells CNN that while the 'actual numbers' are not worked out yet, President Bush's 2002 budget will see a 'major increase' in programs for Colombia's neighbors, and 'some countries could see an increase in US aid by two or even three times.'" No comment.

Institutional Investor - Peru after Fujimori: "In the aftermath of the Russian debt default in 1998, bad bank loans nearly tripled and loan defaults rose 40 percent. The economy is heavily dollarized, with about 80 percent of bank deposits and 85 percent of debt held in dollars. This level of de facto dollarization reduces flexibility: Slippages in the exchange rate, thought to be somewhat overvalued at the moment, would cause inflation, yet the prevalence of dollarization fuels unemployment, analysts say. "Peru is basically a dollar economy without the advantages - nobody wants to own soles and everybody wants to owe soles," says Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, CEO of the Latin America Enterprise Fund, who has joined the Toledo campaign as chief economic adviser." A very thorough article

Washington Post - Peru Prepares to Indict Fujimori: "More serious charges are on the way. Peruvian investigators said they have discovered a cache of 120 presidential decrees covering nearly $1 billion in government purchases and signed by Fujimori between 1992 and 2000. They provide the most damaging evidence yet that Fujimori may have been aware of, and perhaps shared in, Montesinos's deals." Fujimori probably wanted to stat for a third term because any incoming administration not under his thumb would have uncovered the dirty deals and skim-offs.

Friday, March 9

American Enterprise Institute / Latin American Outlook - Peru: Yet Another Transition: "The country needs a combination of transparency, firm and realistic leadership, and effective governance at all levels. What Peru needs above all is a president committed to the building of institutions, not just the resolution of everyday problems. Without them, elections will remain exercises in improvisation, and politics a cycle of repeated disappointments." Mark Falcoff takes a look at the past 10 years and the challenges facing the next government.

Washington Post - Camera Works - Peru After Fujimori and Montesinos: Arturo Valenzuela, Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown, and Jorge Santisevan, former human rights ombudsman, are interviewed on videtape. Also there are clips of the "Vladivideos."

New York Times / Reuters - Peru Seeks to Calm Fears of Machu Picchu Collapse: "The Institute's director general of archeological heritage, Fernando Fujita, said the INC did not have the official survey report adding 'It would be very beneficial if they sent it to the government and the authorities involved inpreservation.'" Machu Picchu is really a difficult tourism issue because it could never withstand large volumes of tourists.

Boston Globe - Peru officials order slain rebels exhumed: "The accusations echoed others made within days of the assault that two of the guerrillas were executed with shots to the forehead after being captured, and at least one guerrilla begged to surrender before being killed." The Paniagua administration has been a breath of fresh air on the human rights front. With the army weakened after the Fujimori-Montesinos debacle and no serious subversive threat, it gives a chance to re-examine 20 years of abuses.

Thursday, March 8

New to La Lista: Yavari Project is about a steamer on Lake Titicaca since 1862, its history and recovery as a floating museum. I've been hearing about the ship for 20-some years. It's nice to hear that the ship is back on the waves. The site is in English and Spanish.

Environmental News Network / Reuters - Heavy rains threaten Indians on Peru 'sacred lake': "Around 400 inhabitants in three of the 12 islands on the lake are at risk of losing their homes as rain waters could swamp their communities and make the sodden totora plants slowly sink, the biologist said." Wet-dry cycles in the Altiplano, stretching over years, have impoverished the region.

Yahoo / Reuters - Video shows Peru's Montesinos stacking wads of cash: "The video aired on Thursday showed Montesinos with Jose Francisco Crousillat, ex-boss of America Television, who has admitted taking cash from Montesinos in return for favourable treatment of Fujimori on broadcasts he controlled. At one point the spy chief -- Fujimori's right-hand man for a decade -- reached into a large sack on a table beside him and took out several large bundles of notes, which he stacked up and laid out on a table in front of him." A $420,000 installment for favorable coverage. Who needs advertising when you have a direct line to Vladimiro.

Financial Times - Peru market puts hope on elections: "Monthly share volumes on the Lima stock exchange should be around $50m to $60m, making it Latin America's fifth-most active market after Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile."

Yahoo / Reuters - Video shows Peru's Montesinos stacking wads of cash: "At one point the spy chief -- Fujimori's right-hand man for a decade -- reached into a large sack on a table beside him and took out several large bundles of notes, which he stacked up and laid out on a table in front of him." A $420,000 installment on favorable TV coverage. Who needed advertisers when Crousillat had a direct line to Vladimiro.

E*TRADE - Peru ex-spy chief had penchant for Sinatra, porn: "His collection reveals a passion for Cuban dance music, disco and party hits and even the soundtrack to the Colombian smash-hit soap "Yo Soy Betty la Fea" ("I am Ugly Betty")." An inventory of Montesinos's belongings lets us take a quirky perspective on his personality.

Washington Post - Restoring Trust in Presidency Might Take a Woman's Touch: "For a large segment of the population, women are saints or sinners, with little room between. Flores, a religious woman who has never been married and who has close links to the conservative Opus Dei Catholic organization, is going for the saint." There also many Opus Dei members on her candidate slate, as well. Liberation Theology never had it so good.

Tuesday, March 6

Financial Times - American to get re-trial in Peru: "Ms Berenson's re-trial is seen as a crucial test of Peru's tarnished legal system, which was manipulated by the fugitive ex-spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos during the last decade." Several media outlets have played up foot-dragging by the Peruvian government, pointing to Justice Minister Garcia Sayan's mention of a March 8 start. But he has no say when the panel of judgees starts hearing the case.

Sun-Sentinel / Reuters - Against all odds, Peru's Shining Path eyes change: "They are part of a motley array of rebel prisoners -- a large share of the 2,800 guerilla inmates nationwide -- with a desire to accommodate themselves in Peru's fragile democracy since the fall of hard-line President Alberto Fujimori amid corruption scandals last year." The article is not about the party that's changing really; it's the fringe members or sympathizers that went to jail and are now thinking about survival, not revolution.

Independent - Japan refuses to extradite Fujimori to Peru: "Justice Minister Masahiko Komura told reporters that because Fujimori possesses Japanese citizenship Japan would not hand him over to Peru if asked to do so, according to a ministry spokesman who demanded anonymity." The Japanese government gets its message back to Peru.

Monday, March 5

Houston Chronicle - Lima mansion harbors 500 years of memories, myth: "In fact, the de Aliaga mansion is one of the oldest residences in the Americas to be continually inhabited by the same family. Several original walls can still be seen on the first floor of the two-story mansion." It's attractive inside, but outside you would not even know it was there. It's frequently used for cocktails, as the Washington Post did in 1985 when Katharine Graham visited the country.

Confessions of a Stringer: I have set up a page that will pull together this section. I have also started up an Old Gringo section on La Lista, which will try to point to old Peruvian hands who have websites. I have added one of my favorite Newsweek articles, about arpilleras, rag tapestries that depict daily life in Peru's poorest sectors. The Montesinos page has been updated substantially. Today also marks the official end of traffic from Yahoo's Weekly Pick, so it's back to normal. That was my Web equivalent of 15-minutes of fame.

Sunday, March 4

Yahoo / Reuters - Peru Captures No. 3 Official in Shining Path Group: "Dalton Zuniga, known as Alipio, was caught early on Saturday in a jungle area near the southern city of Cusco, and would be transferred to Lima Sunday, newspaper and radio reports said. Military spokesmen were not immediately available for more details." I am surprised that the police can still track the pecking order in Sendero.

Saturday, March 3

Washington Post - In Peru, Candid Cameras Leave Audience Stunned ( "Montesinos, who was a longtime ally of the CIA, showed glee as he recounted to the generals that (US Ambassador) Hamilton said he would 'remain neutral' on the outcome of the elections, regardless of who won. Montesinos also expressed joy that Hamilton was calling the shots instead of former U.S. ambassador Dennis Jett, a harsh critic of Fujimori." Another installment in the telenovela.

International Herald Tribune - Raining Silver: Symbols of Ancient Peru: "There is no deeper mystery than that of elaborate works of art from ancient cultures in which every human gesture, every pattern seems loaded with a symbolism that we do not understand because everything else has been wiped out - the literature, oral or written, the religion, the language, the very name of the people. And among these, few quite match the silver relics of ancient Peru for their enigmatic and poignantly dramatic presence." This article is about an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It's a shame that this article does not contain any photos.

Friday, March 2

Lycos / Reuters - See You in Court, Peru Tells Fujimori: "The order by Supreme Court judge Miguel Castaneda opens the prospect of a diplomatic tug-of-war between Peru and Japan, where the ex-president has been in self-exile since November." Justice Minsiter Diego Garcia Sayan says that "dominant citizenship" means that Fujimori's decade as president determines which side of his double nationality should weigh heavier in the balance.

Just-Style / Reuters - Peru's Prized Cotton Industry Unravels: "Valladares said the industry was also being worn out by a lack of technical support and financing, and said output this year was expected to be 50,000 tonnes - some 35,000 tonnes short of the demand needed for Peru's domestic industry alone." The decline of the cotton growing probably signals that there's serious change going on in coastal farming (no longer just sugarcane and cotton). The real impact will be felt by the textile industry.

AltaVista / Reuters - Peru Congress to quiz ex-ministers over arms deals: "No date has yet been set for the hearings, which will turn the spotlight on 12 former prime ministers, six former defense ministers and all of Fujimori's economy ministers."

USATODAY - Japan will not extradite Fujimori to Peru: "Justice Minister Masahiko Komura told reporters in Tokyo that because Fujimori possesses Japanese citizenship, Japan would not hand him over to Peru if asked to do so, according to the ministry." No surprise, but still the first official word from Japan on Fujimori's status.

New York Times - Annual Drug Report Shows Coca Growth Increase: "The overall increase in Andean coca — the raw material for cocaine — is negligible at less than 2 percent, but it highlights how drug traffickers have fled determined eradication programs in Peru and Bolivia and found haven in Colombia." The story talks about the Bush II administration doing a rethink on the certification process.

Thursday, March 1 - Peru's Toledo expresses confidence as election approaches: "Toledo, who turns 55 next month, expounds his message of job creation, fiscal discipline and free markets to the masses, his arms outstretched, savior-style. At the hustings, he has reveled in comparisons with mighty Inca warrior Pachacutec."

Yahoo / Associated Press Charges Filed Against Fujimori:"Peru's attorney general filed the first criminal charges against former President Alberto Fujimori (news - web sites) on Wednesday, accusing the ousted leader of abandonment of office and dereliction of duty." One more turn of the screw.

Confessions of a Stringer: The Sins of Bonsai Journalism touches on the risks of writing about Peru when you're new in town. It's a response to the Alberto Fuguet article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine (below).

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