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Friday, August 31 - Peru: Mining Companies Invade Andean Cloud Forests: "Manhattan has claimed 87,000 hectares in 97 concessions in the area. By comparison, the cultivated region of Tambo Grande is 50,000 hectares. The mining concession includes 27 percent of the carob bean, or algorroba, forest of Piura state, an economically important, healthful and ecologically compatible agricultural product. Carob beans become a chocolate substitute in products for the health food market worldwide." The title is a bit misleading because it had to see Piura's dry landscape as a forest but it may be an ecological term. Major mining digs on the western slopes of the Andes could break the delicate watershed.

Thursday, August 30

Financial Times Peru steps up pressure for Fujimori's return: "However, some analysts said the rush to bring charges and the apparent lack of hard evidence could weaken the case against Mr Fujimori. The onus remained on Peru to construct a stronger case. Mr Fujimori, who has denied all wrongdoing, posted a message on his website this week saying Congress was trying to invent a case against him so as to have him jailed for life."

Human Rights Watch Peru: Fujimori Immunity Vote Hailed: "'If Japan wants to demonstrate its commitment to human rights and international principles of justice, then it has to show it will not grant safe haven for those accused of serious human rights crimes,' [Americas Division Executive Director José Miguel] Vivanco said. 'It is imperative that Japan cooperate with the Peruvian government in the judicial resolution of the charges against former President Fujimori.'" It's no surprise that international human rights groups support Peru's initiative -- they've joisted with Fujimori for most of a decade.

Wednesday, August 29

SFWeekly Heart's Content: "Mi Lindo Peru: It's where Peruvians go for comfort food and the rest of us go for exotic fare, and where everyone walks away happy and full." Peruvian cuisine wins more converts, thank to this restaurant, owned by Miyahira family, in California.

BBC 'Weaker' El Niño is coming: "However, speaking at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva, the researchers forecast a much weaker El Niño than the one that took hold during 1997 and 1998." It's back!

Tuesday, August 28

Reno Gazette-Journal Carson poet surprised by $5,000 fellowship: "The 45-year-old Carson City resident had only started writing in earnest again about three years ago after a 10-year hiatus. An even bigger concern was that the Lima, Peru, native writes his poems in Spanish. Chavez only began translating his work into English less than a year ago." A Peruvian poet wins acclaim for his poetry in Nevada.

The Guardian / AP Peru Wants Return of Fujimori: "Japan signed an international treaty against torture in 1999, but it is only obliged to hand over suspects accused of torture that took place after the country joined the pact, the official said. The charges this week against Fujimori will be for death squad killings in 1991 and 1992. The official also said that since Japan has not signed the U.N. treaty on international human rights tribunals, it would not be authorized to extradite Fujimori to an international human rights court such as the one in The Hague, Netherlands." Japan responds to Peru's move to bring tougher charges against Fujimori.

Monday, August 27

Yahoo / AP Fujimori Could Face Homicide Charge: "The constitutional accusation cites testimony from former military chiefs, former intelligence agents and a secretly filmed videotape from 1998 in which Montesinos tells two former officials that the Colina massacres 'came from' Fujimori." Another story raising the curtain on this congressional session.

Yahoo / Reuters Peruvian Congress Set to Charge Fujimori Over Massacres: "With wide cross-party support for trying Fujimori, Congress' decision was virtually a foregone conclusion, paving the way for Peru to press the most serious criminal charges yet against the hard-line former president who held power from 1990 to 2000." The government is going to have to have convincing evidence of Fujimori's involvement in the incidents. Just Montesinos's word is not going to make the Japanese government hand over the former president.

Financial Times Peru approves economic measures: "Prime Minister Roberto Dañino, who set out the government's strategy to fight poverty and create jobs, said the government will cut the payroll tax paid by companies to 2 per cent from 5 per cent and abolish it entirely within a year. However, he gave no date for when sales tax would also be cut." Congress did not approve a request for executive powers for issuing legislative changes quickly.

Tax-News Cayman Government Freezes Peruvian Money, Caymannetnews: "The money is reported to be in millions of dollars and the Attorney General said that freezing of the assets was in response to requests from the Peruvian Government." Vladimiro Montesinos had one of his accounts discovered -- less money for his legal defense fund.

BBC Search for Peru anti-drugs flight: "The A-37B plane crashed into the sea off the northern coast near Ecuador around 1430 local time (1930 GMT) on Thursday, the air force said." No news yet on the search turning up survivors or wreckage.

Sunday, August 26

Going back to school
I have been accepted at the University of Maryland University College's Graduate School to pursue a Master's of Science in Information Technolgy. It's a neat program that allows me to take classes on Saturdays or over the Internet for the next 18 months. I am really excited and challenged by the idea of gaining a formal education. I've been flying by the seat of my pants for the past three-four years but any more of this improv could get me into deep trouble. Anything I learn I can immediate apply at my OAS job and elsewhere.

The intensive study schedule will mean that I have to pull back on some of my commitment for this web site, my outside consulting and other web activities. I will try to steal time and ideas as best I can.

A year ago, I would not have had the self-confidence and energy to accept this kind of intellectual challenge. Nor would I have had the financial leeway to do it, but a lot has changed in the past two months to swing this more ambitious gameplan. It's a kind of breakthrough and breakout.

Friday, August 24

Financial Times Peru plans to fight poverty with prudence: "All week, Mr Dañino has been talking with opposition leaders in a bid to build a mood of consensus for his proposals. While the parties said they would support the plan, they have threatened to vote against the request for special legislative powers. Ousted President Alberto Fujimori's authoritarian government was granted sweeping executive powers in the 1990s." Every incoming government asks for special powers.

CNN Peru compensates relatives for 1991 massacre: "Peru has agreed to pay $3.3 million in compensation to four survivors and the relatives of 15 people murdered by a state-sponsored death squad in a massacre 10 years ago. President Alejandro Toledo and Justice Minister Fernando Olivera handed over checks Wednesday for $2,000 to the survivors and family members, promising to give the remainder of $175,000 to each by next year." This is the first time in Peru's history that anything like this has happened. And at $177,000 per person, it's not just a symbolic gesture.

Wednesday, August 22

Financial Times Peru plea on drug patrols: "Flights were stopped in April following the shooting down of a US missionary aircraft in April. Diego Garcia Sayan, Peru's foreign minister, said Peru wanted Washington to specify the dates for when the aerial anti-drugs patrols could begin again." Ten years ago, Diego Garcia Sayan was a big critic of US anti-drug policy. Now he's pushing a policy that looks favorably on US involvement. I wonder if he has evolved or US policy has changed. That's a rhetorical question.

Tuesday, August 21

Miami Herald Opium poppy discovered in Peru: "[Assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and narcotics affairs Rand]Beers said he didn't have solid figures on how much opium poppy has been discovered in Peru, but that traffickers there also seem to want to broaden their sources of income." Scare tactics for the drug war.

iWon / Reuters Chile rejects Peruvian complaints about arms plans: "Chile's navy chief, Adm. Miguel Vergara, denied Peruvian assertions that Chile was trying to gain military superiority with 10 modern F-16 fighters it hopes to buy from the United States." $700 million in modern technology is going to have an impact beyond Chile's borders. The article also mentions $1.6 billion for new frigates over 20 years.

Final Chapter
I watched the final double episode of the HBO series Six Feet Under. I loved it. It's courageous television, creative, inspiring and proof that PBS does not have to the refuge of good viewing in the States. I also love The Sopranos so quality is clearly not a fluke.

Monday, August 20

iWon / Reuters Chile judge rules Peruvian airline can fly again: "The court said there was a lack of evidence that the four, three Chileans and a Peruvian, were involved in money laundering, although an investigation into the allegations continued." I wonder if someone will cover the lost income for Aero Continente.

Sunday, August 19

iWon / Reuters Sex Drive Flagging? Pop the 'Miracle' Maca: "The powerful plant, cultivated for more than two millennia in the harsh high Andes at altitudes of more than 13,200 feet, is the basis of a nutritional supplement often dubbed 'Peruvian ginseng' which, the study found, can also cut stress, boost energy and well-being and increase fertility." Another score for Peru's biodiversity.

APEP online
I have posted a page about the Foreign Press Association of Peru Special g c i 275 feature (APEP) that reminisces about my time in the organization. A colleague told me that Nicole Bonnet, the correspondent for Le Monde, died earlier this year. She was a true lover of Peru and a tough journalist. APEP recently acquired a new domain, which made me lose track of them. I had added the site onto La Lista Special g c i 275 feature as well.

Retro Economics
Richard Webb has been appointed the new president of the Central Reserve Bank. Webb held the same post during the Belaunde adminsitration (1980-85). Since then, he has been doing research and consulting work with the World Bank. International finance markets should like this selection. Webb is a real straight arrow and quiet spoken, though some might grumble about his policies. Let's see if he has learned anything in the past 15 years.

Yahoo / Reuters Peru's Fujimori Accused of Montesinos Payoff: "'This is an accusation for overseeing a secret decree, signed by (ministers) to give (Vladimiro) Montesinos $15 million to leave the country,' congressman Javier Diez Canseco told Reuters, adding the accusation needed to be approved by Congress before being sent to the Supreme Court." Building up the government's case against Fujimori.

Saturday, August 18

Yahoo / Reuters Peru's Fujimori Accused in Montesinos Payoff: "The funds signed for the ex-spy chief were purportedly destined to beef up Peru's northern border with Colombia. But instead, the money -- $1.5 million for every year Montesinos served Fujimori -- allegedly went to making sure he left Peru." The $15 million was a kind of golden parachute to get Montesinos to leave his government post and the country.

Dallas Morning News Changing mission: More storytelling, less sermonizing mark more sensitive approach to indigenous peoples: "He decided to experiment with a technique first developed by New Tribes Mission of Florida, a nondenominational group – telling stories instead of preaching sermons. Then stationed in the Andes, Mr. Ammons trained Peruvians to retell Bible stories in their rural communities. Not only did the stories go out, but the storytellers also returned for more." Long, interesting story abou taking the gospel to the Asheninka in the Amazon.

Friday, August 17

AFXPress Toledo says Chile investments in Peru safe despite ruling for firm to close: "Toledo was speaking after the Lima municipality withdrew the operating licence of the plant of Chilean noodles manufacturer Lucchetti in the Peruvian capital area, citing environmental grounds. The municipality gave Lucchetti 12 months to move its plant from its current location close to an ecological plant." A Chilean dollar is as good as a U.S. dollar when it comes to investment.

Yahoo / Reuters Toledo joins in peace demo at Latam summit: "Toledo, who has made cuts in regional arms sales a priority since he was elected in July, stood with two protesters, including a Chilean member of parliament, who unfurled a banner saying 'Cuts In Military Spending. More Money for Health and Education.'" Toledo may want to avoid in gestures in Chile and concentrate on getting on good terms with Lagos.

Yahoo / Reuters Peru Recovers $18 Million Linked to Montesinos: "It was the biggest sum yet in a total of $23 million so far repatriated in a probe into Montesinos, who allegedly subverted Peru's congress, courts, media and military for a decade under disgraced ex-President Alberto Fujimori, the official said."

CNN / Reuters Peru Congress suspends 2 Fujimori loyalists: "It is the first time Peru's Congress has taken such a measure. One legislator voted against the move, three abstained, and the rest were not present [65 voted in favor], [Carmen] Lozada and [Luz] Salgado said they would go to the Inter-American Human Rights Court to protest their removal." The article does not provide enough information to know why Congress took this action. Just being in a Montesinos video is not enough to disqualify you from holding a seat.

The Guardian / AP Rebels Suspected in Peru Blackout: "The electricity towers toppled Wednesday afternoon after giant bolts holding them in place on concrete platforms were removed, said a spokesman at power company Electrocentro, who declined to give him name." This is not your typical sabotage attack with a Sendero signature. SL would blow the damn things up, not remove a bolt so that they topple over in the wind. Then again, maybe SL is low on dynamite.

Thursday, August 16

Yahoo / Reuters Lima seeks to shut Chile's Lucchetti plant: "Mayor Alberto Andrade has presented a motion to the city council to shut the Lucchetti plant, built on a nature reserve in the south of the capital in 1998... The motion was scheduled to be debated on Thursday by the 39 members of the city council, 28 of whom belong to Andrade's Somos Peru party." The plant cost $40 million to build and has been a point of contention for the past four or five years. Chile has few friends in Peru after a court shut down Peruvian airline Aero Continente's operations in Chile recently.

Wednesday, August 15

Forbes / Reuters Peru's top textile firm wants duty-free US sales: "Daneliuc said if the United States approves duty-free entry for textiles and apparel from Andean countries -- like those that Central America and the Caribbean now enjoy -- San Cristobal could boost annual exports from $50 million to $85 million by 2006." What dire straits! Having to wait for the U.S. Senate to act in order to improve the textile business.

Forbes Peru looks to serve up pisco with tripled output: "Only 2,470 acres of Peru's 24,700 grape-sown acres are now dedicated to pisco. Some 4,941 acres go to wine production and the rest to fruit. Fernando Aguirre, an official from the Commission for the Promotion of Exports and coordinator of a national pisco board, told Reuters that with the right mix of marketing and industry support, that could hit 7,412 acres." This escalation should endanger world peace and sobriety. Bus strike in Peruvian capital strands thousands - August 14, 2001: "Three public transport unions called the one-day strike to protest new efforts by the city of Lima to collect overdue fines for traffic violations. The city's three other main unions decided late Monday not to participate in the strike after reaching a deal with authorities to establish a commission to study the complaints." Ah, just like in the good ol' days. Somethings, like cursing micro drivers, never change in Peru.

Yahoo / AP Toledo Changes Peru Military Chiefs: "At the head of the air force, Lt. Gen. Jorge del Carpio replaces Gen. Miguel Angel Medina. In the navy, Vice Adm. Alfredo Palacios replaces Adm. Luis Vargas. And Gen. Victor Bustamante replaces Gen. Jose Cacho in the army." Are we playing musical chairs?

Sunday, August 12

Knowledge Storage
The Quipu - Disk Drive of the Ancient Inca provides an introduction into quipus as a recording keeping system. Pretty clear summary for a non-specialists.

Lycos / Reuters NOAA Sees Weak or Moderate El Nino Late in Year: "The center's Vernon Kousky said in a report which appeared on the agency's Web site that sea-surface temperatures (SST) have been rising steadily since February and will likely continue to rise for the remainder of 2001 and into the first half of 2002." Watch out; flooding and landslides early next year could reverse any economic recovery.

Miami Herald Is Alejandro Toledo Peru's last, best hope?: "Over the past 30 years, Peru has tried just about every type of government, in the process living under military regimes and leftist and conservative democratically elected presidents. All of those governments failed, and in the process, Peruvians have suffered through hyper inflation, a siege by guerrilla armies and human-rights abuses by the government. Today, Peruvians are as poor as they were in 1970, with half the population -- 12 million people -- living per day on what we spend buying a Big Mac." This story should have appeared two weeks ago. Now it comes out a bit flat. There are more policy specific issues now.

Saturday, August 11

Forbes / Retuers Peru's Kuczynski announces 9 pct public wage hike: "According to Saturday's Gestion newspaper, the banker said the hike -- a key pledge during Toledo's campaign -- would cost 600 million soles ($171 million) in one year." Part of the initial policy package to get the economy rolling again.

iWon / Reuters Peru says IMF mission to size up economy: "The mission, due to arrive on Wednesday, will also discuss the Toledo administration's plans to pull the stagnant $54 billion mining- and fishing-based economy out of its funk, the official added. The official gross domestic product (GDP) goal for 2001 -- agreed upon with the IMF -- is 1.5 percent, but most economists say that will fall out of reach. The economy contracted 1.7 percent in the first half." The Toledo administration gets its first IMF review.

World Bank Telecom Subsidies - Output-Based Contracts for Rural Services in Peru: "In Peru private telecommunications operators bid for the minimum government subsidy to provide pay phone service to the poor in targeted rural areas... Early pilot results show that the private investment mobilized is twice the subsidy provided." The Peruvian government and the World Banks are looking for innovative ways to channel subsidies while getting private enterprise involved. The content is in an Adobe Acrobat file (158 kb).

Friday, August 10

The Scotsman Online Peru’s fallen Rasputin opens his wallet for judges: "Peru's imprisoned spymaster has tried to cut a deal with judges: a cool $100 million (£70 million) in exchange for a prison transfer and for charges against his wife and daughter to be dropped." Nice to know that Montesinos is so loyal to his family.

Yahoo / AP Perez de Cuellar accepts France post: "Perez de Cuellar told Peru's CPN radio that he plans to accept the post in France, where he has lived for much of the last decade." Rewarded for services rendered.

iWon / Reuters Telinfor says Peru's Telefonica triggered losses: "The complaint comes after AT&T Latin America said in June it would sue Telefonica for 'anti-competitive practices.' Telefonica rejected that suit as unfounded." The Spanish transnational telecom company is not winning respect from among its competitors.

FinancialWeb "Mr. David Safeer, Iomega's Latin American manager, informed that the company's products are present in 2 of every 100 PC's that are sold in the country." Makes me want to run out and buy a ZipDrive.

BBC Peru official denies spy chief links: "US Treasury intelligence sources have traced what they call "suspicious operations" in bank accounts involving the two men in 1995 and 1996. Mr [Ketin} Vidal denies any wrongdoing, saying he has never had an account outside Peru." The former Interior Minister responds.

Thursday, August 9

iWon / Reuters At least two killed in southern Peru quake: "The civil defense officials said 75 percent of houses in Antabamba and nearby Mollebamba [sic] had collapsed." The only communications with this area is via ham radio operators.

Yahoo / Reuters Peru Official Who Snared Montesinos Probed: "Former Interior Minister Antonio Ketin Vidal, hailed when he brought Montesinos to Lima in June after a surprise arrest in Venezuela, will be probed for 'illicit enrichment' on reports he received money from the intelligence adviser in 1995-96, La Republica newspaper said. According to La Republica, Attorney General Nelly Calderon received a report from U.S. Treasury intelligence sources alerting of 'suspicious' transactions in a U.S. bank between Montesinos and Ketin Vidal." No more heroes?

Yahoo / APPeru Police, Rebels Clash; 16 Killed: "(Interior Minister) Fernando Rospigliosi told Radioprogramas radio station that the clash occurred Tuesday after a police patrol encountered a band of drug traffickers and guerrillas in the Amazon province of Satipo, 190 miles northeast of the capital, Lima." The Toledo administration gets its baptism of fire -- and blood.

Dallas Morrning News Toledo's moment - Peruvian president can make more history: "But symbolism gets one only so far. Some Peruvian Indians on hand for the ceremony said that, while they appreciate that Mr. Toledo is proud of his indigenous roots, what concerns them most is whether he can deliver on promises to stabilize Peru and improve the lives of the people who live there." U.S.. op-ed pages love Andean priests performing ageless rites. Toledo's gesture at Machu Picchu has at least caught their attention.

Wednesday, August 8

ZWire Taking hope to Peru's children: "While in Peru, the medical staff performed 176 corrective surgeries on 123 on patients as young as three months old to adults in nine days." I think Delaware County is in eastern Pennsylvania where the plastic surgeons and supprot staff came from.

For a laugh
Carlín (Carlos Tovar) is a political cartoonist whose drawings are branded on my brain, thanks to Monos y Monadas, El Idiota and other rags. See the samples from the late 1970s and 1980s when political figures provided plenty of inspiration. It's not clear if the four books mentioned on the site are still available or if you can order them over the Internet. Maybe Carlín can resurrect some of his drawings of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski?

Bloomberg Peru' Toledo Expects Economic Growth as Low as 0.6% This Year: "Gestion newspaper, quoting Reuters and Ansa news agencies, said Toledo and confirmed that the budget deficit may widen to as much as 2.2 percent at the end of 2001." The government is moving into the action phase to stimulate a stalled economy. Library helps journalists understand past: "Having a collection that reflects the political and journalistic history of Peru helps to foreign journalists trying to develop a clear understanding of the country. Demand is great for information on media and government corruption and ethics, so the library has concentrated on expanding its collection with resources focusing on these subjects. The collection holds legal cases regarding press freedom in Peru, as well as cases concerning human rights and journalism ethics." Forming solid, principled journalists is a tough assignment in Peru.

NY Times Four Peruvian Publications Honored: "The IAPA Grand Prize for Press Freedom will be presented to the Peruvian newspapers El Comercio, La Republica and La Industria de Trujillo and the magazine Caretas at the press association's 57th annual general assembly Oct. 12-16 in Washington, D.C." These four did not sell out to Montesinos and Fujimori when it counted.

Miami Herald / AP Peru, Colombia want U.S. to resume anti-drug support: "Peruvian officials said this week's report confirmed their view that the shoot-down was caused by language difficulties between the pilots of a Peruvian fighter and a U.S. intelligence plane." Colombia and Peru want to resume interception flights along their border to stop trafficking.

Tuesday, August 7

Folk Art
Universidad del Pacífico Exposición del arte popular peruano makes a thorough review of folk art, from Ayacucho retablos (minature sculptures) and Huancayo mates (carved gords), plus other treasures. It also has background music adapted from composers Celso Garrido Lecca and Roberto Márquez. Folk art is not static, but changes in response to social conditions -- and the tourism market. Tracking those changes can be revealing. Check out my story on arpillera naif art. In Spanish but good photographs makes it worth the visit for those who cannot read the text. / Reuters Chile execs face corruption appeal-Peru prosecutor : "A video secretly filmed by Montesinos in 1998 and aired in Peru's Congress this year showed the spy chief in a private meeting with a senior Lucchetti official, allegedly assuring him of a favorable outcome in a legal wrangle over the construction of a factory near a nature reserve in Lima." This case predates the latest legal feud between Peru and Chile over the Aero Continente airline accused of money laundering.

The Guardian / AP Peru's Toledo Seeks Fujimori's Return: "Toledo, who took office on July 28, promised Fujimori a fair and transparent trial, saying he would invite observers from the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the Inter-American Human Rights Court to monitor the proceedings." Just having observers does not necessarily satisfy everyone's standard of fairness; just ask Lori Berenson and her family.

Monday, August 6

iWon / Reuters Peru budget deficit goal said 2.2 pct GDP in 2001: "Kuczynski has said he expects tough negotiations on macroeconomic targets with a mission from the Fund in Lima next month but has made clear he expects the Washington-based agency to show Peru some latitude." But what are a few percentage points among friends?

Just-Style PERU: Peru Textiles Industry Demands Duty-Free US Entry: "Peru's textile sector - which includes prized top-quality cotton - grew at the rate of 25 per cent in the 1990s and domestic sales reached $900m. They are now half that. (Peruvian textile leader David) Lemor estimated that more than half of the country's textile firms were paralyzed or had gone to the wall." Although manufacturers tend to whine to get attention from the government, the plight of the textile industry seems pretty bad.

Sunday, August 5

Yahoo / Reuters Peru's Fujimori Says He Was Right to Stay in Japan: "Fujimori, who says he would not get a fair hearing if he returned, said he did his duty as president by controlling rebel wars, hyperinflation, improving education, securing peace with Ecuador and Chile. He said he made the right decision. 'I was not wrong when I decided to stay in Tokyo,' he said, adding that it facilitated an orderly political transition." So much for public service.

Saturday, August 4

U.S. Department of State Peru Investigation Report: The April 20, 2001 Peruvian Shootdown Accident: "Key participants involved in the April 20, 2001 incident narrowly viewed their respective command and control roles and did not individually consider their actions from a broader, overall perspective." The full report about the bungle in the jungle.

LA Times Ancient and Modern Power: "The Stanford-educated economist honored his Indian heritage with the gesture. But he will also need help from the World Bank, where he used to work, the International Monetary Fund, which greatly influences Peru's economic policy, and the United States." An op-ed piece that endorses Toledo's use of shamans and encourages Washington (Bush, IMF and World Bank) to make magic happend for Peru.

Washington Post Sloppy Start in the Andes: "But as The Post's Karen DeYoung reported this week, once a report came back pointing to systematic breakdowns of training, communications and safeguards in Peru, officials sat on the results -- delaying both the promised accountability to Congress and necessary decisions about corrective action." This op-ed pieces slaps the Bush Administration's wrist for its handling of the missionary plane shootdown incident.

Friday, August 3

The Guardian / AP Peru Ex-Spy Wants CIA Help: "Judge Jimena Cayo said Vladimiro Montesinos' lawyer gave her the names of two CIA agents who the former spymaster claims will vouch for the fact that he had nothing to do with a ring that parachuted at least 10,000 assault rifles to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia." Good luck in getting cooperation from the CIA, which will want to avoid all mention of its lies to Peru's spy master.

NY Times Mistakes Cited in Downing of Plane in Peru: "While the report did not assign blame, it described how the Peruvians and the Americans involved kept talking past one another and failed to process adequately crucial information even when they did understand one another. Above all, the report shows how a series of seemingly small errors on what should have been a routine flight cascaded into the fatal shooting." Another summary of the State Department report.

Thursday, August 2

Washington Post Report Issued in Plane's Downing: "The jet pilot made no attempt to fly in front of Donaldson and waggle his wings, instructing him to land as prescribed by international aviation accords. Flying behind, where Donaldson could not see him, he fired warning shots above the missionary plane. But the fighter's nose was pointed toward the sky, as the pilot tried to avoid stalling at Donaldson's slow speed, so the missionaries never saw the shots passing above their plane." More details about how the tragedy came to pass.

Yahoo / Reuters Report Shows Why Peru Shot Down Missionary Plane: "But perhaps the biggest surprise in the report is that the Peruvian fighter co-pilot correctly reported the registration number of Donaldson's plane -- OB-1408 -- at least eight minutes before the fighter opened fire on the missionaries. The crew of the U.S. surveillance plane, including the Peruvian who traveled with them, did not hear this message because they were busy with other conversations." There are lots of reasons why shooting down civilian planes is frowned on internationally.

Yahoo / Reuters Peru Orders Arrest of 'Absent Criminal' Fujimori: "Investigators say they suspect Fujimori of involvement in broader corruption but so far he faces only the dereliction of duty charges... The dereliction of duty charges -- which even judicial sources admit are feeble since they carry only a two-year sentence and lesser jail terms are sometimes waived in Peru -- are the only formal ones against Fujimori." Bad boy.

FT MarketWatch Peru's ex-prez launches Web site from Japan exile: "Fujimori's site is still under construction, offering little more than a handful of photos and a few op-ed-style pieces commenting on recent developments in Peru. Judging from the tone of his remarks, Al appears to be one frustrated former head of state who's feeling a mite under-appreciated. Never known for having much of a soft touch in office, he remains characteristically defiant when describing his presidency." Some are noticing Fujimori's personal site.

Washington Post Broken Records That Bear Repeating: "It is hard to quantify a country's zeal for Guinness fame, although a comparison of Peru's entries with those of its neighbors shows it to be the clear winner. Excluding feats achieved in organized sporting events, Peru has two entries for 'human achievement' to zero for Colombia, Chile and Ecuador. Brazil, a country with six times the population, has only one comparable entry: the world's largest tablecloth." Societies compensate for their weaknesses in mysterious ways.

Wednesday, August 1

CNN / Reuters Peru's Toledo courts armed forces: "Seeking conciliation with Peru's traditionally powerful armed forces after announcing plans for a reorganization, new President Alejandro Toledo told military commanders on Tuesday he wanted to work with them in rebuilding the country and fighting poverty." Just having civilians in charge of each branch of the armed forces means that Toledo has earned the resentment of most officers. He's going to have to find a way to win them over.

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