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Sunday, March 30

Standards and Poors Peru PNS100 Million Treasury Bonds Assigned 'BB ' Local Currency Rating; LT Ratings Affirmed: "Mr. Briozzo also noted that, looking forward, setbacks to the reform agenda or weakening of social consensus on Peru's economic management could weigh negatively on the government's creditworthiness. On the other hand, significant progress toward the adoption of a tax reform could signal improving sovereign creditworthiness." Pretty boring financial stuff, but indicative of the wait-and-see view of Peru in banking circles. At least with solid economic growth, the government can leeway to work with. A year ago, it was looking bleak.

Nasdaq / Dow Jones Peru Minister Sees Free Trade Talks Continuing With US: "In mid-March, the office of President Alejandro Toledo said that the U.S. government had agreed to evaluate the possibility of negotiating a bilateral trade accord. It also said that both countries would continue to work together to promote trade in other ways, including in negotiations aiming for the broader trade deal known as the Free Trade Area of the Americas." Chile has also followed this approach in negotiating with the United States.

Bloomberg AU Peru's Feb. Gold, Copper, Silver, Output by Companies (Table): "Peruvian mining companies reported to the Energy and Mines Ministry the following data for their February mining output compared with the same month the previous year." For those who like their data in granular form, here is a mine-by-mine accounting of mineral production in Peru.

Friday, March 28

CBS News / AP On-The-Lam Fujimori: I'll Be Back: "The former president, who has lived in exile in Japan since fleeing Peru in November 2000, also delivered a video that will be shown to supporters in Peru on Saturday. He said he filmed the 30-minute video of himself speaking earlier Friday and would transmit it to Peru via the Internet." Peruvians are going to get pretty tired of seeing videos of disgraced politicians.

Reuters IMF approves stand-by loan for Peru: "Peru's economy is seen expanding 4 percent this year by IMF officials, following an estimated 3.7 percent growth in 2002, even as most of Latin America struggled in a slow-growth environment. Last year, the region suffered its first recession in two decades." Money in the bank.

Thursday, March 27

NY Times Interpol Issues a Wanted Notice for Peru's Former President: "In a statement today, Interpol said it had issued a "red notice" because it was satisfied that Mr. Fujimori was wanted in Peru on charges of murder and kidnapping. Interpol, which has its head office in Lyons, France, said the red notice was not strictly an international arrest warrant but signaled that Mr. Fujimori was wanted and that there was cause for his arrest." Interpol clarifies the news that broke over the weekend.

Wednesday, March 26

MSNBC / AP Peru files new terrorism charges against Shining Path founder: "Manuel Fajardo, a lawyer representing Guzman and a handful of other imprisoned rebels, said he had not been notified of the new charges. A new trial for Guzman, who remains in prison, could begin in four months, a spokesman from the attorney general's office said Tuesday."

NY Times / AP Interpol Calls for Arrest of Peru's Ex-Leader: "Interpol's 'Red Notice' issued Wednesday cannot force countries to arrest or extradite a suspect, but announces that the Lyon-based international police organization is satisfied that an arrest is justified. The notice referred to murder charges against Fujimori for allegedly authorizing a paramilitary death squad responsible for two massacres of suspected rebel collaborators in the early 1990s." This is probably not going to budge the Japanese government.

Tuesday, March 25

MSNBC / Reuters Peru court to mull civilian retrial for top rebel: "The court has three days to open an investigatory stage, at the end of which it must decide whether to launch a public retrial in a civilian court on terrorism charges or to shelve the case, the official said. If the court decides not to start a retrial, Guzman could go free, but the government and judges have said this would not happen." Abimael will probably get a new day in court.

Monday, March 24

Guardian Peru's Ex-Spy Chief Montesinos Convicted: "Montesinos' second public trial -on embezzlement charges for giving a mayoral candidate $25,000 in public funds for a 1998 campaign - continues on Tuesday." A little more detail than the previous story.

NY Times Peruvian Spy Chief Convicted in First of His Trials: "A closed court in July had sentenced Mr. Montesinos to a nine-year prison term for illegally taking control of Peru's spy agency during the corruption-riddled presidency of Mr. Fujimori, who fled into exile in 2000." Vladimiro gets his first reservation for prison space.

Sunday, March 23 / KRN Deportation affected ethnic Japanese in at least 12 Latin countries: "The U.S.-backed plan broke up families, and ruined businesses. Eventually, 2,264 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry, mostly living in Peru, were brought to U.S. internment camps against their will. U.S. officials confiscated their passports, leaving them stateless. Many were barred from returning to Latin America when the war ended, their lives shattered. The tale has pertinent echoes today as war drums sound anew and Americans look upon a different ethnic group with uneasiness, animosity and even paranoia." The feature story appeared originally in the Miami Herald, but I can't find it there. It's a pretty comprehensive account of the round up of Japanese living in Peru at the start of World War II, and their internment in the US.

When Fujimori was elected president in 1990, the plight of the WWII Japanese internment camps was put in the spotlight in Peru and elsewhere. The relationship between Fujimori, the Nisei community, the Peruvian elite and the broader public were strongly singed by this experience.

Needless to say, it's all a tale of caution for today.

Saturday, March 22

Washington Post Back in Washington, Peru's Danino Inhabits 'A Whole New World': "Roberto Danino, who served as Peru's prime minister for a year after Alejandro Toledo was elected president in July 2001, is back in Washington, this time as ambassador. The previous incarnation of the Harvard-educated lawyer here was as a partner in the international department of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, and as a player in the private sector on various corporate boards." I missed this little piece about Bobby Danino's return to his old stomping ground. I met him at the opening of the Peruvian Art Exhibit at the Peruvian Embassy a few weeks ago. He remembered me from my old days at Andean Report.

Washington Post Coca Trade Booming Again in Peru: "For the first time, the U.S. and Peruvian governments this year intend to pull up coca crops by force in the Apurimac and Upper Huallaga river valleys, unless peasants agree to eradicate their crops in return for financial assistance. Until now, most forced eradication has been confined to remote secondary producing regions safe from mass peasant mobilization. The Apurimac and Upper Huallaga, by contrast, are the two primary sources of Peruvian coca and historic redoubts of guerrilla insurgency." A new Post correspondent, Scott Wilson, gets to do his first coca-growing story -- same facts, but a different time frame.

Success is so sweet

For the past 10 months, the archives of this weblog have not been updating. It tried everything I knew. I searched the site for help. I asked for help -- no response because the staff was overworked and then bought out by The feedback from the system was that the files were being FTPed correctly to my web server, but I could not see the results. The archives (the older entries of the blog) were unchanged, immutable since May 5, last year. It was then that I had upgraded account to the Pro version.

This week, I chanced across the answer by accident. I had to do some housekeeping on the server because I had run out of storage space. I discovered that my blog files were being uploaded elsewhere on the server. What a relief. I have just completed the technical changes to the configuration of the blog account so that the files will be deposited in the correct folder.

While I'm at it, I might as well apologize for the scattering of entries this year to the blog. I have been on the home stretch of my Masters of Science in Information Technology at the University of Maryland University College. I am now taking the last course, called the Capstone, and will finish up on April 12. I will graudate on May 17. Eighteen months of sweat, tears and privation will have come to an end. Studies have consumed most of my non-work time, though I've tried to keep going to the gym so that I don't get fat and weak from staring at a computer screen all day.

A lot of my web efforts have gone into my program website that got me an A+ and the recognition as the best site of all my classmates. The site will be around for only a few more months because the university site administrators will erase the student sites. I will probably move the contents to my personal site under a special domain. I wanted to make the site into a kind of open notebook of my learning process and also a lasting record of my classmates. Some place where we can keep track of each other over the coming years.

Tuesday, March 18

Reuters Solano dreams of World Cup berth with Peru: "Newcastle United's Nolberto Solano is determined to do his best to help Peru reach the 2006 World Cup finals. But he bemoans a lack of ambition in the Peruvian game and a failure to nurture existing talent and build a team worthy of succeeding Teofilo Cubillas's brilliant generation of the 1970s." A very complete story about the travails of the Peruvian national footbal team.

NY Times 'Lost City' Yielding Its Secrets: "Instead, Machu Picchu was one of many private estates of the emperor and, in particular, the favored country retreat for the royal family and Inca nobility. It was, archaeologists say, the Inca equivalent of Camp David, albeit on a much grander scale." The story shows how the recent research has debunked most of Hiram Bingham's theories about the Inca site. There is a major exhibit at Yale this spring.

Sunday, March 9

CNN / AP Interpol reissues Fujimori warrant: "Interpol reissued an international arrest warrant charging former Peru President Alberto Fujimori with murder after receiving additional information from the government, officials said Saturday. Interpol suspended the original warrant February 27 and gave Peruvian officials 14 days to provide evidence tying Fujimori to a paramilitary death squad and to demonstrate that the charges were not politically motivated."

Friday, March 7

Global Wireless Perú increases customer base by 25 percent
: "The cellular market penetration in Perú currently stands at 8 percent compared with the 6-percent fixed teledensity, of which Telefónica is almost completely in control." It's faster and cheaper to sell electronic gadgets than install copper wire.

CNN / AP Peru wants Yale to give back relics: "The Peabody Museum's web site says the artifacts became part of its collection 'by agreement with the Peruvian government.' The government permitted Bingham to take the relics with him, 'but the temporary character of the loan was never discussed,' Rodriguez said." I remember talking to archaeologists at Machu Picchu who deeply resented that the best artifacts had been taken to New Haven and they really could not mount a good site museum. Luckily for Peru, the setting and the stone architecture could not be uprooted 90 years ago.

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