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Saturday, April 30

An analysis of social repercussions of coca and drug trafficking in the Andes

International Crisis Group Coca, Drugs and Social Protest in Bolivia and Peru: "Bolivia and Peru are becoming a second, though compared to Colombia still relatively small-scale, pole of cocaine production in the Andes, feeding in particular a growing Latin American market in addition to the traditional U.S. and European markets. At least as significantly, the policies emphasised there in pursuit of the U.S.-led war on drugs are aggravating social tensions with potentially explosive results for the extremely fragile democratic institutions of both countries. If these trends are to be reversed, new and better funded policies are needed that put greater emphasis on alternative development and institution building, less on forced eradication, and that demonstrate more sensitivity to local culture. The proposed new U.S. budget, however, goes in the wrong direction." This report came to me via the Klephblog who is down in Peru in the middle of this mess. The report is available in Spanish and English and is online in PDF format. It contains recommendations.

This is the first time that I've heard of the International Crisis Group. Looking at its selfportrait, it seems to be a big operation with offices all over the world. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Wednesday, April 27

World Bank country profile

The World Bank has a country portal with tons of information that you should bookmark if you want to dig up statistics or background information. All the information is in English, as far as I can tell.

Friday, April 15

Peru moves to avoid being blacklisted for Machu Picchu's decline

Guardian Unlimited £70m plan to save lost Inca city: "Mr Van Oers said Unesco had expressed its concerns about the site to the Peruvian government through informal channels for about 10 years. He blamed a lack of governmental coordination, rather than active resistance, for the delayed response. 'There are just so many people involved - the cultural ministry and the tourism authorities, the environment ministry, urban planning - they all have different mandates and different interests,' he said. 'Things reached a limit last year.'" The tourist route to Machu Picchu is a kind of black hole pulling all travellers into its gravity. It also puts an enormous amount of stress on an environment that is not prepared for this volume of traffic. Peru definitely needs some kind of "adult supervision" for this cultural heritage simply because in the grand scale of things, there are more pressing problems for the Peruvian government, given its limited capacity to chew gum and walk at the same time.

Monday, April 11

Newsletter from Washington Embassy

The Peruvian Embassy in Washington is bringing out an e-mail bulletin that is also available on its website. It gives a rundown of top news of the major media in Lima, as well as links to some of the most interesting publications.

It is published only in Spanish, but is a convenient way for following events in Lima.

A dose of statistics

The United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report on Peru gives a good cross-section of information about Peru's quality of life. Health, education, gender, aid flows and other data is available. You can also build your own on this page.

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