Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category

Peru Is Chavismo’s Next American Target

| March 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 BY MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY For the citizens of a nation that boasts one of the world’s most spectacular long-run growth spurts since the 1990s, Peruvians are amazingly short on confidence. This country has so far repelled the authoritarian populism that has swept the South American continent since Hugo Chávez came to power in Venezuela in 1999. Its reward has been an average annual economic expansion of 5.1% for 15 years through 2014—including only 1% in 2009, when global growth collapsed, and a mediocre performance last year of just 2.4%.

Fast growth has produced a vibrant consumer class that is entrepreneurial and creative. Shopping malls, modern supermarkets and pharmacies now span this city, which is also marked by shiny office towers and small businesses. Demand for private-school education among aspirational middle-class parents is soaring as they reject the failing government system.

Credit has been expanding quickly yet with commodity prices falling and the global economy slowing, growth ... Read More

Forget Brazil. This emerging market is on the rise

| March 27th, 2015 | No Comments »
CNBC-01

By Elizabeth MacBride

Brazil, an emerging-market darling just a couple years ago, is crumbling amid economic stagnation and political turmoil. But there’s a far brighter story—one most investors are missing—elsewhere in Latin America.

Four countries—Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Chile—three years ago formed a free-trade bloc called the Pacific Alliance. Tiny Costa Rica joined the club in 2013. Together, they’re a bigger economy than Brazil, and they’re expected to grow three or four times faster than their huge neighbor over the next few years.

Brazil’s $1.7 trillion economy contracted by 0.1 percent in 2014, according to Brazilian central bank data released Thursday, and it’s seen shrinking by 0.5 percent 2015. A corruption scandal at state-controlled Petrobras, the state-controlled petroleum giant, is expected to further hobble the country’s economy.

Pacific LatAm rising Country Population GDP past 5 years Predicted 2014/2015 Mexico 115 Million 1.90% 2.4%/3.5% Colombia 47 Million 4.20% 4.8%/4.5% Peru 30 Million 5.50% 3.6%/5.1% Chile 17 Million 4% 2.0%/3.3% Costa Rica 5 Million 3.10% 3.6%/3.6%

In contrast, the five Pacific Alliance members, with a collective GDP of $2.2 trillion, are expected to grow 3.3 percent in 2014, and 4 percent in 2015. ... Read More

US GENERAL TO SENATE: TERROR GROUPS BENEFITING FROM LATIN AMERICAN DRUG TRADE

| March 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
Breibart

WASHINGTON, DC — The Iran-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah is among the terrorist organizations that are benefiting from the illegal drug trade in Latin America, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command (Southcom), told lawmakers.

Illegal drug trafficking in Latin American generates at least “tens of millions” for Hezbollah, which uses the funds to fuel its operations in the Middle East, explained the Southcom general.

During a hearing this afternoon held by the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, Ron Johnson (R-WI), the panel’s chairman, asked the general to comment on the nexus between drug traffickers and terrorist organizations in Latin America.

“Mr. Chairman certainly in a classified setting we can give you a lot more detail. Suffice it to say from open source, I think we know that in at least several occasions over the past decade and a half, terrorists have attempted ... Read More

Cleaning up Latin American democracy

| March 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

During the multitudinous demonstration against Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, in São Paulo on March 15th, a lunatic fringe chanted for a return to military rule. That was sad more than worrying. The rightists were shouted down. Their isolation served to underline how routine democracy has become in many Latin American countries in the third of a century or so since the generals returned to barracks.

That outcome was not inevitable. Compared with Europe or North America, democracy in Latin America must struggle against big obstacles, including poverty, gaping income inequality and corruption. Another is poor institutional design. Latin America combines directly elected presidents, as in the United States, with multiparty legislatures chosen by proportional representation, in the manner of many European parliamentary systems. The result has often been gridlock: weak governments have lacked majorities in legislatures unthreatened by dissolution, which induces consensus in parliamentary regimes.

These ... Read More

Peru recalls ambassador to Chile over ‘military espionage’

| March 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
BBC

The Peruvian foreign ministry said its ambassador would not return to Santiago until Chile gave assurances that the incident would not be repeated.

Peru said last month it had evidence that three members of its navy had received money from Chile to pass on confidential information.

The Chilean government says it does not engage in espionage at home or abroad.

In her Twitter account, Peruvian Prime Minister Ana Jara urged Chile to release details of an internal investigation it is carrying out.

“Until we get an explanation on the incident, we will withdraw our ambassador to Chile,” she wrote.

Border disputes

Chile said it would continue to maintain a sober attitude towards the incident.

“We are not going to make any comments on the latest diplomatic notes because their content is confidential,” said Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz.

“We respect this decision [to withdraw the ambassador], which is in the sphere of competence of the Peruvian authorities,” he ... Read More

Migrants’ remittances to Latin America grew 4 pct. in 2014

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Expatriates’ remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean increased 4 percent in 2014 to $62.3 billion, the biggest jump since the global economic crisis in 2009, the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think-tank, said Tuesday.

The largest gains went to Mexico and Central America, while several South American countries saw a decrease in remittances, due largely to the persistent economic crisis in Spain.

The overall advance in remittances to Latin America reflects improvements in the U.S. labor market, new migration patterns and the proliferation of new ways to transfer money, according to the report.

Remittances to Mexico increased 8.8 percent over 2013, while funds sent to Honduras increased 12.5 percent, and to Guatemala, 9 percent.

The Spanish economic crisis, with high levels of unemployment and falling pay, is largely responsible for decreases in remittances to Bolivia, 2.4 percent; Peru, 2.3 percent, and Colombia, which saw ... Read More

Peru recalls ambassador from Chile over spying suspicions

| February 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

(Reuters) – Peru’s President Ollanta Humala said on Saturday that he was recalling the Peruvian ambassador from Chile and would not accept “unfriendly acts” from the neighbouring Andean country amid suspicions of spying.

Peru also sent a letter of protest to Santiago following revelations this week that two Peruvian naval officials are being tried and a third investigated for allegedly spying for Chile.

“We’re waiting for an answer from the Chilean government,” Humala told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

Chile had said in a statement on Friday that it does not promote or accept spying.

Humala, who previously warned that confirmation of the spying would damage ties, said his evaluation of the Navy’s evidence merited a firmer position towards Chile.

“This government is not going to accept unfriendly acts of this nature,” Humala said. “And even less so from countries with which we’ve been ... Read More

Peru’s President Humala Shuffles Cabinet As Popularity Weakens

| February 18th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By ROBERT KOZAK LIMA, Peru—Peru’s President Ollanta Humala on Tuesday shuffled his cabinet, naming four new ministers and giving a different portfolio to another minister in an attempt to help boost the government’s flagging popularity.

A national survey released this week showed Mr. Humala’s approval rating dropping to 22% from 25% last month, due in good part to concerns about corruption and crime. Opposition members of Congress had also been threatening to censure cabinet unless the president removed some ministers.

Mr. Humala on Tuesday removed Interior Minister Daniel Urresti, who took political responsibility for violent protests in the Junin region this month against a petroleum company in which one person died and many more were injured.

The head of Peru’s prison system, Jose Luis Perez Guadalupe, was appointed to replace him, becoming the seventh minister of the interior since Mr. Humala came to office in mid-2011.

The president moved the former speaker of Congress, Fredy Otarola, to become ... Read More

The retreat of U.S. interests from Latin America has left a vacuum for the Chinese to fill

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 BY ILAN BERMAN You have to feel a bit sorry for the Obama administration. The White House in December announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, including establishing a U.S. Embassy in Havana and formally revisiting Cuba’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism. The move was a clear effort by Washington to distinguish itself in a new international theater.

But that gambit was soon eclipsed by another: In a meeting that could herald a significant shift in the Western Hemisphere’s balance of power, China hosted a high-profile summit earlier this month with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or Celac.

Celac is a relatively recent invention. Conceived in 2010 at a meeting in Caracas hosted by Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez , it is designed to deepen integration among Central and South American states—while excluding the U.S. and Canada. The 33-member bloc explicitly styles itself as an alternative to the U.S.-led Organization of ... Read More

Race on the high seas: Cartels feature new, faster smuggling boats

| January 16th, 2015 | No Comments »
FoxNews.com

By Perry Chiaramonte

Latin America’s drug cartels are leaving the U.S. Coast Guard in their wake, with new and faster speedboats law enforcement officials say are virtually undetectable by radar.

The new boats, nicknamed “Picudas,” after a tropical fish whose long, thin bodies they resemble, are made of fiberglass, making them invisible to radar and efficient with fuel. While older smuggling vessels took as long as three days to make the trip from Costa Rica to Jamaica, the Picuda can make the trip in two.

Dialogo, a newspaper published by the Pentagon’s Southern Command, quoted one Coast Guard source that called the craft “a wave-breaking go-fast wonder that defies radar detection.” The boats give the bad guys a leg up on authorities trying to cut off the flow of South American drugs, according to the article.

“They [cartels] are being forced to do something that they would rather not,” Adam ... Read More

Latin America 2015: Time for Reform

| January 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
Brookings

By Daniel Zovatto

Latin America is starting off 2015 with a clear economic slowdown. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) projects a modest recovery (2.2 per cent) with respect to last year (in 2014 growth was only 1.1 per cent, the lowest since the 2009 crisis), though these calculations may vary due to several factors.

The world economy is not helping. The downward trend in raw materials prices, scant dynamism in global demand, and the appreciation of the dollar are three factors that work against the region today.

Venezuela and Argentina, are facing very complex economic contexts. Venezuela is in the midst of stagflation (aggravated by plummeting oil prices); and Argentina is experiencing negative growth, high inflation, and the unresolved conflict with the “vulture funds.”

The two largest economies of the region, Brazil and Mexico, are facing their own demons. Brazil President Dilma ... Read More

South American nations struggle to find new economic model

| January 12th, 2015 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By John Paul Rathbone

Four years ago, when the China-driven commodity price boom was in full swing and south-south ties were all the rage, Dilma Rousseff began her first term as Brazil’s president with a symbolic gesture — jetting off to Beijing.

Now, as commodity prices collapse alongside China’s slowing economy, Ms Rousseff has begun her second presidential term by saying she wants to rebuild relations with Washington. She has barely mentioned Beijing.

The shift reflects broader changes in South America’s commodity-dependent economies, where the abrupt collapse in energy, food and metals prices has opened up dangerous trade and financing gaps that could force deep economic and political change.

In Colombia and Peru, where commodities account for two-thirds of exports, current account deficits are forecast to reach 5 per cent of gross domestic product this year — a level not seen since the 1990s when the region was associated with default.

Soya-rich ... Read More

Colombia’s FARC Profit from Illegal Gold Mining in Peru

| December 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
From In Sight

By Marguerite Cawley

A journalist in Peru has reported that Colombia‘s FARC guerrillas are profiting from the illegal gold trade inside Peru, underscoring the rebels’ cross-border activities and their deep involvement in the lucrative illegal mining business.

According to reports by Cecilia Valenzuela in El Comercio and in television program Mira Quien Habla, an alliance has existed between the 63rd Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Peruvian illegal miners operating along the Putumayo River — which divides Colombia and Peru – for at least three years.

Octavio Ortiz Ramirez, alias “Wilmer El Burro,” the head of the 63rd Front of the FARC‘s Southern Bloc, charges the Peruvian miners for protection services and logistical support, she reported.

Colombian police have identified the Colombian national Jair Manrique Pedroza as the top buyer of illegal gold from this region, according to Valenzuela. El Tiempo reported that Colombian police have also identified the people who serve as go-betweens for the FARC leaders, gold miners and buyers.

Some ... Read More

Japan’s profile rises in the Americas

| December 4th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY MIMI WHITEFIELD

As Asian rival China invests billions in Latin America and snaps up strategic commodities, Japan also is looking at the region with new interest.

Shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Latin American tour in July, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a 10-day, five-nation swing through Latin America and the Caribbean.

His trips to Mexico and Brazil were the first bilateral visits by a Japanese prime minister in a decade, and his trip to Chile was the first such visit by a Japanese prime minister since 1996. Abe’s stop-over in Port of Spain marked the first time that a Japanese prime minister had ever visited the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, and his trip to Colombia also was the first official visit for a Japanese prime minister.

In September, Abe also held a summit with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela while both were attending the U.N. General Assembly and they discussed ... Read More

Latin America, Caribbean 2014 Growth Likely Reached Only 1.1%

| December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By ROBERT KOZAK Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean likely reached only 1.1% this year, the slowest rate of expansion since 2009, but will jump back up to twice as high next year, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said.

The organization, known as Eclac, said Tuesday that Central America, including the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, will post the best expansion in gross domestic product in the region next year, rising by 4.1%. The English-speaking Caribbean will lag with an expansion of 2.2%. South America will expand 1.8% next year, it added. Overall the area will expand 2.2% in 2015, it said.

A slump in demand in developed economies and the slowing of growth in emerging economies, especially China, hit Latin America and the Caribbean nations hard this year. China has become an important trading partner, especially for raw materials, for many countries in the region.

The agency said an economic deceleration became ... Read More

Drug Cartels Find Argentina Attractive Transit Way

| November 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA and DEBORA REY

The large electrical transformers bound for Mexico were the perfect place to hide cocaine. It was a matter of chemistry to dilute the drug into an oil mixture that could be concealed as coolant, a job handled by a Mexican engineer working discretely in a suburban warehouse near Buenos Aires.

The transformers carrying 2 tons of liquefied cocaine from Bolivia were loaded onto a cargo vessel at a Buenos Aires port and shipped out to sea. But investigators had been watching the operation and when the shipment arrived, an Argentine judge was on hand to insist on a test that, to the astonishment of authorities at one of Mexico’s most secure ports, revealed the drug.

The traffickers, Judge Sandra Arroyo said, had used “an ingenious and logistically novel method for the deception.”

The interception earlier this year called attention to a worrying trend in Argentina, the increasing use ... Read More

Republicans Should Signal Leadership, at Home and Abroad

| November 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Roll Call

The 2014 midterm elections were a rejection of the policies of President Barack Obama. And the Republican takeover of the Senate is a repudiation of the gridlock in Congress symbolized by the bare-knuckles tactics of outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The new Republican Senate leadership should move swiftly to seize the high ground and signal it is ready to do the peoples’ business. Quick action on several international issues — the Keystone XL pipeline, trade promotion authority and long-delayed ambassadorial nominations — are bipartisan actions that Republicans should put on the table even before they take over in January.

Although opinion polls show voters favor Republican positions on the economy, foreign policy and security, the party’s brand needs burnishing. As Obama hints at a more confrontational tone that could undermine any hope of making Washington work, Republicans can rise above Obama’s blame game by working with Democrats on tangible initiatives to bolster America’s ... Read More

Peru to Boost Spending and Cut Red Tape to Stimulate Growth

| November 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By John Quigley 

Peru approved a third round of emergency spending increases this year and measures to speed up environmental permitting to overcome a slump in economic growth.

The government authorized 1.6 billion soles ($547 million) in additional spending, including a one-time, year-end bonus for 1.7 million state workers, as well as welfare expenditure and public works, Finance Minister Alonso Segura told reporters in Lima today.

Policy makers are struggling to stimulate an economy that in the second quarter expanded at the slowest pace since 2009 after copper and gold exports dropped and private investment stalled. The central bank last month forecast zero growth in public investment this year as corruption probes and lower revenue from mining royalties damp spending by state and local governments.

The package of measures “will continue reactivating the economy in the short term” and help make Peru the fastest growing economy in the ... Read More

Las Naciones ‘Sumergidas’ de Latinoamérica

| November 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
Folha de Sao Paulo

Líderes políticos y diplomáticos de América Latina y el Caribe saben más sobre Cuba y Venezuela que incluso los observadores más astutos en Washington. Por lo tanto, deberían saber lo que le conviene más a su región ¿no?

Entonces, ¿por qué el Grupo de América Latina y el Caribe en la ONU le dio su apoyo a Venezuela para ser el próximo representante de la región ante el Consejo de Seguridad? Y, ¿por qué están determinados en invitar a el déspota cubano Raúl Castro a la Cumbre de las Américas en Panamá en la primavera?; haciendo caso omiso de las objeciones por parte de sus socios comerciales más importantes, como Estados Unidos y Canadá.

Para muchas generaciones de latinoamericanos, Cuba fue el hogar de algunas de las mejores editoriales de lengua española en el mundo, cientos de periódicos y estaciones de radio de calidad, derechos laborales progresistas, altos niveles de alfabetización y ... Read More

Latin America’s ‘submerging nations’

| November 5th, 2014 | 2 Comments »
Folha de Sao Paulo

The political leaders and diplomats of Latin America and the Caribbean know more about Cuba and Venezuela than even the keenest observers in Washington. So, they should know better, right?

Then why did the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean at the UN designate Venezuela to take the region’s non-permanent Security Council seat?

And, why are they determined to invite Cuban despot Raúl Castro to the Summit of the Americas in Panama next spring, ignoring the objections of the leaders of the consequential trade partners in the United States and Canada?

For generations of Latin Americans, Cuba was home to some of the world’s best Spanish-language publishing houses, hundreds of quality newspapers and radio stations, progressive labor rights, the region’s highest rates of literacy and nutrition, and a robust middle class.

Then came the Castro revolution. Although some may have been caught up ... Read More

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