Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category

Rising Dragon? The Chinese Mafia Threat in Latin America

| October 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
From In Sight

By David Gagne

Chinese mafia operations in Latin America are little understood, but a recent report on these groups in Argentina illustrates how they make their presence felt via extortion, human smuggling rings, and the occasional murder. As China deepens its economic relationship with Latin America, it’s possible these mafias may become ever more prominent.

Authorities in Argentina have attributed 31 murders over the last five years, and four in 2014 alone, to seven Chinese mafias operating in the country, reported La Nacion. These mafias reportedly earn revenue by extorting businesses within the Chinese community, and resort to violence when owners do not comply with their demands.

In at least three of the 2014 cases, the victim did not appear to have been robbed, leading authorities to believe they were killed after running afoul of criminal groups in the Chinese community. According to La Nacion, the Chinese mafias (also known ... Read More

Rebels delay finish of Peru natgas pipeline expansion until 2016

| October 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

Oct 14 (Reuters) – The expansion of Peru’s main natural gas pipeline has been delayed by nearly a year because of threats posed by insurgents and is now set to wrap up in the first quarter of 2016, the pipeline operator said on Tuesday.

Expansion work is now 55 percent complete and will cost some $475 million in total, said Ricardo Ferreiro, the general manager of Transportadora de Gas del Peru (TGP).

The pipeline now moves natural gas from Peru’s abundant Camisea gas fields in its southern jungle to the central coast.

The expansion project will more than double its carrying capacity from 610 million cubic feet per day to 1.54 billion cubic feet, Ferreiro said.

But the lingering presence of a remnant band of Shining Path rebels in a coca-growing region near the Camisea gas fields has slowed the pace of construction, Ferreiro said.

In 2012, the Shining Path kidnapped a few dozen contract ... Read More

El legado de Insulza y el futuro de la OEA

| October 8th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Pais

POR EZEQUIEL VÁZQUEZ-GER

Corría Febrero del año 2011. Un grupo de estudiantes en Venezuela había decidido iniciar una huelga de hambre en protesta contra el gobierno de Hugo Chávez. En Washington, junto con un grupo de estudiantes venezolanos, decidimos apoyar la protesta pidiendo un pronunciamiento de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA). Lo hicimos a través de decenas de cartas dirigidas a cada uno de los embajadores, notas de prensa, y una protesta frente al Edificio principal del organismo, previo a una sesión de su consejo Perrmanente.

Terminada esta sesión, el secretario general José Miguel Insulza nos otorgó una audiencia privada, en la que nos dijo: “Me compadezco con ustedes, yo también sufrí una dictadura en carne propia y tuve que refugiarme en el exterior. Pero tienen que entender, a Chávez no lo van a vencer con cartas, Chávez es un dictador, y en Venezuela hay una dictadura militar”.

Esta anécdota sirve para describir el ... Read More

Latin American Growth to Slow, World Bank Says

| October 8th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By RYAN DUBE LIMA, Peru—Latin America is on track this year to post its slowest rate of annual growth since 2009, when the global financial crisis began to be felt in the region, the World Bank said Tuesday.

The bank cut its growth forecast for the region by nearly half to 1.2%, following expansions of 2.4% and 3% in the previous two years. In its semiannual report on Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Bank said the region could grow 2.2% next year, but cautioned that it was still unclear whether the current downward cycle has bottomed out.

“We do not know if this deceleration has hit bottom, or if there is further deceleration to come,” said Augusto de la Torre, the World Bank’s chief economist for Latin America, in a telephone interview. But growth, he said, “is not going to be what it used to be in the past decade, partially because ... Read More

Summit missing a strong agenda

| October 8th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY DAN RESTREPO

With the ink not yet dry on the invitations, the April 2015 Summit of the Americas is perilously close to failure.

Failure rooted in the simple fact that a summit must be about more than its invite list.

And to date, summit host Panama and leaders across the Americas have done little to prepare other than obsessing about inviting Cuba and waiting to see how Washington responds.

That is not the basis for a mature, modern relationship, and it can’t make for anything but a missed opportunity in Panama.

This is particularly true when one considers the enormous shared opportunities and challenges that stand before the hemisphere and President Obama’s commitment to working as a good partner in the Americas.

From tackling the plague of violence in the Americas; to making good on energy and climate cooperation championed by President Obama at the ... Read More

2 governor candidates win election in Peru despite drug-related probes

| October 7th, 2014 | No Comments »
FoxNews.com

LIMA, Peru –  Two gubernatorial candidates under investigation in Peru for drug trafficking-related crimes have won election and two face runoffs after a nationwide vote for mayors, governors and municipal councils, according to unofficial results on Monday.

Hundreds of candidates suspected of ties to drug trafficking were on the ballot Sunday in what authorities called the Andean nation’s most violent campaign since 2000.

According to unofficial results compiled by the Ipsos-Apoyo polling firm, the winners included Manuel Gambini, a former coca grower in the Amazon state of Ucayali. As a mayor, Gambini promoted planting of cocoa beans and other alternatives to the crop that yields cocaine, winning praise from the U.S. Agency for International Development and a trip to Miami to showcase his efforts.

But an Aug. 29 judicial order launching an investigation of Gambini says he amassed a fortune and extensive land holdings with a small mayor’s salary. Gambini calls the allegations ... Read More

Peru seeks to revive economic miracle as supercycle slows

| September 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Andres Schipani in Cusco and Vivianne Rodrigues

During an impromptu ceremony in the ruins of Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel of sun worship, investors on a recent business trip pleaded for only one thing: prosperity for Peru.

“We need to recover the greatness, beyond economic cycles. We need to recover the faith,” said a Peruvian asset manager to the gathering, following a capital markets conference in Lima.

Growth in what was Latin America’s fastest growing major economy is slowing below 5 per cent for the first time since 2009. Some are saying the Andean economic miracle is at an end.

This week President Ollanta Humala made his pilgrimage to another citadel in search of higher help: to the centre of capitalism in New York.

“We are still facing the future with optimism,” he told the Bloomberg Latin America forum. “We are preparing measures to reactivate” the economy.

Peru has made huge ... Read More

Dynamite Doesn’t Stop Peru’s Narcos

| September 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »
The Huffington Post

PICHARI, Peru (AP) – The dynamiting of clandestine airstrips by Peruvian security forces in the world’s No. 1 coca-growing valley cuts into profits but hardly discourages cocaine traffickers who net tens of thousands of dollars with each Bolivia-bound flight.

As authorities wound up a 54-airstrip “cratering” mission, Peru’s counternarcotics police chief Gen. Vicente Romero told reporters that traffickers pay local villagers up to $100 each to fill the holes blasted into the landing strips that dot the flood plain of the vast and verdant Apurimac and Ene river valley.

Two of the landing strips targeted in the latest operation have each been repaired four times this year, Romero said on Friday. Sometimes, the 500-meter airstrips are fixed overnight.

An average of about four or five small planes fly daily into Peru from Bolivia, picking up about 300 kilograms each of coca paste worth about a third of a million dollars in Bolivia, where ... Read More

Peru’s economy: Replacing the pilot

| September 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

FOR a long time, the job of being Peru’s finance minister involved taking plaudits. Thanks largely to commodities exports, the country has been Latin America’s stand-out economic performer. Growth has averaged 6.4% annually over the past decade. Alonso Segura (pictured), who was named as a replacement for his long-serving boss, Luis Miguel Castilla, on September 14th, faces a less enjoyable sojourn in the role.

The new minister began work on the same day that Peru’s GDP numbers for July were released. They showed the economy expanding by 1.2% that month compared to the same month last year—better than the dismal June figure of 0.3%, but still well below forecasts. Mr Segura, a US-trained economist who had served as chief of staff at the ministry since early 2013, admitted in his first interview with the national media that growth this year would probably be below 4% (down from an already ... Read More

Peru’s Humala abruptly replaces his finance minister with key adviser

| September 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s President Ollanta Humala replaced his influential finance minister with the ministry’s chief adviser late on Sunday in a surprise shake-up that comes amid the worst economic slowdown in five years.

Incoming Finance Minister Alonso Segura said his priority would be to consolidate reforms already underway in Humala’s government, with an eye toward jump-starting economic growth.

Segura said the global minerals exporter’s economy would likely expand by less than 4 percent this year – lower than the government’s last official forecast of 4.2 percent and far below the annual average of 6.4 percent in the past decade.

However, Segura, who previously worked as an economist with the International Monetary Fund and with Banco de Credito, Peru’s biggest bank, called the economic lull “transitory” and said he would evaluate new measures to stimulate growth.

“It is very important that we do all we can to reactivate expectations,” Segura said in ... Read More

Peru’s Modern Economy Clashes With Its Past

| September 11th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

 

By Ryan Dube

LIMA, Peru—For 4,000 years, the pyramids at an archaeological site on the edge of Lima survived earthquakes, Spanish conquistadors and a bloody revolution. But they were no match for developers cashing in on Peru’s economic boom.

Prosecutors in August filed charges against a developer that Peruvian officials said used a front-loading tractor last year to level a 20-foot pyramid at El Paraíso, and planned to flatten three others to make way for housing construction.

Archaeologists say such incidents are increasingly plaguing Peru’s cultural patrimony, which includes one of the world’s great empires, the Incas, and several other notable civilizations. The quick rise of Peru’s modern economy, they say, is colliding with the remains of ancient societies in a way that dwarfs the artifact looting that has long afflicted Peru’s ruins.

“This is now a much bigger problem than looting,” said Walter Alva, a Peruvian archaeologist who has made some of the ... Read More

Mexican drug cartels are expanding their reach in Peru

| September 9th, 2014 | No Comments »
Global Post

LIMA, Peru — When police here unearthed nearly 8 tons of cocaine — a national record — hidden inside lumps of coal late last month, it was little surprise that two Mexican citizens were also arrested.

The brutal Mexican cartels that control the drug routes from remote Andean villages where raw coca plants grow to the world’s largest consumer market, the United States, are known to have been present in Peru since the 1990s.

Nevertheless, the haul found in a small seafront warehouse in Huanchaco, a fishing village known for its surfing on Peru’s northern coast, stood out for another reason: It was bound not for the US but, in two separate shipments, for Spain and Belgium.

“What is surprising is that this implies a change in the criminal map,” said Peru’s former anti-drug czar Ricardo Soberon. “For Mexicans to be running drugs from Peru to Europe, ... Read More

Miami conference: Better roads to improved ports creates business opportunities in Latin America

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

Some 450 government and business leaders from 28 countries have gathered for the two-day Trade Americas & ConnectAmericas Expo — an opportunity to explore ways to bridge Latin America’s infrastructure gap.

But speakers at the conference, which was organized by the Inter-American Development Bank and Latin Trade Group, said that with growing populations — the region is expected to have 700 million people by 2030, more people moving into the middle class and globalization, most countries’ infrastructure is woefully inadequate.

Relatively brisk economic growth in Latin America in recent years also has “revealed the need to improve infrastructure,” said Bernardo Guillamon, the IDB’s manager of outreach and partnerships.

Even ... Read More

Peruvian police seize 8.5 tons of cocaine in raid

| September 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
FoxNews.com

LIMA, Peru –  Peruvian police displayed in a Lima airport police hangar on Monday what officials called the largest cocaine haul ever in the Andean nation, 8.5 tons.

Seized in a raid last week, the drugs were flown to the capital Monday and unloaded in boxes from an Antonov police transport plane by officers wearing white jackets and surgical masks.

Interior Minister Daniel Urresti, flanked by the police chief and counternarcotics commander, touted the seizure from a stage set up in the hangar, a banner behind him proclaiming “Historic Blow to Illegal Drug Trafficking.”

Authorities last week found the plastic-wrapped cocaine bricks inserted and sealed inside chunks of coal in a rural home near the northern port of Trujillo. Six Peruvians and two Mexicans were arrested.

Police said the drugs had been destined for Spain and Belgium and said agents of the U.S. Drug ... Read More

Colombia overtakes Peru to become the region’s fastest-growing big economy

| August 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

AS HE prepared to begin a second term as Colombia’s president on August 7th, the first name that Juan Manuel Santos inked in for his cabinet was Mauricio Cardenas, who keeps his job as finance minister. That was no surprise: helped by an investment boom, the country’s economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. Mr Cardenas says the second quarter was strong, too. The government will be raising its growth forecast for this year from 4.7%.

This is a welcome exception to a regional trend: Latin America as a whole looks likely to grow by less than 2% this year, the worst figure since 2009. The end of the commodity boom that lifted the region for more than a decade, the fading of the era of cheap money as central banks in the rich world prepare to raise interest ... Read More

Bolivia, Peru Aim to Set Up Radar for Drug Flights

| August 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY ROBERT KOZAK

Bolivia and Peru are working on a plan to install radar stations on their border, aiming to use the information to help authorities intercept airplanes smuggling drugs and to possibly shoot them down, if both governments move ahead to set up flight interdiction programs, an official said.

Bolivia’s Deputy Minister for Social Defense and Controlled Substances, Felipe Caceres, said on a ministry Web page Wednesday that the governments are studying a proposal for Peru to run five or six radar stations on the border, while Bolivia would run three or four radar stations.

“The radars provide accurate information on the flights that occur at the border and on their legal status,” Mr. Caceres said.

The chief of Peru’s Interior Ministry antidrug branch recently said half of the cocaine that leaves Peru now goes out on small airplanes, with 95% of that moving through Bolivia, mainly to Brazil. The U.S. State Department’s ... Read More

Peru’s New Cocaine

| August 11th, 2014 | No Comments »
ViceNews-01

BY MICHAEL MULLADY

Peru has the second-largest amount of rain forest in the world, but swaths of it are rapidly disappearing. Illegal gold mining — farmers digging up ore and selling it on the black market, so that it may eventually end up wrapped around your fiancée’s finger — is one major cause. According to former environmental minister Antonio Brack Egg, gold mining has devastated nearly 370,000 acres of the Peruvian Amazon. That’s an elevenfold increase since 2000. Because of the devastation, criminality, and profits that have risen in tandem with the illicit trade, some analysts have started calling gold South America’s “new cocaine.”

This April, during a turbulent thunderstorm, I arrived in the city of Puerto Maldonado, a hub of the industry located in the southwestern Amazon jungle. With no taxis in sight, I asked a woman selling snacks outside the airport for directions. She pointed east, toward the city. I ... Read More

Menor demanda externa reduce crecimiento de América Latina

| August 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

AFP

SANTIAGO – La menor demanda externa de materias primas por parte de los socios de América Latina y el Caribe, principalmente China, llevó a Cepal a reducir su estimación del crecimiento de la región de 2.7% a 2.2% en el 2014.

A la menor demanda externa se suma “un bajo dinamismo de la demanda interna, insuficiente inversión y un limitado espacio para la implementación de políticas que impulsen la reactivación”, sostuvo la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (Cepal) en un informe económico presentado este lunes.

El menor crecimiento de China es “el principal riesgo” en lo que queda de año para los países de la región exportadores de materias primas.

En tanto, el crecimiento de Europa y Japón, otros importantes socios comerciales de Latinoamérica, caerá de 0.5% a 0.2% y de 1.7% a 1.4% respectivamente, lo que también significará una menor demanda de las ... Read More

Peru’s Economy Continues to Slow

| July 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal By RYAN DUBE LIMA, Peru—Peru’s gross domestic product expanded by 1.84% in May from the same month last year, the government said on Tuesday, as the country’s economic activity continues to slow.

National statistics agency INEI said May experienced the slowest monthly expansion since 2009.

Analysts had expected weak growth for the month, but the figure came in slightly below some forecasts. GDP grew 2.0% in April, 4.9% in March and 5.7% in February.

INEI said the country’s accumulated economic growth between January and May was 3.57%.

In May, activity in the mining and hydrocarbons sector contracted 4.49%, while in the manufacturing sector it fell 2.53%. The construction sector, however, grew 4.75% and the finance and insurance sector expanded 12.59%.

Peru’s economy has been hurt by a decline in exports due to lower commodity prices for products such as copper and by lower-than-expected mining output. The country’s gold production in May fell 24.6% compared with a year ... Read More

Peru Looks to Restart Aerial Interdiction Program, Antidrug Chief Says

| July 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

By RYAN DUBE

LIMA, Peru—Peru’s antidrug chief says the government is working on restarting an aerial interdiction program that was abandoned over a decade ago when an air force fighter accidentally shot down a civilian aircraft, killing two American citizens.

The move comes as Peru, the world’s top exporter of cocaine, is ratcheting up its war on drug traffickers. Peru significantly decreased the area used to grow coca last year through the forced manual removal of crops by teams of government workers, but has struggled to stop drug-laden planes in its top cocaine-producing region.

Luis Alberto Otárola, the head of Peru’s antidrug agency, the National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs, or Devida, says the government is in the process of acquiring radars to track small airplanes that currently enter Peru undetected from countries like Bolivia to smuggle cocaine to markets in Brazil, Argentina and Europe.

“There should be aerial interdiction, as an issue ... Read More

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