Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category

China’s Latin American Empire

| May 9th, 2014 | No Comments »
World Crunch-01

SANTIAGO – The recent tour of four Latin American states by China‘s Foreign Minister Wang Yi was hailed as a success in each place he visited: Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina. Back in Beijing, it was largely seen as a rehearsal for a planned visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is expected to watch the World Cup final in July in the legendary Maracaná stadium, as a guest of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.

That will be the Chinese President’s second trip to the region since he took office a little over a year ago, after a 2013 visit to Mexico, Costa Rica and Trinidad, where he met with half a dozen Caribbean leaders. After the World Cup, the Chinese President will attend a meeting of BRICS countries in Fortaleza in Brazil and next January, China’s first summit with CELAC, the grouping of all regional states bar the United States and Canada.

Xi is showing more interest in ... Read More

Peru’s Economic Rebound Makes It a Top Regional Performer

| April 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

GDP Expanded 5.72% in February


LIMA, Peru—After a slight slowdown last year, Peru’s economy is rebounding, leading to forecasts that it could be a star performer in Latin America this year.

Peru’s government said Tuesday that gross domestic product expanded 5.72% in February, led by strong gains in mining, fishing, banking, and construction.

Finance Minister Luis Miguel Castilla forecasts 2014 growth between 5.5% and 6.0%, with the pace picking up during the year as various base metals mines boost output.

The World Bank says Peru will be the second-best-performing economy in Latin America this year, following only Panama, even as growth weakens in neighboring nations such as Brazil and Chile.

“The macroeconomics in Peru have been very well managed, and fiscal policy has been very good,” said Andrew Powell, Inter-American Development Bank’s principal adviser in the research department.

He said that during the boom of the last few years the government didn’t ... Read More

Latin America the World’s Most Violent Region

| April 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon


Latin America is now the world’s most violent region but is receiving less U.S. military and financial assistance, according to a recent report and other figures.

Latin America surpassed Africa as the region with the most murders per 100,000 people, according to the new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Several countries in the Western Hemisphere had murder rates that eclipsed 25 per 100,000 people in 2012, compared to the global average of about six.

The report said 30 percent of the homicides in the Americas could be attributed to a proliferation of organized crime and gang-related violence.

For example, Honduras had one of the world’s highest murder rates with 90.4 per 100,000 people. Mexican drug cartels and transnational criminal groups such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 18th Street gangs have infiltrated the country in recent years.

Some of the violence is fueled by those groups’ drug smuggling operations into the United States. ... Read More

Peru’s Italian job

| April 11th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

WHEN Bello reported on the latter years of Carlos Menem’s rule in Argentina, he would sometimes be enjoined to take no notice of the political scandals lapping around the regime. The important thing, he was told, was that the economy was run by responsible technocrats, as in “the Italian model” of the post-war decades. He heard something rather similar when Ollanta Humala was poised to win Peru’s presidency in 2011. Politics was a mess, a prominent banker confided, but what really mattered was that the economy was well managed.

Almost three years into Mr Humala’s presidency, both of those things remain true. But far from being a reassurance, Peru’s adherence to the Italian model is actually a cause for concern.

Mr Humala, a former army officer and a political chameleon, first ran for president in 2006 as a supporter of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. He lost that election and in 2011 reinvented himself ... Read More

Peru: President Humala Should Push for More Economic Freedom

| April 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Heritage Foundation


When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. After all, during his first presidential run in 2006, Humala (a former Peruvian army officer) had donned the fire-breathing mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left that was personified by Venezuela’s then-president (and also ex-army officer) Hugo Chávez.

So although Humala lost the 2006 election and then moved to the center and won as a more moderate-sounding candidate when he ran again in 2011, no one knew for sure how he would govern. Would he remain a centrist (à la Lula in Brazil) or veer hard left? Now the world knows the answer.

Humala Has Stayed the Course for Economic Freedom

When Humala took office in 2011, the country was ranked 41st out of 178 countries worldwide in The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal 2011 Index of Economic Freedom[1] and had made steady progress, up from 45th ... Read More

Peru Congress Backs Humala’s Fifth Cabinet to End Impasse

| March 18th, 2014 | No Comments »


Peruvian President Ollanta Humala’s fifth cabinet in 2 1/2 years won a vote of confidence in Congress, ending a political crisis stemming from accusations that first lady Nadine Heredia is interfering in the government.

Lawmakers voted 66-52 in favor with nine abstentions, according to images broadcast on state television. The cabinet failed to win lawmakers’ approval in two votes March 14, leading Humala’s 19 ministers to offer their resignations. Cabinet chief Rene Cornejo moved to reassure Congress that he won’t allow “any intromission” in the cabinet’s workings.

“We’re marking the boundaries of the executive, there’s going to be a more active participation by ministers,” Cornejo said in a statement posted on the cabinet chief’s website before the vote.

Speaking to Panamericana Television last night, Cornejo said the government will work to eliminate the perception of a “co-government” between Humala and his wife, who’s co-founder and president of the ruling Nationalist party. Cornejo was appointed ... Read More

Will Peru start shooting down suspected drug planes (again)?

| March 13th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in The Christian Science Monitor

Peruvian police officers recently pulled off a major drug bust, seizing 325 kilograms (715 pounds) of cocaine ready for shipment out of the central jungle.

The Mar. 7 operation was significant, representing nearly one-third of the cocaine seized so far this year in Peru. But authorities were even more pleased with the capture of a small plane for smuggling the drugs to neighboring Bolivia and, from there, to parts unknown.

In the 1980s and 1990s, cocaine-ferrying planes dotted Peru’s skies. Now they’re back: the US State Department says small planes are now the “primary method of transporting cocaine” out of the country, replacing sea transport. In its annual report on narcotics released earlier this month, the State Department estimated that upward of 180 metric tons were exported this way in 2013.

But how to stop these flights is a vexed issue. A significant number of countries in Latin America, most recently Venezuela in late 2013 and Honduras in ... Read More

La OEA ausente en Venezuela

| March 5th, 2014 | 2 Comments »
The American

La Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) se mantiene inerte en Venezuela, y la inestabilidad política, la crisis económica y la violencia del gobierno contra los manifestantes estudiantiles son hechos que están apunto de colapsar al país sudamericano. Desde hace años la OEA fue secuestrada por la petro-diplomacia de Venezuela y ha sido atada y amordazada.

El “consejo permanente”, compuesto por los embajadores de la región, tenía previsto reunirse la semana pasada para revisar los eventos en Venezuela a solicitud del presidente de Panamá, Ricardo Martinelli. La reunión fue abruptamente “pospuesta” después de que el presidente de la Republica Dominicana, Danilo Medina,  le pidiera a su representante ante la OEA, quien preside el consejo permanente, que no regresara a Washington para postergar la reunión. Medina siguió las instrucciones de Venezuela. El embajador dominicano regresó a Washington ayer y convocará al consejo con la venia del gobierno venezolano.

Los estados miembros de la OEA ... Read More

The Most Important Alliance You’ve Never Heard Of

| February 18th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
The Atlantic


In Venezuela, students have been killed while protesting against the government of Nicolás Maduro, who is jailing opposition leaders and just closed a television station that dared broadcast the demonstrations. Argentina is irresponsibly racing toward a dangerous economic cliff. The Brazilian economy is in recession and 2014 will mark its fourth consecutive year of subpar growth, as the country reels from its largest capital flight in more than 10 years.

Is a decade of progress in Latin America coming to an end? For some countries, surely. But not necessarily for the entire region. Four nations are developing an initiative that could add new dynamism to Latin America, redraw the economic map of the region, and boost its connections with the rest of the world—especially Asia. It could also offer neighboring countries a pragmatic alternative to the more political groupings dominated by Brazil, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Amid all the bad news in the region, the presidents of ... Read More

Netanyahu: Iran engaged in ‘subversive activities’ in Latin America, world

| February 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Jerusalem Post-01


In meeting with Peruvian president, PM claims that nuclear talks have already allowed Iran to escape from sanctions.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Peruvian President on Monday in Jerusalem, where the two discussed relations between Israel and Peru and spoke of recent developments with regards to the Iranian nuclear program.

Speaking about Iran’s global influence, especially in Latin America, Netanyahu accused Iran of inflammatory behavior, saying  that “Iran is engaged subversive activities around the world, including in Latin America.”

The two leaders met on the eve of nuclear talks between world powers and Iran due to re-start Tuesday in Vienna, and Netanyahu told the Peruvian president that a different policy is required than what is currently in place.

“A policy that requires Iran to stop its aggression, to stop its nuclear military program, and to become a nation among the nations, not a rogue state that arms itself with nuclear weapons.” he said.

The prime minister continued: “I think it is important ... Read More

Netanyahu to make rare trip to Latin America in April

| February 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Jerusalem Post-01


Efforts are underway to organize a rare, if not unprecedented, visit to Latin America by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in April, with travel to Mexico and Colombia aimed at bolstering economic and political ties with pro-American countries.

Netanyahu met last month in Davos with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. In June he met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Jerusalem. Both invited him to visit.

Colombia and Mexico, along with Peru and Chile, make up the Pacific Alliance free-trade bloc, which accounts for more than a third of Latin America’s gross domestic product and is seen in Jerusalem as having strong economic potential for Israel.

Israel is expected to be offered “observer” status in the alliance.

In addition, Peruvian President Ollanta Moises Humala is scheduled to visit here next week.

Government officials said that just as Netanyahu is interested in expanding economic ties with China, he sees great potential in expanding trade relations with Latin America. Both efforts are part ... Read More

Presidents of Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru sign regional accord

| February 12th, 2014 | No Comments »

The presidents of the member nations of the Pacific Alliance on Monday here signed an Additional Protocol to liberalize the exchange of goods, services and investments within the bloc.

The agreement was signed by the presidents of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; Chile, Sebastian Piñera; Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto; and Peru, Ollanta Humala at the closing ceremony of the 8th Pacific Alliance Summit.

The accord, which was called “historic” by Peña Nieto, eliminates tariffs on 92 percent of the goods and services exchanged among the four member states.

The remaining 8 percent, including “sensitive” agricultural products, will be the subject of additional talks in which sugar will not be included at the request of some of the members.

The protocol signed Monday is the first addition to the June 6, 2012, Framework Agreement that launched the Pacific Alliance at the summit in Cerro Paranal, Chile.

“This is the most innovative integration mechanism that Mexico has signed ... Read More

CELAC: Incluyente o excluyente?

| January 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
Felipe Trigos

Por Felipe Trigos

Esta semana, los jefes de Estado de treinta y tres países se reunieron en La Habana, Cuba para la cumbre de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC). Esta organización, a diferencia de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), excluye a Estados Unidos y Canadá en lo que se supone es un esfuerzo regional para: promover la igualdad, la pluralidad y la diversidad.

La Habana se preparó para que los visitantes a la cumbre pudieran percibir una visión de “la Cuba real ” y la llamada apertura del régimen de Raúl Castro. La realidad sigue siendo sombría para la mayoría de los cubanos que viven bajo el régimen autoritario de los hermanos Castro. Yoani Sánchez, connotada disidente Cubana, expreso que “No puede ser que invitados a #CumbreCELAC se muestren indiferentes y “desinformados” ante arrestos y amenazas de la #OperacionLimpieza”. La representante permanente de los Estados Unidos ante la ... Read More

Is Obama’s Latin America Policy Finally on Track?

| January 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue is one of the more astute observers of Latin American affairs in Washington. His analyses are usually a reliable barometer on the prevailing inside-the-Beltway sentiment on U.S.-Latin America relations. The concluding paragraph of his recent article on the Obama administration’s failed policy to develop good relations with Ecuador’s obstreperous President Rafael Correa thus merits particular attention.

Shifter writes:

In the second Obama administration, a slight shift can be discerned. U.S. officials now appear somewhat less inclined to invest scarce diplomatic resources in repairing relations with Ecuador and other unfriendly governments. Rather, the focus is on deepening ties with allies in the region, especially Pacific Alliance members — Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Chile — and, of course, Brazil, given its strategic importance.

If that is the case, it would mark a huge and welcome turnaround in U.S. policy toward Latin America. For five years, administration policy has been just that: squandering ... Read More

The Two Latin Americas

| January 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal


There are two Latin Americas right now. The first is a bloc of countries—including Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela—that faces the Atlantic Ocean, mistrusts globalization and gives the state a large role in the economy. The second—made up of countries that face the Pacific such as Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia—embraces free trade and free markets.

Because both sets of countries share similar geography, culture and history, this divide makes the continent today something of a controlled experiment in economics. For almost a decade, the economies of the Atlantic countries have grown more quickly, largely thanks to rising global commodity prices. But the years ahead look far better for the Pacific countries. The region as a whole thus faces a decision about (as it were) which way to face: to the Atlantic or the Pacific?

There is good reason to think the Pacific-facing countries have the edge. Much of the continent ... Read More

Bolivia Accuses U.S. of Aiding in an American’s Escape

| December 20th, 2013 | No Comments »
The New York Times


LA PAZ, Bolivia — A top Bolivian government minister on Wednesday accused the United States of being behind the escape from house arrest of an American businessman facing money-laundering charges — potentially creating a new strain between the two countries.

The businessman, Jacob Ostreicher, who had spent 18 months in prison and a year under house arrest, apparently sneaked across the border into Peru sometime between Friday morning and Sunday. He flew from Lima to Los Angeles early Monday.

After his arrival, Mr. Ostreicher was in the company of the actor and director Sean Penn, who had visited him in Bolivia and championed his case.

Mr. Ostreicher’s escape was “planned, designed, executed, operationalized by the government of the United States,” Carlos Romero, the minister, told reporters. “We presume,” he added, that the United States Embassy was also involved.

The embassy denied the charges.

“Neither the United States Embassy nor ... Read More

Peru destroys 20 clandestine landing strips

| December 19th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

LIMA, Peru – Peru says special forces troops have destroyed 20 clandestine landing strips used to fly drugs out of the jungle to Bolivia and Brazil.

Military authorities said Wednesday that the landing strips were guarded by leftist Shining Path rebels, who finance their struggle by protecting drug traffickers.

Joint Command chief Adm. Jose Cueto and national police chief Gen. Jorge Flores say the operation in the valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers was conducted by 224 security agents using five tons of explosives, 10 helicopters and five hovercrafts.

They say security forces also destroyed 24 wells used to process coca leaves, the base ingredient for making cocaine.

Peru’s government says the destruction of the landing strips and wells will hurt the Shining Path’s finances.

Click here for original ... Read More

Great expectations for Chile’s new president

| December 16th, 2013 | No Comments »


Winning Chile’s presidential election was pretty easy for Michelle Bachelet.

She led the contest from the start and never faced much of a challenge from her bickering centre-right opponents.

The hard part will start in March when she takes office.

Ms Bachelet will inherit a country with an economy that grew by 5.6% last year. Unemployment is low and inflation is under control.

But things are likely to get worse. The growth rate is expected to ease to 4.2% this year and the central bank warns it might drop below 4% in 2014.

The price of copper, Chile’s main export commodity, is seen extending its recent decline and the bank expects the country’s trade surplus to shrink to $600m (£368m) in 2014 from $2.5bn in 2013.

None of this is good news for an incoming president who is promising sweeping and expensive social reforms.

Education first

Ms Bachelet has placed education at the top of ... Read More

Peru’s war on coca production and the European smugglers

| December 6th, 2013 | No Comments »

5 December 2013 Last updated at 19:32 GMT

Peru has become the world’s biggest producer of coca, which is the main component in the production of cocaine.

Most of the drug comes to Europe and many young Europeans are now signing up as drug mules to transport it.

Some of the poorest communities in Peru depend on income generated by the coca business.

Sue Lloyd-Roberts reports.

Click here for video

Read More

Mexican cartels abet heroin and meth surge in U.S., DEA study says

| November 21st, 2013 | No Comments »
From the Los Angeles Times


MEXICO CITY — The availability of heroin and methamphetamine in the U.S. is on the rise, due in part to the ever-evolving entrepreneurial spirit of the Mexican drug cartels, according to a new study released by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The report, which analyzes illicit drug trends through 2012, also notes that cocaine availability was down across the United States. It offered various possible reasons for the decline, including cartel versus cartel fights over drug routes in Mexico, declining production in Colombia and various anti-narcotics strategies that have put more heat on the groups that control production and shipment of the product.

The yearly report, released Monday and known as the National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, is an effort to describe “the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.”

The report is a synthesis of quantitative data and survey feedback from more than 1,300 state and local ... Read More

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