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Peru: Saturday News Roundup – June 23

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Peru Works To Emulate Chile With Strong Growth, Less Poverty

“After years of watching Chile progress, Peruvians are hoping to improve their nation’s image and match the economic and social developments of their southern neighbor. Peru wants to lower sharply poverty levels, obtain an investment grade debt rating and a free trade deal with the United States, all of which Chile, …has done. The World Bank’s regional director for the Andean region, Marcelo Giugale, said this week Peru has a chance to become the next success story in Latin America. ‘The public policy decisions that are taken in the next five years could place Peru in a development path similar to that Chile, Costa Rica and Spain have followed in the last two decades,’ Giugale said in a speech at the central bank building in Lima. … interests. (read entire article at The World Bank)
ProInversión pushes back Interoceánica hwy project


Peruvian Peru’s state agency for promoting private investment ProInversión has pushed back the deadline for the construction of stretches one and five of the Interoceánica highway, congress reported in a release. Legislators met to discuss the process with transport and communications minister Verónica Zavala, who said that the complexity of the tender process led to the project’s delay. Government authorities also made modifications to the project’s tender rules, to ensure high level, competitive bidding, said the minister. The investment required for the highways reaches US$235mn. Legislators questioned the constant delays and requested the project to be awarded once and for all, as it was set to be concessioned by November of last year. democrat (read entire article at Business News Americas)

Religion Briefs Interfaith group fights pollution in Peru

An interfaith coalition from Peru, with the support of some U.S. religious groups, is pressuring a U.S. corporation to control pollution at a Peruvian smelter plant that they say is endangering public health. The delegation of Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish representatives say they do not want the plant in La Oroya, Peru, to close but want U.S.-standard equivalent pollution controls to be installed at the Peruvian smelter operations. The campaign turned its attention to the United States because the plant’s holding group, the Renco Group, is based in New York, and an affiliated plant, run by a Renco subsidiary, Doe Run, is based in Missouri. (read entire article at journalnow.com)

Southern Copper Peru Workers Begin Strike for Higher Wages

Workers at Southern Copper Corp., the world’s fifth-largest producer of the metal, began a strike today to pressure the company for larger wage increases, a union official said. Workers at Southern’s Cuajone and Toquepala copper mines and Ilo smelter want a wage increase of 25 soles ($7.89) a day, more than the company’s offer of 3.15 soles ($1), smelter union general secretary Arnaldo Oviedo said in a phone interview from Ilo, 850 kilometers (530 miles) southeast of Lima. “The company is offering just 0.2 percent of last year’s earnings and is insisting on a three-year agreement,” Oviedo said. “We’re willing to continue to negotiate, but only for a one-year deal.” An eight-day strike in May at Southern’s Peruvian operations cut the company’s daily output in the country by 5 percent, spurring a rally in copper prices. Workers at Southern’s Mexican operations postponed a work stoppage last week after a court blocked their strike request. (By Alex Emery, read the entire article at Bloomberg.com)

Cameron Diaz Delivers Wrong Message to Peru

Cameron Diaz was hit hard by Peruvian human rights activists on Friday after the “Shrek the Third” star was seen toting around a messenger bag decorated with a symbol and slogan that most in Peru associate with a violent past. Diaz, oblivious to the history of Peru, carried a trendy messenger bag with a red star and the political slogan “Serve the People.” While that may seem harmless, it just so happened to be the favored symbol and slogan of Mao Zedong whose philosophy inspired the Shining Path, a violent guerilla insurgent group that spread terror throughout Peru in the 1980s and early 1990s. Diaz was traveling in the city of Machu Picchu when she was spotted with the bag. (TransWorldNews)

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