Peru: Morning News Roundup – Monday Dec 31

Peru confiscates 20 tons of drugs in 2007

The Peruvian police have confiscated over 20 tons of drugs in the South American country in 2007, worth some 2 billion U.S. dollars in the international drug market, Peru’s Interior Minister Luis Alva said on Sunday. The year 2007 has been the successful one in the government’s efforts to crack down on drug-related crimes, said Alva at a drug-burning factory in eastern Lima, where 2.41 tons of drugs was burnt on Sunday. So far this year, the Peruvian police have broken up 46 international drug-trafficking networks, confiscated 1,000 tons of chemicals used to produce drugs, destroyed over 12,000 hectares of illegal coca plantations and smashed up 665 drug factories. (Xinhua – click here to read complete article)

Former President Fujimori tells court he ‘saved Peru’

Former President Alberto Fujimori, on trial for murder and kidnapping, told the court on Friday that he "saved Peru" by stamping out a bloody Maoist rebel movement. Fujimori is facing up to 30 years in prison for allegedly ordering the 1991 military death-squad killings of 15 people at a barbecue in Lima’s Barrios Altos neighborhood and the 1992 slayings of nine students and a professor at Lima’s La Cantuta University. Fujimori, 69, has repeatedly denied that he authorized human rights violations during his 1990 to 2000 government. "It was total chaos," Fujimori said on Friday. "That’s why I say this out loud: I saved Peru." (AP – click here to read complete article)

Peru’s President Lays Bear the Big Lie at the Center of U.S. Trade Policy

How depressing, but not surprising, that the most honest and useful statement made about U.S. trade policy this year has come from a foreign leader. Americans owe Peruvian President Alan Garcia a big “Thank you” for making crystal clear that even trade agreements with small countries like his are all about exporting American factories and jobs, not U.S. goods and services. Garcia revealed that, in spite of globalization supporters’ promises to the contrary to Congress prior to each trade vote, the new trade deal between his country and the United States has nothing to do with increasing export opportunities for U.S. domestic producers and their workers, and everything to do with encouraging more offshoring of domestic production and jobs. (American Economic Alert – click here to read complete article by Alan Tonelson)

Peru boy undergoes surgery to remove brain tumor

Sebastián Jiménez Piña, the 5-year-old boy from Peru whose family got a "Christmas miracle" when they landed visas to come here so his cancerous brain tumor could be treated, has undergone surgery at Schneider Children’s Hospital. The boy’s relatives said Friday the operation to remove the aggressive, peach-sized tumor protruding from his right temple went relatively well, and that he was awake and eating. "He’s talking. He recognizes everybody," said Sebastián’s uncle, Luis Piña. "He just wants to go home." (Newsday.com – click here to read complete article by Bart Jones)

Peru plans $486 million local bond issue

The Peruvian government approved on Friday a local issue of bonds for the equivalent of $485.8 million, in one or more tranches, but did not set a date for the sale. The bonds in Peru’s sol currency will be auctioned as part of a plan to pre-pay Brady bonds issued under a 1996 government financing plan, according to a decree published in the official gazette. (Reuters – click here to read article)

Peru’s economic growth exceeds 8%

Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, says the country’s economic growth has exceeded the 8 percent mark following the rising domestic demand. Government officials had previously predicted a 7.2 percent growth this year but Garcia and the Economy Minister, Luis Carranza, have been saying for a couple of months that the growth could surpass 8 percent. “I can guarantee, after having had a conversation with the head of the statistics institute, that Peru has already definitively surpassed the 8 percent growth mark,” Garcia told reporters. (PressTV – click here to read article)