Peru: Morning News Roundup – Thursday Jan 17

Peru sues Chile in boundary feud

Elevating tensions with its neighbor, the Peruvian government filed suit in international court against Chile on Wednesday, demanding a greater share of rich fishing waters in the Pacific Ocean. The act sparked outrage in Santiago, where officials vowed to defend the current maritime boundaries. Peru filed its petition at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, a body set up to resolve disputes between United Nations member states. The move came after years of denunciations in Lima against the current Pacific boundaries, which were set in the 1950s. Peru maintains that it has never recognized the limits and last year published an official map claiming expanded territorial waters. Peruvian President Alan Garcia said the move was a legitimate legal case and not a cheap shot at its neighbor. (LA Times – click here to read complete article by Adriana León and Patrick J. McDonnell)

UPDATE 1-Peru ups bank deposits on inflows of foreign cash

Peru’s central bank said on Wednesday it will raise reserve requirements for banks starting in February as part of an effort to absorb a flood of dollars that has entered the country and caused the local currency, the Sol <PEN=PE>, to rally. It said the marginal deposit rate on foreign-currency bank accounts would rise to 40 percent from 30 percent and the marginal deposit rate on accounts denominated in Soles would be 15 percent. Minimum legal deposits requirements were raised to 7 percent from 6 percent. For current accounts, minimum legal deposits were raised to 2 percent from 1 percent. (Reuters – click here to read complete article)

Daughter of Peru`s Fujimori Eyes Presidential Bid

The daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is forming a new party to build support for her father, who is on trial for human rights crimes during his rule, and she could run for president in 2011. Keiko Fujimori said her 69-year-old father is "the natural candidate" for the new political party, called Strength 2011, but said she would not turn down a request for her to take his place. "If a consensus of Fujimori supporters makes a request of this type, I would not shy away from my responsibilities," she told Reuters in an interview. "Despite that fact that I am young, I have many years of experience. Still, I don’t want it to be misinterpreted that I’m already thinking of being a candidate," the 32-year-old said. (Javno – click here to read complete article)

Ancient "Lost City" Discovered in Peru, Official Claims

Ruins recently discovered in southern Peru could be the ancient "lost city" of Paititi, according to claims that are drawing serious but cautious response from experts. The presumptive lost city, described in written records as a stone settlement adorned with gold statues, has long been a grail for explorers—as well as a lure for local tourism businesses. A commonly cited legend claims that Paititi was built by the Inca hero Inkarri, who founded the city of Cusco before retreating into the jungle after Spanish conquerors arrived. On January 10 Peru’s state news agency reported that "an archaeological fortress" had been discovered in the district of Kimbiri and that the district’s mayor suggested it was the lost city. (National Geographic News – click here to read complete article by Kelly Hearn)

Pro Mujer Peru Makes Forbes First-Ever List of World’s Top 50 Microfinance Institutions

Pro Mujer Peru, a microfinance institution in the Pro Mujer network, was named in Forbes’ first-ever list of the World’s Top 50 Microfinance Institutions.  The World’s Top 50 Microfinance Institutions were chosen from a list of 641 organizations prepared by the Microfinance Information Exchange (www.themix.org), the leading business information provider for the microfinance industry, under the direction of Forbes magazine. (Pro Mujer Peru’s name appears in the MIX’s database as Programas para la Mujer – Peru.) To qualify, the institutions made available their audited financial statements and passed review by a Forbes panel of advisers. According to Forbes, "microfinance has become a buzzword of the decade, raising the provocative notion that even philanthropy aimed at alleviating poverty can be profitable to institutional and individual investors." (PR Web – click here to read complete press release)