Peru: Morning News Roundup – Thursday January 7

Peru claims Venezuela "should not export revolution"

Peruvian Defense Minister Antero Flores Aráoz rejected any likely interference by President Hugo Chávez in Peru’s domestic affairs, and warned the Venezuelan ruler does not have the right to export "his revolution. Mr Chávez is getting himself into a mess, and even worse he is meddling with other countries that have nothing to do with this. I do believe international respect is essential for peaceful coexistence of the peoples," Flores Aráoz told state television channel TV Perú. The minister was reacting to a likely Venezuelan government’s intromission in Peru by opening the so-called Houses of ALBA. (el universal – click here to read complete article)

Peru death squad members reveal operating secrets in trial of ex-President Fujimori

Former members of a military death squad formed to kill subversives are coming forward with shocking testimony at the trial of former President Alberto Fujimori. The latest to take the stand described Wednesday how they partied through the night after storming the wrong barbecue and killing 15 people, including a little boy. Others said they were “baptized” into the squad through killings, and were told their only way out would be to commit ritual suicide. Their chilling descriptions, delivered to the court in nearly emotionless monotones, describe the secret workings of the Colina group, an army squadron formed in the early years of Fujimori’s autocratic regime with the objective of killing subversives and making their bodies disappear. (AP – click here to read complete article by Carols Salazar)

Ex Paramilitaries Blame Peru Top Brass

Two members of the Colina Group, specialized in extrajudicial executions, confessed on Wednesday that they were acting by orders of military top commands, subject to Peruvian ex President Alberto Fujimori’s authority. In a new hearing of the trial to the ex president, Isaac Paquiyauri and Fernando Lecca asserted that creation of the Colina Group and its actions obeyed to an operational plan elaborated by the armed force highest ranking offices. Paquiyauri said the Armed Force Joint Command leader, Gen. Nicolas Hermoza, gave the final order to massacre and was to whom the executors had to account for their actions. Hermoza, who is also in prison for different crimes, only obeyed hierarchically to then President Fujimori (1990-2000), something that explains his guilt to the Attorney General’s Office, and has stated in another trial that the ex president was who gave orders. (NNN – click here to read complete article)

Peru suffering effects of severe flooding

Seven people died and twenty six were injured in Peru on Tuesday when the bus they were travelling in was hit by a large rock that detached from a nearby hill, local authorities said. The landslide was the result of a week of persistent rains that have caused flooding and evacuations for thousands of residents in the Peruvian Amazon. The bus was travelling along the Tarma-La Merced road (approximately 150 miles east of the capital Lima) en route to Huanacayo when it was hit by the falling rock, which pushed the vehicle off a cliff and into the valley below. Local media showed images of the severely damaged bus. North of Tarma, the rains continued to cause damages along the Aguaytia River. Earlier this week, more than one and a half thousand families were left homeless in northern Peru after the Aguaytia River burst its banks and caused widespread flooding. (TV3 – click here to read complete article)

Death toll reaches 22 from mudslides, floods in Peru

Mudslides have claimed the lives of nine more people in Peru, bringing the death toll to 22 during the current period of intense rainfall, local reports said. Three people including one child perished in the Pampa Grande sector of Puno department, 1,300 kilometres south-east of Lima near the Bolivian border. Mud and rocks buried the home and destroyed 40 other houses in Alto Inambari in the Sandia province, authorities said. In the central region of Junin, 310 kilometres east of Lima, six people died and 23 were injured when their bus plunged into the Tarma River after being blasted by a boulder loosed from the mountainside by the heavy rains. The total death toll rose to 22 and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed by the rains that affected most of the country. Officials said the rains also damaged 62 kilometres of highways, seven bridges, 163 hectares of farmland and 218 animals. (Earthtimes – click here to read complete article)

Titulizadora Peruana Eyes 15-year Securitization

Titulizadora Peruana, the securitization shop being set up with the help of the IFC, is set to open its doors by the end of February and will look to price its first deal in June, Enrique Oliveros, general manager, tells LatinFinance. The offering backed by dollar-denominated mortgages will include a senior tranche of up to 15 years, as well as a smaller junior piece. The fixed rate notes could potentially come in the 6.0%-6.5% range, says Oliveros, though pricing will be determined during the bookbuilding process in June. BBVA Continental issued in December what is considered to be Peru’s first MBS deal, $23.75m in sol-denominated 8-year notes at 6.75%. (Latin Finance)

Credicorp Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises on Loans

Credicorp Ltd., Peru’s largest financial-services company, said fourth-quarter profit rose 48.5 percent on loans and fee-income growth. Net income climbed to $94 million, or $1.18 a U.S.-traded share, from $63.3 million, or 79 cents, a year earlier, Lima- based Credicorp said today in a Web site statement. Earnings beat the $1.072 per-share estimate by three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net interest income rose 31.5 percent to $174.8 million. For 2007, profit jumped 52.3 percent to $350.7 million. “It was clearly an extraordinary year,” said Alonso Aramburu, a strategist with Santander Investment Securities in New York. “The bank’s retail and commercial divisions continue to post strong growth.” Loans and deposits at Peru’s 13 banks jumped to record levels through the end of December as the country’s longest stretch of uninterrupted growth spurs consumer spending, according to Peru’s Banking & Insurance Superintendency. (Bloomberg – click here to read complete article by Alex Emery)