Peru: Morning News Roundup – Friday February 8

Draft law sparks protests in Peru

Thousands of people have brought Peru’s tourist capital, Cuzco, to a near standstill in a demonstration against development near Inca monuments. A proposed law would make it easier for private investors to build near some of Peru’s most famous ancient sites. In the 24-hour protest, main roads were blocked, tours were cancelled and the rail service between Cuzco and Machu Picchu was suspended. Peru’s ancient monuments draw millions of tourists every year. Cuzco residents marched in opposition to the law, which they say will say will harm the city’s heritage. Major roads in and out of town were blocked and access to the famous Sacred Valley and the city’s Inca fortress, Sacsayhuaman, was blocked with rocks and burning tyres. (BBC – click here to read complete article by Dan Collyns)

Mummy Lice Found In Peru May Give New Clues About Human Migration

Lice from 1,000-year-old mummies in Peru may unravel important clues about a different sort of passage: the migration patterns of America’s earliest humans, a new University of Florida study suggests. “It’s kind of quirky that a parasite we love to hate can actually inform us how we traveled around the globe,” said David Reed, an assistant curator of mammals at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus and one of the study’s authors. DNA sequencing found the strain of lice to be genetically the same as the form of body lice that spawns several deadly diseases, including typhus, which was blamed for the loss of Napoleon’s grand army and millions of other soldiers, he said. The discovery of these parasites on 11th-century Peruvian mummies proves they were infesting the native Americans nearly 500 years before Europeans arrived, Reed said. His findings are published this week in an online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. (Science Daily – click here to read complete article)

Orient-Express Hotels Announces Opening Of Luxury Resort In Peru’s Colca Canyon

Orient-Express Hotels announced today that the eagerly awaited Las Casitas del Colca will open April 15, 2008 on a 60-acre estate strewn with cactus and fruit trees and watered by natural springs. This 20-room lodge in Peru’s Colca Canyon will give visitors a rare and special opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquility of the Andes. Guests can personally select vegetables for their meals from the extensive garden and prickly pear orchard, and the onsite farm is home to horses, baby alpacas, cows, chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits and trout ponds. All accommodations have been designed to meld with the environment and incorporate natural local materials whenever possible, such as Laja stone from the nearby Arequipa region for all floors and terraces. Each casita’s amenities include heated flooring, a working open fireplace, WIFI Internet access and outside terrace with private heated plunge pool. (Hotel Interactive – click here to read complete article)

Peru central bank holds key interest rate steady

Peru’s central bank held its benchmark lending rate steady at 5.25 percent on Thursday and said recent monetary policy changes it has made will slow credit growth and inflation. In a Reuters poll, 10 out of 11 economists surveyed said they expected the rate would be left unchanged. One economist said Peru’s central bank should raise the rate to 5.5 percent. It had raised the key rate to 5.25 percent in January from 5 percent. Later that month, it sharply increased reserve requirements for bank deposits as part of a bid to slow the growth of the money supply and to stem a tide of foreign cash that surged into the Andean country in January. (Reuters – click here to read complete article)

Ecuador “is neither for, nor against” Peru’s lawsuit against Chile

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa made an announcement this Thursday, stating that Ecuador is neither for nor against the lawsuit regarding maritime borders that is being brought by Peru against Chile at The Hague International Justice Court. “We are neither for nor against the legal lawsuit. We greatly respect the sovereign decision made by Peru, it is an issue between two countries which are friendly and brotherly to Ecuador”, said the President while on the Peruvian radio station, RPP. “We hope this (the Peruvian lawsuit) does not affect the brotherly relationship that two Latin American countries such as Peru and Chile should have with each other”, President Correa added from Quito. (emol – click here to read complete article)

Grey skies over Peru

By the time the first ball is kicked at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, it will have been 28 years since Peru’s last appearance at the final stages of the competition. For many Peruvians that represents a lifetime, including some in the current squad who were not even born back in 1982. In a bid to learn from the mistakes of past failures and end that ignominious sequence, the country’s FA turned handed the reins to another former national team idol, Jose Chemo Del Solar. Given that Peruvian football currently has a wealth of technically gifted players, many with valuable European experience, expectations were naturally high following his appointment in August 2007. Yet four games into the current qualifying campaign, the reality has fallen some way short of expectations. (FIFA.com – click here to read complete article)