Peru: Morning News Roundup – Sunday February 10

Residents plan to block historic roads, Machu Picchu rail to protest Peru’s tourism proposal

Residents near Peru’s southern highland tourist destinations are fighting two government proposals to expand private development around Machu Picchu and other historical sites, including the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco. Protesters, who burned tires and blocked roads around Cuzco last week, are threatening more unrest if Congress does not reject the two proposed laws, said Hugo Gonzales, president of the department of Cuzco where Machu Picchu is located, on Saturday. PeruRail suspended the only train service to Machu Picchu on Thursday after protesters closed roads and blocked access to public transportation. Tourists were transported out of the affected areas in police vehicles. The proposed laws, one of which was already rejected but requires a second vote, would ease construction restrictions in Cuzco and allow for more hotels to be built near archaeological sites. The area between Cuzco and Machu Picchu is dotted with ancient Inca ruins. The second law is expected to be voted down as well. (AP – click here to read complete article)

‘Gauntlet III’ Cast Member Competing in Miss Peru Pageant

Real World/ Road Rules Challenge: Gauntlet III just recently premiered on MTV, but cast member Johanna Botta is already busy preparing for another intense and grueling competition. Apparently, she will be one of the lovely contestants on the upcoming Miss Peru Universe, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 16. Botta made the announcement on both her MySpace and iamonmtv.com blogs. “I am writing this blog to officially let everyone know that I am competing in the Miss Peru Universe 2008 Pageant taking place in Lima, Peru,” Botta wrote on her MySpace. “I will be representing all Peruvians living in the United States as Miss Peru USA. I am very happy and honored to have this chance to represent the thousands of Peruvians residing in the US. I am working very closely with L4TC as my platform charity. I look forward to helping many in Peru with this great organization.” (Buddy TV – click here to read complete article)

Local woman brings smiles to children in Peru

Simple shoe boxes filled with toys, candy and school supplies bring smiles to kids in Peru and to the Crawfordville woman who’s in South America delivering them. "It’s more than a shoe box to these kids," Colleen Ruehl said by phone this week from Peru. "It’s like giving them a million dollars." She’s expected to return today from a five-day trip with Operation Christmas Child, where she’s among 30 volunteers handing out the boxes. She’s a volunteer area coordinator in the Suwannee Valley and North Central Florida region, which collected 16,078 of the shoe boxes. She spoke of distributing boxes at a Peruvian church Wednesday. The walls were made of apple crates; the roof, black garbage bags and bamboo. There was no floor. But she said children crammed into the small church to receive their colorful shoe boxes. (Tallahassee.com – click here to read complete article by Anthony Anamelechi)

Davis Cup: Horna makes surprise return but Spain routs Peru 3-0

Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco beat Peru’s top two players Luis Horna and Ivan Miranda 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) for Spain to reach the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Saturday. Spain leads the World Group tie by an unassailable 3-0 without having dropped a set on the clay at Jockey Club del Peru. "We’re very happy," Spain coach Emilio Sanchez Vicario said. "The doubles with Luis Horna was a lot more difficult," Lopez said. "When we saw that he couldn’t play on Friday we were happy. When he appeared again, he made it more difficult for us. They made a big effort." Horna surprisingly played in the doubles a day after he pulled out of the singles against Nicolas Almagro after he injured his forearm while warming up. Almagro went on to beat Horna’s last-minute replacement Matias Silva 6-3, 7-5, 6-0, in just under two hours, giving Spain the early lead. (AP – click here to read complete article)

Flamengo struggles not to play in Cuzco

Flamengo’s attorneys office is waging a legal war in order not to relieve the team from playing in Cuzco, Peru, in the penultimate round of the preliminaries of the 2008 Libertadores Cup, according to the Brazilian press on Saturday. On April 9, Flamengo is scheduled to play Cienciano at the Peruvian team’s headquarters in Cuzco, located on the Andes, at a height of 3,400 meters above the sea level. "This case deserves FIFA’s attention, because the athletes’ health is at stake here," said Flamengo’s attorney Michel Assef Filho. Last year, Flamengo had difficulty playing in Potosi, also located in Peru, at 4,000 meters high, as its players’ performance was affected by the thin air of the region. At the time, the club’s President Kleber Leite said that the team would never play at such high altitude again. Then, Flamengo requested that FIFA vetoed official games at club headquarters located at high altitudes, but the entity’s officials alleged that it was not a matter they should decide on, which led the club’s attorneys to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, they did not give up insisting on a position from FIFA. (Xinhua – click here to read complete article)