Peru: Morning News Roundup – Saturday March 1

Peru Boat Capsizes, Killing 15

A boat ferrying passengers and cargo through the Peruvian jungle capsized on a remote river, killing 15 people and leaving 20 missing, officials said Friday. "The tragedy happened when the motorboat Santa Elena capsized in the river, killing 15," Alfonso Cardenas, communications chief of the northeastern town of Requena, told The Associated Press by telephone. Seven people survived and rescue teams are searching for 20 believed to be missing, Cardenas said. The vessel left Requena on Thursday night bound for the town of Santa Elena, but sank along an isolated 90-mile stretch of the Tapiche River in Loreto Province. (AP – click here to see article)

Clinton, Giustra foundation to focus first on Peru, Colombia

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Vancouver mining magnate Frank Giustra will unveil the first initiatives of their joint philanthropy efforts at a star-studded reception in Toronto this evening, announcing $20-million (U.S.) worth of development programs in Peru and Colombia. The duo, which formed the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) last June, will allocate $6-million over three years toward child nutrition programs in Peru that will expand efforts funded by gold mining firms Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. Barrick spokesman Vince Borg said his company has committed $2.25-million to the child nutrition initiatives and $3.75-million to programs that help create local businesses and jobs in areas of the Andean nation close to various mining operations. (Report on Business – click here to read complete article by Andy Hoffman)

Peru’s Fujimori at trial denies dirty war

Peru’s former president Alberto Fujimori Friday denied waging a "dirty war" against insurgents during his 1999-2000 leadership, at a hearing in his trial for alleged human rights violations. "I categorically deny that the army high command proposed to me a strategy of low-intensity war to tackle terrorist groups," the 69-year-old ex-president told the court. He said his aim was "to destroy terrorist organizations," the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru insurgent groups, in "a policy of pacification." Fujimori was extradited in September from Chile to Peru, to face trial for alleged atrocities committed under his rule, including two massacres in 1991 and 1992, blamed on an army hit squad known as the Colina Group. His trial began in December. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year jail sentence for Fujimori. (Agence France-Presse – click here to see article)

Kimberly-Clark Watch: K-C invests in Peru venture

Kimberly-Clark Corp. like many North American companies are finding success overseas. Reuters recently reported that K-C will invest $60 million into its operations in Peru. The investment is expected to double production capacity in the Andean area. Rising material and fuel costs have affected K-C and many other manufacturers, though a weak U.S. dollar has helped to offset that hit, Reuters reported. K-C is in the midst of a three-year restructuring plan introduced in 2005, which is projected to save the company $350 million by 2009. The effects of the plan have been felt locally through plant closures and layoffs. The most recent closure was the Lakeview Diaper Plant in the Town of Menasha. The Lakeview plant at its peak employed as many as 500 people, though when the facility closed in December, that number was down to about 200. (The Post-Crescent – click here to see article)

Peru’s Mulanovich takes out Roxy Pro

Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich has claimed the first victory of the 2008 surfing season, winning the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast to get Stephanie Gilmore’s world title defence off to a rocky start. Mulanovich, who finished last at Snapper Rocks just one year ago, surfed a near-faultless final against Australia’s Samantha Cornish, including 8.17 and 9.17 rides, to dominate the decider. Mulanovich ended up almost 10 points ahead of Cornish – an unsatisfying end to a day replete with nail-biting finishes and big name defeats, including pre-competition favourite Gilmore, Layne Beachley and Brazil’s Silvana Lima. Gilmore’s slayer came in the unlikely form of the diminutive 15-year-old wildcard Carissa Moore, who proved the talk of the competition after taking down the reigning world champion in a narrow round three victory. (The Age – click here to read complete article)