Peru: Morning News Roundup – Friday March 14

Five bodies found in Peru helicopter crash

Rescue teams found on Thursday five of the 10 bodies of the helicopter that crashed on Tuesday in northwestern Peru. The preliminary reports said the rescue teams discovered five yet unidentified bodies at Chiriato hill in Santa Cruz Province, some 800 kms northwest of Peru’s capital Lima. The Bell 412B helicopter, belonging to the Helinka-Evergreen company, lost contact with the ground at 11 a.m. local time (1600 GMT) Tuesday while offering transportation services for the Rio Tinto mining company. The wreckage of the helicopter, which disappeared while flying over a mountainous area difficult to get access with heavy rainfalls and fog, was found in a precipice Wednesday. The 10 people aboard included two pilots and eight passengers being transferred by the helicopter rented by an mining exploration firm. (Xinhua – click here to see article)

Peru archeologists find temple used by Incas

Archeologists in Peru have discovered the ruins of an ancient temple, roadway and irrigation systems at a famed fortress overlooking the Inca capital Cuzco, officials involved with the dig said Thursday. The temple on the periphery the Sacsayhuaman fortress includes 11 rooms thought to have held mummies and idols, lead archeologist Oscar Rodriguez said. The team of archeologists that made the discoveries believe the structures predated the Inca empire but were then significantly developed and expanded. "It’s from both the Inca and pre-Inca cultures, it has a sequence," Washington Camacho, director of the Sacsayhuaman Archeological Park, said. "The Incas entered and changed the form of the temple, as it initially had a more rustic architecture." Archeologists are still waiting for carbon-dating tests but Camacho said their calculations about the facilities’ age are supported by historical references, such as ceramics and construction style. (The Canadian Press – click here to read complete article)

Peru Bank Holds Rate After Moves to Fight Inflation

Peru’s central bank kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged after the government last week cut a tax on fuel and lowered food import duties after inflation reached the highest in nine years. The bank’s seven-member board held the reference rate at 5.25 percent, the highest since 2001. Today’s decision was expected by 13 of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Pressure on the central bank to raise rates eased after President Alan Garcia’s government moved to temper price increases for food and energy by cutting the taxes and duties last week. Food price inflation in Peru, which is a net importer of crude oil and wheat, rose 6.1 percent in 2007. “There’s no need to raise the rates in the short term,” Fernando Palma, an analyst at Banco Internacional del Peru, said in a telephone interview. “The central bank is pausing to see the effects of recent anti-inflation measures.” (Bloomberg – click here to read complete article by Alex Emery)

Players held up and robbed while collecting wages in Peru

The players of leading Peruvian side Cienciano were held up and robbed by armed men as they were collecting their wages, a police official said Thursday. The victims, who were forced to lie on the floor during the raid, included Peru internationals Juan Carlos Bazalar and forward William Chiroque. The robbers were reported to have made off with $85,000 (41,800 pounds) in cash as well as the players’ wallets and mobile phones. The incident occurred at the club’s headquarters in the Andean city of Cusco on Wednesday, the day after Cienciano had beaten fellow Peruvians Coronel Bolognesi 1-0 in a South American Libertadores Cup match. "At the moment that the players were receiving their wages, four men entered and surrounded the cashier," said Cusco police official Juan Auccahuaqui. "It seems that the criminals were from Lima," he said. "They were well-dressed, it seems the operation had been planned. The place does not have security, anyone can come and go as they please." (Reuters – click here to read complete article by Jean Luis Arce)

Venezuela denies meddling of Houses of ALBA in Peru

Venezuela is not meddling with Peru’s domestic affairs and rather wants to achieve complementarity in South American trade relations, Venezuelan Ambassador in Lima Armando Laguna said on Wednesday. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s government "does not support any initiative -political or economic," Laguna told radio station CPN when asked about Caracas’ alleged links to the so-called Houses of ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of the Americas), which were organized by President Chávez’s followers in Peru, DPA reported. "Venezuela does not fund the Houses of ALBA, where a number of people willingly and independently have joined to create a House of Peru-Venezuela Friendship, in a display of affection for Venezuela," he added. (El Universal – click here to see article)

Notro, Luca team on Peru’s ‘Julius’

Spanish content powerhouse Vertice 360’s boutique film producer/distributor, Notro Films, is teaming with Luca Producciones’ on the ambitious Peruvian drama "Un Mundo para Julius." Weighing in with a preproduction budget of AC;10 million ($15.5 million), the film will be Peru’s most expensive project to date, Notro said Wednesday. Based on Alfredo Bryce Echenique’s award-winning, coming-of-age novel of the same name, "Julius" is set in the 1960s and shows how an upper-class boy’s life dramatically changes when his doting, but widowed, mother remarries. Producers have yet to announce a director or cast associated with the project, which they say will be in keeping with Bille August’s adaptation of Isabel Allende’s "The House of Spirits." (Hollywood Reporter – click here to read complete article by Pamela Rolfe)