Peru: Morning News Roundup – Monday March 24

Protesters attack police patrol at Pluspetrol airstrip in Peru’s northern jungle

Andoas airport
© Andina

A police patrol has been attacked in Peru’s northern jungle during protests against Argentine oil company Pluspetrol Norte, killing one officer and wounding 11. A special operations police patrol was attacked Saturday with shotguns while securing the company’s airstrip, held by protesters for three days, according to a national police news release. The site was secured and protests had ceased Sunday, Col. Perez Vargas, national chief of police information, told The Associated Press. The police captured three suspects in the attack, two of them with shotguns. (AP – click here to read complete article)

Peru tribe battles oil giant over pollution

It is a familiar story. Big business moves into a pristine wilderness and starts destroying the environment and by turn the livelihoods of the indigenous people who live there. But in a reversal of plot, there are now cases of people living traditional lifestyles who are now invading the territory of the big companies and taking them on at their own game. The story of the Achuar tribe living in the Amazon rainforest of north-eastern Peru is one of them. Last year, they filed a class action lawsuit against oil giant Occidental Petroleum, in Los Angeles. (BBC News – click here to read complete article by Dan Collyns)

Peru Says Chavez Backs Domestic Revolt

Hugo Chavez has been accused of using Venezuela’s oil riches to meddle in Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Now, Peru’s president says the Venezuelan leader may be doing it here by funding militants and anti-poverty centers that preach populist revolution. In recent weeks, Peruvian police have arrested nine people the government alleges are militants bankrolled by Venezuela. And the head of a Congressional investigatory committee accused Venezuela of supplying funds to outreach centers he says agitate against the government. President Alan Garcia supports the ongoing investigation into the centers. (AP – click here to read complete article by Andrew Whalen)

Peru sees cocaine making a comeback

Rustic mule trains ferry vital chemicals to clandestine jungle labs. Booby-trapped fields ward off intruders. Trekkers never seen on the Discovery Channel backpack the prized finished product on epic journeys from steamy Amazon hideaways to chilly highland distribution depots. And a shadowy remnant of the notorious Shining Path rebel army, led by a charismatic man named Artemio, uses its muscle to pocket a fortune in a sinister protection racket. (LA Times – click here to read complete article by Patrick J. McDonnell)

Peru, China boost trade ahead of November free trade deal, President Garcia says

Peru and China have agreed to boost trade and investment between their countries ahead of a free trade deal planned for November, President Alan Garcia said. The countries, whose trade balance reached US$5.3 billion (€3.6 at year-end rates) in 2007, will in coming months sign a preliminary partnership to increase commerce more than fourfold by 2015, Garcia told local media on Friday night, after a six-day visit to China and Japan. They plan to ink a formal trade deal during the annual Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, to be held in Peru in November, Garcia said, giving no details on tariff reductions or other preferential terms of trade. (AP – click here to read complete article)

Peru to Prepay IDB, World Bank Debt

Peru plans to prepay about $1.1bn of its debt to the World Bank and IDB by mid-year, according to local news and wire reports citing finance ministry official Jose Miguel Ugarte. It will use treasury funds to finance the repurchase of $620m in debt from the World Bank and $497m from the IDB, and is also considering the sale of new PES-denominated debt. Peru repurchased $838m in outstanding Brady bonds March 7. The planned buyback will be Peru’s biggest since a $1.8bn repurchase of Paris Club debt in July. (Latin Finance)