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Crime | July 26, 2011 [ 15:54 ]

932 books stolen from the National Library of Peru

The National Library of Peru (Photo:El Comercio/Archive )
In February this year, the National Library of Peru reported that it had been the victim of systematic theft.

Five months later, after an exhaustive inventory forced the closure of its doors, its director, Ramón Mujica Pinilla, presented the total number of books missing: 932. The missing books are mostly very valuable antiques.

News of the theft was published in an article by El Pais, which reports that some of these books date back to the 16th and 17th century.

Such is the case of a manuscript titled Una Vida, written in 1679 and stollen by one of the workers during the inventory process. Mujica said the theft was caught on video. Also missing is a book by Erasmus of Rotterdan, published in Paris in 1524.

Mujica reported that 181 books had been lost from the old trust and private libraries, 125 books from the general collection, 414 manuscripts from the valuable library bequeathed by the historian Raul Porras Barrenechea and 32 books considered bibliographic jewels.

Among the missing items were three books that had recently been returned by the Chilean government and had been looted during the occupation of Lima in the Pacific War (1879-1883). According to Mujica, these books were never made available to the public because they had not even been cataloged.

Silvana Salazar, technical director of the National Library, said in a press conference that most of the stolen books were about the conflict between Peru and Chile.

After five months the inventory determined that the National Library of Peru has an endowment of 150,894 books and about 320,000 documents of historical value. "The library must be declared in emergency," Mujica claims, noting that he had requested help from the private sector during the inventory, since the government had made no contribution.

Although the new library was oppened last year security of its collection remaines weak.

In order to take inventory Telefonica del Peru, a private company, provided the library with security cameras in order to monitor the vaults, rooms and corridors through which the books were moved.

These cameras filmed the theft of one of the manuscripts. Now that the inventory was completed “we have to give them back again and the collections will be unprotected," says Mujica.

The National Library finally reopened its doors this week, but Muica calls for more government aid. Due to an emergency decree that imposes measures of austerity during the final part of the government, the library has run out of resources to invest in security measures.

"The state needs to invest in defending its heritage, we still have a lot of inventory," said Mujica. An extensive collection of maps, music scores, another group of old books and some seven million volumes have not yet been registered

Although it may seem unusual, the National Library of Peru does not have a bibliographic management software system, which complicates the task of recording items.

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Politics | July 26, 2011 [ 15:43 ]

Opinion: Is the National Stadium for all Peruvians?

By Víctor Vich for
Translated and edited by Jorge Riveros-Cayo

Opinion: Is the National Stadium for all Peruvians?
The National Stadium was inaugurated by president Alan García last Sunday, despite it has not been finished. (Image:

Beyond the accusations about the constant budget excesses, the truth is that the photographs of the new National Stadium are shocking. Not because of its modern design or the funny lights on the exterior structure of the stadium, but instead due to its eloquent remodeling that seems to have been done to benefit a minority and not to accommodate a larger amount of spectators. The excessive boxes built have been privatized in benefit of that minority that can enjoy the economic growth.

How could such an architectural design be approved? How is it possible that the remodeling of the National Stadium was planned for only the benefit of a few? What happened is incredible and shameful, not only, as I said, because of the undeniable evidences of budget mismanagements, but for the symbology of its new design and what it represents: The condescending enjoyment of those that have power to mark the difference between the rich and the poor.

Is there any questioning among our Peruvian liberal thinkers about the limits of how the capital should function and the power it serves? Some years ago, in the middle of an electoral campaign, Woodman – current president of the Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD) – was accused for being “the candidate of the rich,” not because of the wealth he actually has, but instead for representing a “vision of the world” that ignores inequality, and that seems to promote it instead, and that doesn’t seem compromised in fighting it back.

I’ll explain myself: Any stadium from any private sports club has the right to build all the exclusive boxes it can. But the National Stadium cannot follow such a model because it is a “national” site, a public place for all. Hence, its design should have had in mind to promote an experience of integration instead of encouraging hierarchy and disparity.

The authoritarianism that exists in Peru doesn’t only refer to a lifestyle but to the way public management is executed. Nowadays, we witness a “capital authoritarianism” that wipes out anything in its way. Today we observe, more and more, the oppressive presence of economic power and its unlimited exercise over cities and citizens. Far from having learned something from the last decades, in Peru we keep observing the absolute lack of interest to neutralize existing hierarchies, at least at a symbolic level.

During this last presidential campaign, we were told that in order to have “chorreo” – the dripping of the so called economic growth – first there should be a major generation of wealth. But what is actually happening is totally the opposite. The more wealth there is, the more hierarchies that appear and a more sophisticated system of social exclusion is built. The new boxes of the remodeled National Stadium are an excellent example of this. They are horrendous because they are a clear sign of a period marked by absolute tyranny of the capital, and the complicity of a State that is passively subjugated to its power.

In the past, architects had in mind the collective organization of space that, in theory, belonged to everybody. This is why, fifty years ago, the National Stadium was designed with smaller soccer fields surrounding it. It was an open and friendly place profoundly integrated with the population. Today it is exactly the opposite. It can be quite of a bad taste to say it now, but when Peruvians start to attend the games of our soccer team at the National Stadium, what we will sadly see is a sports building that will confront us, once again, with a harshly fragmented society, (maybe much more than before) and insistently hierarchical.

Regardless of the optimistic speeches that circulate about progress and development, we still have in Peru a social enjoyment to mark inequalities and to be delighted by them. In the very few days left of his administration, president Alan García keeps inaugurating hideously monumental buildings, many of them badly constructed or not finished. Is this a successful and democratizing government? “Ha, ha,” I would say as Bryce’s stupendous book title.

Víctor Vich is an associate professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and a principal researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP). 
He is one of the most insightful academics in Peru today.

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Education | July 26, 2011 [ 14:40 ]

Garcia: Peru moves towards modernity after eradicating illiteracy


President Alan Garcia visits the Cultural Literacy Center in Rimac. (Photo ANDINA/ Oscar Farje)
President Alan Garcia said Tuesday that Peru is set to "run" towards modernity after eradicating illiteracy, as some 1.6 million Peruvians have learned to read and write in recent years.

"A country that prides itself of making progress and growing could not coexist with this issue that, if viewed from the perspective of a woman who had no education and was confined to housework or fieldwork, was a huge gap in the history of our country," he said.

At the inauguration of the country's Literacy Cultural Center, the head of state said that the fact that there were millions of illiterate people in our country was a "black hole" in the consciousness of all Peruvians, and not only of politics and statistics.

He noted that thanks to the efforts of thousands of literacy coordinators, 1.6 million Peruvians have learned to read and write in recent years, with which Peru was declared as a country free of illiteracy by international organizations.

"With that title now we can run towards modernity without the embarrassment of having a black hole inside us which shamed all Peruvians for having forgotten those who had no education," he said.

President Garcia mentioned that 600,000 out of this 1.6 million literate Peruvians are currently studying in alternative primary education in order to deepen their knowledge.

However, the Peruvian leader noted that there are still 800,000 people who could not pass the exams so his desire is to continue those efforts.

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Economy | July 26, 2011 [ 13:23 ]

Over 30 pct of young people plan to start a business in Peru

(Photo:Andina/ Carlos Lezama)
31.2% of young Peruvians plans to start a business in the next 12 months and is optimistic about the economic future of the country, according to the First National Youth Survey, sponsored by the National Youth Secretariat (Senaju).

96.6% of people, ranging in ages from 15 to 29, stated they were encouraged to start a business because of a desire to improve their income. The second most important factor was the "desire to be independent" (92.8%).

According to an article published in Andina, the survey reported that 3.9% of men and 5.4% of women between the ages of 25 and 29 already had an independent business.

Alvaro Quispe, secretary of Senaju, says the results showed the progress of entrepreneurship and the optimism of Peruvians who were fighting to get ahead economically, socially and politically.

The survey was conducted by Senaju and the National Statistics Institute (INEI) and was the first developed in the country and also included young peoples’ perception about the future of Peru for the next 10 years.

37.7% of respondents thought that by 2021 Peru would be a country with more opportunities 29.4% believed that Peru would be a developed country and 21.8 that it would be a country of entrepreneurs.

The study showed that 32.2% of young people were studying or had studied law, economics or business administration, 19.0% architecture, engineering or other related careers, 15.2% studied education and 9.9% studied medicine or related professions.

21.8% of young people were studying or had studied a technical career in electronics, engineering or other related careers, and 20.8% studied physics, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, computer science or other related fields.

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Politics | July 26, 2011 [ 12:38 ]

Peru’s new government to focus on education, health, social programs

Marisol Espinoza (Photo:Andina/Gustavo Sánchez )
The new government will change the current budget and prioritize investment in education, health and social programs, according to vice president-elect Marisol Espinoza.

According to news agency Andina, Espinoza stated she had already talked to future Minister of Finance, Miguel Castilla, on this issue, which is one of the concerns of President-elect Ollanta Humala.

"We talked to him to redefine the budget, based on proposals from Gana Peru [Humala’s Party] which revolved around social inclusion programs; these programs include issues of education and health, and social programs that are not already included in the budget," she said.

She said the new government would work toward economic growth of no less than 6%, by the end of the year.

"Our commitment is for the country to grow with equity - that the growth does not stop. (Castilla) will be in charge of making growth go to 6% (...) which is a conservative goal," she told local CPN Radio.

Espinoza further noted that the new cabinet - which will take office on July 28 - gives trust to the country and would work "toward a path of social inclusion."

Finally, she said the government would be careful with public resources and would comply with the law on this matter.

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Economy | July 26, 2011 [ 12:23 ]

Peru’s domestic demand up 9.7 pct this year

(Photo:Andina/Archive )
The Central Reserve Bank (BCR) has reported that domestic demand grew 7.5%, in the first five months of the year. Local news source Gestión reports, that this is due to increased private consumption and investment.

Sales in supermarkets and department stores grew 16.8 and 17.3% respectively.

Among products with higher production were goods such as bottled water, beer, detergents, evaporated milk, yogurt, soft drinks and energy drinks.

Industries that reported a decrease in growth were construction and capital goods related services, while sectors that produced inputs maintained their growth rates.

The BCR said the rate of utilization of installed capacity of non-primary manufacturing was 78% during May, an increase of four percentage points compared to May 2010.

This statistic is similar to a monthly survey of companies, about their macroeconomic expectations, which indicated a 78% level of utilization of installed capacity of non-primary manufacturing during the months of May and June.

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International Relations | July 26, 2011 [ 11:02 ]

Peru - Korea Free Trade will start August 1st

Ministers of Peru and Korea signing Free Trade Agreement (Photo: Andina/Mincetur)

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism has stated that provisions are in place for the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and South Korea, on August 1st, according to an article published in Gestion.

The Peru – Korea FTA was signed in Seoul on March 21st of this year. During this time the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Peru and of Korea exchanged diplomatic notes to make formal corrections to the trade agreement, in English, Korean and Spanish

On July 21st both countries notified each other they had completed the legal requirements needed to implement the FTA. On July 24th Peru’s Foreign Ministry ratified the FTA and signaled the agreement would be implemented on August 1st.

During negotiations with Korea, Eduardo Ferreyros, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, said the agreement would open up an important market, of approximately 50 million potential consumers, which have a per capita income of over $17,000 and are able to buy Peruvian products.

Ferreyros also considered that bilateral trade would grow considerably with the FTA, not just the exchange of products, but cheaper high-quality cars, appliances, capital goods and electronic equipment would also enter the Peruvian market.

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International Relations | July 26, 2011 [ 9:25 ]

Japan to approve FTA with Peru, by end of year

Peru's Minister of Foreign Trade and Toruism, Eduardo Ferreyros (Photo:Andina/Norman Córdova )

Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Eduardo Ferreyros estimated the Japanese Congress will approve the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Peru, later this year.

"We are following procedure since the problems they have had in recent months, linked to geographical disasters, have made the Diet (Japanese Congress) not have much time to see this issue," he said to Andina news agency.

Ferreyros said conditions are suitable for the political body of Japan to approve the treaty, implying that it would be implemented by early 2012."Japan has made all possible steps that allow us to believe they want to accelerate this process," he said.

He also said the First Round of Negotiations of the Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between Peru and India, held in early July in New Delhi was productive.

"In this first phase negotiating positions and documents are exchanged. I would hope that these negotiations are completed soon to make way for negotiations towards an FTA," he said.

Ferreyros noted that one of the challenges the new minister will face is to finalize the FTA with Venezuela and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). "The latter is one of the most important agreements being negotiated now in the world, and will serve as the basis for the agreement with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum," he said.

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Politics | July 25, 2011 [ 22:17 ]

Singer Susana Baca will be Peru’s next minister of culture

Susana Baca (Photo: El Comercio /Archive )
The last two remaining ministries of the new administration have been filled. An article published by El Comercio reported that women would fill the remaining two ministries.

Singer Susana Baca has been put forward as Minister of Culture. Baca is a Latin Grammy winner and through her touring has promoted Afro-Peruvian music around the world. The renowned singer has no previous experience in government.

Baca graduated from Cantuta University, where she studied education. Aside from a performer, she is also a scholar of Peruvian music. Baca is a member of the ethics board Proética, and in 1987 she was named a Cultural Ambassador of Goodwill for UNICEF in Peru. She has also directed an NGO called ‘Water, Snow’, which sought to promote culture.

President-elect Ollanta Humala also named Patricia Salas O’Brian as Minister of Education.

Salas has a PhD in Social Sciences from the Universidad Católica Santa María in Arequipa. She has led studies in development strategies and social policy at the University San Agustín in Arequipa.

Salas has also been president of the National Council of Education. She also participated in the design of the National Education Project, which was presented to the government for implementation.

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Mining & Energy | July 25, 2011 [ 17:15 ]

Lupaka Gold completes 8 drill holes on Crucero project in Puno


Drilling Works at Lupaka's Crucero gold project, located in Puno, southern Peru. (Photo: Lupaka Gold website)
Canadian-based Lupaka Gold Corp. reported it has completed eight drill holes and over 2,700 metres since commencing the 2011 drill program on its Crucero Gold Project, located in Puno. The company added it has received assay results on the first three drill holes and is waiting on results for the remianing five holes.

Two drill rigs are actively drilling on the Crucero Gold Project site with a total of 11,000 metres planned to be drilled by December 2011.

The results have extended the northern boundary and the depth of known mineralization of the envelope at the A-1 Zone.

The 2011 drill program is focused on resource expansion at the A-1 Zone and investigating other identified anomalies on the 5,500 hectare claim area.

Eric Edwards, President and CEO of Lupaka Gold said dilling is scheduled to commence on the first of the other identified anomalies by the end of August.

"We continue to demonstrate the continuity of mineralization and gold grade within the A-1 Zone at the Crucero Gold Project. The results returned in hole DDH-41 are compelling in that the hole is located outside of the existing resource envelope, we are growing the boundaries of the known mineralized envelope to the north," he said.

Edwards said DDH-21 is also significant in that we drilled to a depth of 388.05 metres and bottomed in mineralization, with the final 13.05 metres averaging 1.56 g/t gold.

"The A-1 Zone mineralization outcrops at surface, and this result extends and leaves open the ultimate depth of mineralization at Crucero," he added.

Lupaka Gold Corp also reports that, on July 14, 2011, it completed the third acquisition payment, in the amount of US$3.0 million, for its 60% interest in Minera Pacacorral (MP) under the purchase agreement dated July 23, 2010.

MP is the Peruvian company that holds a 100% interest in the nine claims that comprise the Crucero property. The purchase agreement also grants the company an option to acquire the remaining 40% interest in MP at any time until July 2015.

The fourth and final acquisition payment for the company's 60% interest in the amount of US$3.0 million is due on July 15, 2012. Pursuant to an agreement between the company and one of the vendors, the company is entitled to satisfy US$750,000 of the July 15, 2012 payment by issuing common shares of the company in lieu of cash.

Lupaka Gold is aggressively exploring and developing the Crucero Gold Project, its 5,500 hectare gold property located in southern Peru.

The company, based in Vancouver, Canada, is project operator and holds a 60% indirect interest in the property and has an option to acquire the remaining 40% interest in MP at any time until July 2015.

Since commencing active exploration in April 2010, the Company has reported a NI 43-101 compliant gold resource.

In addition to the existing resource, Lupaka Gold has identified several exploration targets within the Crucero Property that display similar anomalous characteristics.

Lupaka Gold is led by a strong management team with the proven ability to develop, finance and operate mining projects. The company completed an initial public offering of its common shares and warrants on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on June 28, 2011.

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