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No. 146. 31 July 2011
President Ollanta Humala has made no secret of his admiration for the model employed by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil: a combination of free market orthodoxy in economic policy with some bold initiatives in the area of social policy. How difficult will it prove to replicate the Brazilian experience in Peru? For our assessment see this month's editorial from our bi-monthly publication, the Peru Update.
30 June 2011
The number of social conflicts in Peru has increased by almost 250 percent over the past five years. The majority of new conflicts in the country are associated with natural resource management and with resource exploitation and infrastructure projects. Tensions are particularly likely when such projects are undertaken without adequate and prior consultation of the indigenous communities which could be affected. The following report by Oxfam and the Due Process of Law Foundation discusses the extent to which Andean countries have fulfilled their obligations to prior consultation with indigenous peoples.
01 June 2011
With the second round of presidential elections on June 5, there is little doubt in our mind (as Peru Support Group) which of the two candidate’s policies would be preferable. While some question marks remain over both Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala, by no means is it – as Mario Vargas Llosa described – a contest of equally disagreeable alternatives, a choice between “cancer and AIDS”. Our assessment would instead come closer to that of the following pithy observer who noted: “over Humala we have doubts, but with Keiko we have proof”.
26 May 2011
The PSG recently teamed up with Amantani UK, a charity with educational projects in Peru, to enter volunteers into a fundraising marathon / half-marathon this summer. In this article Fred Branson, the founder of Amantani UK, explores the concept of ‘ayni’ and its connotations for development work in Peru and beyond.
15 April 2011
Those engaged in social protest in Peru have repeatedly found themselves targeted by the authorities. Activists and community leaders often face spurious or trumped up charges intended to intimidate and/or to divert their time and resources away from protest activities. Officials are particularly predisposed to such methods when demonstrations are perceived to threaten large investment projects in the country. The following report by CIDSE looks at this issue, outlining the link between the extractive industries and the criminalisation of social protest in Peru and the rest of Latin America.
04 April 2011
In this special article for the PSG James Haselip of the Technical University of Denmark and Beatriz Martínez Romera from the University of Copenhagen examine whether expanding industry transparency in Peru’s energy sector will be enough to avoid the 'natural resource curse'.
01 April 2011
The Chasqui played a vital role in the Inca Empire, carrying messages across the region by running great distances at great speeds. We are currently looking for volunteers to challenge themselves in a similar way this summer by running (or walking) a half or full marathon to raise funds for the PSG.
03 February 2011
Peruvian voters seem to have a strong preference for presidential candidates who only a few years previously they were delighted to see the back of. So it was that Fernando Belaúnde returned in 1980, following his dismal showing as president in the 1960s. Then Alan García was given a second go at being president in 2006, having been roundly condemned as one of Peru’s worst presidents when his first term ended in 1990. Now, it would seem, Alejandro Toledo is staging a come-back, having been one of Latin America’s least popular presidents for most of his previous term (2001-06), with his approval ratings seldom above single-digit level.
20 January 2011
A pending free trade agreement between the European Union and Peru would allow European extractive firms easier access to Peru's natural resources. A recent report by Traidcraft Exchange, Oxfam Germany and partner organisations, questions the extent to which countries like Peru benefit from such agreements.
17 December 2010
As the date for setting presidential candidacies approaches, the Lima press is absorbed by the composition of the eventual line up. Who will run with whom? What sort of alliances are in the works? How many of the candidacies are simply tactical moves to get on to another’s list? Ultimately, the question we should ask ourselves is how much difference will it all make.