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  1. Oct 2015
    1. The protection of seed is thus of the utmost importance for the indigenous peoples of Guatemala and across Mesoamerica. “We cannot live without our corn,” said Acetún of the indigenous municipality. “It makes up all of our lives. We consume it for our food, we sell it, it is us.”

      This is an article about Guatemalan indigenous population wining fight against Monsnto in 2014.

  2. Sep 2015
    1. Morales, the longest-serving president in South America, benefits from a fractured opposition that has failed to rally behind a single leader.

      Reminiscent of 19th century Latin America we have discussed in class...

    1. Here is a link to a two part article on Peru and its role in the deforestation in the Amazon through mining. http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2015/9/Peru-mining.html

    2. Gov't to review bill on Peru's largest oil field, president says Published September 21, 2015EFE The Council of Ministers will review a bill approved by Congress that would allow state-owned Petroperu to operate Lot 192, the largest oil field in Peru, President Ollanta Humala said.

      "We're within the timeframe and we're going to resolve this once we have the reports and, given how delicate this matter is, it's going to be looked at by the Council of Ministers," the president said in an interview with state-owned TV Peru.

      The government opposed the approval of the bill by Congress on Sept. 4, arguing that the move would require the spending of public funds and that Canada's Pacific Stratus Energy had already received a two-year concession for Lot 192.

      Argentina's Pluspetrol operated the field from 2001 until July, but the company was the target of frequent criticism from residents, who claimed land had been polluted and the oil company failed to carry out environmental remediation work it had agreed to.

      "We have to strengthen Petroperu, but not try to destroy it. So, we have to give it the opportunity to gradually take on greater responsibilities," Humala said.

      The environmental and land claims made by Indian communities around Lot 192, located in the northern Amazonian region of Loreto, are "legitimate," the president said.

      Lot 192, located near the Peruvian-Ecuadorian border, accounts for 17 percent of Peru's oil production.

      About 11,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude are pumped from 16 wells in Lot 192. EFE

    1. Business, Economy Standard & Poor’s Lowers Ratings for Five Peru Banks September 14, 2015 2:07 pm·0 commentsViews: 118 Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating for five Peruvian banks, which points towards a more difficult economic environment for the Andean nation,

      The agency gave lowered the rating from BBB to BBB- for Banco de Credito del Peru, the country’s largest bank, as well as Banco Interamericano de Finanzas (BanBif), BBVA Banco Continental, MiBanco and Interbank, according to Gestion.

      Standard & Poor’s gave a stable outlook for BCP, BBVA, MiBanco and Interbank, while it gave a negative outlook for BanBif.

      “This lower note reflects our opinion of greater economic risks for banks that operate in Peru, which ratifies our perspective on the growth of Peru,” Standard & Poor’s said. “We believe that the trajectory of the country won’t be consistently above its peers with a similar economic development.”

      The agency’s decision follows months of weak growth in Peru, although there are also signs of an economic recovery going into the second half of 2015, thanks to increased mineral production and the start of construction on infrastructure projects. In July, Peru’s copper production rose almost 30% compared to the same month in 2014, according to the Mines and Energy Ministry. Copper is Peru’s top export.

      Late last month, Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed its long-term foreign currency rating for Peru at BBB+ and its long-term local currency rating of A-, with stable outlooks.

      The agency said in a statement that it was expecting Peru’s economic growth to expand on average at 3.7% per year from 2015 to 2018, which is still robust compared to many countries but far slower than the previous decade when annual growth was about 6%.

      “The stable outlook reflects our view that Peru remains well placed to conduct some countercyclical policy and can manage a widening of its current account deficit and some increase in external debt despite potential local and global market volatility ahead of the 2016 presidential elections and a more challenging global backdrop,” the agency said.

      Finance Minister in New York to appeal to MSCI

      Meanwhile, Peru’s Finance minister, Alonso Segura, is in New York today to convince Morgan Stanley’s Capital International division, MSCI, to reconsider its downgrading of the Lima Stock Exchange from Emerging to Frontier.

      Segura is in New York with the chairman of the Central Bank, Julio Velarde, as well as Lilian Rocca, superinendent of the stock market; Christian Laub, president of the Lima Stock Exchange; and Francis Stenning, president of Cavali, the securities and settlements registry.