Just when the whole country was in a good mood because Cienciano (the team from Cusco) had beaten Boca Juniors on penalties in the "RECOPA 2004" tournament, the news broke on "24 Horas Noticias" (the Peruvian version of"Newsnight") that the President had sold-off the countries gold, silver & copper mines in the Apurimac/Huancavelica region (in the foothills of the Andes south of Lima) to a Swiss company for US$121million. It sounds a lot but you can bet the reserves are worth a lot more if the Swiss are investing in that way.
That now means that fishing rights in Peruvian waters have been sold to Japan, the oilfields to the USA, Britain & Germany, the rights to fell trees in the Amazon to the Koreans, the telephone company belongs to the Spaniards & even the airport in Lima is run by a German company. ¿ Vaya Globalization ? This is all due to successive governments wanting to be seen to be bringing investment into the country but it is a very short-term & short-sighted policy. President Toledo explained on TV that Peru does not have the capability or the experienced engineers to extract the reerves and that the project would mean jobs, new hospitals, schools & roads but the Swiss company made it very clear that they hope to extract all the mineral reserves in 10 years, and the jobs come with no union rights & for the manual labourers, extremely poor wages. After they've stripped the land of its wealth and left how will the region maintain these new services ? The same goes for the Amazon, the oilfields, & the fishing waters.
Bellavista Juventud won 4-1 on Saturday so that took our minds off the sell-off & there was a huge fiesta all weekend.