Peace Corps Peru: 2007

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The Peace Corps first opened a program in Peru in 1962. Volunteers worked in grassroots development projects targeting health, agriculture, education and business development. The program in Peru supported over 2,600 Volunteers from 1962 until Peace Corps' departure in 1975. On December 12, 2001, Peru's then-president, Alejandro Toledo, officially invited the Peace Corps to return to Peru . Peace Corps Volunteers now serve in Peru by providing support to communities in four primary areas: small business development, community health promotion, environmental awareness, and youth outreach. Currently, about 170 Volunteers serve in Peru.

Sharing borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile, Peru is a large and diverse country. Its unique environmental variations include the arid coastal desert, the Andean Mountains and valleys, and the Amazonian tropical forests. With so many ecosystems and climatic zones, Peru is a country rich in biodiversity, with many rare species of flora and fauna. The country is home to approximately 25 million people of various cultures. The Peace Corps first opened a program in Peru in 1962. Volunteers worked in grassroots development projects targeting health, agriculture, education and business development. The program in Peru supported over 2,600 Volunteers from 1962 until Peace Corps' departure in 1975. On December 12, 2001, Peru's then-president, Alejandro Toledo, officially invited the Peace Corps to return to Peru . Peace Corps Volunteers now serve in Peru by providing support to communities in four primary areas: small business development, community health promotion, environmental awareness, and youth outreach. Currently, about 170 Volunteers serve in Peru.[1]

Contents

2007

2007: Tunisia RPCV Lance Holter writes: 1st Lt. Ehren Watada risks it all in an act of moral conscience

"I learned about the courage of conviction last week when I met with a courageous young American patriot. A leader who lives by example. An individual, who out of a decision of moral conscience, refuses to participate in a war that he believes (after much personal research) violates the U.S. Constitution, Geneva accords, Nuremberg principals, and the United Nations Charter. First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, a 28 year old U.S. Army artillery officer from Hawaii, has become the first active duty military officer publicly to oppose the war in Iraq. As a result of his act of conscience and challenging what we now know about the war in Iraq, Lt. Watada is facing military court martial at Ft. Lewis Washington this February 5, 2007."��"I, for one, am outraged. If the past national election or national polls are any indication of America’s dissatisfaction and outrage with the Iraq war then I am in good company. Seventy-two percent of the U.S. troops in a 2006 Zogby poll want the U.S. out Iraq in 12 months. So when an individual emerges with the integrity of Lt. Watada, all of us benefit, whether we agree with him or not. In the national debate on the Iraq war we have an island boy risking all that he has including his future to help us all arrive at the truth." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Haleaka Times. "Ehren Watada: Risking It All In An Act Of Moral Conscience" January 2, 2007.


2007: A Mistrial for Lieut. Watada

Watada, 28, faced charges both for failing to deploy and for making public statements about the war that the Army considered "conduct unbecoming an officer." In a pretrial stipulation as part of an agreement to lower the number charges against him, Watada had admitted his failure to deploy. He did not admit guilt on the charge, however, because he felt his failure to deploy had been justified by the war's alleged illegality. Prosecutors were satisfied with this arrangement and were prepared to let the jury decide the matter. So was the judge, until Wednesday, the third day of the court-martial. "The judge was concerned that the stipulation amounted to a confession by Watada to an offense to which he intended to plead not guilty," said Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek. It was unclear why it had taken the judge three days to come to this conclusion concerning a document that was a pillar of the prosecution's case, but it was nevertheless devastating to the military prosecutors, who had rested their case the previous day. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Time Magazine. "A Mistrial For Lieut. Watada" February 8, 2007.


2007: Bill Simpich writes: The Watada mistrial: Here's What Really Happened

Lt. Watada repeatedly told the judge on Monday and Tuesday morning, before the trial began, that he agreed with the 12-page "stipulation of facts" that was provided to the panel of seven officers as evidence of most of the key events in this case. The lieutenant reminded the judge in every response that he continued to believe that his orders to go to Iraq were illegal. The judge raised concerns about the document on Wednesday morning, moments before Lt. Watada was set to take the witness stand. The judge had just received a new proposed legal instruction from Defense Attorney Seitz. Since the judge had recently ruled that the order given to Lt. Watada to deploy to Iraq was "legal," Seitz took the logical next step. Entitled "Reasonable Mistake of Fact/Law," his new instruction was designed to inform the panel that even if Lt. Watada were "mistaken" in his belief that the order was illegal, a defense to the "missing movement" charge would be viable if the panel made a finding that Lt. Watada's belief that the order was illegal was "reasonable." Shaken by this instruction, the judge tried to claim that Seitz had introduced some error by submitting this instruction, forgetting that the panel had not seen the instruction and hence any error was literally impossible! Realizing the error of his ways, the judge then tried to speak to Lt. Watada about his understanding of the stipulation without asking Seitz for his permission. After initially warning the judge that he might not let him speak to Lt. Watada, Seitz relented and told the judge that he would let him speak to him over objection The judge repeatedly tried to shake Lt. Watada's insistence that he reasonably believed that he was following an illegal order, all the while insisting that he wasn't trying to mislead him in any way. Lt. Watada again respectfully but firmly punctuated his remarks with his state of mind. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Truthout. "The Watada Mistrial: Here's What Really Happened" February 9, 2007.


2007: Rory Schember guides villagers in Chota, Peru, as they build small artisan businesses

He guides villagers in Chota, Peru, as they build small artisan businesses. Eventually he will teach them how to market and export their crafts, he said. He hopes his work will ‘‘leave an impact, no matter how small” on his Peruvian neighbors. He also hopes Peace Corps can offer some direction in figuring out what he wants to do with his life. But most important, he said, is socializing and cultivating relationships in Peru. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Business Gazette. "Week Highlights Memories Of The ‘Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love’" February 26, 2007.


2007: Ryan Nelson goes to Peru with Peace Corps

Through his work, Nelson hopes to either form an association of women weavers to start a marketable business of hand bags, wall hangings, table sets and other products, or work with a fish-farming project. "As far as the experience goes, I couldn't ask for anything better," he said. "It's really an unmatchable experience. I'm not saying that it's an easy job, as I have never been so challenged in my life, but it is extremely gratifying." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Evening Sun. "East Berlin Goes To Peru With Peace Corps" March 5, 2007.


2007: Peru RPCV Bob Watada becomes outspoken critic of Iraq war

Bob Watada, a 67-year-old retired state official, said after his son, Ehren, became the first military officer to face a court martial for publicly refusing to deploy to Iraq, his life dramatically changed. He researched events leading up the war, started criticizing the Bush administration on its reasons for invading Iraq, and then traveled across the country for much of the past year with his wife to speak about his son and raise money for legal costs. "It was because of him that I've gone out and educated myself," said Bob Watada, who served as executive director of Hawaii's Campaign Spending Commission for a decade. "I've given literally hundreds of speeches. If it wasn't for my son I wouldn't have read all these books." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Seattle Intelligencer. "Father Becomes Outspoken Critic Of Iraq War" April 15, 2007.


2007: RPCV Char McLaughlin teaches Peruvian cooking at Bismarck State College

Before Columbus landed in the New World, European diets consisted of lots of grain-based gruels, said Char McLaughlin, of Bismarck, whose three-year Peace Corps stint in Peru was spent teaching home economics and picking up traditional cooking from the communities she lived in. So if you like any of the following - tomatoes, potatoes, vanilla, chocolate, squash, peppers, bananas, pineapples and corn - say "thank you" to the Incas and other South and North American peoples who cultivated them. Cooking techniques in Peru were passed down from grandmothers and aunts and mothers, she said. Produce was abundant and varied, but because of the high elevations in portions of the country, a pressure cooker was a must, she said; some foods such as beans could be boiled forever in the low-oxygen heights and never cook through. The time required for chopping and grinding foods meant that the first thing families bought when electricity arrived was a food processor and a rice cooker, she said. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: BismarckTribune. "A Taste Of Peru" May 2, 2007.


2007: Peru RPCV William Jacoby has been named President of Direct Global Power

Prior to joining DGP in 2006, Jacoby served as Vice President of the Besicorp Group, an independent power producer that developed six successful cogeneration plants in New York State where he performed due diligence assignments and assembled the external development team for a proposed 1,000 MW power project in India. He was Chief Counsel of the Albany Community Development Agency for six years. Earlier, he implemented Albany's award-winning affordable housing development program and managed its local economic development program. His experience also includes 4 years in state government as director of a policy bureau, and service in the U. S. Peace Corps in Peru. [2007.06.20: June 20, 2007: Headlines: COS - Peru: Business: Engineering: Energy: Solar Power: Direct Global Power,: Peru RPCV William Jacoby has been named President of Direct Global Power Click this link to read more.]

  • Original Source: Direct Global Power,. "Direct Global Power Names Jacoby As President" June 20, 2007.


2007: Sierra Leone RPCV Alrick Brown and Peru RPCV St Clair Bourne at African Cinefest in Barbados

Among the visiting directors was Alrick Brown, a Jamaican living in New York, who is in the early stages of pre-production of the epic film to be released next year about the life and times of famous cricketers and Barbados' national hero Sir Garfield Sobers. The movie will involve some local actors and some of the filming will be done in Barbados. Director St Clair Bourne, whose father was a Barbadian, is presenting a documentary, titled: John Henrick Clarke: A Great And Mighty Walk. Clarke was a noted African American historian, scholar and Pan African activist. The film on him was produced and narrated by actor Wesley Snipes. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Nation Newspaper. "Films Falling Flat" August 25, 2007.


2007: Federal judge tells military to halt Watada court-martial

In a rare, last-minute move, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle on Friday put Watada's Tuesday court-martial on hold. In the weeks ahead, Settle will decide whether this second trial should proceed, or be quashed as a violation of the officer's constitutional rights that protect against double jeopardy, or being tried twice for the same crime. Watada's first trial unraveled in February when a military judge expressed misgivings over Watada's interpretation of a pretrial agreement. The judge, over objections by the defense, ruled a mistrial. Watada's attorneys argued that a second trial sought by Fort Lewis prosecutors would represent double jeopardy, and they unsuccessfully sought to persuade two military appeals courts to block the trial. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Seattle Times. "Federal Judge Tells Military To Halt Watada Court-Martial" October 13, 2007.


2007: Peru Country director Frank Mankiewicz to Speak at Monterey Institute of International Studies

Mr. Mankiewicz was president of National Public Radio. He was also the regional director for the Peace Corps in Latin America, campaign director for 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern, and press secretary to Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Mr. Mankiewicz has been active in national and regional politics, serving as a senior adviser to political candidates. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Monterey Insitute. "Frank Mankiewicz To Speak At Monterey Institute Of International Studies" November 28, 2007.


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