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Wednesday, November 15th 2017, 6:46pm

Peruvian News and Events, June 1948

El Popular (Lima), 4 June 1948

With the newly operational destroyers Cano and De los Heros riding at anchor in the harbor of Callao Minister of Defense Zenon Noriega Aquero presided over the formal ceremonies marking the completion of the destroyers Larrea and Deganio. In his remarks Minister Noriega affirmed his confidence in the ability of the Armada’s latest vessels to undertake the duties of those vessels being sold to China, citing the reduction in regional tensions through better relations with Chile and Colombia.

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Tuesday, November 28th 2017, 12:50am

Lima, The American Embassy, 11 June 1948

The clerk from the embassy mail room dropped off the letter in the in-box of Commander Trevor Stevens, the naval attaché, that morning. It was not until the late afternoon that Stevens returned from Callao, where he was following up the matter of Peru’s sale of warships to China.

The letter was from the Department of the Navy, Bureau of Personnel. Stevens opened it and read with surprise the details of his next posting. He was to be relieved of his embassy duties in Lima but not, as was normal, reassigned to sea duty. He was directed to return to Washington as soon as possible for briefings prior to departing for Manila, where he would take up the duties of naval attaché there.

Picking up the telephone he called Smythe, the ambassador’s secretary, to ask for an appointment, in order to apprise Pawley of the news. When he had accomplished that, he reflected that leaving the backwater of Peru for the more important post in the Philippines might not be such a bad thing.

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Tuesday, December 12th 2017, 1:11am

Loreto, vicinity of the Peruvian frontier, 19 June 1948

The many informants who supplied the Brazilian and Colombian authorities in the Tres Fronteras with ‘intelligence’ vied with each other regarding their speculative interpretations of what they saw, or heard, or imagined. Sifting out the truth from the chaff often reduced such authorities to tears or drove them to the local cantina. But this much was true – more of the swift motor launches had arrived to lend greater mobility to the Peruvian 2ª Brigada de Infantería de Marina – a pair of them had even made an official call at Loreto, where the Colombian were permitted to inspect them.

The work of the Military Rural Settlement Units had fostered the growth of many new hamlets and villages throughout the region – attracting settlers from other parts of Peru and increasing commerce throughout the upper Amazon; the Peruvian clinics in the immediate border areas even attracted patients from across the fluid borders – treating them on an equal basis. The growing number of Peruvian-flag cargo ships arriving at Iquitos brought an increasing quantity of manufactured goods for the local markets, and carried out of the region cargos of timber, rubber, and other valuable forest commodities.

The obvious intention of the Peruvian Government to raise the standard of living of its citizens brought forth invidious comparisons from those living on the other side of those same fluid borders at the seeming inaction of their own governments. Cables to Bogota, and to Manaus and Rio, brought only promises after lengthy silence. Thus news that a group of Europeans had arrived at Iquitos to begin surveys along the Peruvian Amazon sparked new concerns. What might be next?