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1

Friday, March 31st 2017, 3:27am

Peruvian News and Events, 1948

La Moneda Palace, Santiago, Chile, 1 January 1948

Teodoro Casana Robles was a student of history, and as he stood in an anteroom of the Chilean presidential palace, the importance of this moment weighed on his shoulders. Relations between Peru and Chile had never been without friction, and in the past seven decades had seen open war on far too many occasions, with his country suffering defeat on nearly every occasion. Too many lives and too much treasure had been expended over the years with nothing but memorials to the dead to show for it. In briefing him before his departure from Lima the President and the Foreign Minister had made it clear – the establishment of sound diplomatic relations with Chile was fundamental to the future of Peru.

The Chilean official who was serving as his guide received a whispered word; stood and smiled. “The President will see you now,” he said with genuine warmth. It was but a short walk from the anteroom to the office of President Jorge Castro, and in but a moment he was ushered into it.

“Mister President,” said his guide, “it is with pleasure that I present his Excellency Teodoro Casana Robles, and by the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs ask that you accept his credentials from President Odría Amoretti as ambassador of the Republic of Peru.”

Casana Robles bowed and proffered the leather bound portfolio containing the documents that appointed him to his position. President Castro received them with an equal bow and quickly reviewed them before responding. “Ambassador Casana Robles,” he began, “I accept your letter of credence from President Odría Amoretti and by affixing my signature”; he paused as he inscribed his name; “and affixing the seal of the Republic of Chile”; he paused again as an aide stamped the documents; “I declare you to be and ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary”.

With that the two shook hands, and then stood side by side as a photographer snapped several pictures, which would no doubt be spread upon the morning papers of the Chilean capital.

2

Thursday, April 6th 2017, 1:03am

El Comercio (Lima), 7 January 1948

The firm Enrique Ferreyros y Compañia has reached an exclusive agency agreement with the Argentine car manufacturer Auto-Union Argentinas S.A. of Santa Rosa to market the latter’s product on the Peruvian market. The news has been greeted with enthusiasm by the public.

3

Friday, April 21st 2017, 1:24am

Diario Oficial El Peruano (Lima), 18 January 1948

The Ministry of Defense has announced the formation of a corps of parachute troops, the Batallón de Fuerzas Especiales. Training of recruits has begun at the Escuela de Paracaidistas, Ayacucho.


Lima, The American Embassy, 22 January 1948

William Pawley was in no small manner perturbed; initially he had hoped that Peru’s new government would eventually turn to the United States for investment capital; and, to a degree, it had. But the Odría government had shown a preference for balancing its business dealings with firms in Europe – Belgium and the Netherlands in the forefront. But Argentina? His Commercial Attaché’s latest report indicated that three major tie-ups between Argentine firms and Peruvian interests – in automobiles, machine tools, and consumer goods – had been signed in the last month. American companies were skittish about the Peruvian nationalization of the mining industry – understandably so – but they were foregoing too many opportunities. Perhaps if he travelled to Washington and spoke to the Secretary personally…

4

Monday, April 24th 2017, 10:35pm

Jenaro Herrera, Loreto, 24 January 1948

A bevy of dignitaries had arrived from Iquitos – and from Lima – to mark this important day in the life of the town of Jenaro Herrera. A law had been signed creating a new district in the province of Requena, and Capitán Manuel Gordon Magne was very pleased that the settlement he had founded was now to be the chief town of its namesake district. What this might mean in practice was anyone’s guess – but for the moment the town was filled with joy.

And work continued to progress. A month ago a barge had delivered two small caterpillar tractors – buldócers – which now spearheaded the pushing of roads into the surrounding jungle and cleared the way for the development of plantations. Timber logging had been added to the economic base of the town, with cargos going downriver to Iquitos with returning supply barges. A research station, the Centro de Investigaciones Jenaro Herrera, was planned, to better assess the resources of the district and help draw up long term plans for growth; for Gordon Magne, this was a signal that his time here might be coming to an end. But he could take pride in his accomplishments.

5

Tuesday, May 9th 2017, 1:10am

Peruvian News and Events, February 1948

El Popular (Lima), 4 February 1948


6

Saturday, May 27th 2017, 12:03am

El Comercio (Lima), 18 February 1948



The first Argentine-manufactured Auto-Union vehicles have arrived at the port of Callao. Products of Auto-Union Argentinas of Santa Rosa, the panel-van Furgón is expected to find favor with commercial operators and Lima’s leading hire-car firm has already placed orders for a small fleet to serve as small omnibuses in working-class districts in the city. The small sedan is expected to be in high demand among the middle-classes, particularly as the nation’s motor road network expands.

7

Monday, June 19th 2017, 7:07pm

Peruvian News and Events, March 1948

La Industria (Trujillo), 4 March 1948



Seen approaching Martínez de Pinillos airport here, this Douglas DC-3 twin engine transport is on its delivery ferry flight from the United States to Lima, were it will become the latest acquisition of AeroPeru. The reviving economy and growth of tourism has led to a substantial fleet expansion by the national carrier, including acquisition of domestically-produced aircraft for local services. Regional and international services still require aircraft of foreign origin, and this veteran Douglas design is destined for long service in the colors of Peruvian operators.

8

Friday, June 30th 2017, 1:49pm

Jenaro Herrera, Loreto, 15 March 1948

Capitán Manuel Gordon Magne called his soldiers to attention; a band played the national anthem; the recently installed civil dignitaries of Jenaro Herrera stood on the reviewing stand improvised atop several wagons. To an outside observer it might appear like something out of an opéra bouffe, yet to the participants it was quite serious. The time had come for Unidad Militar de Asentamiento Rural No.1 to depart the bustling settlement for a new assignment.

Huanuire Taricuarima, the mayor of the town, gave a speech, praising the work of Gordon Magne and the soldiers under his command; how they had found squalor in the jungle and made it a light house of civilization. Each citizen, he said, owed a debt of gratitude to the Army. To some, his words bordered on hyperbole, but there was a grain of truth in it. To the music of the band and the cheers of the populace Gordon Magne marched his men to the landing stage, where a waiting steamer would carry them to Iquitos. For the moment, that was all they knew.

9

Saturday, August 12th 2017, 12:59am

The Upper Amazon, vicinity of the Peruvian frontier, 30 March 1948

For the people of the Tres Fronteras, be they Peruvian, Colombian, or Brazilian, the tension simmering beneath the outward signs of peace were never far from their thoughts. When facts did not suffice, rumor stepped in to fill the gap – and the ‘jungle telegraph’ was very effective in transmitting the latter over great distances. Therefore it came as no surprise to the Colombian authorities in Leticia and Tarapaca that word of the latest developments had reached them.

The presence of the Peruvian 2ª Brigada de Infantería de Marina at Iquitos was long standing; for the Colombians and the Brazilian neighbors, the Peruvian naval infantry seemed but a garrison. The armed river steamers that had supported Peru’s attempted invasion of Leticia in the last war had been junked years ago, and the thought of troops slogging through the jungle brought laughter to the tongues of those intelligence officers charged with assessing Peruvian means and intentions.

The latest information dampened such jollity. The rumor mill indicated that the Peruvian naval infantry had received a number of fast, armed motor launches especially suited for transporting troop units along the wide regions of the upper Amazon. Some, if the reports were correct, even mounted light cannon. If true, these craft would significantly change the balance of forces in the region. Not that anyone suspected the Peruvians of seeking to reopen hostilities… indeed, the emphasis among the Peruvians was on the peaceful development of the region. Nevertheless, it was something that would bear careful watching…

10

Thursday, August 24th 2017, 8:29pm

Peruvian News and Events, April 1948

Diario Oficial El Peruano, 1 April 1948

The light cruiser Loreto arrived yesterday in Callao to begin a program of modernization at the Servicios Industriales de la Marina shipyards. She follows her sister Cajamarca, which finished a similar refit earlier this year. The Loreto is expected to rejoin the fleet in early May.

11

Saturday, September 2nd 2017, 1:58am

The Peruvian Times, 8 April 1948

Among the most interesting formations of the Peruvian Army are the Military Rural Settlement Units, Unidad Militar de Asentamiento Rural. Nearly two dozen of such units have been activated since the fall of 1945, and are presently serving throughout the country, though primarily in the regions of the Upper Amazon and the Altiplano. Their mission is to assist villagers in rural development – organizing schools, working on public sanitation and clean water, constructing roads, and teaching improved agricultural techniques.

Our correspondent spent several days with such a unit working in the vicinity of Contamana, a settlement of about a thousand persons in the Ucayali Province of the Loreto Region. They have established a small clinic, staffed by both civilians and military personnel, were daily treatment is given to those who are suffering from injury and ailment. Some of those who visit the clinic come from surrounding villages that still lack access to medical facilities. A small airstrip has been hacked from the jungle and if a case is truly serious the patient can be airlifted to proper hospital facilities in Iquitos, the largest city in the Upper Amazon. The value of the presence of such a clinic is seen in its ability to treat minor injuries before they become major, in its ability to educate villagers in basic first aid, and as a source for proper medicines. Heretofore the people were limited to folk remedies or the ministrations of semi-pagan witch doctors; now modern science is lifting the veil of superstition from those who once lived in darkness.


12

Monday, September 18th 2017, 4:39pm

Lima, The American Embassy, 18 April 1948

Commander Trevor Stevens USN had served as naval attaché in Lima for eighteen months; with luck he would be moving on to a new assignment, and today he was spending a quiet Sunday catching up with the week’s newspapers. An item in the Peruvian Times, Lima’s English-language broadsheet, caught his eye – in it mention was made of a visit by a Chinese delegation led by a Mister Huang Xiaoming for talks regarding expanding bilateral trade between China and Peru. It even had a photograph of the delegation, taken upon the occasion of its visit to Peru’s national aircraft factory, Empresa Nacional de Aviación, where, the article explained, they had witnessed demonstration of the Pardusco light transport aircraft and Ponchito twin-engine transport.

Stevens examined the photograph intently, as the name Huang Xiaoming rang a bell. On a previous tour of duty in the Far East he had occasion meet a Captain Huang Xiaoming of the Imperial Chinese Navy, and the photograph in the newspaper suggested that they could be one in the same. Of course it was quite possible that Huang had left the naval service and was now representing China in some civil capacity; but knowing China insatiable appetite for acquiring used warships, and recalling how in years past China had done more than a few deals to acquire warships from the Peruvian Navy, his suspicions were aroused.