Amsterdam I disagree with the commentary "Peru: `None-of-the-above' is running strong" (Latin America, June 4). Peruvians did not choose for the lesser evil. They voted freely for the candidate of their choice in clear and popular elections--but they carried a heavy cross because of the moral and political burden of the mishaps of the past 20 years. Although it is true that both candidates had credibility problems--as well as pasts that were not spotless--well, who in this world really does not?
As a Peruvian, I am sincerely happy that Alejandro Toledo won the election. Under his leadership, Peru's problems, which are many and big, will tend to get solved faster, in an orderly fashion, and without violating the independence of the different entities of the Republic of Peru. Toledo has a prestigious group of professionals behind him that will help him take decisions to "do the right thing" for Peru.
Lima In "The stars of Europe" (European Edition Cover Story, June 11), one name was left out of the "Agenda Setters" section: Mario Monti, European Union Competition Commissioner. Anybody who can influence worldwide mergers and acquisitions (General Electric Co. and Honeywell International) certainly has the power to create and set corporate and political agendas. Monti has more agenda-setting power than many of the other individuals listed.
Alan F. Poock
Glendale, Ariz.Editor's note: Monti was featured prominently in "The stars of Europe" a year ago (BW--June 12, 2000). Regarding Gary Becker's "How rich nations can defuse the population bomb," (Economic Viewpoint, May 28): What people in poor countries really want are: democratic governments that respect human rights, rules of law enforced through strong legal infrastructures, honest and capable leaders who genuinely represent the people, and fair, free markets where they can develop their natural resources into high-value finished products in cooperation with investors from the high-income countries. Population-related divides will take care of themselves when these issues are properly addressed.
New Brunswick, N.J.
Studies show that 120 million married women in the developing world would choose right now to space or limit the number of children they will have. These women, however, have limited access to the family-planning methods that would enable them to do so. Developed nations such as the U.S. must do more to make population and international family planning programs more widely available.
Sarah C. Clark
Director, Population Program
David & Lucile Packard
Los Altos, Calif.