Botanical gardens opens; Mining referendum only affects future projects; Parts of Peru under Covid lockdown; Impeachment drive for Brazilian president

Jan 29, 2021 | 3 comments

Jueves, 28/1/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Alianza Francesa presenta su agenda de eventos culturales (The Alianza Francesa presents its agenda of cultural events) – The Alianza Francesa is planning a mix of virtual and in-person events in dance, literature, plastic arts, theater and conferences for 2021. It’s first event is a photo show by Cuencana Juliana Vidal which will run until 13/3. It is also going on with its 25th Fiesta de Música with the planning dependent on the health context. It will publish its activities each month on its social network pages.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Hermida, primera mujer rectora de la U. Cuenca (Hermida, first female rector of the U. of Cuenca) – María Augusta Hermida received 57.75% of the votes and Pablo Vanegas, the former rector, received 42.26% in the 2nd round of voting. One of her first tasks will be preparing a budget based on the economic crisis faced by the University.

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Listo el jardín botánico (Botanical garden is ready) – A new 21 hectare botanical garden between the ríos Yanuncay and Tarqui from 3 Puentes to near the Gapal bridge is ready. Design started in 2012 and construction in agosto of 2018. The garden has 8.000 species of plants from matorrales (shrubs and scrub – your word for the day), to forests, páramos and wetland. A 1000 m. walkway will take visitors through vegetation typical of Azuay, Cañar, Chimborazo, Guayas, El Oro y Morona Santiago. With the plants, native birds and animals should return, and that will be part of the university researchbeing done. Water will be diverted from the rivers for the wetlands and irrigation, and the excess returned to the rivers. The official opening will be in a few weeks. <The park used to look like a little bit of campo in the middle of Cuenca with cows, goats and chickens.>

María Augusta Hermida flashes the victory sign after her election as rector (president) of the University of Cuenca. (El Mercurio)

Sanción por vandalismo en estación del tranvía (Penalty for vandalism at the tram station) – A man who vandalized a ticket vending machine at the Chola Cuencana tram station was sentenced to community service (cleaning the trains), paying for the damage ($2,268) within 15 days, and making a public apology. <So if you get mad at the vending machine because it won’t talk to you in English, don’t beat it up – you’ll be washing trains for who knows how long.>

Kits electorales se distribuyen con papeletas incompletas (Voting kits distributed with incomplete ballots) – With only 10 days until elections, and a short time for election material to get to the polls, the CNE has started distributing voting kits without the ballots for the candidates to the Andean Parliament. The lists for those candidates have not been finalized and certified by the TCE so that the ballots cannot be printed. Kits are going to polling stations overseas and in hard to get to areas within the country, all of which is complicated by the effect of Covid on transportation. If the TCE certifies the lists today, those ballots can be printed and distributed. If not, the Andean Parliament would be selected in the second round of voting. <Must be none of the experts thinks we’ll pick a president in the first round of voting.>

Tecnología – El nuevo HuaweiY7a ya se vende en Ecuador (Technology – The new HuaweiY7a is already being sold in Ecuador) – The article is basically an ad for the phone which has a quad camera with a 48 MP main camera and zoom, a 120 degree wide angle camera; a Full HD 6.67″ screen; and fast charging – 10 min. charge for 2 hours of video, and jup to 23 hours of video on a full charge. It comes in 3 colors and costs <If I’m reading this right> $210.

Voto 2021 –

“La consulta no rige sobre las concesiones vigentes” (The referendum does not govern current concessions) – A law professor and constitutional lawyer said he doesn’t promote a “No” vote on the mining referendum, but a conscientious vote by the populace. He explained that the Corte Constitucional specified that the results of the vote will not be retroactive and the Río Blanco and Lolma Larga projects will not be affected, which is something voters should know. Another area of confusion is the limits of the water recharge areas. The Corte indicated that the map presented by ETAPA is only for reference and the Ministerio del Ambiente will decide the areas where mining can and can not occur after the elections. He also pointed out that the referendum prohibits medium and large scale mining but makes no reference to small mining, and he is afraid this omission leaves a legal window open for small mining to operate in Cuenca. In his opinion this is polluting and dangerous for development in Cuenca.

Internacional –

Peru – A cuarentena, diez regiones de Perú (Ten regions of Peru in quarantine) – Due to the high levels of Covid, Pres. Francisco Sagasti put Metropolitan LIma, Lima provinces, and another 8 cities (?) on lockdown until 14/2. These areas have run out of ICU beds with hospitalizations multiplying in the past weeks. In these 10 areas, only grocery stores can operate, but with a 40% capacity, and interprovincial air and land transport has been suspended. There are restrictions in another 9 regions of the country <including Cusco> which will have normal air transport but a curfew; lower capacity in stores, open air restaurants and interprovincial land transport; and weekend restrictions on driving private vehicles.

Brasil – Plantean la destitución de Bolsonaro (Impeachment of Bolsonaro proposed) – A group of religious leaders including Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelics presented a petition to to Congress to open impeachment proceedings against Pres. Bolsonaro for his questionable management of the Covid pandemic. The petition was signed by 380 bishops, priests and friars from different Christian churches and included representatives of the Iglesia Católica de Brasil.

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne

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