Editor’s note: Periodico editor Jeanne is on a well-deserved two-week vacation. Until her column returns May 14, CHL will post a daily digest of local events.
The owners of two brothels and a tienda that operated an illegal bar were arrested Friday night in a police raid.
Police say that the brothels, which operated out of hostels on Calle Mariscal Lamar and Calle Luis Pauta, did not have licenses and health certificates to legally offer sexual services.
Police said the tienda, located near the Feria Libre market, had a room behind a partition that served as an unregistered bar. Eight customers were briefly detained, then released.
Search continues for Ecuadorian missing in Canada
The family of a missing Ecuadorian student has arrived in Vancouver hoping to help in the search. Louis Gonick, 21, who attends the University of British Columbia, has been missing for two weeks and Canadian police say they have few leads.
According to the Canadian Global News portal, Gonick was last seen on April 16 when a taxi dropped him at Stanley Park in Vancouver. It reports that he asked to be left at a bridge next to the park. Police have been unable to provide additional information. The case has attracted nation-wide attention in Canada as well as in Ecuador.
Gonick ‘s family say they came to Canada to do “everything possible to find our son.”
Illegal merchants removed
The city is stepping up removal of unlicensed vendors in the historic district in the area of the 9 de Octubre market and Rotary Market. Pablo Barzallo, director of Historical and Patrimonial Areas committee, says that the vendors are taking over sidewalk space in the area, forcing residents and pedestrians to walk in the adjacent streets.
“They are also unfair competition to market vendors who are licensed and pay for the right to sell their goods,” he said. “Our efforts in this regard will continue.”
Ecuador authorities warn of ‘Blue Whale’ dangers
Ecuador Deputy Interior Minister Diego Fuentes is warning parents about the online game Blue Whale, which has been connected to two suicides in Russia and one in Great Britain.
According to law enforcement sources in Britain, the game guides its mostly teenage players through a series of objectives. If players fail to complete the objectives, the game suggests they kill themselves. Two teenagers jumped to their deaths in Russia after playing the game and a British girl hung herself, according to news reports.
Fuentes said his agency is working with authorities in other countries to shut down the game and arrest the developers, who are believed to be Russian. He advises parents to pay special attention to their children’s online viewing habits.