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Cuenca News

Builders push for faster permitting, Expat humanitarian awards, Illegal gold mine shut down, Medical marijuana debate begins

Miércoles, 8/5/2019

Hola, Todos –
Actividades –

De la pagina cultural –

Exposición: The show, “Máscaras,” will open Thursday a las 19:00 in Saladentro. This exhibit of masks will run until 26/5.

Teatro – The Teatro Tecla group is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary with performances Wednesday and Thursday in the sala Alfonso Carrasco (Luis Cordero y Pres. Córdova). On jueves, “Terapia: comedia en tres sesiones” will be performed 9:30. “La Tragedia Blanca de Biblián” will be at 20:00. Cost: $5 & $4.00.

Teatro – “Lluvia” will be staged the 15, 16, & 17/5 a las 20:00 in the auditorium at the Museo de las Conceptas.

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Mayor-elect Pedro Palacios

Revista – The magazine ArQCo, specializing in architecture, construction and interior design was launched. Topics included earthquake resistant construction (Claiming that your building is earthquake proof is just asking la Madre Tierra to throw a magnitude 10 at it.), a diagnosis of the real estate sector, and calculations of vacant land in Cuenca. Those calculations determined of the 979 hectares of vacant land in Cuenca, only 521 are buildable. Those 521 hectares represent 12,690 lots.

Cena – You can have dinner with Latin Grammy nominated Colombian singer Andrés Cabas and 299 other people este sábado, 11/5 a las 20:00 in the Villa Ana María (Panamericana Norte km 12.5). Dinner will include an appetizer, main dish, and dessert with a no-host bar. Make your reservations on Villa Ana María’s social network pages or call 099 828 7098. They will also provide professional drivers to take you home in your car. <Good idea – that road is dark, dark, dark at night and not one to be driving drunk on.> The next cena will be in julio with Santiago Cruz.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Constructores piden digitalizar trámites en la Municipalidad (Builders ask the Municipality to digitize procedures) – Construction guilds are asking the new administration for a radical change in the city permitting process. The guilds are asking that the process get digitalized. Local builders, representatives of the Guayaquil Planning Department and Chamber of Construction, and the Pichincha Institute of Architects who shared their experiences, met in Cuenca.

Illegal mining – Military and police entered 3 mining encampments in Shumiral in Ponce Enríquez canton. They found 20 illegal mine entrances close to the río Gala, one of the most important water sources for Ponce Enríquez. The police also found 2 generators, 200 sacks of gold-bearing rock, and 120 gallons of gas. They did not find explosives or any electric picks or drills. The rock was pulled out with a pulley system. The site was isolated – an hour and half off the road by foot preceded by an hour and half drive. The site was previously raided in deciembre, 2018. Police believe that the miners are people who live in the area.

2o Premio Humanitario Expat Award – The U.S. Ambassador, Todd Chapman, was in Cuenca Tuesday for this awards ceremony. 403 foreigners from 22 countries <So people from countries other than North American and Europe can also be expats?> were nominated for their volunteer efforts.

Excuartel – The new council will have the job of changing the land use of the old military base to industry and production. The two parcels with almost 90,000 sq. meters and valued at $25,887,830.28 were given to the municipality to sell so it could finish paying for the Tranvía. After two failed attempts to sell the land, council member Carolina Martínez felt that in addition to changing the land use, the land should be subdivided. This should be done with, for example, in conjunction with the Chamber of Small Industry which is interested in the land.

Disappeared – 133 Ecuadorians have disappeared without a trace in their illegal passage to the US leaving their families in uncertainty. The migratory crisis has, however, been profitable to coyotes, corrupt police, private jails, airlines and shelters.

Interview – Mayor-elect Pedro Palacios was interviewed about land for industry and digitalizing city permits. The mayor said Cuenca is losing 10,000 direct jobs for lack of industrially zoned land and another 15,000 jobs aren’t being generated by tourism which suffers from a lack of clear policies. On industrial land, there should be different categories depending on the impact of the industry so there could be industrial parks for light, medium and heavy industry of about 30-40 hectares. On permits, he said that digitalization isn’t really the goal, but a tool to reduce bureaucracy and the number of steps.

Medical marijuana – The Asamblea Nacional started debate on the Códico Orgánico de Salud (Organic Code of Health) which includes a controversial article on medical cannabis. Supporters highlighted its benefits to patients suffering various diseases and that its cultivation would create jobs and improve the economy.

Internacional –

Perú – Ex president Ollanta Humala is facing 20 years and his wife 26 yrs., 6 mo. for taking money from Odebrecht in the 2006 & 2011 elections. Humala is the first ex-president receive a formal accusation. Other ex-presidents caught in the Odebrecht scandal are Alejandro Toledo (2001-06), Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-18), y Alan García (2006-11). In 2011, when Humala beat Keiko Fujimori, his party received $3 million of which $1 million was received personally by Nadine Heredia, Humala’s wife. After his win, Odebrecht was awarded a $7 billion contract for a pipeline project.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne