Bus and taxi owners protest fuel hike; Vaccines will be free and won’t contain microchips; Teachers object to return to school plan; Mining referendum rules
Hola, Todos –
De la pagina cultural y educación –
Desacuerdos por retorno de docentes (Disagreements over return of teachers) – Fear of catching Covid in the transfer to schools has some teachers opposing the enero, 2021 return to classes. Added to that is a lack of supplies such a alcohol, disinfectants, and other things to avoid contagion such as cleaning the schools. Parents are not in the financial shape to buy these things, and cleaning mingas can’t be held because of crowding issues. <Sounds like an opportunity for some gringos to adopt some schools.> Many teachers also face long intercantonal or interparish commutes on public transport.
Del cuerpo del periodico –
Feria navideña virtual este fin de semana (Virtual Christmas fair this weekend) – ‘Soy Azuay,’ a group supporting entrepreneurs has organized a virtual Christmas fair el sábado, 12/12 from 10-13:00 with the participation of 22 sellers. It will be transmitted via social networks and community radio. <Buying something from the radio is like buying a pig in a poke.> The products are packaged into executive baskets with conserves, mermeladas, liquors and more.
Un libro dedicado a agroproductores (A book dedicated to agricultural producers) – The Empresa Pública de Desarrollo Económico de Cuenca (EDEC EP) has launched “Agroecología: ciencia, práctica y movimiento para alcanzar la sobernía alimentaría” (Agroecology: science, practice and movement to achieve food sovereignty) with the Sociedad Científica Latinoameriana de Agroecología. Topics in the book include the heritage expressed in seeds, revaluing campesino knowledge, production and commercialization, and the voices of the campesinos themselves talking about their practices, beliefs and values. You can download the book at httpp://www.edec.gob.ec/sites/default/files/LIBRO_AGwROECOLOGIA.pdf.
Otras cosas –
Titular – Vacuna gratis y optativa (Free and optional vaccine) – Xavier Solórzano, vice minister of Health, said that Ecuador is ready to receive the vaccine from Pfizer. He warned that there are technical and economic requirements that have to be met before the vaccine arrives in the country and that first world nations will have priority before Ecuador for getting the vaccines. In the interview, Solórzano said the first Pfizer vaccines would arrive in late enero with others coming between the 1st & 2nd quarter. Pfizer is currently going through the paperwork with Arcsa (Agencia Nacional de Regulación, Control y Vigilancia Sanitaria. <Looks like no body, no matter how big or important, can avoid paperwork in Ecucador.> The vaccines will be free to all Ecuadorians.
The first vaccinations will go to front line workers and if results from Pfizer show it’s safe, they will go to those over 55. He rejected social network claims such as the vaccines will insert microchips into people as a science fiction movie plot. He said the biosecurity measures we have been practicing would have to continue until at least 60% have been vaccinated and then could be phased out gradually. The vaccine will not be obligatory <Until you try get on a plane and the airlines set the policy or where ever you’re going won’t let you in without one.>, and since it’s a new vaccine that has not been used massively anywhere in the world, Ecuador is being prudent. There will be a data system which will record when and where people got vaccinated to allow for follow up for the 2nd dose. Expected side effects are pain at the injection site, possible fever, headache, general discomfort, tiredness.
Municipio y el Gobierno Provincial definen obras (Municipality and Provincial Government define works) – The city and provincial governments approved their 2021 budgets with the city’s at $236,629,841.00 and the province’s at $68.7 million, $3 million less than last year. The city will invest $37 million in 152 projects financed by the BDF (51%), and CAF (11%). The province will invest $18 million in projects and $9.5 million to buy equipment. 157 city projects will go to the contracting phase including 3 that have been arrastrándose (crawling) since Cabrera’s administration – the “Isauro Rodríguez” bridge over the río Yanuncay in the Misicata sector, the lookout at Turi, and an interchange at Las Américas near the los Choferes gas station. Also going into the contracting phase are the construction of 5 parks, 42 ciclovías (bike lanes) and the Cuenca Unida project.
Cuencanos, convocados a consulta sobre minería (Cuencanos, summoned to consultation on mining) – Between 11-18/12, political and social organizations can register to campaign either for or against the 5 questions on the consulata popular (referendum). Each side will receive half of $26,156 ($13,078) for the campaign which can start el 10/1/2021 and end 3 days before voting. In contrast, presidential and assembly campaigns can start el 31/12. <Then why am I seeing Lasso ads on the internet in various places? Has anyone else seen them and are they illegal?> The Concejo Cantonal has approved a budget of $137,411 for the costs of running the referendum including printing of 435,963 ballots, election kits, and braille templates (?).
Transportistas en crisis (Carriers in crisis) – The 7 branches of commercial and public transportation – buses, taxis, pick-ups, vans, light cargo, heavy cargo, and tourist service – in Cuenca marched yesterday to protest the increase in diesel, for authorities to make good on promises <I know there’s a word for making good on a promise, but I can’t remember it. If I’m still doing this 10 years from now, it’s going to read like a Dick and Jane reader because my English is abandoning me.>, and to not bring the Tasa Solidaria back. The president of the Cámara de Transporte de Cuenca (CTC – bus owners) noted that the cost of gas for a bus for a day used to be $25 and is now $30. He said each bus needed to make $150/dy. for the service to continue, and they have over $60,000,000 in debt they will have to start paying on in enero. The president of the Asociación de Transporte Pesado del Austro (ATPA) said the daily cost of 100 gal. of fuel for a heavy cargo truck went from $125 to $150 and there is an oversupply of trucks In 2008, there were 580 operators In the whole country and now there are 5,800. The presidents of the Federación de Transporte Mixto del Azuay and the school bus union both complained about the increase in diesel. The mixtos are opposed to creating 20 new companies. Currently there are 76 companies and 780 drivers. The school buses have hardly been working and would like to know when classes will restart, they want a moritorium on debt payments and better control of informal transporters who don’t pay taxes.
Acidente de ciclista y tranvía (Cyclist and tram accident) – A cyclist was injured yesterday when he was hit by the tram at the Feria Libre redondel. According to Tranvía Cuenca, the ciclist invadió (invaded – your word for the day) the tram platform.
And that´s all for today so Hasta la próxima semana –
Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.