Bus robbery foiled but driver takes a bullet, More tranvía contract details, My Aunt Toty, Auditing the auditor, Forest fire season begins

Aug 16, 2017 | 15 comments

Miércoles, 16/8/2017

Hola, Todos –

Pagina cultural –

Wednesday’s agenda events –

Teatro – Carlos Gallegos and his company, “Teatro de la Vuelta” (Theater in the Round? Theater of the Return?) will present “Barrio Caleidoscopio” from hoy hasta el sábado (from Wed. to Saturday) at 20:00 in the sala “Alfonso Carrasco Vintimilla” in the Casa Cultural del Azuay.

Upcoming and ongoing agenda events –

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Collective exposición – “Artefactos y Artilugios” (Artifacts or devices, and Gadgets) <I like artilugios for your word for the day.> will be showing until 31/8 at the Museo del la Ciudad.

Danza tradicional – TaitaKuna, a dance group of “adultos mayores” (older adults) is calling for citizens interested in joining the this traditional dance group. There will be a work session on 28/8 at 19:00 in the “Rizoma Plataforma Disidente” (Luis Cordero y Pres. Córdova).

Articles about –

Horacio Saavedra – This 27 year old Mexican writer is also the founder of the “El nido del fénix” (The Phoenix’s Nest) publishing house.

Anthropology – The U. of Cuenca is offering a Masters degree in Contemporary Anthropology. Preregistration will be until 8/8, the public call will open 11/9-13/10. An informative talk for aspirants to the program will be 28/9, the English test on 5/10 and applications taken from 16/10-1/11 with results published 10/11. Classes start 3/3.

Documentary – “Mi Tía Toty” (My Aunt Toty) is a biographical documentary about María Rosa “Toty” Rodríguez directed by her nephew León Filipe Troya. Toty was an Ecuadorian actress who was successful in Paris in the 60’s. The film will premier in Cuenca el viernes a las 20:00 in the Multicines at Milenium Plaza.

Plan Cantonal de Cultura – People in the arts community will start meeting today to talk about the “Plan Estratégico Cantonal de Cultura al 2030.” <So do you still think Ecuadorians don’t plan ahead?> If you’re interested in being part of this planning, register at https://goo.gl/YhqdVj. The meetings are on various aspects of culture. The Centro Cultural El Prohibido will be the venue for Arte Público today from 15-17:00, and for Artes Vivas at 17:30. Mañana MMAM will have Diseño y Artes Aplicadas at 15:00 and arte musical at 17:30. Viernes the discussions will be at Lakomuna Collective (Coronel Tálbot y Pres. Córdova) with Arte y Tecnología at 15:00 and Arte Relacional at 19:30. <I’m not translating the discussion topics. If you can’t translate them for yourself, I don’t think you belong in the discussion groups which are not geared to gringos and will not have a translator on tap.>

Otras cosas –

Titular – Indignación por Refinería (Indignation over Refinery) – See Wednesday’s article in CHL.

Tranvía – There is a $15 million difference <someone isn’t math oriented> between the city’s budget amount and the bidders. The city’s estimate to complete the work was $32,500,500 and the bids came in at $33 and 50 million. The project has a completion time of 300 days or 10 months. There is still no date for the selection of the new contractor. <You impatient readers will just have to learn patience. The announcement will be made when it’s ready and not on your schedule.> You can get information about China Railway No. 9 Engineering Group Co. Ltd. ($33 mil. bid) which makes prefabricated materials in Manabí for schools, is part of a consortium of Ecuacorrientes, and which was kicked off a railroad contract in Bolivia for construction delays at www.bloomberg.com. Alstom ($50 mil. bid) is part of the Consorcio ACTN Tranvía Cuenca, involved with the Quito Metro, and part of the consorcium Odebrecht-Alstom-Va Tech for the San Francisco hydroelectric project at www.asltom.com. <So our choice is between a slow contractor or one who was partnered with Odebrecht. I wonder where the difference between $33 and $50 million would go if the high bidder got the job.>

Attorney General and Acting Comptroller – The Consejo de Administración Legislativa (CAL – Legislative Council of Administration) called Carlos Baca and Pablo Celi to to present information about the Odebrecht and Petroecuador cases and about the public debt. According to the opposition, the public debt has exceeded the legal limit of 40% of the PIB (GDP).

Contralor – The AP (Alianza Pais) announced an audit of Pablo Celi, the Acting Comptroller for breach of duties in announcing an audit about the external debt of the Correa government. The assembly president said this type of audit was repealed in the last constitutional amendment. The Acting Comptroller also notified two assemblywomen that he was going to investigate payments for overtime to legislative servants and administrative personnel from 1/11/2011 to 31/12/2015. <So how does this tie into the previous article about an assembly committee calling for information from Celi about that same external debt he isn’t supposed to be auditing?>

Campaña – CREO is asking CNE (National Electoral Council) to investigate the possible financing of the last two AP campaigns by Odebrecht.

Chinese fishing vessel – The 20 person “tripulación” (crew) of the Chinese fishing vessel is in preventive prison. The ship was intercepted using a Sistema de Identificación Satelital (AIS) which monitors and controls shipping in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

Forest fires – <From flood stories to fire stories – the yearly cycle.> A big forest fire is being fought in La Paz in the Oña Canton. Flames have reached the sides of the vía Cuenca-Loja at km. 58. Drivers are asked to proceed with caution, and passage of tankers with combustable materials is prohibited. Another fire burned about 30 hectares in the Sombrederas sector of Girón canton. That area is a source of water. Whoever is convicted of starting a wild fire can be sanctioned with 1-3 years in prison. There is an exception for agricultural or domestic fires started by communities or small farmers within their own territory. If these get out of control, the penalty is 3-6 months in jail. If the fire kills someone, the penalty is 13-16 years.

Bus robbery foiled – A driver on the Cooperativa Turismo Oriental line from Guayaquil to Cuenca was shot while avoiding a robbery. El último lunes, 14/8, robbers in a red pickup tried to cut the driver off in an isolated area. The driver performed “una maniobra evasiva” (an evasive maneuver) and avoided being stopped. The robbers shot at the bus and hit the driver who kept going until it was safe. A 911 call brought paramedics and cops from Molleturo. The passengers made it to Cuenca with bullet holes in the windshield. The driver <I think you could call him a hero.> is recovering at a health center. The bus left Guayaquil at 20:00 and the assault was at 22:00. Directors of the Cooperativa de Transporte are asking authorities to strengthen controls on the Cuenca-Guayaquil route, especially in the Puerto Inca-Molleturo section.

Business page –

Asociacion de Corredores de Bienes Raíces (ACBIR – Real Estate Brokers Association) – The ACBIR is organizing annual training classes for getting a Real Estate Broker’s License from 15/9 to 15/12 with space for 25 students. Nationally, only 25% of the people selling real estate are doing it formally. 75% have no license. Requirements for the course are experience in real estate sales, a resume, 3 photos, copies of your cedula, voting paper and professional or bachiller (high school) degree <and a proficiency in Spanish>. <I hope the classes include ethics which seems to be strongly lacking in the real estate community. Just look at the current occupant of the White House.>

Intercultural – Today’s article is about Juan Gregorio Ushca Charco, “el último hielero del Chimborazo” (the last iceman of Chimborazo). He inherited his business from his father in law, the previous last iceman. He gets up at 5:00, goes up Chimborazo with his burro whose back is protected with blankets and heavy plastic, and a few hours later, he’s cutting 70 lb. blocks of ice which are wrapped in straw, which he cuts on the way up, and plastic. His work day is 12 hours. The traditionally and naturally made ice is used in Riobamba.

Certificado de Migrante Retornado – Ecuadorians who return to Ecuador can get a Certificate for Returned Migrants to take advantage of programs to help reinsert them into the country. Nationally there are about 8,000 people who have this certificate.

Internacional –

Argentina – The official recount of Sunday’s primaries started at 18:00 on martes, within 48 hours of the polls closing as established by law. Most of the districts have been recounted with the recount for Buenos Aires starting el miércoles de la mañana. (Wed. morning)

Venezuela – The Parliament, mostly opposition, cited Tarek William Saab, the Attorney General, in its accusation of systematic and generalized mistreatment of thousands of protesters and arbitrary arrests and violations of human rights.

And that´s all for today so Hasta Mañana –

Jeanne

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