Businesses reopening, legally and illegally; Criminal networks defrauded hospitals; CONAIE threatens another strike; 732 cars towed

May 13, 2020 | 3 comments

Martes, 5/5/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

De la pagina educación y cultural <A new name for the page> –

The Alianza Francesa is preparing a new site where individuals can share the music they’re listening to during the health emergency. You can go to cuenca@afcuenca.org.ec to share “Tu canción para estar en casa.” (Your song for being at home). You need to include your first and last names, age, the title and author of the song, and why you picked it. Send it in by 24/5, and the play list will be ready on 29/5. <How about Riot on Cell Block No. 9?> Currently there are play lists for world music, electronic, and French music. On 15/5, there will be a new French metal playlist.

Otras cosas –

More that 4,000 drivers have been fined for violations of the health emergency. (El Mercurio)

Titular – Economía se mueve en rojo (Economy moves in red) – In spite of maintaining the red light in Cuenca, various services and productive sectors are reactivating. Notarias and the Provincial Courts started working again yesterday, and the cantonal courts will restart on 18/5. The Correos del Ecuador reopened its doors to deliver parcels and to take mail for national delivery. <I’m going to have to check and see if the Christmas present from my sister, which was stuck in Quito in Febrero, will maybe get to Cuenca in time for the 4th of July.>

120 companies in the Parque Industrial hope to start up this week, and 67 construction projects will resume. The president of the Cámara de Industrias, Producción y Empleo (CIPEM) said that the lock down affected 88% of the businesses in the Industrial Park, and they’re ready to open with similar protocols used by the food industry in which there has been not one case of Covid. <Those measures must work compared to the meat processing plants in the US which have been infection clusters.>

The Municipio de Cuenca has a campaign called “Cuenca Responsable” (Responsible Cuenca) to raise awareness and educate people about the measures they need to take to avoid avoid infections before the stoplight turns to yellow. The campaign will promote the use of a mask as an escudo (shield – your word for the day) against the virus, and the importance of social distancing. Meanwhile, merchants are ignoring restrictions and are selling through closed doors or opening their stores completely. <Doing informally what the Swedes have been doing formally. We’ll see how it turns out. Maybe those vendors and customers have been just been passing the virus back and forth and building herd immunity.>

Parque Nacional Cajas – ETAPA will continue to manage the PNC for another 25 years, and unlike past years, it is considering an admission fee to visit the park in order to make money to invest in the park’s protection. 40% of the water that Cuenca consumes comes from the park. ETAPA has managed the 28,544 hectare park with its fragile ecosystem and 4,000 bodies of water for the past 20 years.

Criminal network in hospitals – Pablo Celi, Comptroller General, said that $250 millions in irregular purchases have been made by the IESS and Ministerio de Salud hospitals’ public contracting systems in the last 2 years. A criminal network specializing in providing overpriced goods has been operating in hospitals for a few years. That loss from corruption ate up almost half of the $547 million the Government hopes to collect from wage discounts to combat the coronavirus. The Comptroller’s Office found that companies invited to bid on providing masks were related to each other. The winning company shared a location, addresses and commercial references with other companies that were invited to bid. The ex-director of IESS awarded the contract without the approval of the Board of Directors which violated contracting law. The hospitals overpaid anywhere from 400% to 9,000% for some items.

Money for roads – Mayor Palacios asked the Consejo Cantonal to approve a loan from the Banco de Desarrollo del Ecuador (BDE) for $50 million for urban road work. The loan would be for 10 years including a 12 month grace period starting from the first disbursement and carry a 7.75% interest rate. The work would include 45 km. of rigid paving, sidewalk improvements, repositioning water and sewer lines, and putting power, telecommunications and lighting lines into conduits.

Towing cars – EMOV restarted towing cars parked in yellow zones yesterday, but for now, you won’t be sanctioned for not using your SERT parking card. <That would be for using a legal parking space? – since your car is already in the impound lot for parking in a yellow zone?> Controls for mobility restrictions from 21/3 to 10/5 have netted 4,160 sanctions for driving on days not matching your plate number. From 9/4 to 10/5, 732 vehicles were impounded. If you own one of those vehicles, you can get it back after 5 days between lunes a viernes from 8-12:00. Pay the fine at the Parque de la Madre or Misicata office.

First southern canton to go yellow – Palora in Morona Santiago was the first canton del Austro to change to yellow. The mayor said the curve of contagions went from 2 to 5 to 7, and then peaked at 11 with only 1 case since last viernes. The previous cases have all been discharged. Also the canton has 2,000 hectares of pitahaya that needs to be picked. Tomorrow, the canton of Santiago de Méndez will change to yellow.

CONAIE – Jaime Vargas, the leader of the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador (Conaie) said that “tomaremos las medidas pertinentes en su debido tiempo” (we will take appropriate action in due course) if the Government goes ahead with eliminating fuel subsidies. El pasado jueves, Finance Minister Richard Martínez said that the decrees about eliminating fuel subsidies are underway. Vargas responded that the decision would be a mortal blow and that the Government didn’t learn the lesson from octubre. <How sympathetic do you think people would be to another general strike right now? Or when everyone is trying to recover from the lock down? You’d probably have truckers, and maybe even your ordinary, everyday Zambrano extended family on their way to the beach, burning down the barricades.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne

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