Cities, provinces suffer deep budget cuts as protests mount; City allows limited Christmas sales by small merchants; Internet political advertising probed

Dec 3, 2020 | 6 comments

Miércoles, 2/12/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
Nada.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Alcaldes protestan por recorte presupuestario (Mayors protest budget cut) – Mayors marched in Quito. 4 including Raúl Delgado, president of the Asociación de Municipalidades del Ecuador (AME), met with Pres. Moreno, and came to an agreement <sort of, I think> in which municipal budgets could be cut by up to 28%. The amount that the Government currently owes cities rose to $1.211 billion, and the amount owed to provinces rose to $772 million. Delgado, along with the mayors of Cañar, Guaranda, and Girón started a hunger strike.

USD 11.8 millones merman al GAD Azuay (USD 11.8 million decrease to GAD Azuay) – The budget of the Provincial Government of Azuay has decreased considerably with the cuts by the Ministerio de Finanzas. The original budget of $36.3 million was reduced to $24.3 – a decrease of 33%.

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Sugieren abrir las fronteras (Border opening suggested) – The Gabinete Sectorial de Seguridad (Sectorial Security Cabinet) resolved to partially open borders (air, land and sea) at the end of enero, 2021. The resolution will need to be approved by Pres. Moreno. It will also need to be coordinated with neighboring countries, especially Perú since Colombia reopened its maritime borders yesterday and will reopen land borders el 16/1/2021.

Following protests, the city of Cuenca is allowing some sales of Christmas merchandise by small merchants. (El Mercurio)

A cárcel por abuso sexual a agente de la EMOV EP (Jail for sexual abuse of EMOV agent) – A man was sentenced to 3 years in prison and fined $500. A transit agent and a companion were walking along Av. España when a man, who was walking towards them, turned as he passed them and tocó los glúteos (touched the buttocks) of the agent. <I bet he did more than touch – I bet he grabbed or slapped her butt.> The two women tried to detain him, but he got away. The Policía found him at the taxi stand by the Terminal Terrestre.

Otra pandemia acecha a Cuenca (Another pandemic stalks Cuenca) – Yesterday, hospitals and the city commemorated the Día Mundial de la Lucha contra el SIDA (World AIDS Day). <I wonder if Covid will ever get its own day.> During the Covid pandemic, the Coordinación Zonal 6 de Salud is working on prevention and treatment for AIDS patients. Talks and informational fairs have been suspended. Yezid Másmela, a doctor with Zone 6, said that the Covid restrictions have helped to lower AIDS cases with 120 new cases in 2020 versus 238 in 2019. Of these cases, 25 are pregnant women, who receive “kits verdes” (green kits) which are medicines and procedures to prevent the baby from getting the disease. There are also “kits púrpura” (purple kits) for women who have been victims of sexual violence. Along with medicines, people receive preservativos (condoms) <Don’t embarrass yourself. If you want to know if a food has preservatives in it, ask about conservantes de alimentos.> and masks. <Hard to give a blow job through a KN95 mask. My apologies if your 6 year old is the one reading this column to you.>

Ventas navideñas de informales sí se podrán realizar (Informal Christmas sales will be allowed) – After protests by itinerant merchants yesterday, the Mayor announced that sales of Christmas and holiday products by infrormal vendors will be allowed with the exception of fireworks. They can sell their products in public spaces and at private ferias that are approved by the Municipalidad, but with biosecurity measures.

Publicidad electoral en redes bajo control (Electoral advertising on networks under control) – The amount of advertising on social networks for the 2021 elections should be reported to the CNE according to the Reglamento para el Control y Fiscalización del Gasto Electoral (Regulation for the Control and Supervision of Electoral Spending) which was approved to prevent corruption. The law says that advertising in the press, on billboards, and digital media can only be financed with funds allocated by the Government. For example, the 5 candidates for the provincial assembly have the right to $13,329.74 from the CNE. They also can spend up to $185,521.80 of their own money or funds raised in a transparent manner which need to be justified to the CNE. <Can you imagine the difference in US elections with rules like this? No more “dark” money from PACs, the remaining Koch brother, or Soros.>

According to a consultant in the use of social networks, most of the presidential candidates are already advertising on line, especially on Facebook, even though the official compaign season isn’t until 31/12/2020 to 4/2/2021. Another consultant said CNE should have a clear policy to control advertising, especially on Facebook and Twitter, and not only of advertising but of content.

Cierre del puente de Guangarcucho (Closure of Guangarcucho bridge) – The bridge which connects the Panamericana Norte with the vía Cuenca-Azogues was closed today from 8:00 to 12:00 to repair potholes. <Why are they called potholes? Because they’re about the size of a pot?>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
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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.

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