City concerned about utility privatization; Water bills headed higher; Presidential debate set; Campaign notes; French films returns and cultural calendar

Sep 7, 2023 | 0 comments

Miércoles, 6/9/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Martes de cine francés vuelve en septiembre (French Film Tuesdays returns in September) – The Alianza Francesa de Cuenca (calle Tadeo Torres y av. Solano) is organizing its ‘Martes de cine francés’ events this month. 3 films, produced in the last 3 years in France, will be shown on el 12, 19, & 26/9 a las 19:00 in the auditorium. The films are La page Blanche, Goliath, & Un Triomphe. It will also screen films selected by Eurociné el 21, 22, 23, & 27/9 a las 19:00 in the auditorium. All films are free and suitable for all audiences.

The Cuenca municipal council is worried that a national plan to create a private trust to collect electricity and other utility payments will jeopardize its ability to guarantee services. (El Mercurio)

Inauguración de muestras en las casas municipales (Inauguration of exhibits in municipal houses) – “Máscaras, arte y cultura,” a show by artists Eduardo Segovia, Fausto Bravo y Rosanan Fernández de Córdova will open el 7/9 a las 19:00 in the Casa del Alfarero (Convención del 45 & Mariscal Lamar). “Of_P_AM” an exhibit of illustrations by Pamel Coronel will open el 8/9 a las 19:00 in the Casa de las Posadas (Gran Colombia y Octavio Cordero).

Un tributo y nuevo libro (A tribute and new book) – A tribute, book launch, and magic show are part of the events in 2 spaces in the Casa de la Cultura. They start today with the performance of a tribute to the Daft Punk band. The show will be performed today, and el 7 & 8/9 a las 20:00 in the Sala Alfonso Carrasco (Luis Cordero 7-22, 2nd floor). Cost: $10.00.
The Cuencano writer, Francisco Proaño Arandi will launch his new book, “Antiguas caras en el espejo” (“Old faces in the mirror”) <How about that? I’ve got one of those mirrors, too.> in the auditorio Catalina Sojos (Pres. Córdova 7-89) a las 18:30. <No date given – maybe it was today.)

The Asociación Mágica de Cuenca will present a magic show in the Sala Alfonso Carrasco el el 9/9 a las 18:30 and a las 20:00. Cost: $5.00.

Titular –

Explican fideicomiso; el Concejo desconfía (Trust fund explained; Council distrustful) – The Cantonal Council met with the Ministro de Energía y Minas, Fernando Santos. Santos was in Cuenca to inform the Council about the Fideicomiso de Administración y Pagos for the electrical sector. The trust wants to attract foreign investment and in order to do that, it needs to garantee payments to the private investors. It would take the income that the electric company collects for electric service, the Empresa de Aseo de Cuenca (EMAC – the garbage company), and the Cuerpo de Bomberos (Fire Department) and consolidate it into the trust, which is a national entity.

Currently the Centro Sur pays $17 million to EMAC and $7.2 million to the Fire Department each year with payments made on the 25th of each month. The Mayor and Council are doubtful that the trust will make payments so reliably since the trust has a different set of priorities for the order in which things are paid. The first to get paid are private entities that generate and transmit electricity followed by administrative and operational costs, costs to import energy and more. The Mayor and Council want the money collected for EMAC and the Fire Department to never enter the fideicomiso since efficient electric companies like Centro Sur wind up subsidizing the inefficient ones. Also worrisome is that the trust agreement is for a 10 year period extendable to 80 years and who knows who will be in charge after all that time and if they’ll care if Cuenca gets garbage and fire service or not. The Minister of Energía said they would analyze the comments and if something needs to be corrected, it will be.

Cuenca –

De El Mercurio del martes, 5/9 (2 articles):
Las tarifas de agua potable van a análisis (Drinking water rates to be analyzed) – Mayor Zamora signaled that water rates are being reviewed because ETAPA is in a crisis since its divisions aren’t generating the required cash flows. The review is part of a pending loan to build the Guangarcucho waste water treatment plant which was negotiated by the previous administration. One of the conditions was to review and adjust rates. Zamora said that aspects such as consumption and the sector of the residence should be considered so that richer sectors would pay the full rate and rural sectors less. Although the contract (for the loan?) has not been awarded, it is costing the city $20,000 per month as a fine for not using the loan. <So the bank gets its money whether or not the borrower has gotten its money. No wonder they’re called “banksters.”>

Centros de Salud aplican la vacuna bivalente contra la COVIC-19 (Health Centers apply the bivalent vaccine against COVIC-19) – The Zone 6 Coordinator of the Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) said they are administering the bivalent vaccine against Covid in all health establishments in Azuay, Cañar, y Morona Santiago. People over 12 with moderate to severe immunosuppression are being vaccinated. This would include those who are receiving or have recently received treatment for tumors, have received an organ transplant, or have chronic conditions associated with an immunological deficit. Vaccinations are also available for patients from 18-64 years old with chronic diseases and people over 65 without comorbidities <even though this set of folks seems like it should have a lower priority than those with comorbidities>. You can get this vaccine if you have completed the first set of vaccinations and both boosters and it has been 6 months since the 2nd booster. Hours are from 8-17:00 according to the days of service determined by each health facility.

Nacional –

El presidente Lasso expide dos nuevos decretos-leyes (President Lasso issues two new decree laws) – Pres. Lasso signed 2 new decree laws of an urgent economic nature which will be sent to the Corte Constitucional which needs to approve them, or not. The first is to reform the system of risk and disaster management to execute actions for prevention and recovery from natural disasters. This law would create a declaration of a state of alert and a state of disaster as well as the creation of a figure of special administrative forfeiture. This figure <is this figura a person, committee or other entity?> could take assets, machinery, equipment, supplies and vehicles seized from illegal mining operations and use them in risk management. <Sounds like a less wasteful idea than destroying those assets.> The 2nd decree proposes reforms to the Códico Orgánico de Planifiación y Finanzas Públicas to update the processes that allow the functioning, administration, tracking and control of the Sistema Nacional de Finanzas Públicas.

Cambios en el debate (Changes in the debate) – The presidential debate for the second round of voting will be el 1/10/2023. Patricia Hidalgo, spokeswoman for the Comité de Debates Electorales announced that there will be only 1 moderator and the questions will focus on four themes <security, safety, crime prevention, and fighting narco-trafficking> one of which will be related to citizen security. The debate will last about 1-1/2 hours and be transmitted nationally.

Productividad y área social, en la agenda de candidatos (Productivity and social areas on candidates’ agenda) – Candidates Daniel Noboa and Luis González are continuing their campaigns. In a visit to the city of La Concordia yesterday, Noboa talked about public health and education. He said he would reinforce those systems which are constitutional rights, and not privatize those rights. In the Galápagos, González met with fishing unions, social organizations, and the productive sector. She analyzed the problems the guilds face and the solutions to obtain the wellbeing of their members including a dignified retirement for workers in the Galápagos.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? <Friday assuming I don’t get run over by a bus in the meantime.>

Jeanne

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