City security systems are outdated; Census shows a lower birth rate; More tram cards are available; Candidates on education; Polls indicate a runoff

Aug 10, 2023 | 0 comments

Miércoles, 9/8/2023

Hola, Todos –

Titular –

“De 20 pantallas para el monitoreo solo sirven 3” (Only 3 out of the 20 monitoring screens work) – Two serious assaults linked with banks occured in less than a week in Cuenca. In the most recent, $50,000 was stolen in an armed attack on an armored truck. As of ayer, there has been no official statement, and all that is known is that investigative entities had not asked ECU 911 or the Consejo de Seguridad Ciudadana (CSC) for videos. Last jueves, a woman who had withdrawn money from a bank near the Estadio was robbed. Pablo Cueva, director of the CSC said that Cuenca doesn’t have a plan for citizen security. That tool would allow a better articulation of the best way for the control entities to act. He also said that he is looking to repower the video monitoring center which is working with a management model from 2012.

Cuenca’s Citizens Security Council says most of its security monitoring screens don’t work and that its system management software is out of date. (El Mercurio)

Councilwoman Jenny Bermeo confirmed that the state of the monitoring center is critical since the software of CSC is outdated and various alarms are not activated. Worst is that there are about 20 monitors of which only 3 are worth anything with the rest either damaged or burnt out. In addition, there are only 2 people controlling over 270 cameras. She said the need for new equipment was urgent, but it would need a large investment. Bermeo added that installation of community alarms and cameras with new technology is planned and that the City is planning on donating 5 pick-ups and motos to the Policía Nacional for their Dinased unit.

Mayor Zamora was worried about the lack of patrols in the city. He said that there is a cemetery for cars that need maintenance, but no patrol cars on the streets. He said he has asked the Fuerzas Armadas to conduct 3 operations each day to control for arms and munitions. Zamora also talked about the ordinance that would regulate use of a motorcycle by two people. It will be put on the Council agenda. He said the similar national regulation issued by ANT has resulted in 500 interventions in Cuenca.

Elecciones –

I’m not going to translate all of the candidates’ positions on the various issues. The first one was confusing enough, and the second set not much better. The unfortunate reporter assigned to sift out a response to the issues seems to be learning how to pull out the information as s(he) goes along. For the 2nd & 3d issues, the reporter started using quotes from the candidates’ proposals, and for the 4, the format has evolved to bullet points. Each candidate submitted a Plan de Trabajo (Work Plan) to CNE and they range from 21 up to 76 pages. There was no required format, so some plans have indexes and others don’t. Nor were they asked to specifically address the issues listed so that the reporter had to pull out bits that could be interpreted as the candidates’ proposals on those issues.

So far the issues have been education, safety, social security and health. I’ll try to translate today’s health promises. If you really want to know what all the promises are, go to and click on “conoce tu candidato” and then click on the “binomios presidentiales.” If you’re really a fast reader in Spanish <and if you are, why the f**k are you reading my miserable posts?> you can click on the Assembly candidates.

And if I found the right information and read it correctly, the presidential debates will be Sunday, el 13/8 a las 19:00. <You should go to the CNE website to see how to run a transparent, orderly election with none of the melodrama of US elections. It’s pretty impressive even if you have to have your facilitator tell you what it says. But then it doesn’t talk about if there any deals going on behind closed doors.>

This is the 4th in a series of 7 articles about the proposals from the 8 presidential candidates, and the subject is the health sector. <I hope you notice that I’m keeping my snarky comments to myself in respect for the political process even though politics everywhere is a joke. Just look at US late night TV.>

Yaku Pérez – Alianza “Claro que se Puede”
– Pérez proposes to make a radical transformation of the public health system to to bring quality preventive care and to implement an up-to-date platform of healing medicine to guarantee service with dignity.
– He will apply a Universal Preventive Health Plan with mobile brigades to eradicate childhood malnutrition. He offers to prevent gender violence in a comprehensive manner within the health system.
– He will apply a strategy where physical activity will be projected in a preventive health perspective that generates balance in the human being and harmony in society.

Danial Noboa – “Acción Democrática Nacional”
– Noboa proposes to prioritize the care of emotional, cognitive, and physical health of women in pre-natal and post-natal states, and primary health services through comprehensive assistance by the State in treatment and prevention.
– He will guarantee health, and create programs and policies directed towards improving the system of health, safety, hygiene and well-being of the population.
– He plans to strengthen primary health care through the creation of institutional programs directed at increasing hiring of doctors, nurses, and health personnel in rural and neglected areas.

Luisa González – “Revolución Ciudadana”
– González plans to recuperate and rebuild the capacity of the public sector to provide quality essential services in various areas such as health and social bienestar (well-being – your word for the day and an important concept in Ecuador.)
– She proposes to increase the budget for health care as a main obligation of the State, and guarantee budget plans for existing health centers to recover their functions with quality.
– She is offering to reinstate medical and nursing staff and support personnel that were illegally dismissed in past years and assign decent wages.

Jan Topic – “Por un País sin Miedo”
– Topic proposes to strengthen the health system by means of implementing measures that improve the infrastructure and endowment of medications and equipment to hospitals and health centers.
– He plans to execute programs that will amplify health coverage so all Ecuadorians will have access to basic medical services, but also to strengthen the social security system.
– He believes it is necessary to apply policies and programs that boost the prevention of illnesses and promote habits for healthy lives. He also offers to reduce inequalities in health.

Otto Sonnenholzner – Alianza “Actuemos”
– Sonnenholzner proposes to improve investment in health in response to international recommendations and standards to ensure better responsiveness of the national health system.
– He plans to increase investment in health in response to international recommendations and standards to ensure better responsiveness of the national health system.
– He offers to strengthen and make transparent the purchasing processes for medicines, vaccinations, and medical supplies through technological processes and the implementation of follow-up mechanisms.

Bolívar Armijos – Movimiento AMIGO
– Armijos proposes an exhaustive audit of the resources assigned to the hospitals and health centers to identify possible areas for improving efficiency of expenditures in this sector.
-He will establish strict mechanisms to supervise and control the processes of acquiring and delivering medicines as well as contracting for services and personnel.
– He will prioritize primary health care as the base of the health system, strengthening the health centers and promoting prevention and early diagnosis of illnesses in order to treat them in time.

Fernando Villavicencio – Movimiento Construye
– Villavicencio would implement concrete measures to strengthen the first level of care including increasing and improving health center infrastructure and hiring of personnel.
– He proposes establishing an appointment system and coordinated follow-up between primary and secondary care, with the purpose of guaranteeing comprehensive and continuous care.
– To facilitate the management of certain illnesses, he would provide each patient with basic tools to promote self-management and control of his/her health.

Xavier Hervas – Movimiento RETO
– Hervas proposes strengthening the national health system and improving hospital infrastructure, medical equipment, and training of personnel.
– He would guarantee equitable access to quality health services for all, especially in rural areas and marginalized communities which historically, are those least served.
– He offers to implement policies of prevention and of promotion of health as well as programs for comprehensive care for chronic illnesses and health emergencies.

<The main question that comes to mind is how the candidates intend to pay for all these promises?>

Aviso –

A full page survey result (or ad?) showing that there will be a run-off election. A survey conducted on el 7/8 by TelcoDATA which is registered with the CNE, showed Luisa González leading with 30.3%, Jan Topic second with 16.2%, and followed by Yaku Pérez with 8.2%, Fernando Villavicencio with 7.4%, Otto Sonnenholzner with 6.7%, Nulo <I think you that’s when you X out the whole ballot page – a “none of the above” vote.> with 6.0%, Daniel Noboa with 3.2%, and Other with 3.2%. Undecided was between 30 and 25% but the actual percentage hidden by a foto of Topic.

Cuenca –

Luego del censo, el INEC detecta un incremento de hogares unipersonales (After the census, INEC finds an increase in one-person households) – The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) will present the first results from the census in the 3d week of septiembre. Ahead of the release of information, Roberto Castillo, executive director of INEC, said that there was an increase in the number of one-person households, a reduction in the size of households, couples delaying having children, and households deciding not to have children and adopting a pet instead. <You might need to send a dog to obedience school, but they’re never going to cost you university tuition or ask for the car keys. Well, maybe a border collie if that’s the dog you adopt.>

He said the population has increased but not at the rate that was projected in 2010. The birthrate went down, more people died due to the pandemic and insecurity, and there was a new wave of migrations. For the first time, the census included questions about sexual orientation and gender identity with the goal of making the rights of these groups more visible. The census will be evaluated by the UN Fondo de Población and the CEPAL División de Población which formed a technical committee to promote transparency, independence and impartiality.

‘Cuenca Expats Magazine’ transita a lo ecológico en octavo aniversario (Cuenca Expats Magazine’ goes green on its eighth anniversary) – Edward Lindquist, editor of Cuenca Expats Magazine, said that it started printing on ecological paper. The decision was taken to promote conservation of the planet and encourage an ecological consciousness. Through his interpreter, he said that the magazine has risen over the past 8 years as a link between Cuencanos and English speaking expats over 65 year old. He said that the magazine has content about art, culture, tourism, adventure, and gastronomy as well as connecting Cuencano businesses with the non-Spanish speaking foreigners. It has a circulation of 4,000 free copies every 6 weeks.

De El Mercurio del martes, 8/8 (1 article):
Llegaron 60,000 tarjetas del tranvía (60,000 tranvía cards have arrived) – 60,000 ‘Movilízate’ cards for the tranvía were ready for distribution el martes. This shipment should fulfil the demand for the card.

Nacional –

De El Mercurio del martes, 8/8 (1 article):
Definen orden de intervención en debate (Debate order defined) – The CNE held the drawing that will define the order in which the presidential candidates will be located on the set. The debate will be held este domingo a las 19:00 and broadcast by Ecuador TV. It will last about 3 hours. Participation in the debate is mandatory, and the Código de la Democracia establishes sanctions for a candidate that does not show up. This can include loss of rights to participate as well as loss of office should that no-show be elected. <Wow! If Trump were running here and blew off the debate, the law could prohibit him from taking office.>

According to the drawing, the order will be Yaku Pérez, Bolívar Armijos, Fernando Villvicencio, Luis González, Xavier Hervas, Daniel Noboa, Otto Sonnenholzner, and Jan Topic. There was a 2nd drawing to decide who will respond to the first question in each of the 4 debate themes. Topic will respond to the 1st theme, Armijos to the 2nd, Sonnenholzner to the 3d, and Noboa to the 4th. The 5th candidate to respond will be according to an on set drawing <I’m not sure if I understood that correctly, but there’s a system.> The debates (two debates if there’s a run-off) will cost $197,000.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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