Cops bust banana farm drug operation; Interest and penalties on unpaid taxes to be forgiven; Schools need security plans; Court rules for indigenous

Jan 23, 2024 | 0 comments

Lunes, 22/1/2024

Hola, Todos –

Titular –

No todos regresan a clases presenciales hoy (Not all return to in-person classes today) – Not all schools are returning to in-person classes after Friday’s announcement by the Ministerio de Educación. Principals from both public (fiscales) and private (particular) schools informed parents that their school would continue with virtual classes. Those that reopened instituted security measures such as additional controls during the times that students entered and left the school, suspension of extracurricular activities, hiring security personnel, and forming a brigades to monitor external cameras.

A National Court ruling orders the government to complete its compliance with a 2012 judgement by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to clean up oil exploration waste on Sarayaku territory in the Amazon jungle.

Cuenca –

De El Mercurio del domingo, 21/1 (1 article):
El fuego de Vulcano vuelve a Las Herrerías (Vulcan’s fire returns to Las Herrerías) – The fire will return to the sculpture of Vulcan in the plaza on the calle Las Herrerías. It will be lit los viernes y sábados from 19-21:00 as a symbol of the history of the forge, its memory and tradition. The sculpture was built between 1994 & 1997 in the Plaza del Herrero where the Casa de Chaguarchimbana is also located. The fire is still present in the daily life and as a prime material for the craftsmen and women who work in wrought iron.

De El Mercurio del sábado, 20/1 (2 articles):
‘Perdonarán’ deudas municipales (Municipal debts to be ‘forgiven’) – The 2nd debate on the Ordenanza para la Remisión de Intereses, Multas, y Recargos de Tributo, en Aplicación de la Ley Orgánica de Eficiencia Económica y Generación de Empleo (Ordinance for the Remission of Interest, Fines and Tax Surcharges, in Application of the Organic Law for Economic Efficiency and Employment Generation.) was Monday morning. The ordinance will provide that people who owe the City of Cuenca for fees, taxes and projects which have accumulutated interest, only need to pay the capital. The period the ordinance will be in effect is for 150 working days starting el 20/12/2023 which is when the Asamblea Nacional approved the Ley Orgánica de Eficiencia Económica y Generación de Empleo.

This remission of interest applies to taxes administered and collected by the city and its businesses except for el impuesto de rodaje (which I think is a vehicle tax). Estefanía Vintimilla, head of the city Finance Department said that $9.7 million in interest and $362,000 in penalties can be forgiven for whoever pays the capital. Once the ordinance is approved, the city will notify people when they can start paying and the last day to do so.

Desde el lunes, las clases serán presenciales: Azuay (As of Monday, classes will be face-to-face: Azuay) – <This is now outdated. See Monday’s headline article.> As of el lunes, 22/1, face-to-face classes will resume at a national level in 8,178 primary and high schools, public as well has fiscomiciales, municipal, and private. The exception are the schools in Guayas, Esmeraldas y Los Ríos Provinces, and in the cantons of Quito and Pedernales. El viernes, teachers informed the families who will be returning to face-to-face classes and about security measures. Next week the Ministerio de Educación will announce which primary and high schools which will make a gradual return to the classroom in the second phase after an evaluation of the insecurity levels. In Azuay, all educational institutions will return to in person classes.

Nacional –

Depresión y estrés aumentan por la violencia e inseguridad (Depression and stress increase due to violence and insecurity) – The number of patients in Ecuador with symptoms of anxiety and depression has exploded in the past 2 weeks. The wave of violence, insecurity in the streets, and continual threats from organized crime have multiplied the number of people seeking medical attention. Medical appointments for mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and hypertension have been increasing since 2020 when the pandemic started. Seniors and young children are affected.

Psychologist Angélica Sánchez recommmended explaining to children in the clearest manner possible what is happening in the country and that violence is not a way to solve problems. She also recommmended that people in their tercera edad get different news instead of deaths, violence and robberies which are spread by the media. <So we should be watching cooking shows and Judge Judy instead? But not kids’ cartoons which are full of violence.>

Hallan tres toneladas de droga y 12 fusiles (3 tons of drugs and 12 rifles found) – The Ecuadorian military announced the discovery of 3 tons of drugs and 12 rifles hidden in a plantation in Los Ríos Province. Based on military intelligence <OK, you can let loose the comments on oxymorons now>, the Armed Forces conducted a operation in Vinces canton where they found the drugs and weapons in a caleta (cove or creek – our word for the day).

De El Mercurio del sábado, 20/1 (1 article):
Pueblo Sarayaku gana otra demanda contra el Estado (Sarayaku people win another lawsuit against the State) – The Sarayaku community, part of the kichwa indigenous nationality, won a judicial victory against the Government. It would require complete compliance with a 2012 judgement by the (CorteIDH – Inter-American Court of Human Rights) which recognized the people’s rights were violated when an oil exploration concession covering a large part of Sarayaku territory was granted without previous consultation. The recent judgement recognized that Ecuador had not finished complying with the 2012 judgement. The current judgement gives the Government 6 months to carry out the prior consultation about the process of removing about 1.5 tons of pentolite high explosives which were left in Sarayaku territory and which the CorteIDH had ordered removed in 2012.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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