Corruption costs taxpayers billions; Pioneering cancer surgery in Guayaquil; City prostitutes face growing danger; Spectacled bears documentary screens

Dec 10, 2020 | 9 comments

Miércoles, 9/12/2020

Hola, Todos –
For those of you who were upset that you weren’t warned that an issue contained an Un-April Fools article, here’s your notice. There will be one or more Un-April Fools articles before the end of the year. If you know which article it is, what’s the point of that?

Actividades –

De la pagina cultural y educación-

El ideal de una joven (The dream of a young woman) – 23 year old Cuencana Carolina Serrano was named as as 2020 innovator under 35 in the MIT Technology Review. Her project started in 2017 while she was studying biomedicine at Yachay Tech. She started GelWear to make environmentally friendly disposible pañales (diapers). Also in the project are her sister, a student of nanotechnology, a biomédico and another biomedicine student. They won the regional Hult Prize and are competing for the $1 million world Hult Prize to develop their project. There are 30 other contestants. Her goal is to win the prize and invest it in Ecuador to establish an environmentally friendly diaper industry. The diapers are manufactured with a hydrogel made from cane bagasse (the plant fibers you have left over after the juices are expelled from sugar cane). <This was your feel good story for the day. If you can’t feel pride for this young woman, something’s wrong with you.>

Proyectan documental sobre osos de anteojos (Documentary about spectacled bears screened) – Starting tomorrow (jueves), ETAPA will show the documentary, “La vida secreta de los osos de aneojos” (The secret life of spectacled bears) in the Museo de la Ciudad (ex Escuela Central) a las 18:30. There will be shows el jueves y el viernes. The movie was filmed in Imbabura and used monitoring videos that ETAPA has set up in the Macizo del Cajas.ioio

Otras cosas –

A Cuenca women’s group organized a dance and theater event with students from 5 high schools to promote the fight against violence against women. (El Mercurio)

Titular – Primeros vacunados dan una esperanza (First vaccinated give hope) – Margaret Keenan, a 91 year old woman in Great Britain was the first to receive a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech from May Parsons, a Phillipina nurse who has been working for the National Health Service for over 20 years. Ms. Keenan said that if she could take the virus at 90 years, you can too. <Talking directly to you anti-vaxxers.> The vaccines have started in 50 of the biggest hospitals in the UK where the Government is calling the day “V-Day.” The first doses are going to those older than 80, health workers, and retirement home residents.

Contra la violencia durante el noviazgo (Against dating violence) – The Coordinadora Política de Mujeres del Azuay (Political Coordinator of Women of Azuay) organized a dance and theater event with students from 5 high schools to promote the fight against violence against women which starts in the dating phase. The event which was held yesterday in the Salón de la Ciudad was part of a 16 day campaign which ends tomorrow. A representative of the group explained that gender violence should be eradicated at young ages as a preventive tool which is effective in Cuencanan homes. According to UN Women, 1 of 3 women are victims of violence while dating through relationships dominated by celos (jealousy – your word for the day), claims, control over another person and up to verbal, physical and sexual agression.

Éxito en cirugía pionera contra cáncer (Success in pioneering cancer surgery) – A team of doctors from Ecuador and Mexico successfully operated on a patient in Guayaquil using a procedure called citorreduccion con peritonectomías y resecciones orgánicas más quimioterapia intraperitoneal hipertérmica (cytoreduction with peritonectomies and organic resections plus hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) <Sorry I can’t give you a translation for the translation.> for the first time in Ecuador. A Cuencano oncologist said that this surgery is for advanced abdominal cancers including ovarian, apendix, colon, gastric and peritoneal. The surgery is long and complex and is used when the cancer has spread. Once the tumor has been removed, a dose of chemotherapy is placed inside the abdominal cavity using a technology from the US. According to Dr. Carlos Andrés Machuca, the procedure is available in Cuenca, and patients can see him at his office in the Hospital del Río for evaluation and testing.

Publicidad en tranvía fue canje (Tram advertising was a swap) – <I really don’t understand this article so I’m going to translate literally.>The advertising for Direct TV which is on 5 Tranvia cars, was placed in exchange for acquisition of 25,000 viajes (trips) at $.30 each. With this, 5,000 commemorative Bicentennial cards were made which will be shared with the Fundación Municipal Turismo para Cuenca (FMTC) for tourists visiting the city. As compensation for the advertising, $500 was given to a provider of lettering and printing service for use by the Unidad Ejecutora del Proyecto Tranvía (UEPT). This is to put signage at the stops with information relevant to users. Also as a form of payment was a promise to produce art and graphic pieces on the Tranvía windows with the image of the Bicenenario de Cuenca. This was in an agreement with the Imaginarios advertising company and the UEPT and FMTC. In the agreement the UEPT promised to grant the right to place DirectTV ads on one complete tram (5 cars, both sides) for 90 days. Imaginarios also promised to abide by industrial security and biosecurity protocols. It is responsible for removing the advertising and returning the cars to their condition before the ads. A marketing specialist said there is no official and international standard for advertising on trams, but there are technical recommendations which include the signage should not be a barrier to visibility for the passengers or a distraction to other drivers. This was a response to criticisms people made when they first saw the Tranvía circulating and covered with ads. <I still don’t understand the 25,000 trips part. Who and how much did Direct TV pay, and why they just didn’t pay the UEPT directly? I calculate the 25,000 trips would be $7,500. Is that the going rate for a rolling billboard for 90 days? Or did the city get screwed again.>

Crece la prostitución clandestina (Clandestine prostitution grows) – Clandestine prostitution has increased in the streets during the health emergency and the suspension of brothels in the Cayambe barrio. One sex worker said that insecurity and risks have increased. They face dangers of being robbed, assaulted and even of being killed. But the women have families to support and would like the brothels to reopen. However, people living in the sectors around Cayambe protested this week at the redondel Eloy Alfaro (De las Américas y Ordóñez Lasso) to relocate the zona de tolerancia (tolerance zone).

Ecuador pierde al año USD 7.000 millones (Ecuador loses USD 7 billion a year) – It’s been 17 years since the General Assembly of the UN proclaimed 9/12 as the Día Internacional contra la Corrupción to raise awareness about the problem. But the problem still increased in Ecuador and the region. According to Transparencia Internacional, 4 years have passed without improvements in the index and a poll conducted this year showed that 51% of the population considers corruption as the biggest problem in the region. The World Bank says that $2.6 billion, or 5% of the world GDP is lost each year to corruption. <That doesn’t make sense with the headline, and a quick search gave me $3.6 trillion in losses worldwide.> The Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) says corruption causes $220 billion in losses in the region.

The percentage of corruption in Ecuador is at 5% which is about average for Latin America. With the pandemic, the number of cases has taken off. If there hadn´t been $7 billion lost, the country would not have needed the $6.5 billion loan from the IMF. The coordinator of the Comisión Nacional Anticorrupción Nacional (CNA), Germán Rodas Cháves, said in just the past Government, there was $45 billion in overpricing in high profile projects, especially hydroelectric, with almost $70 billion lost overall. <Are the Chinese better at hiding bribes than Brazilians or Americans? Or are they just better at getting jobs by bidding low and making it up with change orders? Or do they do it legally by providing the financing, labor force and making money through vertical integration?> The CNA was created 5 years ago after complaints about corruption were met with silence from the Fiscalía (AG), Contraloría (Comptroller) and Asamblea Nacional. Cháves also thought those institutions had been captured by the then administration. More than 40 ex-officials of the previous administration including the president are being investigated or have received sentences for crimes of corruption.

Negocios –

Rancho Chileno, 51 años de servicio a la ciudad (Rancho Chileno, 51 years of service to the city) – This restaurant was started in 1967 near the airport. Since then, it opened and closed a second branch, managed to hold on to their customers during the pandemic, and was declared a “Patrimonio Inmaterial de la Ciudad.” It has recently remodeled and reopened on Av. España y la Castellana. <I think it’s still on the other side of the parking lot from the airport terminal.> There will be a new Rancho Chileno Express near the stadium.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –


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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