Counterfeiting operation busted in Saraguro; Zaruma defines no-mining zone; Cajas highway to close again after Carnaval; Murals on Lamar; More on Omicron
Hola, Todos –
USD 300 mil falsos ($300,000 counterfeit) – The Prosecutor’s Office and Policía Nacional executed an operation in which 4 people who were part of a counterfeiting organization were arrested in San Pablo de Tenta, Saraguro Canton, Loja Province. Police seized 16,600 sheets of paper printed with $20 bills amounting to about $300,000 in counterfeit money, type plates, machinery and inks. The investigation was a result of an interinstitutional cooperation between the Attorney General’s office of Colombia and the US Secret Service. There were crimes in Tulcán, Quito and Loja which led to a joint investigation with the Policía Nacional de Ecuador and the Policía de Colombia that determined that citizens of both countries were involved in counterfeiting money which would be circulated in the Ecuadorian-Colombian border area. Police estimated that the final production would have been about $500,000 which would be put into circulation in about a month.
Una persona puede volverse a contagiar (A person can be re-infected) – Dr. Bernardo Vega, professor and health researcher the U. of Cuenca explained how the virus is acting now. Much has been learned about the virus which has allowed us to differentiate between risk situations.
First is the belief that you couldn’t get reinfected after the first infection. Now we know that infections and vaccinations confer immunity for 4, 6, and up to 8 months. The 2nd risk factor is that the virus changes, and the 3d risk factor is that the current variant has many of the same symptoms as seasonal flu — headache, sore throat, joint pain, and rinorrea (runny nose – your word for the day.) <Or did I do that already? I forget. If memory loss were a symptom, I’ve had Covid for at least 20 years.> If you have symptoms, assume it’s Covid until you get a test that says otherwise. It is possible, but bastante improbable to get reinfected in a month. One of the virus’s characteristics is its mutations and there has been a high incidence of ómicron infections. Although ómicron is highly contagious, the number of serious cases needing intensive care is low, allowing a certain degree of normality. The vaccination is an element that has prevented saturation of hospitals, wiating lists for care, and deaths.
Currently there are trials underway to generate vaccines that cover a large group of genotypes of the virus and to learn about the effectiveness of a 4th vaccination. Vega thinks that in the future, there will be annual vaccinations taking into account the people with the most risk from infections. Another important aspect is that unvaccinated or partially vaccinated populations are the perfect “broth” for generating more variants. Independent of vaccines and variants is the use of distancing, avoiding closed spaces, and us of masks to prevent infections and reinfections. <Have I ever translated a more boring article?>
Se ejecuta mantenimiento vial en Mayancela y Av. González Suárez (Road maintenance in Mayancela and on González Suárez Av.) – The city is is working on 2,300 meters of the vía Mayancela which goes to the vehicle inspection facility and to Sinincay. It will eventually be repaved. There is also work to maintain the paving on Av. González Suárez and other projects on the vía Guzho, calle Camilo Egas between Paseo de los Cañaris and calle Medardo Ángel Silva, Av. Gran Colombia, and calle Cantón Mera in Yanuncay Parish.
Blindan sector urbano de Zaruma (Zaruma’s urban sector is shielded) – Zaruma has passed an ordinance to shield the urban center from illegal mining which caused a sinkhole that destroyed 3 houses in 12/21, and another that swallowed a school in 2017. The new ordinance seeks to reinforce municipal laws and extirpate illegal mining in the urban zone. It also requires legal mines to renew the land use permits to operate within 823 km. of the capitol city. <823 km. puts you into the ocean or Perú — way out of their jurisdiction.> Miners would need to make a complete and geo-referenced planimetric survey that verifies the work will not encroach into the mining exclusion zone of 215 hectares. The zone prohibits all mining activity, legal or illegal and not respecting those boundaries is a crime.
Amplían horarios para dar tarjetas (Card issuing hours extended) – Due to an increase in demand because of students returning to in person classes, the Cámara de Transporte de Cuenca (CTC), has announced an extention to the hours for getting a Movilízate card. Hours for the ETAPA office at Gran Colombia y Tarqui will be 8-13:00 and 13:30-16:30. The service location for the Sistema Integrado de Recaudo (SIR) at Capulíes y Molles will be from 8-17:00 ininterrumpida (uninterrupted — meaning the office doesn’t close down for lunch). Windows at the transfer centers at the Terminal Terrestre and at El Arenal will be open from 6:30-18:30. If you are disabled and need a personalized card, present your disability certificate and a copy of your cédula or passport.
Murales dan vida a la Convención del 45 (Murals bring life to the ’45 Convention) – Walls and spaces on Mariscal Lamar between Miguel Morocho y Daniel Alvarado have new murals designed by maestro Eduardo Segovia, a neighborhood resident of over 80 years, and executed by muralists Edgar and Cristina Segovia. <Relatives following in the maestro’s footsteps?> They are on the walls owned by the Zambrano families, Teresa Sinchi, and on the door of the barrio’s casa comunal. The costs of this community project were paid for by events such as concerts with US artist Deb Davis, the neighbors, and the artists. The goal was to bring visitors to the barrio and spaces such as the Centro Cultural El Alfarero, the Casa Museo Zoila Quezada, La Guarida, Eduardo Segovia’s workshop, and other businesses such workshops, stores and restaurants with vegan and foreign gastronomic offerings. You can get there on the Tranvía and get off at the Corazón de Jesús, Convención del 45, or La Cuadras stops.
U. Católica implementa nuevo servicio en hospital (U. Católica implements new service in hospital) – <This is for those of you who want to lose that last 100 pounds.> The Universidad de Católica announced that it is starting starting operations in its Unidad de Cirugía Bariátrica y Metabólica (Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Unit) for gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgeries. The institution said this surgery is the only tool to fight certain grades of obesity and associated illnesses. It noted that the costs are much lower than at private clinics. <And therefore much, much, much lower than in the US.> The head of the new unit is Fabián Jiménez, a specialist in Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. Call 412 3170 or 099 558 6552 for an evaluation appointment. Or go to the facility at Pío Bravo y Manuel Vega. <I bet there are a lot of medical tourism candidates in the US and México who could use this service.>
Cierre por 40 días en Molleturo (40-day closure at Molleturo) – MTOP announced a new closure of the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme at km. 49 for 40 days. It will start after the Carnaval holidays and once the vía Miguir-Río Blanco-Cochapamba-Yumate has been rehabilitated to serve as an alternate route. <My reaction to the picture of the Miguir road was, “That’s a road!?” It looked more like a dry stream bed deadending at a landslide.> The closure at km. 49 will start el 2/3 and end at the Semana Santa holiday. It will allow the Sudamericana Integral de Construcciones (Sudinco) company to remove rocky material from the slope. Work on a bypass at the bottom of the slide was stopped by directors and authorities of Molleturo in favor of the alternate route.
Expoferias en parroquias (Expofairs in parishes) – The GAD of Azogues has restarted agricultural, crafts, gastronomic, and entrepreneur expo-fairs in the parishes of Azogues. These fairs will be from 12/2 to 3/4 to promote economic recovery in the rural sectors.
38 debates de alcaldes y prefectos serán obligatorios (38 debates for mayors and prefects will be mandatory) – The Consejo Nacional de Electoral (CNE) has approved the schedule for the electiones seccionales (mid-term elections) in 2023 and has included reforms from the Códico de Democracia. This includes the requirement that candidates for mayor and prefects in jurisdictions with more than 100,000 voters hold public debates. Debates are voluntary in smaller jurisdictions. In 2023, the requirement will apply in 17 provinces and 21 cities and the debates will be held in 2 shifts on el 14 & 15/1/2023. The CNE thinks 2 days will be needed due to the large number of parties and movements — 260 currently with another 70 in the approval process.
According to Alfredo Espinosa, an election expert and member of the Colectivo Voces por la Democracia, these elections are important because of the increased participation of women and youth and because of anti-money laundering control. Political organizations need to include at least 30% women on the top of their lists and youth between 18 & 29 years old need to compose at least 25% of their lists. <Breaking the grip of all those old guys on political power.>
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 (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.