Covid cases increase but so do recoveries; Moreno vetoes parts of Humanitarian law; Rules for park use; AG knocks double justice standard

Jun 11, 2020 | 13 comments

Miércoles, 10/6/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

“Tele Rutas” – The Colectivo Artistico Barojo will present “Tel Rutas de Leyendas” on Facebook Live. This group used to enact the legends of Cuenca in the locations from where the legends originated, but the physical portrayals in front of audiences have been cancelled. The new leyendas will be narrated by actors at various locations and will start el 12/6 in the bell tower of the Catedral Vieja. To join, go to the Facebook page of the Colectivo Barojo or of the Arquidiócesis de Cuenca. Cost: $5.00.

Conversatorio – There will be a talk tomorrow a las 18:00, presented by the U. of Cuenca on using the tranformations of the crisis as an opportunity for personal growth. <Your partner in this growth is your refrigerator.> To register, go to <Do all those letters and numbers mean anything or are they just a random “name” for the event so it can’t be confused with any other event?>

Otras cosas –

Titular – Tarifas se calculan (Rates are calculated) – the rule of “primero paga, luego reclama” (pay first, claim later) governs your light bill. The Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centro Sur said that because meters were not read between 18/3 and 30/4 and bills were calculated by taking taking an average of the last 6 months’ consumption, the bills doubled for some customers. You can go to their web page at or Twitter @centrosur_ec to find out how to make a claim for overpayment. <Or have your Spanish teacher or facilitator help you do it.> A CentroSur spokesman said that there was not a rate increase. If you are due a refund, you can apply it to your future bills or have it paid into a bank account.

Special social distancing rules apply to use of city parks. (El Mercurio)

New city App – The City has a new app called APP Cuenca En Línea to make paperwork easier and to make payments electronically. You can download it from the Apple or Play Stores. There are 50 services on the Panel de Deudas where you can see how much you owe ETAPA, EMOV, etc. There is also a Panel de Impuesto de Vehículos.

Work week – Pres. Moreno partially vetoed the Ley de Apoyo Humanitario (Humanitarian Support Law). The changes included not changing the Salario Básico Unificado nor sector salaries for one year. Employment contracts can be changed so that the work week is reduced to 50% and the salary to 55%, but the salary can’t be less than the SBU which is currently $400.00. He also vetoed benefits such as not paying for basic services during the pandemic and renegotiating credit granted by the IESS since they put the liquidity of the institutions and businesses providing the services at risk. The prohibition against cutting off basic services will only last for 30 days after the law is published and not until the end of the emergency.

New COVID cases in Cuenca – A total of 244 new cases were detected in Cuenca in the last 2 weeks. This is the equivalent of 26% of the total cases registered since the start of the health emergency. This reflects the daily information from the MSP with registers cases acccording to the PCR tests done by the public hospitals and network of private labs. They do not count results of rapid tests. Doctors and authorities identified increased mobility and evasion of biosecurity measures as the main causes of the increase in cases. Despite the case increase, officials say that there have been only three deaths in Cuenca from the virus in the past two weeks.

The number of patients who have recuperated has grown from 316 to 724. Iván Feicán, the director of the Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital said that their increase in cases has been constant in the last 2 weeks. They have space for intermediate patients, but beds for critical patients have been totally occupied on some days including last weekend. Mayor Pedro Palacios who also presides over the cantonal COE said that the occupation of intermediate beds is at 45% and that the capacity for critical patients will be increased in the next few days. <Is “en los próximos días” another version of mañana?> The provincial director of IESS confirmed that 5 ventilators are on their way <And is that a version of “Your check is in the mail”?> He also said that there is a corresponding responsibility on the part of the citizenry to take measures to protect their own health. If not, there could be time when beds are full and deaths will increase. <And you all know that if push comes to shove, people with most of their lives ahead of them will be prioritized over us old folks.>

Award – “Yakupura,” a company formed by 3 young entrepreneurs has won an award in a contest organized by Nestle and the Ashoka initiative. Their proposal is a water filter installed on the tap which purifies water with activated carbon obtained from coconut and cacao shells. The filter will improve water quality in areas where water treatment is inadequate, and it can reduce the purchase of bottled water and reduce plastic waste. <Interesting, because Nestle’s business model is bottled water.> They were one of the businesses selected from 706 entries for seed capital to grow the business.

Where*s the beef? – Because of the meat shortage in the US, Ecuador will be exporting beef to the US. Shipments of beef packaged for final consumers will start to be shipped in the coming week. Ecuadorian beef, even with the shipping costs, will be competitively priced with US beef. Ranchers and packers said that as well as being a business opportunity, it is a humanitarian gesture. <Until people start finding out just how tough the meat is.>

Bicentennial – There will be changes to the celebration of Cuenca’s 200th anniversary of independence. A committee has been formed to explore how to celebrate the event virtually.

Sentencing and prison – The A. G., Diana Salazar, has criticized the measures taken by judges in corruption cases, and now she has statistics. She said that 5 of every 10 people processed for common crimes such as robbery, go to prison; while 2 out of every 10 people processed for corruption receive preventive prison. A provincial court judge in Guayas Province granted conditional freedom instead of preventive prison to Guayas Prefect Carlos Luis Morales who was detained in the investigation into corruption in sales of medical supplies. After this, Salazar pointed out that preventive prison is for minor crimes such as someone stealing a cell phone because he has nothing to eat. <Is the going rate for a stolen phone a burger?> An attorney said that the problem the A.G. pointed out is a result of the way judges are elected which has a direct relation to political power.

Park use – There are conditions for the yellow light for use of the parks. Hours are 5-21:00. Authorized users are children, adolescents and adults under 70 years old. <I know, I know – you’re 78 and in better shape than any 17 year old. So get off the computer and go use the park.> Recommended distancing for activities include 5 m. for walking, 10m. for jogging or running, 20m for biking and individual sports activities. You need to use a mask, bandanda or buff (short for bufanda or scarf?) before and after the physical activity. <Does that mean an uncovered face during activity?> Glasses are recommended for high velocity activities. You can pause during activity to rest or estirar (stretch – your word for the day), but not to talk to other people. No physical activities in groups except for immediate family with whom you are living. Use of the childrens’ play equipment, parques biosaludables (bio-healthy parks – whatever that is – maybe the exercise equipment?), or calisthenic bars is prohibited. Do not go onto any bleachers. Don’t spit in public spaces. <I certainly hope no one needed to tell you not to do that. Yuck.>

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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