Covid tracing app available; 5 bus routes in the province are operating; Virtual 10k run draws 123; 298 usury complaints are filed in Azuay

Aug 4, 2020 | 2 comments

Lunes, 3/8/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Video – Cuencano Sebastián Monsalve gathered 11 Latin America’s most important women singers to produce 2 songs of hope. “Vengo a ofrecerte mi corazón” by Fito Páez was put on Youtube and Spotify el 31/7, and “Gracias a la vida” by Violeta Parra will be posted el 7/8.

Otras cosas –

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Titular – Azuay: 298 denuncias por usura (Azuay: 298 complaints of usury) – Complaints of usury have increased in the last two months due to the economic crisis. Azuay is the province with the 3d most incidents. The Asamblea Nacional is analyzing how to protect victims of usury who have suffered from interest rates double those allowed, judgments that left entire families in the street, and death threats. One business owner borrowed $5,000 with an interest rate of 5% per month or 60% annually while the maximum allowed in Ecuador is 28.5%. <So if your US credit card charges you 29% interest, that would be a crime here?> She was told she could make interest only payments of $250/mo., but when the first bill arrived, it was for $850, and the demands and messages for payment got more insistent and threatening. On social network pages, a fraud is also added to the usury with offers that ask the victim to make an initial payment of up to $150. The victim never receives the loan and loses their initial payment.

The number of complaints against usury has grown during the pandemic. (El Mercurio)

Currently, only 1 out of 80 complaints made to the court about usury are decided in favor of the victim. An assemblyman has proposed a law against usury that would increase penalties and help victims. The legislation would include preventing convicted usurers from evading their sentences by fleeing the country and suspending any judgment to collect the debt once a criminal proceeding for usury has started.

App to prevent Covid – ECU-911 started a pilot program in Cuenca, “ASÍ Ecuador,” to strengthen the fight against Covid. It would inform users of the app if they were exposed to someone who could have been infected with Covid. Using Bluetooth, the app can establish if there was contact between two users without knowing their identities or where they met. <Is it possible to establish a contact without a location?> The app does not use any type of geo-location including GPS. The pilot program will start with the doctors in the network of institutions of the Ministerio de Salud Público.

Road state of emergency – The COE of Morona Santiago province asked for a state of emergency for the principal roads which have been damaged by heavy rains. The conditions of the vías Guarumales-Méndez (E40, Macas-Puyo (E45), Macas-Riobamba, Méndez-Morona, Gualaceo-Limón, and Sígsig-Chiguinda are worrying authorities who also want funding to address the problems.

5 bus routes resumed – As of midday today, buses will be going directly from Gualaceo, Girón, San Fernando, Santa Isabel, y Nabón to Cuenca and vice versa. There will be an official from the cantonal COEs when the buses leave the terminals to see that they comply with means, signage and biosecurity that were approved in order to resume service. Por otro lado (on the other hand – your phrase for the day, which seems like it could be useful if you had the rest of the sentence ready to roll off your tongue), the COE of Paute suspended service to Cuenca due to the increase in cases.

Illegal fishing – The US will support Ecuador’s efforts to prevent illegal fishing in the waters off the Galápagos. The US is especially interested in stopping Chinese fishing boats. <I just hope they don’t use Ecuador as a patsy to start a shooting war with China.>

Deportes –

Virtual 10K – Radio station “Alfa” at 1.14 AM organized a virtual 10K run with 123 runners. Runners from Loja, Quevedo, Biblián, Gualaquiza, Guayaquil, Sígsig, y Cuenca participated. They all selected their own routes and times which were registered on a chronometer with results and photos sent to the organizers, then shared on social media. Winners received prizes such as a BBQ dinner for 4 and a bicycle which were donated by sponsors. Longer races of 15, 21 & 33 km. are being planned. <Could you do the race by running around in circles in your back yard? Then you’d have the competitive advantage of not having to wear a mask.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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