The Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES) has interviewed more than 386 unrepaid members of the failed financial cooperative Coopera to assess their need for government assistance.
MEIS says that 106 members remain to be contacted, 98 declined interviews while 17 will be interviewed in coming weeks. The government says that there are a total of 607 members who have not been repaid since the June collapse of Coopera.
MEIS says that 52% of the unrepaid members already receive some form of government support.
Azuay Governor Humberto Cordero says that interviews have determined that 316 families with investments in Coopera need various forms of assistance, including educational, health and housing, and are being assigned to government agencies. He said that 70 families were found not to need assistance.
MIES says that 55.5% of the unpaid members are aged 50 and older while 20% are between 40 and 50.
Some Coopera members and creditors said the government assistance falls short of repairing the damage of their financial loss. Creditor and member José Montesinos, who attended a meeting with MEIS two weeks ago, says his account with Coopera was intended to offset a debt that the cooperative owed him. “The government is not helping me with this and I am still hoping that after the assets are sold that there will be money to repay me.” The government estimates that there is about $1,800,000 owed to creditors.
Meanwhile, Coopera liquidator Diego Aguilar says he has asked the University of Cuenca to evaluate the value of food markets, inns and restaurtants owned by Coopera, prior to opening bids.
Aguilar reports that about 500 of the unpaid Coopera members had accounts of less than $90,000, while 105 had accounts of $90,000 to $700,000 and four had accounts of $700,000 to $2.2 million.
Money laudering and embezzlement charges are pending against 10 Coopera managers and members following their arraignment in early November.
Photo captions: The Cuenca financial cooperative Coopera was closed by the government in June