CUENCA DIGESTGovernor targets local ‘chulqueros,’ aka loan sharks

Sep 22, 2009

Azuay Province governor Leonardo Berrezueta is putting a bulls eye on illegal lenders he says are gouging consumers.

Known as chulqueros, the black market lenders charge between 3% and 10% interest a month. “These lenders feed on the distress of the people are no better than coyotes,” Berrezueta says, referring to those who, for a high price, promise to transport Latin Americans to the U.S. illegally.

According to the governor’s office, the effort to target the chulqueros will include both an educational campaign and law enforcement action. “We need to alert the public about the dangers and illegality of this activity,” says Berrezueta. “We will also ask the victims to come forward to help us prosecute those responsible.”

Berrezueta says the legal investigation will go after those who finance the activities of the chulqueros. “Without money from investors these criminals would not be in business.”

RETROSPECTIVE QUITO EXHIBIT HONORS TWO CUENCA ARTISTS

Cuenca artists Eduardo Segovia and Jon Wright were honored Sept. 3 at the opening of a month-long exhibition at Quito’s Fundacion Caspicara. The exhibition titled “Retrospectiva: La Madera y el Fuego,” runs until Sept. 30.

In his remarks, Caspicara curator Juan Cueva called Segovia “Ecuador’s greatest ceramicist.” He continued: “Segovia is an artist who manages fire and earth with great ease and imagination. Most important, Eduardo has fun with his work and approaches his enterprise with a child’s sense of joy and wonderment.”

Describing Wright’s work, Cuenca resident David Morrill described the artist as “equal parts craftsman and provocateur.” Commenting on the sexual nature of Wright’s woodcuts and lithographs, Morrill said the subject matter only served to catch the attention of the observer. “What interests Jon the most is the craft and the effects it produces. He takes great pleasure in the simple elements of line, color and form.”

The Quito opening was attended by about 150.

Photo caption: Cuenca ceramacist Eduardo Segovia working in his studio in the 1990s.

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