CUENCA DIGESTLarge Coopera account holders complain about lack of information; airport renovations begin next month

Jul 3, 2013

A representative of a group of Coopera investors says the government has provided inadequate information about the liquidation process of the Cuenca-based savings cooperative.

Attorney Gustavo Quito, speaking for a group of account holders with investments of more than $10,000, says that information provided by the federal office of Economía Popular y Solidaria, or SEPS, which is handling the dissolution of Coopera, has been vague and unclear regarding larger accounts.
chl coop
“Almost everything we hear about concerns small accounts,” Quito said, adding that he feared that larger account holders were being set up to cover the entire shortfall if auditors find there is not enough money to repay all accounts.

The investors group has met with representatives of the provincial government and SEPS but says it still has not received the information it has requested.

Meanwhile, about three dozen Coopera members protested Tuesday in Parque Calderon, demanding a guarantee from the Provincial government that their money would be returned. A spokeman said the government could not make such a guarantee.

Quito said he is particularly concerned for foreign Coopera investors, mostly North Americans, who depend on interest payments from their accounts to pay monthly living costs. Estimates of the number of North Americans with accounts at Coopera range as high as 300.

A SEPS spokeman repeated Saturday that Coopera accounts are not insured by the Ecuadorian banking insurance system. “All account holders should have been made aware of this fact when they invested their money. All members of the cooperative share the risks as well as the rewards.”

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Coopera, or Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Coopera Ltda., was closed by the federal government on June 12, when three members of top management were arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Cuenca Airport renovations to begin

The Mariscal La Mar Airport authority says that renovation work on airport facilities will begin the end of August.

The $1.2 million project involves installing three air bridges, or sleeves, expansion of the ticketing area, moving departure and arrival facilities to the second floor and relocating the food court to the first floor. Director of the airport authority, Juan Ignacio Ordonez, says all work should be completed by the end of the year.chl airport

The air bridges were donated to the airport when the Quito airport relocated earlier this year.

The airport authority says it expects to handle 1.2 million passengers within 10 years, quadrupling current traffic. Another renovation project in 2009 and 2010 expanded overall facilities.

Cuenca and Azuay are number one

A new nation-wide postal code system currently being implemented has designated Cuenca and Azuay Province as 01.

The government has invested $1,200,000 to create the the new system. All Ecuador mailing addresses will be assigned a six digit number. The first two digits will indicate the province, the second two a sub-district district of the province and the third a local postal zone.

Postal system spokesman Willians Saud, says that the new coding system will make mail delivery easier and benefit businesses that depend on regular deliveries.

Other postal codes are 09 for Guayaquil (Guayas)  and 17 for Quito (Pichincha).

Photo caption: Protestors demanding information about their Coopera accounts in Calderon Park on Tuesday (photo credit: El Mercurio); Artist’s conception of Cuenca airport upgrades.

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