CUENCA DIGESTLight rail car and station on display Tuesday in Otorongo; Cops get Segways; Dcotors protest proposed law

Oct 26, 2013

One of the cars for Cuenca’s new tram system, Tranvia de los Cuatro Rios, will be open to the public in Otorongo Plaza on Tuesday.
chl tram station
In addition to the rail car, a model of a tram station will also be on display.

Juan Zea, the Tranvia project coordinator, said the model station will include a ramp for people with disabilities as well as a route maps and a ticket vending machine.

The model car will be outfitted with seats and will include a continuous loop video providing information about the new system.

The exhibit will be in Otorongo Plaza for six months.
Cuenca cops get Segways

The sight of Cuenca traffic police on Segways, the electric two-wheel scooters, was turning heads Thursday and Friday on historic district streets.

In use for almost a decade in Europe and the United States, the Segways are the first in Cuenca and among the first in Ecuador, according to a traffic police spokesman.chl segways2

The Segways can run for eight hours on batteries and cover up to 40 kilometers, according to Giovanny Capelo, regional Latin America distributor. Top speed is 20 kilometers per hour. Capelo delivered seven of the two-wheelers to police last week.

The Segways will be used by traffic agents is the historic district, according to the spokeman. They will be quicker, more efficient than cars, he said.

Cuenca doctors protest proposed law

Doctors from the Vicente Corral Moscoso public hospital and medical students at the University of Cuenca have joined a nationwide protest against a proposed law that would criminalize medical malpractice in certain cases.

The new law is part of an overhaul of Ecuador’s criminal code.

The proposed law, was passed by the National Assembly but has not been signed by President Rafael Correa. Correa met with protesting doctors in Quito on Friday and said he would hold additional meetings before making a decision to sign or veto the proposal.

Doctors at Vicente Corral Moscoso hung up their medical aprons Thursday morning outside the hospital, and heldup signs saying, “We are here to serve the people, not to hurt them,” and “Don’t treat doctors like criminals.”

The doctors also claimed that they didn’t have the proper equipment and medicines to provide high-quality service. “Will be sued or imprisoned because the state does not do its job in properly equipping our hospital?” asked Alfonso Durango, a surgeon.

University of Cuenca medical students carried similar signs in a Friday prootest. “The new law makes us reconsider our decision to become medical doctors,” said Juan Ortega, a third-year medical student. “We chose this profession to make people well and wonder whether we want to carry the extra burden of having to worry about being put in jail.”

The student plan to deliver a protest message to Azuay governor Humberto Cordero.

Photo caption: A model of the new light rail system station; Traffic police are trained on Segways; Photo credit: El Tiempo

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