Cuenca faces Covid without ‘red light’ option; Doctors recommend more testing; Teachers must return to class, judge rules; More election party profiles

Jan 15, 2021 | 8 comments

Jueves, 14/12/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Otras cosas –

Titular – La gente ‘busca’ al virus (People ‘search’ for the virus) – Returning to the “semáforo rojo” (red stoplight – your phrase for the day in case you’ve forgotten or recently arrived in Ecuador) is an impossibility since the Corte Constitucional declared the inconstitutionality of declaring another state of emergency. What can be done by the COE, is restrict vehicular transit, restrict capacity in businesses, and limit the functioning of businesses. Cuenca has had an ordinance since septiembre, 2020 to establish regulations to reduce cases of Covid. These worked until the holidays in diciembre which are now afffecting hospitals. Without regulations based in the Constitution, citizens are living with free will in the middle of a health emergency which has left deaths and exhausted medical personnel. <How many of you have gotten a lot more relaxed about socializing in bigger and bigger groups since the lockdown ended? Is it because you’ve gotten younger, thinner, and did away with pre-existing conditions so you’re less likely to die if you catch Covid?>

Dr. Bernardo Vega has been analyzing the situation relative to the number of infections from the new coronavirus and said we need to search for a new way since we are entering a critical situation with ICU beds totally occupied. He said the measures Cuenca has taken should go hand in hand with stricter controls. He reiterated that people should wear masks, not go to social events, avoid crowds and maintain social distancing. Representatives of industry also insisted that people should take care of themselves and be responsible since a return to a lockdown would see businesses that survived 2020 fail in 2021. Andrés Robalino, director of the Cámara de Industrias, said the province has improved in the last few months and this year should be for businesses to recuperate.

Pruebas de antígenos (Antigen testing) – Doctors are recommending carrying out more tests as one of the best ways to control the virus. A new test for antigens, already being used at airports, is effective with results in 15 minutes. Its cost in Cuenca is $35.00, and a private business donated over 2,000 tests which will be used in health centers. <I know you’re going to ask me where you can get this test. The article did not say. You’ll have to do your own research.>

A lack of social distancing remains the top cocern of the local COE.

Profesores deben volver a aulas el próximo martes (Teachers must return to classrooms next Tuesday) – The Asociación de Profesionales del Ecuador (APE) asked for a protective action when it was announced that teachers would return to classrooms this month. The Unidad Judicial de Familia, Mujer, Niñez y Aolescencia in Quito denied the request, delaying the return to class until 19/1.

Fijarán tarifas para interparroquiales (Fares for interparish buses to be set) – City Council commissions for Movilidad, Tránsito y Transporte; and Desarrollo Rural are readying a resolution to fix fares for interparish buses which have not changed in 8 years. There are 6 companies running 92 buses on routes to Molleturo, Chaucha, Quingeo, Cumbe, Victoria del Portete, Tarqui, Turi, El Valle, Santa Ana, Nulti, Sinincay, y San Joaquín. The fleet dates to between 1999 and 2011. The council is asking that the Dirección de Gestión de Movilidad (DGM – Department of Mobility Management) conduct a thorough study to decide if an increase if needed. <I doubt that most of you who have been here 8 years are still paying the same price for your expenses as you were 8 years ago.>

CNE decidirá la ampliación del horario de las votaciones (CNE will decide about extending voting hours) – The CNE asked the Attorney General’s office to help it decide whether to increase the voting day by 2 hours, but the AG returned that responsibility to the CNE which is now debating the issue. Instead of closing the polls at 17:00, the polls would close at 19:00. <I guess mail in ballots aren’t an alternative in a country without mail service.>

Ballots are being printed with 47.64% of the presidential ballots finished, 100% of the ballots for assembleístas representing Ecuadorians out of the country <Now would these Ecuadorians be expats or immigrants or migrants or illegals or “murderers and rapists”?> 90.69% of the provincial assembly ballots are complete, and there is no progress on the ballots for the Andean Parliament. The scan and copy proof ballots have 3 types of security – one obvious, one that can only be seen with a magnifying glass, and the 3d only known to the authorities of the CNE. There were printing errors in which 2 lists were printed without their logos. These have been corrected.

Jóvenes de la región fijan mirada en el agro (Young people from the region focus on agriculture) – 33 young people from Azuay, Cañar, and Morona Santiago approved of the first entrepreneurship school “Jóvenes Rurales.” The jóvenes hope to crystallize or improve their agricultural projects based on what they are learning. The 33 youth from 18-29 years, were selected from hundreds of applicants and receive training in financing, business plans, marketing and sales, and technical training in agricultural development including precision agriculture with the use of drones. At the end, each will write a proposal for financing from the BanEcuador as an alternative to looking for a job. The article featured 3 students: one in beekeeping <with a little detective work on the side?>, one growing ornamental plants, and one growing chocolate.*

Voto 2021 –

From miércoles, 13/1/2021 –
PSE: lista tiene “identidad propia” (PSE: list has “own identity”) – The Partido Socialista Ecuatoriano (PSE), list 17, is allied nationally with the Concertación movement which supports César Montúfar for president. However, the PSE in Azuay is not part of that agreement. The candidates for the National Assembly from Azuay are Eduardo Ruilova who has been a militant for socialism for 40 years, Juana Narváez who is a social activist, Eduardo Cárdenas who is a lawyer and student leader, Adriana Astudillo who represents the youth in the party, and Néstor Chuñir who is a lawyer and a director of rural communities in the province.

One of PSE’s principal proposals is a change in Government policies and laws that would permit Ecuador to have a sustainable development, both socially and environmentally. It supports “Sí” in the referendum on mining in Cuenca. It also supports the “Minka por la Vida” which is promoted by ex-prefect of Azuay, Yaku Pérez Guartambel. Nationally, the PSE’s plan de trabajo includes an agreement for the institutionality of the State; fiscal and tax pact; a model for sustainable development in solidarity, equity in social protection, a reform of Social Security; a national system to respond to the pandemic; strengthening education, technology and innovation; an efficient policy against corruption; a society free of violence; and protection of the rights of migrants.

From jueves, 15/1/2021 –
“Recambio en la política,” lema de UE (“Replacement in politics,” EU motto) – Unión Ecuatoriana, list 19, does not support a presidential candidate since the national party withdrew its support from Givanny Andrade for presenting his plan de trabajo which was copied 67% from Wikipedia. <Makes you wonder how he got through high school.> The Asamblea candidates are Julio León who was a councilman during ex-mayor Paúl Granda’s term when he was opposed to correísmo or Alianza País. At 63, he is one of 9 candidates over 60 out of a total of 90 candidates. The other candidates are Sofía Cobos, a commercial engineer, Galo Chillogalli who was vicepresident of the Quingeo parochial junta, Marieta Zaruma who is a lawyer, and José Méndez who is the youth on the list at 24 years old. They all have a common cause in the rights of domestic animals, opposition to gender violence, and with a special concern for citizen safety.

UE’s plan de trabajo includes initiatives to reform the Ley Orgánica de Educación Superior (LOES) so that students have better access to universities. It would plan reforms to the Código Orgánico Integral Penal (COIP) to stimulate the fight against crime and corruption. It would generate employment with tax benefits, labor reform, boost employment of youth, and include people with disabilities in the labor sphere. It proposes to promote commercial development, the productive sector, strengthen dollarization and make public contracting transparent. Other proposals include developing the real estate sector, modernizing Government institutions to reduce paperwork thereby strengthening local government budgets. Social aspects of its program would place an emphasis on priority attention to the migrant and furthering international relations for sustainable development for the country.

And that´s all for today so Hasta Mañana –


Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.