In a campaign visit to Cuenca on Monday, presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso pledged financial support to complete the city’s tranvia project and to stop all mining above 2,800 meters.
The candidate also said he would reduce government regulation of small businesses, reduce business taxes, and allow college students to choose their own professions.
Lasso’s opponent, Lenin Moreno had made a similar pledge for tram funding in February but said the federal government might assume project management. Lasso said he would work with city government and Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera on the project.
Speaking to supporters in rural parishes near Cuenca, Lasso said he would protect water resources from mining operations and close down mines that threaten the environment. “I will not put the financial interests of the government ahead of the interests of the people,” he said. “Access to clean water is the right of all Ecuadorians and I will not allow the land to raped by Chinese mining companies because the government is desperate for money to pay its debts.”
Lasso said he would ban all mining above 2,800 meters elevation.
Lasso also said he would give high school and college graduates the right to choose their own careers. “It is not the government’s business to tell you how to live your lives,” he told students at the University of Azuay, referring to testing that places students in university programs according to their aptitude. “In a democracy, you should have the right to choose.”