Cuenca ranks in top 10 Latin American cities
For the first time, Cuenca has made the top 10 list of Latin American cities for having the best projects to increase green space within its urban and suburban boundaries. According to Bianca Dager, executive director of Premios Latinoamérica Verde, Cuenca is making “bold moves” to improve the lives of its citizens by preserving natural areas for public use and for protecting natural resources. In particular, Dager cited Cuenca’s Green Belt project and its program to protect its water supply.
Loja mayor ousted in public referendum
More than 70 percent of voters voted to recall Loja Mayor José Bolívar Castillo in a special election on Sunday. The recall was based on complaints by the local taxi union that Castillo had misused an automated photo system that fined drivers for speeding, collecting an excessive amount of money for his government. The vote was also seen as a referendum on the mayor’s close ties to former president Rafael Correa and his use of Ecuador’s communication law to imprison and fine a journalist who he accused of “media lynching.” Castillo also used a provision in the communication law to fine the La Hora newspaper for “prior censorship” when it did not report news favorable to his government.
General says Correa gutted country’s intelligence system
Retired Army commander and former presidential candidate Paco Moncayo lashed out at former president Rafael Correa for leaving Ecuador vulnerable to illegal drug activity on its northern border and for subverting the country’s justice system. He said that the kidnapping case of Fernando Balda and the murder of Air Force General Jorge Gabela for his criticism of the purchase of military helicopters are an outgrowth of a culture of “arrogance and extreme authoritarianism” promoted by Correa. In two recent interviews, Moncayo, who ran as a leftist in the 2017 presidential election, said that Correa used the national intelligence system to spy on his political enemies instead of protecting the national interest.
Rat eats $18,000 in cash
After bank customers in Tinkusia, India complained that an ATM machine was not disbursing the cash they had requested, the bank investigated. When bank officers opened the machine, they discovered a dead rat and $18,000 dollars worth of chewed-up bank notes. According to the bank president, the rat had apparently gotten into the ATM two days earlier when cash was loaded into the machine. The police officer who investigated the case quoted an Indian proverb that concludes with the saying, “You can’t live on money alone.”