Cuenca prepares for life after health emergency; Free tranvía rides ending, cards go on sale; Face mask fines; Mining referendum rejected again

Sep 2, 2020 | 27 comments

Martes, 1/9/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Bicentenario article on “Los “Guanderos” – Without the indigenous guanderos, Cuenca would not have grown in the early 20th Century since there were no roads. These porters brought Viennese furniture, wrought iron for balconies and pianos de cola (grand pianos – your word for the day) from Guayaquil. The guanderos brought the first car to Cuenca in 1912, strapped to long poles carried on their shoulders. They also brought the 37.5 kilowatt dynamo from Huigra in Chimborazo to Cuenca’s first electric plant. The first light was lit the night of 10/8/1914 in the plaza de las Armas (now Parque Calderon). <I wonder if any of the guanderos was allowed to attend that ceremony? Bet not.> There is a mural painted by Manuel Tarqui in 2009 in the Gobernación de Azuay honoring these exploited workers. <I’m sure those workers would have preferred to be honored with a paycheck commensurate with the value of their labor, but what’s new – the rich get their goodies and the poor get shafted.>

Otras cosas –

Mayor Pedro Palacios sells tram cards Monday at the El Centro ETAPA office. (El Mercurio)

Titular – Cuenca y Azogues toman precaución ( Cuenca and Azogues take precaution ) – The municipality of Cuenca is preparing its plan to prevent Covid infections once the state of emergency is lifted nationally on 12/9. National restrictions, in place since marzo, such as the curfew and driving according to license plate numbers will no longer apply. The city has no power to override these measures, but will be establishing ordinances to limit the spread of the virus. The ordinances will address restricting activities that can present a risk of contagion such as prohibiting massive events, requiring the use of masks, and regulations for churches, sports venues, and the zona de tolerencia.

In the last 7 days, the number of cases in Cuenca has gone from 3,929 to 4,445 – a record increase of 516 new cases. <Perfect time to loosen restrictions. Herd immunity, here we come and the hell with those who give their lives to get there.> Between the IESS and regional hospitals, there are 191 patients. Deaths in the last 7 days have increased from 203 to 232 not counting those who died outside of hospitals.

Tranvía cards – The City of Cuenca started distributing 50,600 free Movilizate cards for the Tranvía which will start operating commercially on 23/9. You can get the card which normally costs $1.75 for free if you buy 5 fares for $1.50. The cards will be personalized and are available at 5 locations. As of yesterday, cards are available in the centro comercial Nueve de Octubre, the ETAPA office at Gran Colombia y Tarqui, and the Mariscal La Mar airport. As of el jueves, they will be available in the tunnel at Feria Libre and the Terminal Terrestre. The fare of $.30 is if you buy a minimum of 5 rides to be used in 15 days. A single ride is $.35 if you buy it with a card, or $1.00 if you buy a ticket. <You’re going to have to figure out how to get your senior discount (17 cents per ride) on your own.>

Sanctions for not using facemasks – Since the start of the health emergency, The Guardia Ciudadana has issued 634 tickers to people for not using facemasks or coverings. In that same time, they have spoken to over 3,000 people about using face masks while in public spaces. The controls have been centered around markets and gathering places with large numbers of people, and they have dealt with people who resist complying with distancing and covering their mouth and noses. The commander of the Guardia Ciudadana called the streets “una selva de cemento” (a concrete jungle) and said that most citizens understand, but a minority reject the safety measures because they consider them an infringement of their freedom. <Sounds like some Ecuadorians are no more conscious of the common good than some Americans. I wonder if they´re also part of the “me” generation.>

Mining Consulta rejected – For the 3d time, the Corte Constitucional has rejected an application from Yaku Pérez for a referendum to block mining activity. The court considered that Pérez could not present requests in the name of the population of Azuay in spite of his position. The referendum would have asked if the voter was in agreement with the prohibition, without exception, of metal mining at any scale in the protected area of the ríos Yanuncay-Irquis in the canton of Cuenca.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –


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. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.