ECUADOR DIGESTPolice continue to investigate murder of Vilcabamba expat

Feb 26, 2013

Police say they have nothing new to report in the murder investigation of a Vilcabamba expat.
 
Glenn Sanderse, a 53-year-old Canadian, was found dead Feb. 20 at his Vilcabamba real estate office. Police investigating the crime believe he died two or three days earlier due to stab wounds and a slashed throat. Police said the motive was probably a personal dispute since there were no signs of robbery at the crime scene.

Sanderse’s body was discovered by his business partner Francisco Riofrío who said he had no idea of a motive. Several Vicabamba expatriates have reported, however, that Sanderse had been criticized for business reasons in Internet blogs.
 

According to reports, the Canadian embassy is working with local police in the case.

New airport up and running; drive time complaints continue

Quito’s new airport in Tababela is operating efficiently according to officials and travelers interviewed by local media, although the time it takes to get to the new facility from downtown Quito continues to be the subject of complaints.

The airport has handled more than 1,000 domestic and international flights since it opened Feb. 20. Although there were complaints about flight delays, officials said that these were due to weather or other factors beyond their control and were similar to the number of delays at the old airport.

A poll conducted by Quito’s El Comercio newspaper tended to substantiate claims about the long commute time from Quito to Tababela. In it, 74% of drivers said the trip took more than 90 minutes. The rest reported a drive time of less than 90 minutes. Quito's mayor claimed that most commutes were about an hour. Average taxi fare from the city was $30 while buses offered service for $8.

In addition to the long commute, travelers also complained about prices charged by airport food vendors. Travelers reported being charged $14 for a sandwhich, $8 for a salad and $3 for a drink. Officials say that prices dropped by as much as 35% after they lodged complaints.

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Economy grows at 5% in 2012, down from 2011 Rate

Ecuador’s economy grew 5 percent last year, lower than 8 percent in 2011, hit by slower expansion in the oil and construction sectors, official data showed on Tuesday.
 
Growth is expected to slow again this year due to global economic woes and the idling of Ecuador's largest refinery, which will be partially shut down for several months for an overhaul.
 
Central bank data showed the oil sector expanded 1.9 percent last year, well below the 4.6 percent growth recorded in 2011.
    
The banana, coffee and cocoa sectors contracted 5 percent in 2012 versus a growth of 13.8 percent in 2011 while construction grew 9.6 percent versus 21.6 percent a year earlier. 

Photo caption: New Quito airport. 

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