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Election ‘dry law’ goes into effect, Corruption money recovered, Landslide creates tourist attraction, LP gas subsidy safe for now

Jueves, 21/3/2019

Hola, Todos –
Actividades –

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Tourism in Nabón – Nabón turned a major landslide that blocked the Curiquingue and Tiohuayco creeks into a tourist opportunity when a large lake was formed. The community of Chunazana offers half hour rides around the lake in small boats for $1.50. The Centro de Intercultura at the Tourist Information center is next to the Panamericana Sur in La Ramada at the entrance to Nabón. There is also a food court with comida típica prepared in clay pots and wood burning ovens. Products such as capulíes, strawberries, tomato, cabbage, lettuce, onion and more are displayed for sale.

Otras cosas –

President Lenin Moreno votes in last year’s referendum election.

Titular – Contar los nulos, un dilema para el CNE (Counting the null votes, a dilemma for the CNE) – Although compaigning stops at midnight today (el jueves), the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) still doesn’t have a mechanism to count “null” votes in the election for members of the Consejo de Participación Ciudadana.

Gas subsidies – The Minister de Economía y Finanzas said that gas subsidies won’t be looked at in the next two years, but will be in focus in 2021. This was one of the requirements of the WMF and 6 other organizations in extending loans to Ecuador. pending is also a review of the prices of domestic gas and diesel. The ministry has been silent on the issue of raising the IVA. A Reforma Tributaria (Tax reform) proposal will be presented to the Asamblea in octubre and includes changes which should simplify the tax system, thereby increasing collections.

Odebrecht money – The first $13.5 million from the Odebrecht scandal involving ex-VP Jorge Glas and his uncle Ricardo Rivera, was recuperated.

Bicicletas públicas – The first 10 public bike rental stations have been installed with the service going into effect the first week of abril with rides costing $.25. The article on Page 9A of El Mercurio is titled “Bicicletas públicas funcionarán en abril.” There is a blurry map of the 20 bike stations. At each station, users can show a card to a screen and get assigned a bike. You can also rent bikes through an app, but you need to register at www.bicicuenca.com. You can become a member and join for 3 or 12 months at a cost of $15 or $30. The other way to use the bikes is to pay $.25 per trip which is good for 30 minutes. <You don’t get to tool around all day for a quarter.> If you don’t get to your destination station in 30 min. your card will be charged $.50, and if you go over an hour, the charge will be $2.00. The system is designed for short trips. Planners hope that requiring that bikes get returned to the stations will ensure a supply of bikes at stations.

Voto 2019 – <I’ll start with the issue of most interest to gringos.> The Ley Seca (Dry Law) will go into effect at 12:00 el viernes. Voting weekend is a dry weekend so there will be no legal drinks served at restaurants, bars, etc. Nor will alcohol be sold. <If you need your booze, better get it in the morning and plan to drink at home only.> The elections on domingo, 24/3 will be from 7-17:00 in the whole country. <Is the Galápagos in a different time zone?> Urban zones of the 15 cantons in Azuay will elect mayors, prefects, urban council members, and representatives to the CPCCS. The rural zones will elect all of the above plus “vocales” to the parish boards.

What you need to vote is your cedula – expired or old is OK. If you don’t vote you will be fined 10% of the Salario Básico Unificado (Unified Basic Salary) if you are a citizen. If you do not pay the fine, you can’t do any paperwork at both public and private entities. <Like getting your internet fixed if it goes out?> Prisoners vote today, and tomorrow is Voto en Casa where people 65 years old and over with more than a 75% physical disability can vote from home.

Urban voters will get 6 ballots – 3 of which are for the CPCCS. Voters will select 3 women, 3 men, and 1 from the indigenous pueblos.

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne