Flooding causes severe damage; Inmates run the prisons, police chief says; Turi sweep nets more weapons, appliances; Avianca suspends int’l flights

Mar 3, 2021 | 10 comments

Martes, 2/3/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
Nada.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Daños por lluvias (Rain damage) – The rains have caused damage in Pucará, Santa Isabel, Girón and Cuenca in Azuay and in Azogues in Cañar. <Following is basically a list of damage so probably not relevant to you unless you’re planning a road trip.> Pucará – a slide on the via Minas-Tablón-Pucará with traffic detoured to an alternate route thru Tendales-San Rafael-Pucará. Santa Isabel – the río Rircay rose leaving communities such as Sulupali Chico, Sulupali Grande, Jubones y La Cría cut off from the center of the canton. Girón – The río Falso overflowed, affecting part of the the bridge platform in the Cristal sector. It also deposited rocks, dirt and mud in the community of Norambote. Cuenca – the río Tarqui overflowed and ETAPA issued an alert about the Tomebamba overflowing. <Those of you in Puertas del Sol – beware.> Cañar – the río Burgay rose affecting the mercado Sucre sector in Azogues. About 20% of the market structure collapsed and 8 people were evacuated el noche del domingo.

MTOP has machinery cleaning a rock fall on the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje in the Uchucay sector. There are also problems on the vía Gualaceo-Plan de Milagro at Ingamullo, Tinajillas, Cerro Bosco y Plan de Milagro although they are keeping the road open to traffic. There are inconvenientes (obstacles/inconveniences), mostly at km 42 on the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-Naranjal where bypass was constructed. There are also problems on the vía Sígsig-Chiguinda-Gualaquiza in El Churuco sector where there were 2 fatal accidents last month. There is controlled traffic on the vía Paute-Guarumales-Méndez in the quebrada Jurupis sector in the Amaluza parish.

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A section of this bridge near Santa Isabel was washed out by this week’s floods. (El Mercurio)

Fase 1 de vacunación comenzará en el Azuay (Phase 1 vaccination will begin in Azuay) – Priorities for Phase 2 of the vaccines are teachers, police, military, firefighters, recolectores de desechos (sanitary engineers, formerly known as garbagemen – your word for the day), essential sectors <will that include everyone in the food supply chain?>, and vulnerable groups. This phase will start today even though there was no notification about the arrival of the new shipment from Pfizer when the paper went to press.

Phase 1 was completed over the past weekend and in addition to front line health workers and nursing home residents and staff, 130 public servants in the Prosecutor’s Office also received vaccinations due to the efforts made in Quito by the Attorney General, Diana Salazar. Officials of the Coordinación Zonal de Salud said that many people scheduled for Phase 1 could not take the vaccine due to allergies, other health conditions or fear of secondary effects. Once the vaccine kits were opened, they needed to be used. <Sticking them in the frig for the next phase wouldn’t have been an option.> That allowed vaccinating people in direct contact with the public. <And Diana Salazar looking after her “peeps.”> Although ICU beds are still scarce, the number of cases in the last week deccelerated, dropping from an average of 41 new cases per day to 26.

Embajador de Reino Unido de visita en Cuenca (United Kingdom Ambassador visiting Cuenca) – The Ambassador from the UK, Chris Campbell, is visiting Cuenca with improving commercial relations between the UK and Ecuador and environmental conservation projects on the agenda. Campbell noted that currently the UK exports $172 million in products such as machinery, vehicles <Let me know if you see any Rolls Royces or Bentleys tooling around Cuenca.>, medicines and liquors <How about exporting more brands of single malts?>. It imports $247 million in foods, a market that Cuenca hopes to join with its products. In order to maintain social distancing, there were no events with the British community although there was a dinner with the honorary consul in Cuenca, Gary Manners, to discuss matters dealing with the English community. <And probably any Scots, Welsh and Irish, too.>

Decomisan arsenal en cárcel de Turi (Arsenal seized in Turi prison) – The police showed the results of 3 searches of cells at Turi which were finished la tarde del domingo. They found arms (including 1 gun), cell phones (48), chargers (19), metal tips (396), home made knives (21), liquor, drugs, marijuana plants, a range of appliances, padlocks and chains, blenders, toasters, and shavers. Police are seeking to retake control of the jail.

Algunos detenidos son “poderosos” en cárceles (Some detainees are “powerful” in prisons) – Patricio Carrillo, the general commander of the Policia Nacional, appeared before the Asamblea Nacional. He said that the prison system allowed the leader of the Los Choneros gang to help maintain order, and over time, criminal gangs consolidated in Ecuador. When the Los Choneros’ leader disappeared, it opened up competition from other gang leaders which resulted in the massacre. Impunity has also been a factor. Since 2014 there have been over 75 riots but no sanctions have been imposed on the prisoners even though the rioters were identified. There are no cells for solitary confinement. The gang leaders took over with threats and extorsion against other prisoners including using them as serfs. Guards are outnumbered and threatened. In Cotopaxi, there are 58 guards on each shift with each guard watching 90 prisoners. In Guayaquil, there are 40 guards, each watching 240 inmates. At the regional Guayaquil, there are 32 guards per shift, each watching 67 prisoners and at Turi there are 44 guards per shift with each watching 92 prisoners.

Internacional –

Colombia – Avianca suspende rutas a EEUU, Europa y A. Latina (Avianca suspends routes to the US, Europe and Latin America) – Avianca has temporarily suspended various routes to the US, Europe, Central and South America to adjust its operations to passenger demand. The routes include Bogotá to Washington, Los Angeles, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in the US as well as to London and Barcelona. Routes from Bogotá to Curacao; San Juan in Puerto Rico; Asunción, La Paz y Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia were also affected as were Cali y Medellín to Madrid. These temporary suspensions will be restarted depending on the pandemic with some in the first quarter of the year and others during the second half.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
_____________________

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 (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.

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