Cuenca garbage trucks will roll again Friday night as scheduled pick-ups resume. The announcement followed negotiations by Mayor Pedro Palacios with residents of the Santa Ana parish who have maintained a blockade of the road to the city landfill in Pichacay.
Meanwhile, Azuay Prefect Yaku Perez is in talks with indigenous residents of Cañar Province to allow a humanitarian corridor for the delivery of LP gas and food to Cuenca and Azuay Province. “We hope to establish periods when highway can be opened to allow shipments of essential goods to move south,” he said. “We do not have a final agreement but hope to have one soon.”
To the southwest, talks are ongoing with road-blockers near Santa Isabel who are holding up dozens of gasoline tankers headed to Cuenca but police say no progress has been made. Injuries were reported Friday as police and army troops attempted to clear the road. Early Saturday, police said there were 10 blockages between Santa Isabel and Girón.
Perez is a leader and activist in Ecuador’s indigenous movement and is a past president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie).
Friday was another peaceful day in the historic district — the second in as many days — although access was again limited to Parque Calderon. A small protest formed early afternoon at the Simon Bolivar and Presidente Borrero blockade but no rock-throwing or tear-gassing incidents were reported.
Business owners in the blockaded area around the park are asking for a meeting with the mayor to discuss allowing greater access to their stores and restaurants. Most businesses in the area have been closed for more than a week and some owners say they face bankruptcy if they can’t reopen soon.
Taxis and city buses are back on a full-service schedule.