Gas station owners plan protest; Country sets murder record, the majority in coastal provinces; Cáceres admits wife’s murder; Horse competition
Hola, Todos –
Expolicía Cáceres confiesa que mató a M. Belén Bernal (Ex-cop Cáceres confesses to killing M. Belen Bernal) – Germán Cáceres confessed in a judicial hearing that after a strong discussion <is that a euphamism for a loud fight?> in a room of the Police School, he strangled his wife while drunk. <That’s way more than a strong discussion.> He said he kept the body for a day and then took it to the Casitagua hill where it was discovered 10 days later. He said that he did this alone without the knowledge of anyone else. After this he exercised his right to silence and refused to answer questions from the lawyers representing Cadet Joselyn Sánchez, Second lieutenant Alfonso Camacho, the Bernal family and the victim’s mother.
Cadete saldrá libre (Cadet to be released) – The AG’s office has asked for a date and time for a hearing in which it will ask for revoking the preventive prison order against Cadet Joselyn Sánchez who was accused of femicide. Sánchez admitted to having an affair with Germán Cáceres. The decision was made after new investigation into María Belén Bernal’s cellphone. The lawyer for the victim’s family had no objections, and said they were inerested only in what happened after Bernal’s death.
De El Mercurio del jueves, 12/1/2023:
Buses vuelven a la estación de la Terminal Terrestre (Buses return to Terminal Terrestre station) – As of yesterday, the Terminal Terrestre returned to being a stop for urban bus lines 8, 12, 18, 19, 28, & 100. Passengers can now enter the station next to the Terminal Terrestre. This station and the one at El Arenal were opened in noviembre, 2012, but closed after two years while the Tranvía infrastructure was being built. <Public transportation in Cuenca – what can you say besides “go figure?”>
Dueños de gasolineras realizarán un plantón (Gas station owners to stage a sit-in) – Carlos Salazar, president of the Asociación de Distribuidores de Gasolina del Azuay (ADDPA) said that some gas stations can’t absorb more costs since they are operating at or below their breakeven point. He said that some of the distributors are in areas far from the supply terminals and have to assume the freight costs. Service station owners in Oña haven’t discarded the idea of closing stations. This is not a problem in Cuenca since gas stations are from 20-50 km. from the Terminal de Chaullabamba. <Does that explain the large number of yellow tanker trucks you see on the highways when you leave Cuenca going south?>
The Asociación de Distribuidores de Combustibles de Manabí has called for a peaceful demonstration today in front of the Terminal de Barbasquillo in Manta. The union has 3 requests. The first is the reinstatement of 5 cents for the profit margin which was increased in octubre, 2019. But this was eliminated later due to the strike. The second request was for the Government to assume the freight costs for distributors that are long distances from the terminals. This has been done in Morona Santiago where Petroecuador has assumed this cost. The 3d request is to lower the 50% presumptive IVA withholding and the retention of 100% of the IVA by public entities. Salazar said that the gasoline sector is the only one in the national economy that has IVA withheld which cuts into its liquidity. The Ministerio de Energía y Minas, Fernando Santos, said that it is conducting a study to show the Ministerio de Finanzas that an increase in the profit margin is fair since it has been frozen for 18 years while other costs have gone up. He said that the reinstatement of the 5 cents should be in terms of a percentage to avoid future problems.
De El Mercurio del jueves, 12/1/2023:
Expectativa por rebaja de tres impuestos (Expectations for three tax cuts) – President Lasso’s announcement about 3 tax cuts has raised expectations. The cuts will apply to IVA during 4 holidays; Impuesto a los Consumos Especiales (ICE) that applies to products like beer, plastic bags, and arms; and the reduction in the Impuesto a la Salida de Divisas (ISD). Juan Pablo Vanegas, president of the Cámara de Turismo del Azuay said that the reduction of 4 percentage points in the IVA trom 12% to 8% will encourage tourism nationally. He mentioned additional costs to businesses to modify their accounting systems to generate facturas, but thought that these would be offset by increased tourism.
The reduced rates would apply during Carnaval, Semana Santa, Día de los Difuntos, and the Independence of Cuenca. The “exit” tax will see reductions from 4% to 3.75% in febrero, to 3.5% in julio and to 2% in diciembre. <Now it’ll be cheaper to send your money to the US if you leave Ecuador. But why would you want to leave here, anyway?> The ICE tax will also be reduced on alcohol, sugary non-alcoholic drinks, beer, cigarettes and firearms and ammunition where the the tax will be reduced from 300% to 30%.
De El Mercurio del jueves, 12/1/2023 (2 articles):
Ataque en hospital deja ver violencia sin control (Hospital attack shows unchecked violence) – There was new violence in Guayaquil when a 20 armed gangmembers entered the Omni Hospital, a private hospital, to kill a patient who was being treated after surviving an earlier attempted murder. Juan Zapata, ministro del Interior, said that the confrontation was between criminal gangs fighting for power in Zone 8 which is the cities of Guayaquil, Durán and Samborondón. There was a police guard, but it was severely outnumbered.
Ecuador closed 2022 with the highest number of violent deaths in its history. The 4,439 people killed across the country more than doubled the 2,048 killed in 2021. 80% of the violent deaths in 2022 were in the provinces of Guayas, Manabí, El Oro, Los Ríos, & Esmeraldas – the drug route. 2023 doesn’t look like it will be better since there were 162 killings nationally in the first 10 days. More than 60 were in Guayaquil.
El precio de gasolina Súper sigue a la baja (Super gasoline price continues to fall) – From 0:00 today (jueves), the price for Súper Premium 95 octanos (octane – your word for the day) for stations owned or affiliated with Petroecuador will be $3.98 per gallon. The price of Ecoplus 89 octane will be $3.08 in the pilot plan in Guayas and Esmeraldas. <I don’t think slightly lower gas prices isn’t really adequate compensation for the insecurity.> These prices apply until 11/2.
Alistan nuevo concurso de Caballo Peruano de Paso (New Peruvian Paso Horse competition is ready) – <This is for all you horse people out there.> The 23d edition of the Concurso de Caballo Peruano de Pase Ciudad de Cuenca will be this sábado y domingo at the Cuartel General Dávalos. At least 200 horses, the best of Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca are expected to compete along with horses from neighboring countries. Admission is free.
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 (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.