Former VP Glas’ appeal is denied
Ecuador’s National Court of Justice has denied an appeal by former vice president Jorge Glas of his six-year prison sentence. Glas was convicted in December of accepting bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. The court said that Glas’ legal team failed to produced new evidence that warranted overturning the original verdict. In a statement given before the hearing, Glas complained that his case had been “politicized” and that he was the victim of a vendetta. “The rule of law has been subverted in this case but I maintain my faith in God,” he said. Dozens of Glas supporters gathered outside the court in hopes the verdict would be overturned.
National, international tourism is up sharply in Cuenca
The Cuenca Tourism Foundation reports that the number of tourists visiting the city increased in 2017 and says that the up-trend is continuing in 2018. The city hosted 980,000 tourists in 2017, up 28 percent over 2016, and tourism officials expect the number to top one million for the first time in 2018. Of foreign tourists visiting Cuenca, the foundation says most of them are from the U.S., followed by visitors from Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Of national tourists, most are from Quito and Guayaquil.
Corpus Christ fireworks displays extended through tonight
The organizers of Cuenca’s Corpus Christi celebration announced Friday that fireworks shows will continue through Saturday night. They say that contributions by merchants near Parque Calderon have extended the pyrotechnic shows by two nights. The sales of sweets continues through Sunday.
Ecuador finance minister begins U.S. tour
Finance minister Richard Martinez begins a five-day tour of the U.S. on Sunday with meetings scheduled with representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. He will also meet with investment firms and officers of several large banks. According to Martinez’s office, the trip is intended to “open channels of dialogue” to U.S. and international investment and credit markets. Accompanying Martinez on the trip are Carlos Pérez, Minister of Hydrocarbons and Verónica Artola, manager of Ecuador’s Central Bank.