Former government official is on the run
The whereabouts of Ecuador’s former secretary of communication, Fernando Alvarado, is unknown according to law enforcement officials. Accused of embezzlement, he removed a court-ordered electronic ankle bracelet Friday night, throwing it into a Quito ravine. In a What’sApp message Alvardo told friends he has left the country. “I would like to inform you that I have stripped the electronic device and left it abandoned. At the moment I am no longer in the country and am in transit to a country that has granted me asylum.” Interior Minister María Paula Romo has ordered an Interpol “blue alert” for Alvarado’s arrest in 192 countries.
Alvardo faces a dozen charges of mishandling government money and had been cooperating with federal prosecutors until last week.
More than 100 events slated for Cuenca Holidays
Organizers of Cuenca’s independence holidays report that the festival will feature at least 140 events. According to Ruth Caldas, director of the holiday events committee, an agenda of parades, concerts, craft and food fairs and dance performances will be distributed this week. The celebration begins Wednesday, October 31 and ends Sunday, November 4. Among the highlights is a concert by Ricky Martin, the Huaynacapazo orchestra festival, The CIDAP craft show and a civic-military parade November 3 on Av. Huayna Capac. Event agendas will be available at iTur offices in Cuenca, as well as in hotels and restaurants.
Magnitude 5.1 earthquake shakes Guayaquil
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake north of Guayaquil Sunday afternoon rattled nerves but caused no damage, officials say. The Geophysical Institute reported that the 4:08 p.m. quake was centered in Isidro Ayora canton. The quake was felt strongly in Guayaquil, where a football game was briefly suspended. It was also felt in the south coast region and as far north as Quito. Some residents in Cuenca reported feeling it but others did not. A second quake, of 4.7 magnitude, was reported shortly before midnight Sunday in Muisne, on the north coast.