Landslides destroy Pucará access; Gov’t works with Colombia, Peru, U.S. to combat drug violence; Police protect workers on Cajas Highway; Abortion veto

Mar 18, 2022 | 7 comments

Jueves, 17/3/2022

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Titular –

Ley de aborto con 61 cambios (Abortion law with 61 changes) – Pres. Lasso sent a partial veto to the Asamblea National with objections to 61 of the 62 articles in the Ley que Garantiza la Interrrupción del Embarazo en caso de Violación (Law that Guarantees the Interruption of Pregnancy in the Case of Rape). He said that what the Assembly passed exceeded the Corte Constitucional ruling. He wanted to change “garantiza” (guarantee) to “regula” (regulate) since the court did not create a new right to an abortion. Another contentious issue was the maximum time in which a woman could get an abortion.

Cuenca –

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Landslides have reduced access to Pucara, south of Cuenca. There is currently only one lane open to traffic to the community.

COVID-19: 2 años de duro aprendizaje (COVID3-19: 2 years of hard learning) – This special 2 page section has 6 articles on Covid and the last 2 years. I’m not translating all that especially since many of you are tired of Covid articles.

Informe –

Violencia nace de pugnas entre bandas (Violence stems from gang feuds) – One of the priorities in Ecuador is safety and confronting criminal violence. Criminal gangs are fighting for power and control, especially in narcotics trafficking and drug sales. This situation has unleashed a wave of contract killings and macabre crimes as a way for gangs to send messages. Authorities recognize that the methods of killing copy those of other countries and the only aim is to intimidate the government and keep the public in fear. Also, the pandemic has generated an economic crisis with an increase in interpersonal and intrafamily violence, and delinquency. Authorities want to address this with specific financial actions to increase employment.

With respect to narcotics trafficking, which crosses borders, the Government will execute the Plan Nacional de Seguridad. This includes intelligence to “follow the money,” find the routes for the drugs, and the connections between international cartels and gangs inside the country. Ecuador has signed agreements with police in Colombia, Perú, and the US, but is not publicizing what their actions will be. Authorities are categorizing a crime in Machala as a narco-crime in which the victim was killed and then dismembered. This is similar to a killing on el 15/3 in which a man was found decapitated and hanging from a pedestrian bridge in La Troncal, Cañar. This espeluznante (creepy or spooky – your word for the day <I don’t think creepy is the right word – this isn’t a Halloween movie – it’s real.>) has alarmed the population. The victim had a history of drug trafficking. The violence used by gangs has arrived in Azuay as well. According to the prosecutor’s office, there have been 14 violent deaths so far this eyar. Of these 6 were contract killings in which the killers shot at the victims and then fled. 3 of these killings were committed in Cuenca.

Region –

Pucará al borde de aislarse por invierno (Pucará on the verge of isolation due to winter) – Pucará is facing a serious risk be becoming isolated from the rest of Azuay. The vía Minas-Tablón-Pucará is closed, and there have been landslides on the 2 other accesses. <Natural disasters everywhere – fires in the western US, flooding in the south, and landslides here.> 7,000 people engaged in business, agriculture and ranching are on edge for fear of economic losses. On the vía Minas-Tablón-Pucará, one 120 m. long stretch of the downhill lane sunk and is sitting several feet lower than the uphill lane. The other half of the road which was kept open is now showing cracks and fissures making it impossible for vehicular traffic. Local authorities announced emergency work to mitigate the damage and will try to build a temporary bypass. <Which will be good until the mountain eats that up, too.> Meanwhile, there is the possiblity of transbordos (getting off the vehicle on one side of the problem, walking across, and getting on another vehicle on the other side). The two alternate routes are gravel roads, one with constant landslides, and the other also on the verge of collapsing.

Trabajos en el km 49 con resguardo policial y militar (Work at km 49 with police and military protection) – There is a large police and military presence at km. 49 of the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme to protect the work to stabilize the slope. The work started ayer in spite of the opposition of a sector of the directors and population of Molleturo. Luis Mario Barzallo, deputy secretary of Zone 6 MTOP, said that they weren’t able to start working in diciembre, 2021 nor el 2/3 due to socio-political questions. They did not want confrontations, and the police are not allowing any citizen close to the project in order to avoid possible confrontations. There will be a pedestrian pass enabled soon across km. 49 with police at km. 48 & 52 as a precuation. The alternate route from Cuenca to Guayaquil is Azogues-Biblían-Zhud-Cochancay-Troncal-El Triunfo.

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne




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