Lasso is booed and heckled during Cuenca health clinic visit; Makes promises to city and province
President Guillermo Lasso was booed and heckled during a short visit to a Cuenca health clinic Wednesday afternoon. Although the visit was not publicly announced, dozens of local residents gathered as the president was leaving the public health facility in San Joaquín and began to shout questions and insults.
A woman in the crowd demanded to know why the clinic did not have medicine while an elderly man asked why he was waiting weeks for an appointment. “This place is crap, and this government is crap,” another man shouted.
After responding to a radio reporter’s question regarding his “poor record” of fulfilling promises, the president was ushered into a limousine and left the clinic.
Earlier, Lasso met with Cuenca Mayor Cristian Zamora and Azuay Province Prefect Juan Cristóbal Lloret to discuss a variety of issues, including highway improvements, the Turi penitentiary, construction of an educational technology center, Cuenca’s tram debt, and law enforcement.
Both Zamora and Cristóbal told Lasso of their objections to the recently announced consolidation plan of utilities, including electricity, garbage collection and fire protection, under a government managed fideicomiso trust. The mayor and prefect said such an arrangement could lead to privatization of public functions and the sale of public property.
Lasso apologized to Zamora for not following through on a previous commitment to pay a $2.7 million tram debt to the French government, promising it would be settled before he left office.
He also said that paperwork is underway to “internationalize” Cuenca’s Mariscal La Mar Airport with the installation of traveler immigration facilities and anti-narcotic detection equipment.
The president also said more police will soon by assigned to Cuenca and Azuay province. “I am pleased to say that Cuenca remains one of the safest cities in Ecuador and we intend to keep it that way,” he told Zamora.