Lasso wins Azuay and Cuenca as number of ‘nulo’ votes sets record; City presents its wish list to the new government; Lasso announces transition team

Apr 14, 2021 | 2 comments

Martes, 13/4/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

De la pagina cultural –

Inauguran dos exposiciones de artistas (Two art exhibits open) – Cristina Urgilés Martínez opened “RespirArte…como te vivo Cuenca” ayer at the Casa Patrimonial del Alfarero (calle Lamar y Convención del 45) with hours from 8:00-16:45. The show of about 46 ceramics pieces inspired by nature will run until 30/4. The artist won the CiDAP award for Creación e Innovación in 2016.

The Asociación de Artistas Plásticos opened the “Cromotismo a nuestra tierra” show with paintings and sculptures produced in the past years at the Museo Remigio Crespo. Hours are from 10-16:45 with the show running to the end of the month. Also at the Museo Remigio Crespo will be an opening of a exposition of books of the Cabildo de Cuenca on el 14/4. The Esteban Encalada Quartet jazz quartet will perform at the opening.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Anuncios de inversión (Investment announcements) – At the sesión solemne for the 464th anniversary of the founding of Cuenca, citizens who had contributed to the city received awards, and Mayor Palacios reported on the projects planned for 2021. He said that in the 2020 budget, 86 cents of every dollar went to investments and only 14 cents to current expenses. In 2021 the distribution will be 88 centand 12 cents. The total city budget is around $230,000,000. $200,000,000 will be coming in from refundable and non-refundable credits (loans, some of which need to be repaid and others which don’t?) <Accounting was never my strong suit – smoke and mirrors.>

Mayor Pedro Palacios leads the solemn ceremony marking the 464th anniverary of Cuenca’s Spanish founding. (El Mercurio)

Projects include roadwork, building a wastewater treatment plant in Guangarcucho, sanitary projects, sustainable mobility, a mercado in El Cebollar, rehabilitating the Turi lookout, and parks. He said that the wholesale market will start in the last quarter of the year and runway work at the airport will begin in early 2022.

Azuay con compromisos pendientes (Azuay with pending commitments) – Officials in Azuay have asked the new president, Guillermo Lasso, for a distribution of taxes in accordance with what Azuay pays to the State, for road work, and changes in the prison system among others. Prefecta Cecilia Méndez issued a manifest a few days ago expressing the need for the province to receive income equivalent to the contribution from taxes by local industries, resources and autonomy for the provincial government in rural roads and irrigation, and the payment of $25 million that the Government still owes the province. Mayor Palacios congratulated Lasso and asked that he consider the proposal for the National Government to assume the debt on the Tranvía, improve the connectivity of the city, and regulate the Centro de Privación de Libertad de Turi to avoid more massacres. Both officials were emphatic that the Gobierno Nacional abide by the decisions that Cuencanos made to regulate mining activities and to prohibit them in water recharge zones.

With voting results in Azuay 100% counted, Lasso got 56.16% of the valid votes (not counting nulos) and Arauz got 43.84. The voto nulo reached a historic high of 30.49%. In terms of total votes, Lasso got 187,403, Arauz got 146,268, and nulos got 150,921. <Says something about the candidates when neither of the above came in 2nd.> Ausentismo (absenteeism – your word for the day) was at 123,600 voters, mostly migrants and patients with or suspected of having Covid.

Results in Cuenca were 61.15% for Lasso and 38.85% for Arauz. Total votes were 151,289 for Lasso, 96,123 for Arauz, and 98,644 for nulo. <That’s where you x out or draw a line through the whole ballot. Or you probably could have drawn a circle with a diagonal line inside like the no parking or no smoking signs.>

For the other cantons in the province, most went for Arauz with Cuenca, Girón, San Fernando, and Santa Isabel voting for Lasso. In Cuenca, all of the urban parishes voted for Lasso with the highest percentage coming from the Huaynacapac parish at 73.34%. In the rural parishes, Santa Ana, Quingeo, Chaucha, Checa, Llacao, Molletuio, Octavio Cordero, Sinincay, El Valle, and Sidcay voted for Arauz. In Cumbe, 50.5% of the population voted nulo. <Now there’s a parish fed up with politicians as usual.> The provincial CNE reported that as of ayer there were no objections to the results.

Lasso revela su equipo de transición (Lasso reveals his transition team) – Pres. elect Lasso did not give out names for his cabinet but did announce Iván Correa Calderón, a former director of the Banco de Guayaquil and his campaign manager for 12 years, and Juan Carlos Holguín, a young businessman, for his transition team. This week he will determine the best names for the ministro de Salud <That will make number 5 in the last 2/3 months?>. His priority is vaccinations which he promises to 9 million people in his first 100 days. For gender equity, he will name an equal number men and women in his cabinet with the primary qualifications being ability and honesty. <Let’s hope he’s serious about the honesty part.> On his first day, he will send the Asamblea a proposal to reform the Ley de Educación Superior to eliminate the Secretaría de Educación Superior,Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Senescyt) to allow university students to pursue the careers <what you major in> of their choice. He will also submit a referendum to eliminate the Consejo de Participación Ciudadana.

1,344 detenidos en operativos (1,344 detained in operations ) – The Policía Nacional deployed 45,699 uniformed cops during the election process to control public order and safety. They carried out 52 operations in all of the provinces and arrested 1,344 people. There were arrest warrants for 480 of the people, 168 for property crimes, 105 for drug production or trafficking, 81 for violence against women or members of the family, and 260 for boletas de apremio (urgency tickets – emergency warrants?). 159 citations were issued for violations of election laws including political advertising at polling places, election advertising on prohibited days, and for drinking. They also located 313 people at a national level who were wanted by authorities for different reasons.

<This was the non-Covid issue for those of you complaining about too much Covid news.>

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. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.


Byron Quito – DentastiQ


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