Local Covid cases on the rise again; Bus riders get free transfer on tram; Number of voters drops in Azuay; Big int’l banks loot Venezuelan funds
Hola, Todos –
Otras cosas –
Titular – Aumentan contagios (Infections increase) – During the past semana, Cuenca exceeded the hurdle of 800 new infections in 7 days which was last exceeded at the end of agosto. The increase coincides with the elimination of Covid prevention restrictions. Mayor Palacios said the increase in cases was a good thing since it has to do with Cuenca as the city that has given the most tests to its citizens. Bernardo Vega, a U. of Cuenca professor and doctor said that the rate of positive tests is over 50%.
The number of cases in Cuenca went from 5,730 to 6,561. The average number of patients in hospital wards stayed at 175 and critical Covid patients went down from 77 to 69. Deaths, however went from 280 to 300, for an average of 3 per day. At the provincial level, there were 961 new cases in the last week. ECU-911 data shows that crowds were reduced by 50% in the last week, but parties remained at 60/day on weekends. Of these 52% involved alcohol consumption, and 35% ended in escandalos.
Comisión analiza cambio de uso de suelo en Ricaurte (Commission analyzes land use change in Ricaurte) – The Comisión de Urbanismo of the Consejo Cantonal will decide on a land use change in Ricaurte this week. A local industry applied to locate an open air storage in a currently residential area, in spite of objections by the neigbors. The directors of La Florida sector are afraid that the business will build new industrial buildings, and that air pollution and noise from heavy trucks will affect the homes in the area. Staff from the Dirección General de Planificación Territorial del Municipio presented the proposal to the council committee and said they considered the inportance of economic and productive development in the canton. <Is Ricaurte a poor parish? You don’t find industrial storage facilities in neighborhoods like Puertas del Sol.>
De ganar el sí en consulta la aplicación será a futuro (If the referendum passes, implementation will be in the future) – The Corte Constitucional emitted a favorable judgement to continue with a referendum requested by the Consejo Cantonal de Cuenca that would prohibit large and medium scale mining in 5 water recharge zones. It also made observations about the text presented by the Mayor on 8/9. <They’re in legalese too technical for me to follow.>
Cobran 12% IVA a clientes de las plataformas digitales (Clients of digital platforms charged 12% IVA) -This month, payment of the 12% IVA tax started for users of foreign, but not national digital platforms. This mandatory payment can be made with cash or a credit card. If it is paid with a card, the financial entity will withhold the tax on the commission or fee charged by the platform. <Banks are like casinos – every time some money goes thru them, they keep some.> The SRI has a list of 178 digital services such as on line shopping, music, video games, streaming TV, hospitality, antivirus and others.
Hay menos electores en el Azuay (Fewer voters in Azuay) – Azuay is the province with the biggest decrease in the number of voters from the 2019 to the 2021 election. Two explanations for this are the high levels of migration and that citizens who do not vote in 4 consecutive elections are removed from the rolls. While the number of voters in Cuenca went from 467,304 in 2019 to 435,963 for 2021, the absentism rate decreased over 6 elections from 2009 to 2019 from 31.38% to 23.93%. Nationally, there are 633,044 voters between 16 & 18, and 1,613,132 voters over 65.
Comienzan pruebas de alimentación del Tranvía (Tram feeder tests begin) – Testing began at 6:00 Tuesday to test feeder routes for bus passengers to the Tranvía. At the north, the buses that go to Ricuarte will become the Alimentador 1 Ricaurte, and the buses that go to Baños will be the Alimentador 2 Baños. Since the cards for the Tranvía and buses are not compatible, the testing was done with tickets. The objective of the integration is to to allow passengers to go long distances with only one fare.
Corrupción salpica a banca mundial (Corruption splashes world banking) – The Consorcio Internacional de Periodistas de Investigación (ICIJ – International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) revealed that various European and US banks contributed to the taking of money out of Venezuela and lining the pockets of “boligarcas,” businesses close to the Government. The banks included the Swiss banks CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique and Julius Baer Group, Banco Espirito Santo from Portugal <Looting the assets of a nation doesn’t sound in keeping with the holy spirit does it.>, JP Morgan Chase in NY, and Standard Chartered in London. The ICIJ reported that Wall Street “juega un rol vital” (plays a vital role). However, banks did report over $4.8 billion in suspect transactions with ties to Venezuela between 2009 and 2017. <It sounds like they completed the transactions, made their money and then ratted on their “clients.”>
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –