Mayor considers tram debt; City prepares for rainy season; Teacher shortage plagues schools; Police use new car theft deterrents; Czech violinist in concert

Feb 16, 2022 | 8 comments

Martes, 15/2/2022

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Violinista checo dará concierto con ritmos variados (Czech violinist to give concert with varied rhythms) – Pavel Sporcl will be performing at the Catedral Vieja el 24/2 a las 19:30. The program will include traditional works by Niccolo Paganini as well as more modern works Sporcl has composed. The audience is limited to 75 people so arrive early and with biosecurity measures. You will need to present your vaccine card. Free.

“Juntos al Teatro” (“Together to the Theater”) – The Teatro Pumapungo reopens Wednesday after 2 years of absence with a presentation by the Quinteto del Recuerdo with lyrical singer Diego Zamora, traditional dance by Kaypimik kanchik, and contemporary dance by Elizabeth Palacios. The performance will start at 18:30.

Titular –

City workers are cleaning storm drains and waste water conduits ahead of the March-April rainy season. (El Mercurio)

Violencia llega al clímax (Violence reaches climax) – See article about the murders in Duran in Tuesday’s CHL for details.

Cuenca –

30 años de cirugía laproscópica (30 years of laparoscopic surgery) – El lunes, 14/2 marked 30 years since the first laparascopic surgery in Cuenca. Rubén Astudillo, the pioneering surgeon, said the the procedure which is less traumatic to the patient, was started in France in 1987. It became well known 3 years after that, especially in the US and Chile. Astudillo took a course in Chile and came back to Cuenca thinking about starting this type of treatment here. He returned to Chile in 1991 for another course to polish his techniques. The first surgery in Cuenca and 2nd in Ecuador was on a a 33 year old woman with multiple gallstones. In 1995, this technique was started in the hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso and later in the hospital José Corral Moscoso. Currently he doesn’t know any surgeon who doesn’t perform these surgeries. Before, after open surgery on the gallbladder, the recuperation period was 30 days which was reduced by half by laparascopic surgery. Now, recuperation time is 10 days. Also the technical equipment has improved. He started operating with 2D monitors and now 4D montitors are used exclusively for imaging the human body are used. Scalpels have gone from electric to harmonic with more sophisticated coagulation equipment that burn the tissues less. Currently, operations are done by robots, but this technology is very costly.

Alcalde habla sobre deuda con Tranvía (Mayor talks about debt with Tranvía) – <This is likely to be a highly inaccurate translation since it has to to with legal and financial matters, in technical language, all of which are Greek to me.> Mayor Palacios held a press conference about the debts of the Tranvía, partial payment of which was promised by of Pres. Lasso in his campaign. The press conference was in response to the President’s statements that the matter is in the hands of the Municipality.

The Tranvía debts are divided into 3 headings. The first is $41 million that the Ministerio de Finanzas should transfer for payment of the French loan, payable over 8 years. This amount has increased to $51 million and $10 has been paid off. The second heading is related to amounts awarded in arbitration. The Consortium CCRC demanded over $30 million of which only $7.5 million in outstanding invoices and refunding of guarantees that have been executed should be paid. The demand from the audit firm ARTELIA has risen to $7.1 million but only $2.3 million for invoices should be paid. But they could not be paid because the arbitration process had started. <The only reliable part of the translation are the rounded dollar amounts.> Also pending is an agreement or award with CITA and ACTN, and ARTELIA initiated a 2nd award. The 3d heading has to do with the subsidy for 2021 which should arrive every year.

Se alistan para incremento de lluvias (Preparing for increased rainfall) – The Municipio de Cuenca is getting ready for an increase in rain as forecasted . One of the main actions is the cleaning of about 50,000 sumideros (catchbasins) in the urban sector. Josué Larriva, of ETAPA, said the company is investing $40,000 to contract with crews of workers to clean them of garbage and sediment <and opportunistic weeds>. In periurban and rural areas, people should not throw garbage in ditches, watercourses and water crossings, or build near creeks. He said that some sewers have low slopes which can cause damming of water. Areas include 24 de Mayo near the U. del Azuay and 1 de Mayo which is parallel to the río Yanuncay. ETAPA has beefed up their maintenance in these areas. It has also started a study to improve rainwater evacuation in the Miraflores sector especially where De Las Américas and Turuhuayco intersect. Froilán Salinas, director of the CSC said they are ready to issue evacuation alerts if rivers rise suddenly. They have surveillance cameras and can coordinate with the Guardia Ciudadana de Cuenca in an emergency.

Mapa de inundaciones (Flood map) – The city has updated a flood map for the urban and rural sectors of the city which indicate high, medium or low levels of impact. The highest flood risk for rural parishes is in San Joaquín, and for urban parishes in Yanuncay and San Sebastián.

Se requieren cubrir 293 vacantes para docentes (293 vacancies for teachers need to be filled.) – There is a lack of 293 teachers in Azuay, Cañar, y Morona Santiago due to retirements, catastrophic illnesses, and deaths. Administrators are substituting in classrooms where they can. Nationally, more than 4,000 teachers are needed.

Sucesos –

Policía anuncia operativos “Atenas” (Police announce “Athens” operations) – The Policía Nacional announced a new operation to combat car thefts which integrates investigation with prevention. Walter Villarroel, chief of the Azuay Police Subzone, said that investigation needs to be more effective, so the strategies of the “Atenas” operations is to close the criminal cycle and to deter this type of crime. <How about keeping repeat offenders in jail longer than overnight?> This is problem at a national level with criminal groups operating in different provinces so that police are coordinating their activities across jurisdictions. Crimes including robbing your car and charging ransom for its return, thefts of accessories, especially parts such as the electronic brain, electric controls, and audio equipment. <Remember the time when if you were working on your car and you dropped a wrench, it would hit the driveway and not get tangled up in that mess of wires, hoses, belts, and unidentifiable bits and pieces?>

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 (please don’t ask her for them). 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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