Mayor, prefect and workers oppose government’s utility centralization plan; New LP gas tank options considered; Nabón and Oña celebrate wheat

Aug 3, 2023 | 0 comments

Miércoles, 2/8/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

“Ruta del trigo, mishqui y pan” une a Nabón y Oña (“Wheat, mishqui and bread route” links Nabón and Oña) – This route is the result of a family’s research into the production chain for wheat in the cantons of Nabón and Oña, in the south part of Azuay. The route identifies 20 attractions including cultivation of the grain, antique stone mills, bakeries using wood fired ovens, tortillas cooked in a tiesto, and weavers of wheat straw. The project also includes a documentary titled ‘Espiga del sur’ and a childrens’ book.

From the Panamerica Sur, you can get on secondary roads to see each of the attractions with 16 locations in Nabón and 4 in Oña. Locations in Nabón include wood burning ovens in the communities of La Ramada, Chunazana y Las Nieves; hydaulic mills in Charqui: and wheat fields in Corraleja, Yacudel y Yanalpa. There are also tortillas in the Susudel Parish and the cantonal seat of Oña. Part of the research showed that there are still varieties of wheat which have been grown in these cantons since the 50’s and 60’s, and which the communities have conserved. These supplies are used to make the flour for the mishqui (a bread?) which uses natural yeast obtained from the fermentation of chaguarmishki.

Hundreds gathered Tuesday outside the Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centro Sur to protest the government’s plan to establish a trust to manage public utility functions. (El Mercurio)

De El Mercurio del martes, 1/8 (1 article):
Cinco días de festividades en El Pan (Five days of festivities in El Pan) – El Pan canton is celebrating 31 years of emancipación política (political emancipation – I think cantonization). Activities will start on miércoles, 9/8 a las 10:00 in the Plaza 6 de Noviembre with an “indor” (indoor soccer) championship. On the main day, el jueves 10/8, there will be a civic minute a las 8:00 in the Parque Albino del Curto. <What civic activity can you accomplish in a minute? I’ve never heard a speech that short from any government official.> This will be followed by a mass a las 9:00 in the main church, a civic parade in the main streets a las 10:00, and a solemn session in the Plaza 6 de Noviembre a las 12:00. Activities will continue a las 19:00 in the Plaza 6 de Noviembre with a cultural night including dance and local artists. <I’m switching formats.>
viernes, 11/8 – 10:00 – Parque Albino – a show of smiles and traditional games.
13:00 – mirador de Turi <must be a different Turi> to the centro cantonal – wooden car race.
15:00 – Plaza 6 de Noviembre – inter-community championship.
20:00 – Covered field in Turi – a rodeo.
sábado, 12/8 – 9:00 – Parque Albino del Curto – gastronomic fair.
20:00 – Parque Albino del Curto – performances by the Bohemia group and the Karibe orchestra. >Paaarty!>
domingo, 13/8 -10:00 – Parque Albino del Curto – intergenerational meeting.
16:00 – Parque Albino del Curto – music by Don Medardo y sus Players.

Do any of you go to these activities I translate? Because if you don’t, I can save myself a lot of time and energy and quit translating them.

Titular –

This article is combination of the headline articles from today’s and yesterday’s papers.

Freno legal contra el fideicomiso eléctrico (Legal brake against the electric trust fund) – A meeting of the Junta General Extraordinaria de Accionistas de la Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centro Sur (Extraordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting of Centrosur) was convened yesterday to elect a new president and create a Fideicomiso de Administración de Recursos (Resource Administration Trust) that would be managed by the Ministerio de Energía y Minas. <I think that’s the same ministry from which a whole lot of its directors self exiled themselves to Miami along with proverbial suitcases full of cash.> The majority stockholder (80.1%) of the Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centro Sur is the Ministerio de Energía with the Municipio of Cuenca holding 8.7%. Smaller percentages are held by the Prefecturas of Azuay, Cañar, y Morona Santiago, and the Municipios of Biblián, Morona, Santa Isabel y Sígsig. The creation of the trust was opposed by the minority share holders and unions with the Asociación de Servidores Públicos de la Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centrosur expressing concern.

The issue causing concern is the autonomy of the regional electric companies. Currently Centrosur collects about $17 million in fees for garbage collection and another $7 million for the fire department. Those fees are transfered to those departments on the 25th of every month. With the trust, all of the regional electric companies would pay what they collect (around $2 billion a year) into the trust which would disburse the money according to its own priorities. Councilman Román Carabajo added that the trust would open the door to privatization, and giving priority to paying the private sector and not the public sector. <Like garbage collection and fire service in Cuenca?>

It would also allow monetization of assets with the possibility of selling off public property since both public and private entities would transfer their goods and assets to the trust. <And, it’s easier for those with sticky fingers to plunder from a big central pot of money than from what looks like 6 regional companies. Look at the Energy Ministry’s track record and who’s in jail and who’s living in Miami.>

Mayor Cristian Zamora and prefecto Juan Cristóbal Lloret announced that they were filing an Acción de Prevención for violation of rights by the Fideicomiso de Administración de Recursos after walking out on the shareholders meeting yesterday. The prefect called for the regional energy distribution companies in the country to join the Acción de Prevención against what he called “intereses centralistas” (centralist interests) with privileges for the private sector. Workers and employees from the Empresa Municipal de Aseo de Cuenca (The garbage company of Cuenca – EMAC), the Fire Department and citizens protested outside of the meeting. <EMAC is also in charge of park maintenance. Think about the future state of the parks if the money is being disbursed from Quito and not locally.>

The $7 million that Centrosur collects for the fire department represents 70% of the department’s operating budget. Sixto Heras, Chief of the Cuenca Bomberos said that there are 59 institutions of the “casaca roja” (red jacket) in Azuay, Cañar, Zamora Chinchipe, Morona Santiago, y Loja that use the $7 million for acquisitions, equipment, monthly expenses, and fuel. In a response to Mayor Zamora, Fernando Santos, minister of Energía y Minas, wrote that “energy resources fall under the exclusive competence of the Central State, and that it is necessary to design a schema that will allow transparency in all payments to all participants in the electrical sector.” He added that collection for 3d parties such as the Fire Department and garbage collection would not be affected. <Yeah, collection won’t be affected, but what about payment to those entities.>

Cuenca –

Sin paso en caminera del sector Centenario (No passage on the Centenario road (walkway?) – ETAPA announced that it is making repairs to a sanitary interceptor in the Puente del Centenario sector. These will last 7 days during which the walkway <west <heading towards Gringolandia for those of you who are directionally challenged> of the bridge on the north <El Centro> side of the river> will be closed. It also warned that the work might change the color of the Río Tomebamba. <I wouldn’t go swimming downstream of the work. But then the only way I’d be in that freezing water is involuntarily.>

Tanques horizontales, una opción para almacenar gas (Horizontal tanks, an option for gas storage) – Petroecuador has opened bidding for geotechnical studies to see if combustables can be stored in differently shaped tanks at the Terminal de Productos Limpios de Cuenca after the spherical tanks are removed. Ramón Correa, manager of Petroecuador, thought that horizontal tanks of 1,500 metric tons would be most appropriate for the area and the studies could show the number and location of the tanks. The round tanks with a capacity of 6,000 metric tons will be moved to the Chorrillos plant after it was found that they were sitting on unstable soil. It will cost more than $1,000,000 to move them. The productive sector is worried that propane will continue to be transported to Cuenca overland where the supply is subject to interruption due to strikes and landslides.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
____________________

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). If information is incorrect, it is the responsibility of the El Mercurio staff. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.

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