Noboa family debt won’t be forgiven; British consul kidnapped in El Oro; Blackouts will resume Monday; Basic salary increases to $460; Solstice celebration

Dec 18, 2023 | 0 comments

Domingo, 17/12/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Rituales por Kapak Raymi (Rituals for Kapak Raymi) – The Museo de las Culturas Aborígenes and the Museo Pumapungo will celebrate Kapac Raymi on el 21/12. This Andean celebration on the solstice, is in honor of germination and agricultural weeding. The first museum will have live Andean music and assembly of lanterns from 17-18:30. At the Pumapungo, from 19-21:00, faroles will be lit and there will be an ancestral ceremony and a pampamesa. <Are attendees expected to bring some food to share at the pampamesa?> Both free.

The family of Patricia Pulla continues a long-standing tradition of preparing 10,000 liters of chicha, the New Year’s alcoholic drink, to distriubute free at the Pase del Niño parade, December 24. (El Mercurio)

Concierto sinfónico – On lunes, el 18/12, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca directed by Augusto Carrión, will be part of a Christmas concert in the Basílica de la Santísima Trinidad at av. De Las Américas y calle Humboldt. Also participating will be the choirs from the Conservatorio “José María Rodríguez,” Conservatorio Superior and the Polifónico from the U. del Azuay, directed by María Eugenia Arias. There is no admission charge, but bags of candy will be received at the entrance to the event. <This is Christmas so don’t be that stereotypical cheap gringo who brings the smallest possible plastic bag with a few leftovers from Halloween that are too old to appeal to anyone.>

10,000 litros de chicha para la pasada del 24 (10,000 liters of chicha for the 24th) – The family of Patricia Pulla is preparing 10,000 liters of chicha and it started ayer. It has become a tradition, and this year the family is planning to gift 3,000 breads as well. The chicha will be shared from 2 trucks with attendees at the parade and whoever participates with artistic acts and cultural interpretations. Pulla said that this is an inheritance from her parents who iniciated the tradition of making the drink. <I don’t know if the attendees are people who are actually in the parade or if it includes the audience.>

Titular –

Metástasis: la pus en justicia y en la Policía (Metastasis: the pus in justice and the police) – See today’s (Sunday’s) article in CHL for the story. <That headline really nails it – it evokes an evisceral reacion.>

De El Mercurio del sábado, 16/12 (1 article):
Sueldo básico sube a USD $460 (Basic salary increases to $460) – The Ministerio de Trabajo (Ministry of Labor) has set the increase for the Salario Básico Unificado (SBU – Unified Basic Salary) at $10, bringing it up to $460. This will take effect el 1/1/2024. The raise was based on the forecast for an inflation rate of 2.07% in 2024 which would translate to a raise of $9.32. <Are you going to give your household help a raise? You also need to pay the 13th extra month salary in diciembre.> The labor code provides that the salary increase should be made in concensus between workers and employers, and if an agreement cannot be reached, the decision is made by the Government based on inflation. At the last meeting of the Consejo Nacional de Trabajo y Salarios (DNTS), employers proposed a $4.12 increase and labor a $100 increase to bring the basic salary equal to the Vital Family Basket (of essential goods and services for a family of 4).

Cuenca –

De El Mercurio del sábado, 16/12 (1 article):
Hoy y mañana suspenden cortes de energía eléctrica (Power outages suspended today and tomorrow) – There were no power shutoffs during the weekend, but they will resume in 3-hour blocks from lunes a viernes this week. There will be no outages on el 23, 24, 25, 30, & 31 de diciembre and el 1/1/2024.

Nacional –

Fue sequestrado cónsul de Gran Bretaña en Ecuador (Consul of Great Britain in Ecuador was kidnapped) – Colin Armstrong, a businessman and honorary consul from Great Britain in Guayaquil was kidnapped early yesterday morning. According to a video circulating on social networks, the victim and his wife were violently taken from their estate or farm house in Baba canton in Los Ríos province. Police information said that at least 15 people entered the house, taking the couple who were driven off in their own car which was abandoned on the vía Baba-Salitre and found ayer. Police reported that the case is being investigated by specialized groups including the Unidad Antisequestros y Extorsión (UNASE – Anti-kidnapping and Extortion Unit).

De El Mercurio del sábado, 16/12 (1 article):
Familia Noboa sin ‘perdón’ de deudas’ (Noboa family without ‘forgiveness’ of debts’.) – The Comisión de Desarrollo Económico (Economic Development Commission) of the Asamblea Nacional approved the report for the second debate on the Ley de Eficiencia Económica y Generación de Empleo o Reforma Tributaria (Economic Efficiency and Employment Generation or Tax Reform Act) which was proposed by Pres. Daniel Noboa. The document maintains the cancellation or write-off of tax debts, however, it can not benefit the president’s family members.

The Construye and Revolución Ciudadana warned of a conflict of interest on this topic since the SRI’s largest debtor is the Exportadora Bananera Noboa which owes the Government $90 million. The Comisión de Desarrollo Económico included a restriction in the law that would prevent family members of the president up to the fourth degree of consanguinity (cousins) and second degree of affinity (in-laws) from eligibility for forgiveness of interests, fines, and tax penalties. This restriction also applies to assembly members since Jorge Ode Kronfle is on SRI’s list of the 10 largest debtors. He is a family member of Henry Kronfle, the president of the Asamblea Nacional,.

Descuentos y compras –

Oro Verde <This is for those of you who like to celebrate Christmas and NYE but don’t want to do any work involved in creating a celebration.> – Cena de Nochebuena, 24/12 a las 20:00 – 00:30. Christmas supper buffet, unlimited soft drinks, a welcome Rompope, live music, prize drawing – advance sales price: $42 inc. IMP, children under 12, 50% off.
Oro Verde – Goodbye to 2023 package – supper and party with supper buffet, live music, welcome glass of wine, prize drawing, unlimited soft drinks, premium open bar. 12 grapes and toast with sparkling wine at 12, orchestra and DJ, cotillones (cotillions? square dance?), Encebollado at sunrise – advance sale price: $110 per person including taxes <obviously, no children’s price. I think the hotel will be surprised at how much gringos can drink, especially if you give them an 8-12 hour window.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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