Cuenca’s Pase del Niño Christmas parade has been cancelled for second consecutive year due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. District Police Chief Andrés Vicuña made the announcement Thursday following a meeting with the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) officials in Quito.
Vicuña said that the Catholic church had not filed the parade application and therefore had not received approval by the municipality or the National Police prior to the Tuesday deadline set by the COE when it announced new health restrictions. “Only events approved prior to December 14 will be allowed to proceed and the Pase del Niño in Cuenca had not been approved,” he said.
In a contentious exchange between news reporters regarding the national COE’s authority over municipal events, Vicuña said the national government always has final authority. “In the case of the parade and all other events, the COE dictates the rules in the interest of national health.”
He said that the Pase del Niño parade and other Christmas events in Gualaceo will be allowed to proceed since they made their application in October and were approved November 26.
Responding to the question of why no application for Cuenca’s parade had been made Vicuña said, “You will have to ask the priests at the curia about that.”
The Pase del Niño is the largest largest parpade of the year in, Cuenca, drawing as many as 80,000 participants and viewers along the traidtional Calle Simon Bolivar route.