Police investigated for gun thefts, gang connections; Teachers demand raises; Anti-crime march in El Centro; Another highway study; Symphony plays
Hola, Todos –
Concierto sinfónico – The Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca will perform a new concert el jueves in the Teatro de la Casa de la Cultura. The Anima Inside band has been invited to play along with the symphony which is directed by maestro Augusto Carrión. Free until seating capacity is reached. <No time given, but get there early to get a seat.>
Temor por avance de la inseguridad (Fear of growing insecurity) – Between el domingo y lunes, there was a murder, an attempted murder, at least 3 assaults with knives, and a series of robberies of houses, vehicles and passersby in Cuenca. Mayor Palacios has called for a Marcha por la Seguridad y la Paz este jueves: It will start a las 16:00 in the parque San Blas, and march along Simón Bolívar a las 17:00, turn on Padre Aguirre and end in the plaza Santo Domingo. <Be careful of pickpockets. The next section is for you statistics junkies.>
<Looks like only motorcycle thefts are up. Hey, did those statistics just show that wearing a mask reduces crime?>
Coronel William Egas, chief of the Policia Nacional in Azuay, said that robbery of persons is the most common crime in Azuay, followed by thefts in homes, of motorcycles, cars and accessories. He said there are 1300 police officers in Azuay and according to UN standards, there should be 1,300 more. In Azuay, police control is divided into districts, circuits, and subcircuits. Each subcircuit has 1 sq. km. with 10,000 residents and, in theory, at least 20 officers. There are no more than 10. Ayer, the Asociación de Colegios de Profesionales del Azuay (ACPA) issued a manifesto to analyze the security situation in Cuenca. Included in the resolutions were that Turi maintain its status as a regional prison; that authorities do a thorough investigation of the workers in the cárcel (prison – your word for the day since it’s in the news so much) due to the entry of arms, communications devices, and other objects prisoners are not allowed to have <many way too large to fit into a cake>; to form an oversight committee to constantly evaluate the performance of prisoners and, consequently, of the officials; and to coordinate with the Joint Armed Forces Command to have a military enclosure around the whole perimeter of the cárcel de Turi. <Gee, these professionals must have been reading the gringo news and comments and appropriated them for their own manifesto.>
Alza salarial en la encrucijada (Wage hikes at the crossroads) -In 2021, reforms to the Ley Orgánica de Educación Intercultural (LOEI) gave teachers a raise so they would earn at least 2.5 SBU’s <now at $425>. The last time salaries changed was in 2011. Teachers reacted with joy since their days aren’t limited to 8 hours. There were complaints that the raise was inconstitutional and the Governments of both Moreno and Lasso said that the reforms were not supported economically. The Government would need $500 million which it did not have. The Asamblea Nacional then specified 2 sources of income to pay the new salaries: income from sales of oil, and from the tax reform. Lasso vetoed the the entire law. The UNE (Unidad de Educadores del Ecuador) responded with marches and hunger strikes and yesterday, a bloodletting outside the Corte Constitucional in Quito. They are seeking a decision that the LOEI is constitutional.
Control a precios de la Canasta Familiar (Control of prices of the Family Basket) – The increase in prices for some products in the Basic Basket led to control operations by authorities in Cuenca. Inspectors are going to all sorts of markets from the smallest corner tienda to large chain stores to verify that the vendor is not selling the items above the marked price to prevent speculation. Some venders are erasing the approved price and remarking the items.
Al menos 6 tramos críticos hay en vía Cuenca-Molleturo (At least 6 critical stretches on Cuenca-Molleturo road) – The stretches of the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme most affected by slides include km. 10 in the Marianza sector of Sayausí which was declared an emergency after a slide el 27/3; and kms. 27, 42, 49, 68, 72, and 90. Km. 49 was reopened to traffic at 6:00 ayer, and will be open between 6:00 & 18:00. Yesterday, construction on alternate road started. The bypass will begin at km. 48, with 2.7 km. of the detour following the bank of the río Miguir, and end at km. 50.7. This will allow the contractor to continue working on slope stabilization which should be finished in about 6 months. <In time for Guayaquilenians to come to Cuenca for the Independence Day celebrations?> Km. 72 is one of the biggest problems with 200 m. of one lane covered in rocks and dirt. Luis Mario Barzallo, subscretary of MTOP Zone 6, said that the Ministry is spending $1.8 million on a comprehensive survey which will include both roadway and slopes. The study will determine the work that is required such as placement of drains, subdrains, and the type of slope stabilization needed. There is also a study being done on watersheds in the stretch from km. 7 to 14.
En Ecuador le roban a la propia Policía (In Ecuador they steal from the Police) – 3 police officers are being investigated for the disappearance of 150 guns from the Modelo headquarters in Guayaquil. 150 decommissioned Smith and Wesson pistols donated in 1991 were discovered missing last viernes. This was not an isolated act. El 25/2, cars which had been recovered from previous robberies were stolen from Policia Judicial facilities; and el 10/4, 2,800 kilos of drugs in the Napo police warehouse were stolen. Mario Carillo, a retired police official, said that criminal gangs have economic and extortive power that allows them to infiltrate not just the police but all institutions and sectors. He referred to narcogenerals, narcojudges, and narcoprosecutors which are the harvest of leaving the teaching of values and ethics by the wayside.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –