Power blackouts suspended for the weekend; Noboa defends agreement with the Correistas; Cuenca police impound 127 motorcycles in traffic stops

Nov 17, 2023 | 0 comments

There will be no electric service blackouts from Friday to Sunday, the Ministry of Energy announced Wednesday. In addition, blackouts will be suspended on Wednesday and Thursday, November 22 and 23, next week, due to the presidential inauguration of Daniel Noboa.

The ministry reports that Wednesday’s rainfall raised the water levels “substantially” at the Coca Codo Sinclair hydro generation plant and “moderately” at the Paute River generation complex, the country’s largest sources of electricity.

Wednesday’s rain in the sierra raised water levels at Ecuador hydro-electric plants but the country remains under drought conditions, the Energy Ministry reports.

In a Thursday statement, the Ministry said water flow rates at all the country’s hydro plants remains well below normal but has shown improvement during the first two weeks of November. “We remain under drought conditions, which means blackouts will be necessary in the coming weeks,” it said. “The weather forecast for the weekend is for a return of dry weather, which will adversely affect flow rates at power generation facilities.”

The Ministry said two-hour blackouts will resume Monday, November 20, at 10 a.m.

Noboa defends agreement with Correistas
President-elect Daniel Noboa defended his Democratic Action party’s agreement with the Citizen’s Revolution and Social Christian parties Thursday, saying he supports “any coalition that works to solve Ecuador’s problem.” His comments followed criticism by several conservative Assembly members who object to Democratic Action’s pact with the Correistas.

The coalition of Democratic Action, Citizen’s Revolution and the Social Christians has agreed on several objectives in the new Assembly, including the support of Henry Kronfle, a Social Christian, as Assembly president.

Noboa said he had “no red lines” when it came to dialogue. “This was problem with the last Assembly, that people did not talk to each other to resolve differences, and this resulted in gridlock that voters rejected in the election,” he said.

Noboa added there would be disagreements on particular issues and that the agreement among parties was not “iron-clad and we will not march in lockstep.” Among the differences, he said, was the Citizens Revolution plan to conduct an impeachment trial against Attorney General Diana Salazar and to resume the trial against President Guillermo Lasso. “We will listen to their arguments but there are not sufficient votes for convictions in these cases. I believe we should move on to more important issues.”

There will also be no consideration of granting immunity to former president Rafael Correa or members of his government convicted or accused of crimes, Noboa said. “The Assembly is not the proper venue for this,” he said.

Police impound 127 motorcycles
In traffic stops conducted from Monday to Thursday, Cuenca’s transportation authority has impounded 127 unregistered motorcycles. In addition, it reports that more than 200 citations were issued to drivers who were unlicensed or who had expired licenses.

In a Wednesday interview, Cuenca Mayor Crisitan Zamora said the crackdown on unregistered motorcycles and unlicensed operators will continue “24 hours a day, seven days a week” for the foreseeable future.

He added that the ban on young male passengers on motorcycles will be enacted by the end of November, which will result in more citations and impoundments. “We are committed to keeping Cuenca safe from motorcycle violence and our efforts will not stop until we have succeeded,” he said. He added that the majority of thefts in the city, of both businesses and persons, are committed by motorcycle with most cases involving a driver and passenger.

50% of Quito motorcyclists violate the law
The Quito Transit Agency reports that almost 50% of motorcycles it has checked since the beginning of year are in violation of registration or licensing laws. In its ongoing program of traffic checks, the agency says it has issued 7,685 citations in checks of 15,872 motorcycles. It says that it has confiscated “at least 2,000” unregistered or stolen motorcycles are a result of the inspections.

Although Cuenca’s transportation office has no official count, a spokesman said he believed that about 30% of traffic checks of motorcycles result in fines or confiscation. He said there are more than 1,500 motorcycles impounded at three locations in the city.

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