Remittances from US, EU set new record; Too many political parties, experts say; Gastric acid med taken off market; Don’t pee on the cross (Jesus is watching)
Hola, Todos –
Anticipan exceso de candidatos (Excess of candidates anticipated) – <Aren’t you glad you live in Ecuador? Not only bio-diversity but politi-diversity. Just the idea of having too many parties and movements to choose from instead of only one or the other as in the US – what a novelty.> Data from the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) shows 264 political organizations have been approved to participate in the midterm elections in 2/2023. Another 139 are in the approval process for a total of over 400 parties and movements. The organizations are broken up into 6 political parties, 10 are national movements, and the rest are local: 61 provincial, 167 cantonal, and 20 parroquial.
Alfred Espinosa, an elections expert, said this number is a product of inefficient control by the CNE when qualifying movements and failures in the Código de la Democracia, and inheritance from the Correa administration. The Código stimulates a distorted vision of political participation in which movements can be created by collecting signatures. But this is susceptible to fraud with a black market in signatures that the CNE doesn’t have the technical review mechanisms to confirm. To change this, a citizens’ group, Voces por la Democracia, presented a proposal for a referendum which would include a question about reforming the political party system. This would include open primary elections, gender parity, intercultural and intergenerational representation, and citizen participation and control. Part of avoiding these massive movements would be an on-line system where people could look up their political affiliation on a public listing and find out if they’ve been signed up with a party without their knowledge or consent and “unsubscribe.” This would prevent political organizations from buying and selling signature lists.
Suscal, el cantón que más remesas recibe (Suscal, the canton that receives the most remittances) – Of the 221 cantons in Ecuador, Suscal in Cañar received the most remittances per capita in 2021. The total was $19,842,993 – the equivalent of $2,989 for each of its residents. <Now you know why people risk dying a horrible death to get to the US.> The second highest per capita remitances went to Deleg, Cañar with $2,639 per capita for a total of $18,034,350. In 3d place was El Tambo, Cañar with $24,284,982 and $1,922 per capita. Biblián, Cañar followed with $40,549,982 and $1,691 per capita. Next were Gualaceo, Azuay with $75,351,865 and $1,517 per person; Azogues, Cañar with$115,113,361 and $1,314; Girón, Azuay with $15,705,795 and $1,203. Cuenca was 9th with $745,371,663 and $1,150 per person. Guayaquil was 30th with $976,770,898 and $354. Quito was 40th with $734,707,636 and $260 per person.
Remittances were at a historical high in 2021 with a total of $4.363 billion which was 30.71% higher than the $3.338 billion in 2020. This money represents 3.45% of the GDP this year. <I wonder if this money sent in by ordinary people is more or less than the money that got siphoned out to tax havens?> $2.768 billion came from the US in 2021, 36.59% more than in 2020. Remittances from Spain, Italy and other European countries also increased. 6.39% of the remittances came from Ecuadorians in countries in the region such as México, Chile, Perú, Canadá y Colombia.
Economist and sociologist Carolina Machado said that the amount Ecuador received in remittances in 2021 exceeded foreign investment in the country by 6 or 7 times. She said that in Azuay, 60% of the remittances went to expenses for necessities such as rent, electricity, water, phone, transportation, clothing and medicine. Between 13-15% went for luxuries, and between 19-22% went to investments. <Like all those unfinished houses that dot the landscapes.>
Ranitidina sacada del mercado ecuatoriano (Ranitidine withdrawn from the Ecuadorian market) – The Agencia Nacional de Regulación, Control y Vigilancia Sanitaria (Arcsa) announced that it has suspended the sanitary registrations of all medications for human use that contain ranitidine as the active ingredient. The decision was based on recommendations by the Agencia Europea de Medicamentos (EMA) and the FDA since the medicine contains the impurity N-nitrosodimetilamina (NDMA). Nitrosaminas are organic compounds that people are exposed to daily and are found at low levels in water and food. They undergo chemical reactions and form as impurities in medicines during the manufacturing process. NDMA is potentially carcinogenic. Since 3 years ago, ranitidine has been taken off the market in various countries, especially in the US and EU. It has been used to treat peptic acid and reflux problems, avoid the secretion of gastric acids, treat ulcers, and secondary illnesses of gastric acid. It has been replaced with omeprazol.
Presente en medicamentos (Presence in medicines) – Ranitidina is part of a class of medications known as H2 (histamina-2) blockers which work to block histamine receptors in the stomach and reduce the production of stomach acid. These medicines have been authorized in Ecuador for 30 years and come in tablets, syrups, and injectable forms. There are 61 medicines that contain ranitidina, 27 made in Ecuador, and 34 made overseas. Manufacturing labs and/or importers are obligated to removed these products from the market immediately.
Socializan conocimientos sobre alimentación escolar (Socialization of knowledge on school feeding) – There was a webinar “Alimentación escolar y pervención de la obesidad infantil” (School feeding and prevention of childhood obesity) with the Ministerios of Health and Education. The ministries want to generate healthy food environments and reduce malnutrition (overweight and obesity). Good food can avoid overweight and obesity in children <and don’t forget it has the same effect for adults and seniors>, and lead to better health outcomes in later life. According to the Organización Panamericana de la Salud, overweight and obesity is occuring in low and middle income countries. <And the elephants in the room are the 2/3 of Americans who are overweight and obese despite living in a high income country.>
La cruz y un uso singular (The cross and a unique use) – The cross for prayer, for petitions, for repentance, and the cross for a use that isn’t precisely related to religious prayer. In Cuenca, the cross at the outside of houses where recovecos (nooks and crannies or recesses – your word for the day) are formed have another use. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, it was said that putting a marble cross in these corners would deter people <male people, of course> from staining the walls with their piss out of respect for the cross. You can still see these crosses in Cuenca at Luis Cordero y Rafael María Arízaga; on Juan Jaramillo on one of the recovecos of the Monasterio de las Conceptas; and on Tomás Ordóñez y Mariscal La Mar. The crosses that have been maintained in these corners are part of the architectural heritage of the Centro Histórico of Cuenca.
There are also crosses on the roofs of houses. They were installed at a “huasipichai,” (sic) which was a housewarming celebration in the old days and included the builders. <Now the topping out party would be the installation of the satellite dish.>
Ruta Cuenca-Guayaquil beneficiará al comercio (Cuenca-Guayaquil route will benefit commerce) – When Pres. Lasso was in Cuenca for its 465th anniversary, he announced upcoming studies for a new road connecting Cuenca with Guayaquil. A first class road would be important for the industrial, commercial and tourist sectors. The Cámara de Industrias, Producción y Empleo de Cuenca (CIPEM) is assuming the costs of the preliminary and prefeasibility studies. One option is to make it a toll road with a private business responsible for maintenance. <I wonder what Pachamama will think of another road, or will she just continue to throw rocks at it.>
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –
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). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.