Road collapse affects public transport and food deliveries; Women struggle to make political gains; Highwaymen attack trucks near El Oro border

Mar 7, 2023 | 6 comments

Lunes, 6/3/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Titular –

Lasso usa estrategia de defensa (Lasso usa estrategia de defensa) – Too complicated for me.

Cuenca –

Mujeres luchan contra las barreras en política (Women fight against barriers in politics) – There have been advances in women’s participation in Ecuadorian politics, but they still haven’t reached leading numbers. In the elections of 5/2, of the 221 mayorships in dispute, only 42 were won by women; and 7 of the 23 prefects that were in play were won by women. The Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas requires that parties and movements have at least 30% of their lists headed by women with the number of women rising to 50% for the elections in 2025. In the 15 mayoral races in Azuay, 2 were won by women, Anabel Lalvey in Santa Isabel, and Aurelia Sarmiento in San Fernando.

Patricio Muñoz has been making cheese at his farm near Biblián since 1994. He ages some of the cheese in a cave on his propertry. (El Mercurio)

De El Mercurio del sábado, 4/3 (2 articles):
15 días de cierre en un tramo de vía a Pasaje (15-day closure of a stretch of road to Pasaje) – The vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje has been closed for 15-20 days in the stretch between Sarayunga and Gramalote near the Azuay-El Oro border at km. 112. At that spot, a 15-20 m. deep sewer was blocked when the Gramalote creek rose. The blockage dammed the water and undermined the roadway which is showing large cracks. MTOP has machinery and employees working overtime to stabilize the base of the road and replace the sewer. It recommends the vía Cuenca-Azogues-Biblián-Ahud-Cochancay-El Triunfo-Ponce Enríquez-Machala as the alternate route. However, most interprovincial buses are using the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme route to get to Ponce Enríquez. The fare for that route is $8.25 and that for the blocked route is $7.00. Bus companies are also analyzing the possibility of a transfer in the Gramalote zone. <You get off the bus at one side of the blockage, and walk across to board another bus on the other side. A member of the Asociación de Transporte Pesado del Austro (ATPA) said the closure is affecting food delivery between Cuenca and El Oro, especially oranges, tangerines, papaya, banana and plantain to the wholesale markets. He said the possibility of diverting traffic at Uzhcurrumi and rejoining the main highway at Quera should be considered. <I wonder what that secondary road looks like and if it’s even paved all the way.>

Diez radares ya multan desde ayer pese a cuestionamientos (Ten radars are already ticketing as of yesterday, despite questions) – The 10 radars installed on the Circunvalación Sur and av. Enrique Arízaga Toral have started issuing tickets. Exceeding 90 kmp gets you a $135 fine, and exceeding 120 kmp is a $450 fine. Council members are asking questions about the contract including the contracting process, the accounts for the contract, and that the Agencia Nacional de Tránsito has not yet approved the devices to be installed. There is also controversy over 6 radars installed on the Cañar side of the vía Cuenca-Azogues.

Empresarial –

De El Mercurio del sábado, 4/3 (2 articles):
El queso atesanal de Patricio Muñoz, un derroche de sabores y texturas (Patricio Muñoz’s artisan cheese, a waste <??? – sic> of flavors and textures.) – The cheeses at Quesos El Bueste, located in the Casa del Parque, are 100% artesanal and organic. Patricio Muñoz González makes cheeses from milk from the cows on his family’s land in Biblián. To achieve the characteristic flavor and quality of his aged cheeses, he said the key is what the cows eat. He doesn’t use fertilizers in the pastures, and doesn’t add accelerants or chemical products to age the cheese. The 180-200 wheels he makes each month are aged in caves on the Hacienda El Bueste, and he keeps some of his products there up to a year. He started with aged gouda types and now makes 22 varieties, some of them “de autor” (types he has developed himself). His latest project is Emmental which is now in the middle of a 3 month aging process. Some of the flavors he uses are garlic, chili, olive, mustard, onion, natural, basil, almond, spirulina, and truffle which is his most expensive cheese. <Can you flavor cheese with wine?>

Sombreros, llantas y cocinas con arancel cero a Costa Rica (Hats, tires and stoves with zero tariffs to Costa Rica) – The Ecuadorian Government hopes to increase its exports to Costa Rica by 10% when the trade agreement goes into effect. Sectors receiving an immediate 0% tariff rate will be in manufacturing, textile, large appliances, steel, metal-mechanic, and other areas. Specific products include tires, dimensional lumber, multi-vitamins, “Panama” hats, medicine, textiles and clothing, roasted and ground coffee, frozen brocolli, stoves, car batteries, and canned tuna and shrimp. The agreement will cover over 90% of products, and both countries consider it a milestone in their bilateral relations.

Sucesos –

Disparos contra camiones en la carretera a Uzhcurrumi (Shots fired at trucks on the vía Uzhcurrumi) – Early Saturday morning, a group of at least 6 unknown people attempted to hold up milk trucks in the Gramalote sector on the vía Uzhcurrumi, an alternative route to the closed vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje. The trucks were coming from San Fernando canton headed to El Oro. The antisociales (antisocials – your word for the day, and a synonym for delinquentes, criminales, and ladrones) threatened the drivers with guns and shot at the windshields. The attack only lasted 2-3 minutes, and when the milk trucks kept going, the attackers intercepted light vehicles and took personal belongings. 911 was called and paramedics treated one driver for a superficial wound to the arm at the site. The other drivers decided to keep on with their itinerary. <It seems like the shortest of the 3 alternative routes to the closed vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje is also the most dangerous. You could spend an extra 2 hours on one of the other alternative routes or spend the same time getting patched up after getting shot. Depends on which story you want to tell afterwards.>

Region –

Radares operan hoy en tramo de Azogues (Radars operating today <lunes> in Azogues stretch) – The 6 radars installed on the vía rápida between Cuenca and Azogues are now operating on the Cañar portion of the road with 3 in each direction.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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