Small vendors protest sales restrictions; Illegal activity found at local gold mine; 10% of Cuencanos infected with Covid with higher rates among the poor

Dec 1, 2020 | 2 comments

Lunes, 30/11/2020

Hola, Todos –
Actividades –

De la pagina cultural –

Lista nueva edición de Eurocine 2020 (New edition of Eurocine 2020 is ready) – The 17th edition of the festival Eurocine will show 29 films from 15 countries from 3-13/12. The films will be shown in 4 Ecuadorian cities including Cuenca where they will be screened at the Multicines.

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Visita a Niño Viajero (Visits to the Niño Viajero) – The Niño Viajero is staying in this year rather than making his usual visits to businesses and institutions in Cuenca. Instead, these organizations can visit him at the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción where masses will be celebrated daily at 12:00 and broadcasted <or rebroadcasted> by radio Católica 98.1. There is a schedule of visits from 1-10/12. <Don’t know if anyone not affiliated with the scheduled organization would be allowed to attend.>

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Otras Cosas –

Titular – Ilegales en Río Blanco (Illegals in Río Blanco) – José Jaramillo, the governor of Azuay and president of the COE has called for an urgent meeting to address artesanal mining in Río Blanco which is in the Molleturo Parish of Cuenca. Neighbors have reported personas desconocidas (unknown persons – your phrase for the day) hanging around and entering the Río Blanco mine since marzo when the lockdown started. The president of the Molleturo parish board said there are unauthorized people, including ex-employees, taking stuff out of the mine.

A protest by small business owners blocked El Centro streets and the passage of the tram Monday morning.

<Here’s a mini-recent history lesson for the forgetful.> Mining activities were suspended by Junefield Ecuagoldmining South América mining concession in junio, 2018. After the national strike in 2019, the company was forced to leave permanently by the neighbors who warned of water contamination. The mining camps were burned and destroyed, machinery remains in the mine, and tons of dirt and stone are still piled around the outside.

Residents of San Pedro de Yumate have installed their own control point and are not allowing strangers in. <But I bet you adventurous road trippers, as long as you look gringo, would be so extremely strange that you would be let in. However, Asian gringos should probably stay away.>

El Gobierno informa hoy posible alza del salario (The Government will report a possible salary increase today) – The ministerio de Trabajo (Ministry of Labor) is set to announce the new Salario Básico Unificado (SBU – Unified Basic Salary) today. This will be the minimum wage that will apply through 2021. A delegate for employers, Rodrígo Gómez de la Torre, a rancher, was interviewed. The SBU is determined once a year and based on an agreement between workers and employers. If an agreement cannot be reached, Article118 of the Labor Code calls for using the projected inflation rate for the coming year. Salaries can be increased or decreased, and since the inflation rate is projected to be -.73%, employers are asking for no change to the SBU. Workers groups are asking for a 5% increase. <I don’t remember a year when Article 118 did not have to be invoked. The entrenched positions taken by each side seem like a formality now since the inflation rate will make the final decision.>

Restricción a comercio por fin del año afecta a muchos (End of year trade restriction affects many) – The cantonal COE prohibited the sales of fireworks from public and private property and issued guidelines for the sales of Christmas products. Merchants need to limit the number of people in their stores and should validate biosecurity measures with the city’s Risk Management office. <Do the ferias for gringos get these permits?> The restrictions on organizing fiestas and other mass attendance events is affecting about 1,000 businesses including those that make and sell the monigotes, masks and fireworks for New Year. Families who work through the year and invest in the materials are now stuck with the products and debts. The Federación de Comerciantes MInoristas del Azuay protested Monday in El Centro demanding economic reactivation for self employed workers, temporarily blocking streets and the tram. The group said if its members weren’t allowed to sell, they would have to enter into a rebellion. <What form would that take? Burning their stock themselves in front of city hall?>

Old news – domingo – 29/11 –

De diez, una persona ya se contagió en Cuenca (Out of ten, one person has already been infected in Cuenca) – According to a U. of Cuenca/City of Cuenca study, one out of every ten people in Cuenca has already had Covid. The urban parishes with the most cases are El Vecino with 25.6%, Machángara with 22.1%, El Batán-20.1% & Totorachocha-13.9%. The rural parishes with the most cases were Tarqui-38.8% <because of the jail?>, Checa-36.4%, Molleturo-19.9%, and Nulti-19.1%.

The study group was 2,475 households where people between 3 months and 93 years got rapid tests which were followed up by PCR tests for confirmation. <I wouldn’t want to be the one who had to stick that maxi-swab up the baby’s nose.> Dr. David Arcurio, a professor at the U. of Cuenca who directed the study, said the information allows the authorities to make better public policy decisions. Before they were working with assumptions, international data, and statistics. He also said the study showed the use of masks, distancing, and handwashing is practiced by over 90% of the population. <It would be too easy if that 90% is the same 90% that didn’t get Covid.> The study also showed that more than 85% of the test subjects who tested positive had no symptoms, and it showed a relationship between higher infection rates and less education, and higher infection rates for people who had difficulties surviving during the lockdown. The poorest parishes were the hardest hit. The overall infection rate for urban parishes was 9.4% and for rural parishes it was 10.36%. Another study result was finding that in the last 3 months, the majority of cases were not from street transmission, but from getting together with families and friends.

Internacional –

Venezuela con todo listo a 7 días de las elecciones (Venezuela with everything ready 7 days before the elections) – The CNE of Venezuela announced that everything is ready for this Sunday’s elections in which the opposition party lead by Juan Guaidó will not be participating. <Sounds like something Trump wishes he’d thought of – banning the opposition party.> 20,710,421 voters are eligible, but a large number of abstentions are expected.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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