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Ecuador News

Snow storm snarls traffic near Quito, Bus drivers evaluated, Moreno confirmed as AP leader

Snowfall snarls traffic on highway west if Quito

An unexpected snow storm stranded at least 50 vehicles, including inter-provincial buses, Saturday on the highway connecting Quito with Papallacta. The national weather service said the storm affected about 10 kilometers of roadway in Napo Province at elevations of 3,800 meters and higher. Emergency personnel from ECU 911, the Ecuador Red Cross and the Quito fire department assisted trapped motorists and bus passengers during the day, transporting several who were injured in accidents to area hospitals.

Traffic came to a stand-still Saturday on the highway from Quito to Papallacta.

As of Saturday night, the highway from Palugo to Papallacta and Papallacta to Baeza remained closed and transit police advised motorists to divert south and take the Ambato-Baños highways to reach the Amazon region.

Snowfall amounts in the affected area ranged from five to 17 centimeters.

Local bus drivers are evaluated

More than 900 bus drivers in Azuay Province are undergoing driving knowledge and behavior tests conducted by the National Transit Agency (ANT). The testing program, called “Conduzco Seguro” (I drive safely) is mandatory and involves both local and long-distance bus drivers. “The program is intended to insure a level of professionalism among all bus drivers who serve the public,” said Priscila Alvarado, ANT zonal director. “It is a means of rewarding drivers with exceptional knowledge and skills and eliminating those who are unsuitable.”

The tests are being conducted in Cuenca this weekend and next with results to be made public by mid-August.

Moreno confirmed as leader of Alianza Pais

In its seventh national convention, Alianza Pais confirmed President Lenin Moreno as leader of the political party. Held in the Paladines Polo Coliseum in Guayaquil Guayaquil, AP elected Vice President María Alejandra Vicuña as the party’s first vice president, while Elizabeth Cabezas was voted second vice president.

President Lenin Moreno at Saturday’s Alianza Pais convention in Guayaquil. (El Telegrafo)

In his speech following the election, Moreno said AP has become a movement that makes decisions by engaging with party members and the general electorate, not through central control. “Now, the decisions are made in dialogue and in consensus with the bases of the political organization and with the citizens.” He added that the party has set a standard of zero tolerance for corruption and for holding public officials accountable for their public acts. He also reaffirmed that AP is a movement dedicated to leftist principles.