Strike closes many city businesses, workers fired; Pleas to allow passage of supply trucks; Local towns join protests; Industrial production is paralyzed
Hola, Todos –
Cuenca, “acorralada”; esperanza en diálogo (Cuenca, “cornered”; hope in dialogue) – See today’s (Tuesday) articles in CHL for the story. <Just about everything in the paper today is about the strike and the rest is public notices. So I’ll nibble around the edges and translate things that aren’t part of the big story.>
La protesta se salió de control con disturbios (Protest got out of control with riots) – The 3d week of the protests started with long lines for gas and gasoline, and blockage of streets by vendors from the mercados who can’t get products to sell.
Outside a gas distributor on av. Loja and Don Bosco, there was a demonstration. Customers have been coming for days to try get a tank of LP gas with some sleeping there overnight. Gerardo Maldonado, manager of Austrogas said that it couldn’t refill tanks since last week since the tanker trucks are still stuck on the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme with at least 3 trapped between the Tamarindo y Hierba Buena sectors. <I bet all of you who’ve complained about your suicide showers are glad you have them now.>
Vendors in the mercados, especially the Feria Libre, took to the streets Monday to demand that the government accept the 10 demands of Conaie as the way to reopen the streets. <I know that some of you feel that shooting protesters is the way to reopen the streets. How well do you really think that will work?> Businesses near the protests including pharmacies, tiendas, car dealerships and even including Coralcentro, closed. Sonia Naranjo, president of the “Humanitaria” association which represents 100’s of vendors in El Arenal said that the protests will increase in tone if the Government doesn’t change its posture about maintaining dialogue with the indigenous sector and meet its demands.
Businesses in the city including factories and fast food restaurants have shut their doors due to lack of primary materials such as chicken, potatoes and gas for cooking. Avícolas Cedillo (AVICED), one of the main distributors of chicken in Cuenca suspended work starting ayer due to a lack of product which comes primarily from the coast <mainly from the plain>. The owner, Fernando Cedillo, said it is losing over $50,000/day, and he has had to lay off 20 employees.
Garbage collection has been suspended until el próximo jueves out of consideration for the safety of its employees and workers. Other cantons have paralizó (paralyzed/ shut down – your word for the day) garbage collection with Pucará, Girón, and other localities fearing a health emergency. <Is the next pandemic going to be diseases like cholera and dysentery? Better stock up on water purification tablets.>
42 comunidades, en resistencia (42 communities in resistance) – Ayer, the 42 communities served by the Nero potable water system closed the Circunvalación Sur at the 12 de Octubre redondel and the entrance to Gapal. The community members from El Valle, Turi, y Baños burnt tires and yelled anti-Government slogans. In a press release they said they were joining the strike called by Conaie, but also guaranteed the supply of potable water in spite of what might happen during the protests.
Gasolina Extra en 2.45 dólares (Extra gasoline at $2.45) – As of today, the Empresa Pública de Hidrocarburos del Ecuador (EP Petroecuador) planned to start distributing Extra gas with 85 octane in Cuenca, Azogues, y Biblián. Extra was sold across the country until 2016 when it was replaced by Ecopaís which has the same octane, but has 5-7% ethanol. Ecopaís can’t be produced in Cuenca since the tankers carrying it are stuck in Guayas and Cañar, so EP Petroecuador is making Extra available again. It said that Extra and Súper are available as well as Diésel since the pipeline from Pascuales to Cuenca is operating normally. A taxista and an owner of a small business reported waiting in line for gas for 4 & 5 hours respectively. <If you tip your driver, now is the time to increase that tip. They aren’t earning any money in the time they’re waiting in gas lines.>
Samuel Lojano, a member of Conaie, insisted that humanitarian corridors be opened to allow passage of trucks carrying basic needs such as food, fuel and medical supplies due to the serious shortages in mercados and health institutions. He listed the Tarqui sector, the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje which connects Azuay with El Oro, the Y de Sayausí, Molleturo, and the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme which connects Azuay with Guayas which should allow passage. <I wonder how many more of Iza’s “followers” think the same thing? Hopefully the number will grow as their own families are affected.>
Ciclo escolar en Sierra culminará en una semana (School year in Sierra to end in one week) – Summer vacation will start for students in the Sierra and Amazon on either 1/7 or 5/7 depending on if the school is a private, fiscomisional, or municipal or if it’s a fiscal (public). Those are the dates when children have had 200 days of instruction in the school year. Teachers will go on vacation el 23/7 and return el 15/8. Children will start the 2022-2023 school year el 1/9.
Industria Azuaya se paraliza (Azuayan industry comes to a standstill) – After 15 days of protests, the industrial sector of Azuay announced a stop to production due to lack of fuel, primary materials, and supplies. The situation applies to small, medium and large businesses as well as the artisan sector that depend on markets outside of Cuenca either for primary materials and fuels and/or for sales of their finished products. Rodrigo Cordero, president of the Asociación de Cámaras de Industrias, Producción, y Empleo (CIPEM), said businesses in the Industrial Park who ran out of their last drop of fuel el pasado viernes included Continental Tire Andina, Grupo Industrial Graiman, Indurama, Cartopel, La Europea, La Italiana, fibroacero and others. He noted that this has affected employment as well and estimated 300,000 jobs were affected.
Producción petrolera a punto de paralizarse (Oil production on the verge of shutdown) – According to previous announcements from Petroecuador, oil production will be stopped today due to roadblocks. As of el domingo, there were accumulated losses of over 1.2 million barrels of crude, 995 wells shut, and 8 towers closed at 8 sites. The manager of Petroecuador, Ítalo Cedeño, said because optimum and adequate conditions in technical and security areas cannot be met, he anticipated oil produccion would be shut down today. He cited the lack of supplies for maintenance and limited provision of fuel for generation centers as forcing the shut down. He also said that protests have caused destruction and damage to machinery; equipment, materials and tools have been stolen; and officials and workers have been attacked.
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.