Taxi drivers complain about crime; Taxes hiked for cigarettes, booze and soft drinks; Vets debunk spay, neuter myths; Masquerade parade awards

Jan 10, 2023 | 4 comments

Lunes, 9/1/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Titular – 

Accidentada jornada en cierre automovilístico (Accident-prone day at car showdown) – See today’s (lunes) article in CHL for story.

Cuenca – 

De El Mercurio del domingo, 8/1 (two articles):
Tecnológico Sudamericano ganó la ‘Máscara Dorada’ (Tecnológico Sudamericano won the ‘Golden Mask’) – The Instituto Tecnológico Suamericano won $4,000 with the theme “Soy Leyenda, un Ecuador post COVID” (I am Legend, a post COVID Ecuador). 2nd place in the institutional category went to the Instituto Tecnológico Universitario American College which won $3,000 with the theme of “El Virus de….Y la Fiebre del Mundial (“The Virus of….And World Cup Fever”), and 3d place went to the Instituto Tecnológico del Azuay which won $2,000 with the theme of “El Cóndor Presidente.” Other categories were Comparsas, Family, Children, and Individuals.

Ecuador’s Internal Revenue Service has hiked “sin taxes” for products such as cigarettes, alcoholic and sugary beverages, and plastic bags. (El Mercurio)

Esterilización de mascotas: todo lo que el dueño debe saber (Pet spaying and neutering: everything an owner should know) – “Fixing” your pet contributes to its wellbeing and is a key piece to combat overpopulation and abandonment. There were an estimated 60,000 abandoned animals in Cuenca in 2020. José Patiño, a vet with the Clínica Solidaria, said that there are myths that keep owners from getting their pets sterilized. These are that animals need to have their first heat in order to grow sufficiently, they need to have one litter in order to not feel frustrated, they become sedentary and fat, they lose their sense of smell, and the procedure is long and expensive. The vet says these myths shouldn’t be believed. He recommended an exam before the surgery to determine the animal’s state of health and said animals recuperate quickly with the prescriptions from the vet. He outlined the care for the animal both before and after surgery.

In private clinics, the cost of sterilization for cats and dogs can be from $25-$80 depending on the size and weight of the animal. There are also free sterilization campaigns coordinated by the Comisión de Gestión Ambiental (CGA) which are held periodically at different points and parishes in Cuenca. David Vázquez, director of the CGA, said that the institution sterilized 6.000 pets in 2022. To access this service, keep an eye on the social networks of the CGA which will tell you where these campaigns will be. <You’ll have to do your own poking around to find those networks.>

Sucesos – 

De El Mercurio del domingo, 8/1:
Preocupación por constantes robos a taxistas (Concern over constant robberies of cab drivers) – During 2022, at least a hundred taxi drivers were victims of crimes including thefts of money, phones, and including their vehicles, only a few of which were recovered. In addition, they were stabbed and assaulted. One driver said he went to the ciudadela Las Orquídeas to pick up a fare who told him to go 2 more blocks to get a friend. In those 2 blocks, he was subdued with a knife, and a few minutes after a 2nd person got in. He struggled with the supposed passengers and was stabbed in the back 6 times. The two stole cash, a phone and the taxi which crashed into a wall of a house a few meters further. The thieves fled. <Wouldn’t you think you should know how to drive a car before you stole a taxi?>

Eduardo Andrade, president of the Unión de Cooperativas de Transporte en Taxis del Azuay (UCTTA) said 2022 was a complicated year due to the insecurity that grew in the province and nationally. He said there aren’t good statistics on the assaults since many of them go unreported. He said that the union has gone to the authorities to coordinate action against the delinquency, but controls haven’t been strengthened. As a preventive alternative, there are chat groups so that if there is an assault, the group can respond quickly and administer frontier justice (por mano propia). <You do not want to get on the wrong side of a bunch (gang?) of taxi drivers.>

Nacional – 

Críticas ante el incremento del ICE (Criticism of the ICE increase) – As of 1/1/23, the SRI increased the rates of the Impuesto a los Consumos Especiales (ICE- Special Excise Tax) between $.01 and $.48 to conform to the adjustment of rates to reflect inflation. This tax is applied to products such as cigarettes, alcoholic and sugary drinks, and plastic bags. Business groups criticized these increases since they would be reflected in the price to the consumer and would affect everyone <except non- smokers, non-drinkers,the calorie conscious, and people who use recyclable bags>.

They said increases would also be an incentive to engage in illegal activities such as smuggling and tax evasion. The tax would increase by $.01 on a cigarette, $.36 per liter of industrial beer and $.05 on a liter of artesanal beer, $.01 per 100 grams of added sugar in non-alcoholic beverages and colas with a sugar content of over 25 grams per liter, and $.10 on plastic bags. <You could live a good life without all of those things, although I can already hear you squawking about the impossibility of living without beer and booze — preferable lots of it.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne