The ‘odyssey’ of navigating protest roadblocks; Food prices rise from shortages; Cañari militants up in arms; Inti Raymi promotes peace & reconciliation

Jun 23, 2022 | 7 comments

Miércoles, 22/6/2022

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Pintura y música se incluye en agenda cultural de la U. (Painting and music are included in the cultural agenda of the U.) – The department of Culture of the U. of Cuenca is presenting an exhibit and concert. The show, “El amor en tiempos de pandemia” by artist Ángel Mendoza who has had exhibits in and outside of Ecuador, opened at 19:00 in the Museo Universitario (av. 12 de Abril y Solano). The Orquesta Sinfónica de la U. de Cuenca will play el 29/6 a las 20:00 in the Teatro Carlos Cueva Tamariz. The concert, directed by William Vergara, will include soloists Marco Saula on violin and Adriana Sánchez on cello playing the Sinfonía No. 5 by Gustav Mahler. Free. On el 30/6 a las 19:00, there will be an immersive concert, “Upallay” in the Museo Universitario as part of the MeeM project.

Titular –

With road blocked by protesters, some rural residents are forced to walk long distances to get to their destinations. (El Mercurio)

País bajo ataque; Iza condiciona diálogo (Country under attack; Iza places conditions for dialogue) – See today’s (Wed.) article in CHL for story.

Informe –

Laz “odisea” de llegar a los destinos (The “odyssey” of getting to destinations) – <This is for those of you who think your frustrating trip to the supermarket was the worst thing in the world.> Luciano Heras and Christian Álvarez, volunteer firefighters, started on an adventure of 2 or more days of walking and transferring yesterday. They are trying to get home to Huaquillas, El Oro province, after arriving in Cuenca on 12/6 for an international training course. They never imagined they’d have to put what they learned into practice to get home. Their odyssey started el 14/6 at a blockade at the “Y” in Tarqui. <I hope they got home safely with nothing worse than tired feet.> Gabriela Yauri, from Chunchi canton in Chimborazo, had to report to work as a nursing intern in the hospital in Girón at 7:00 this morning. She traveled for about 24 hours and through more than 10 roadblocks to get to her job which would have been at risk if she hadn’t reported for work. She said that trip normally costs $8-10, but due to the strike, cost $30.

The road closures also presented an opportunity for transportistas and owners of private cars to make a little money by waiting on one side or other of a barricade, and offering to drive people crossing the roadblocks on foot to get closer to their destinations. <And I bet there are vendors with carts full of salchipapas, coconuts, and fruit at the road blocks so no one starved while stranded.> Yesterday, MTOP reported closures on most of the federal highways including access to the eastern cantons in Azuay, the vía rápida Cuenca-Azogues-Biblián, Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje, Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme, and Cuenca-La Jarata-Loja. <Sounds like you can get as far as your corner tienda unimpeded.>

Cañar en pie de lucha (Cañar up in arms) – The fraternal organizations of the Unión Provincial de Comunas y Cooperativas Cañaris (UPCCC) went to Azogues, the capitol of Cañar, to express their rejection of the Government. A committee met with governor Wilfrido Rivera who received a list of petitions with the demands of CONAIE. The community leaders also asked for better control on the price of a liter of milk and stopping mining activity in the páramos and water sources that put the environment at risk.

Cuenca –

Inti Raymi transita de lo ancestral a lo urbano (Inti Raymi transits from the ancestral to the urban) – Inti Raymi celebrations in Cuenca that started yesterday will continue tomorrow. The celebration closed one agricultural cycle and started another with a ceremony ayer at noon when the sun was at its cénit (zenith – your word for the day). Public and educational institutions invited holders of ancestral knowledge from rural parishes in Cuenca and Cañar. At least 100 people gathered on the main campus of the U. of Cuenca to parade, dance and sing thier way to the Balzay campus where the ceremony of Inti Raymi was held. At the same time in the patios of the Prefectura del Azuay, the taita Alison Ordóñez, who came from Cañar, celebrated Inti Raymi with a group from Sayausí. The celebration was originally going to be held in Sayausí but was moved due to the protests. Taita Ordóñez said that this is a time of conciliation. We should have good thoughts, good feelings, speak well, and act well from the center of the heart so that our words are consistent with our actions. <And there, folks, is the flip side of the indigenous protests.>

“Vacúnate ya, por un infancia con futuro”, campaña del MSP (“Vaccinate now, for a childhood with a future”, MSP’s campaign) – The MSP has started a campaign to urge parents to get their 0 to 16 year olds the regular childhood vaccinations on the recommended schedule. These include measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, pneumococcus, rotavirus, and poliomyelitis, and others.
Covid statistics in brief –

• The age group with the lowest rate of vaccinations is from 12-16, along with 35-50 year olds.
• In Cuenca, 93% have had two doses, 45% a 3d dose, and 20% a 4th.
• There were 382 positive cases of Covid in the the epidemiological week #24 for 2022, which is an increase in cases but nothing serious relative to the size of the population.
• There wasn’t an increase in hospitalizations for Covid and the positivity rate is still less than 5%.

<So eat, drink, and be merry, and go burn some tires if you’re so inclined. Just don’t forget to take them off your car first.>

Empresarial –

Incertidumbre ronda en mercados (Uncertainty in the mercados) – After the 10th day of the anti-government protests, there is an undersupply of basic necessities in the markets, especially produce. Rayner Ortiz, general manager of the Center Plaza Supermercado, said that it is using what there is in the warehouses, but what is not coming in are milk, eggs, cereals, oils and lard. They are at 80% of what they normally have. He said products from Guayaquil are coming in gradually, but those from the Northern Sierras are blocked. These include vegetables, grains and potatoes, and with the scarcity, prices have shot up. Mariana Pallazhco, a vendor at the 9 de Octubre, said they only thing they have in normal quantities is fruit with the exception of mora and strawberries.

Examples of price increases from pre to post protests are beans – $1.00 to $1.50/lb; tomatoes -$17 to $25/box; choclo – $1.50 to $1.70/lb. It was the same story at the 10 de Agosto with plenty of fruit but a scarcity of potatoes which come from the north, Paute and Cañar. So far there is a good supply of meat, but chicken and eggs are scarce. Before chicken cost $1.20/lb., and now it cost $1.40. <I hope you all stocked up at the start of the strike, or started with a well stocked pantry or freezer.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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