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Cuenca News

Tram study cites poor planning, IESS meds delayed, Gun control, San Fernando celebrates, Expansion of Yasuní oil exploration denounced

Jueves, 23/5/2019

Hola, Todos –
Actividades –

De la pagina cultural –

“Cuenca es Joven” Festival – This youth scenic arts festival will kick off el lunes, 27/5 a las 15:00 at the U. de Azuay. 17 schools from Cuenca and other schools around the country and an average of 150 students will participate in the festival next week.

Exposición – A show by Jorge Jaén, “Rosas Negras,” opened hoy in the Salida de Emergencia, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Calle la Condamine y Bajada de El Vado).

Int’l music festival performance in 2018.

Museos – The municipal museums will have special hours mañana, el sábado, 25/5 y el domingo, 26/5 from 10.14:00 for the 24 de Mayo holiday. <For those of you studying for your citizenship test, it’s the Battle of Pichincha.>

Fiesta de la Música 2019 – 46 bands have been selected from 199 applicants for the music festival which will be el 21 & 22/6.

Del cuerpo del periodico –

San Fernando – The canton, located 62 km from Cuenca, is inviting everyone to its cantonization fiestas. It’s known for Busa Lake, San Pablo Hill, and a colonial church. Following is a schedule of activities.
Sábado, 25/45 – 12:00 – sports events.
20:00 – election of the Cholilta San Fernandense
Domingo, 26/5 – open house and veal expo. <Veal on the hoof?>
Sábado, 1/6 – 9:00 – crafts, food and agricultural fair
12:00 – burro and horse races
14:00 – band contest
20:00 – San Fernandense night
Domingo, 2/6 – 10:00 – parade
13:00 – mass
14:00 – sports events
17:00 – traditional song festival and the Mote Pillo de Confraternidad (fellowship) <I’m trying to envision what a fellowship mote pillo might be>.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Denuncian expansión petrolera en el Yasuní (Oil expansion in the Yasuní denounced) – Over a year ago voters approved an increase in the intangible zone in the Yasuní Park. The government established 60,000 additional hectares where oil exploitation could not occur. It also created buffer zones in which oil drilling would be permitted. This new area includes Ishpingo which is a target for exploitation. A Waorani leader said that they weren’t consulted about the exploitation of blocks 31 & 43 which are being reduced in size to fit into the buffer zone. <I’m not sure if I got this right or got turned around 180 degrees. A map might help.>

Tranvía – The report from la veeduría, the citizen’s voluntary oversight committee, has been made public. The 18 member group started analyzing the construction of the Tranvía on 6/3/2017 and finished in marzo, 2018 with 15 members. They issued 25 observations, the first two of which were that the city was not prepared to execute a project of this scale for lack of studies, trained personnel, and timely decisions. The second was there was no adequate plan for “socialización integral” (integrated publicity?). They were supported by the CPCCS which approved the final report and sent it to the attorney general’s office to start whatever investigations it deems necessary. The CPCCS also sent the report to the Comptroller’s office, Consejo Cantonal de Cuenca and more. Some of the other observations included that emergency contracts were not adequately planned, the work is of bad quality, there was little interest in responding to public complaints, traffic chaos was created because of the changes to the transportation system, paying for more material than it received, and the closure of dozens of local businesses.

Prefecto – Yaku Pérez has appointed his team. The majority are university officials and water activists. He has more women than men. <The list looks like his appointees have either a lot of government experience or expertise in the area of their appointment.>

IESS – Some patients at IESS are worried about the delay in getting their medicine and getting generic medicines. The IESS’ national director of health said that generic just means there is no specific brand. He added each patient reacts differently.

The “Pro Salud” pilot plan started yesterday with the goal of strengthening the IESS network of providers of “first level attention.” <I don’t even know if there is an English word for that.> People should go to the dispensary nearest to them. They are no longer reserved for workers of a specific business or institution. <Sounds like major employers had their own public but private clinics.> In Cuenca there are 50 dispensaries and 17 outside providers.

Gun control – National Police with the Azuay Prosecutor’s Office seized guns and ammunition from a house on La Ortiga y El Tejar. Authorities remind everyone that a person must get permission to have a gun which is registered to a particular place – a particular address or your home or work. Unauthorized possession of a gun will be penalized with 6-12 months in prison. Carrying a gun is a separate permit with geographic restrictions. Unauthorized carrying of a gun is punishable with 3-5 years in prison. <Does carrying that gun make you feel safer now that you know the penalty for being caught is spending time with those very same folk you’re protecting yourself from?>

Confiscations – Per judicial order, cell phones, computers, electronic devices, documents and other objects will be seized from the Rafael Correa presidency and the Constitutional Court. This is part of the investigation into alleged illegal contributions to the Alianza Pais (AP) election campaigns during 2013 & 2014 by businesses such as Odebrecht which had government contracts. The attorney general has asked the presidential office for phone numbers assigned to the ex-president from 2007 to 2017, email addresses and employees of that office.

As part of the “Green Rice” case, Tomislav Tópic, a representative of Telconet in Ecuador testified before the Transparency and Fight against Corruption Unit about paying about $500,000 for the AP campaign in 2014. An ex-presidential coordinator also testified. Rafael Correa has been called to testify on 17/5. <Maybe he can come back to testify and announce his candidacy for political office at the same time. And then spend the night as a guest of the penal system.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne