WEEKLY NEWS WRAP: Digest of Ecuador, Cuenca and Latin America news

Apr 25, 2015

Vendors complain about conditions of city markets

The city promises to repair the escalators at 10 de Agosto market on Calle Larga.

The city promises to repair the escalators at 10 de Agosto market on Calle Larga.

Cuenca public market vendors are complaining about maintenance problems in the facilities. At the 10 de Agosto Market on Calle Larga, vendors say that sports events, such as parades and races, block access to the market and hurt business; they also say the market’s escalators have not worked for months. At other markets, vendors complain about electrical problems, leaks, and poorly maintained bathrooms. The city says it is working on the problems. All vendors who pay for their market stalls complain about informal vendors. Read the article.

New York court considers Ecuador’s case against Chevron

Judges on a New York appellate court are hearing arguments in one of the biggest and longest-running environmental justice cases of all time. At stake is the question of whether a developing country that happens to have oil can enforce its judgments against a multinational company – Chevron Oil, in this case. The Ecuador court had awarded residents of the country’s Amazon region a $9.5 billion settlement for environmental damage and associated personal injuries. Read the article.

Ecuador's National Assembly voted for a new marriage law on Monday.

Ecuador’s National Assembly voted for a new marriage law on Monday.

National Assembly updates marriage law

By an overwhelming majority, Ecuador’s National Assembly revised the law that governs marriage and divorce. The new law increases the minimum age for marriage from 12 to 18, legalizes civil unions, expands grounds for divorce but does not eliminate adultery as a criteria. No fault divorces do not exist in Ecuador. All foreigners who marry or divorce in Ecuador are affected by  the new rules. Read the article.

World Bicycle Day

Cuenca celebrated World Bicycle Day on Sunday as cyclists rode through city streets and along bike paths beside the Rio Tomebamba. The city says that cycling is an activity that brings families together and that can, ultimately, reduce vehicular traffic. Read the article.

New rules for Ecuador’s 13th and 14th month salaries

The new Law of Labor Justice allows employers to include what are called the 13th and 14th month salaries, or decimos, in an employee’s monthly pay. In the past, employers were required to pay the bonuses separately, in December and August. If employees want to continue to receive the decimos as bonuses, and not have them included in their monthly salary, they must request it in writing from the employer. Read the article.

Human Rights Watch urges Ecuador to legalize abortion in cases of rape

The humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch is asking Ecuador’s National Assembly to legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, and severe fetal malformation. It says the criminal penalties imposed for abortion in those cases have life-long, harmful effects on women. It is unlikely that the Assembly will review the request since President Rafael Correa opposes any change to the current law. Read the article.