Where did Pólit’s millions come from? Unlicensed travel agencies may work with ‘coyoteras’; PanAm highway repaired in Girón; Trout festival in Sayausí

May 6, 2022 | 1 comment

Jueves, 5/5/2022

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Festival de la trucha reactivará a Sayausí (Trout festival will reactivate Sayausí) – The first trout festival will be this sábado from 9-17:00 in the parish center of Sayausí. It is being organized by a group of piscicultores (fish farmers – your word for the day) and will include sales of food and fresh fish as well as organic vegetables, and sweets typical of the community. There will also be dance groups and music.

Fausto Ochoa publica ópera prima (Fausto Ochoa publishes debut novel) – The novel “Entre Fango y Neblina” by Fausto Ochoa Palacios starts with the sentence, ” My name is: Manuel Darío Mera. I was born 75 years ago in an ignorant village, in an Andean province.” For the author, the book was designed in the setting in which he lived as a child — wet earth and mist. A man and a crime are the protagonists in the novel which was published with the help of the GAD of Cañar. You can get a free copy of the book by calling 098 410 6986. <Or get your facilitator to call for you and then you can read it with your phone app.>

Titular –

About 40 percent of travel agencies that advertise their services in Cuenca are unlicensed, according to tourism officials. Many of these are involved in illegal human trafficking, offering passage to the U.S., says the local association of tour agents.

Falsas agencias serían “coyoteras” (Fake agencies could be “coyoteras”) – There are at least 150 travel agencies in Cuenca, but only 60% have permits issued by the Municipio de Cuenca and Ministerio de Turismo (MINTUR). You can check with MINTUR to see the agencies that are authorized. Their web page is www.turismo.gob.ec. The other 40% are functioning illegally, and in some cases are part of law firms or consulting firms for getting visas and work permits for other countries. 5 of these irregular agencies were reported to the provincial prosecutor’s office for defrauding clients with false offers of visas to the US.

Juan Pablo Proaño, president of the Asociación de Agencias de Viajes, Operadores y Mayoristas de Turismo (Aagentour) said that its 30 members comply with all the regulations from the MInisterio de Turismo and have a special seal so that their clients know they are receiving services that have a guarantee. Aagentour said it has sent 22 reports of illegal agencies to MINTUR which checks operating licenses. If the agency doesn’t have one, it is closed. From enero to abril, 15 agencies were closed. <You’ll know if you went to an illegal coyote agency if your plane stops in Honduras and you’re ushered into a shipping container on a tractor-trailer for the scenic land package part of your trip to Houston.> 3 people who were scammed paid $20,000, $15,000, and $18,000 for a visa to work in the US.

Cuenca –

Alerta por la hepatitis infantil aguda (Acute Infant Hepatitis Alert) – The World Health Organization sent an alert about cases of acute infant hepatitis from unknown causes. A total of 228 cases has been counted since 15/4. Pediatrician Gabriela Auquilla explained the disease is a process of inflamation of the liver which is due to an immune response against any aggressor agent. Of the 5 types of hepatitis, A, B, C, D, & E, the most common are A & E.

A is most common in infancy and is generally related to overcrowding and poor hygiene. For this reason, Ecuador is starting a campaign about the importance of washing hands and food. Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through blood and body fluids. Auquilla also detailed that the prevalence of hepititus is higher in teens. However, the most affected are school children from 5-10 according to a 2017 epidemiological report. This situation could be repeated with the return to classes after 2 years of pandemic confinement. <And isn’t 5-10 an age group likely to drop food, pick it up, and put it back in their mouths regardless of what that French fry or piece of candy landed in?> Miriam Palacios, with the Coordinación Zonal 6 de Salud said hepatitus B is one of the most common in the country with vaccination being the main means of prevention. Babies are vaccinated within 24 hours of birth. Also there is a 3 dose regimen for people over 18 in groups at risk such as health workers, sex workers, and HIV patients. Palacios said that no cases of acute infant hepatitis have presented in Ecuador where there is an active vaccination program.

Relación con la COVID-19 (Relación con la COVID-19) – Since the detection of acute infant hepatitis in Europe, the Ministerio de Salud Público (MSP) is keeping an active watch, but the cases reported internationally are associated with infants who do not have the Covid vaccine. Two other health professionals made similar statements.

Deportan a migrantes hallados en un tráiler (Migrants found in trailer deported) – A group of 310 migrants from Guatemala, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Chile were found in a tractor/trailer outside of Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico. They were in extremely dangerous conditions, closed in the container without ventilation. The group, 21 of whom were were sent to hospitals for dehydration, included pregnant women, children and seniors. They were found when a police motorcycle patrol heard screams for help coming from the truck. The rest of the migrants were bused to airports and put on planes to their home countries. <So if that scenic land package mentioned above isn’t working out for you, you’ll get flown to the US anyway if that’s the passport you’re carrying.>

Region –

Obras en zona crítica de Girón (Projects in a critical area of Girón) – MTOP is working to improve the conditions at km. 39.6 in the Santa Ana sector of the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje. Machinery arrived ayer to open a new 3.6 meter wide temporary lane. The work is along a 60 m. stretch of road that collapsed due to a geologic fault in Girón, and should be finished in 3 days. The work also includes reshaping the slope to improve the land to the level of the subbase. This temporary lane will serve until a 500 m. long alternate road can be built.

Nacional –

¿De dónde sacó USD 14 millones? (Where did he get $14 million?) – Carlos Pólit was in charge of monitoring the correct use of public funds for 10 years of the Correa administration, a position to which he was reelected twice. The last time was in 2017, but 3 months later he resigned and fled to the US when the first hints of the corruption scandal with Odebrecht emerged. To current assemblyman Fernanda Villavicencio, he was a key piece in the “bribery industry” that operated at the time. A representative of Odebrecht said that the company gave out more than $50 million in bribes with $10 for Pólit. It was for the crime of concusión (soliciting bribes) that he was tried and sentenced to 6 years in prison, time he has not served.

But the situation is more complicated. Pólit posted $14 million in bail on 6 charges of money washing in the US, which shows he actually received more than $10 million. Villavicencio said that between 2007 and 2017, he performed 27,000 special tests involving $1,000 million and Pólit and Pablo Celi got at least 10%of that. At his court appearances, Pólit said he didn’t act alone, but was part of a crime structure that went to the highest levels to desvanecer glosas (fade glosses) <I’ve never been able to figure out what glosas means in this context, even after lots of Googling, so if anyone knows, speak up.> instead of paying businesses. The councilman asked if the judge has $14 million in bail money, how much did the people who signed and authorized the overpriced contracts get, referring to Deigo García, Correa, Jorge Glas and Alexis Mera. <I hope he’s not holding his breath waiting for an answer.>

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne




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