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The Cuenca Dispatch publishes exclusive reports on Ecuador’s economy, politics, crime and more that you will not find published anywhere else on the web.
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Volume 5, Issue 37
From the week of June 20, 2021
The authorities of the Social Front of the Government formed a commission to fight chronic child malnutrition (DCI) that held its first meeting on the morning of Friday, June 18th, at the Carondelet Palace, with the presence of President Guillermo Lasso and...
United States imports $1.21 billion in Ecuadorian non-oil exports thru April, trade agreement moves forward
According to figures from the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor), exports to the United States for the first four months of the year grew by 20%, with shipments of $1.209 billion led by shrimp and bananas with $335 million and $181 million, respectively. They were followed by flowers ($154 million), cocoa ($79 million) and fresh fish ($72 million). Meanwhile, […]
Fact: the two largest superpowers in the world, the United States and China, are vying for leadership in the world political and economic order. Due to the enormous influence that both countries exert on a global scale, Ecuador and Latin America are inevitably...
It appeared last week that the country would be bypassing the increases in deaths, new cases, positivity rate, etc. that we had typically seen three weeks post-events; however, at four weeks post lifting of the restrictions across the country, we are seeing increases in almost all the important figures we track. Last week we warned […]
This sector was as affected as the hotel industry, indicates a report on Latin America by ECLAC and ILO The National Union of Domestic Workers reports that six out of eight women who lost their jobs in the pandemic have been resuming their activities, but several no...
The new “traffic lights” for the tracking of the coronavirus announced this week by the national Emergency Operations Committee (COE), will take into account several factors. This traffic light system will be used first in the progressive and face-to-face return to work for the central government, which will be partial, and then in other activities. That return to work is […]
Lasso will present a reform to the Higher Education Law allowing more students, EAES test eliminated
The President of the Republic, Guillermo Lasso, announced this past Thursday, June 17, 2021, that in the second week of July, he will personally present to the National Assembly a bill to reform the Organic Law of Higher Education (LOES). Lasso pointed out that the objective of this reform is to have ” free universities and free young people.” It is sought, […]
I’ve been reading a lot this week about the things that the Lasso government is doing to focus on some serious social problems: childhood malnutrition, unemployment, Covid vaccination, and even the imbalance of salaries and working conditions between men and women in the country. They’ve even retracted the policy of the Correa government that limited […]
Volume 5, Issue 36
From the week of June 13, 2021
Last Wednesday, El Salvador became the first country in the world to allow the use of Bitcoin as a legal exchange currency. This came after the approval by the Congress of a bill promoted by President Nayib Bukele three days before. The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, with an official majority, approved the Bitcoin Law, which will allow the […]
At three weeks out from the lifting of restrictions, we are seeing a slight increase in the number of new cases—though this may be due to a similar slight increase in the number of tests completed and a small decrease in the number of backlogged cases. The good news is that for the third week […]
The mangroves that inhabit the Galapagos Islands are special; there is not so much mud, and the trees are smaller and set apart from each other. In the rest of the country the mangroves are dense, and the trees are much taller. Those characteristics, precisely, caught...
The list includes oil contracts, bribes from Odebrecht, distribution of hospitals, IESS, electricity and mining concessions, among others. Last week the Oversight Commission approved a work plan that involves investigating 57 cases raised by the assembly members that make up that legislative body, who suspect administrative irregularities, signs of corruption and an impact on State […]
The government of Guillermo Lasso took over the government with a financing need of $8 billion and arrears in the amount of $2.7 billion. That is why the Minister of Economy and Finance, Simón Cueva, has identified at least four sources of financing in his sights that will allow him to weather this fiscal gap. Most of what is required, […]
No one is a prophet in his own land says a popular adage that sums up the success that compatriots have achieved abroad. However, it is also unfair to describe all the effort and, in some cases, even falls, that they experienced to start businesses in a foreign...
Well, I’m back from another trip to the US. This was much shorter one than last month. But the outcome was the same. I left not wanting to go back. After all these years, I finally can’t imagine ever living in the US again. And it’s not a political thing. It’s a people thing. On […]
Attorney General Salazar’s series of tweets implies Justice Department is being pressured to release comptroller Celi from jail
“President Guillermo Lasso, your concern is legitimate but they are not government officials, but former authorities and personnel from other functions and 'distinguished citizens', who have wanted to advocate for the review of measures ordered against the accused...
From the week of June 06, 2021
This week I want to talk about something completely unrelated to politics or the coronavirus, and that’s work ethic. Right now, we have two local brothers, both in their mid-twenties, working on construction projects at our house. We’ve had them there for 3 months. We started first with having them rebuild an old carport that […]
Numbers Of Deaths And Hospitalizations Fall Again, New Vaccination Plan Rolled Out With Promises Of More Vaccines
We are two weeks out from the lifting of restrictions and the number of new cases and new deaths continue to fall. In the past, we have seen a rise in these numbers at around 2-3 week’s post increases in mobility. So, it is encouraging to see these numbers continue to improve even as we […]
Update to: Quito mayor on trial for embezzlement; Ombudsman arrested for sexual assault Published: Volume 5, Issue32 The Municipal Council removed Jorge Yunda from the position of mayor of Quito It took the Metropolitan Council of Quito more than eight hours last week to decide the removal of Jorge Yunda as Mayor of Quito, in […]
Although remdesivir does not have a sanitary registration in Ecuador, and its use has not yet been officially approved, there are doctors who are prescribing it. Andrea’s 50-year-old father is in the intensive care unit at a Guayaquil hospital because he was infected with Covid-19. She says that to “improve” his condition, the doctors sent her […]
Just one COVID-19 patient is in critical condition at the Dr. Geraldo Cesar Reis clinic in Serrana, a city of almost 46,000 in Sao Paulo state’s countryside. The 63-year-old woman rejected the vaccine that was offered to every adult resident of Serrana as part of a trial. Doctors say the woman was awaiting one of […]
Lately the United States has been called the “promised land,” although it already was for many migrants who continue to seek the American dream. But this time it is not a purely economic issue, but rather a public health issue. American—the country hit the worst by...
In 2020, several Ecuadorian companies were able to export to the United States for the first time. Non-traditional products such as dragon fruit and ginger performed well in the international market. Exports of goods and services from Ecuador had a fall of 2.1 percent...
The Government of Ecuador declared last week its commitment to respect the arbitration award that obliges it to pay some $374.3 million, plus interest, to the French oil company Perenco, after a long-standing trade dispute tied to a bilateral investment treaty. The...
Volume 5, Issue 34
From the week of May 30, 2021
The organization 1-800 Migrante, has registered the disappearance of ten illegal Ecuadorian migrants on the border between Mexico and the United States, between March and May 2021. Johanna Tapia dreamed of leaving her job in a beauty parlor in Guayaquil and traveling to Boston, Massachusetts, to connect with her boyfriend Xavier and to start a […]
Draft Law on Freedom of Expression does not observe mandate of 2011 popular consultation, may be discussed by legislature this week
The draft “Organic Law on Freedom of Expression and Communication” signed by President Lasso on his first day in office and sent to the National Assembly, does not include the constitutional mandate of the popular consultation of 2011, regarding the existence of the Council of Regulation, that regulates the dissemination of content of sexual or […]
Update to: National COE loosens up COVID-19 entry restrictions at both international airports Published: Volume 5, Issue 24 Beginning June 3rd, American Airlines will have 6 daily flights between Quito, Guayaquil and Miami American Airlines will soon have three daily trips to Miami, from both Quito and Guayaquil. After receiving approval from the Ecuadorian Civil […]
Numbers Of Deaths And Hospitalizations Fall, But Drop In Sampling And Testing Make Following New Cases Meaningless
One full week after Ecuador’s mobility restrictions were lifted it appears that the rate and number of new cases of COVID-19 have fallen; however, in the first week of reporting under the new Government, the rate of new samples collected and tests completed have fallen, and the rate of backlogged tests has increased. With that […]
Bringing electricity to the most remote rural areas of Ecuador, especially the Amazon, and thus improving the living conditions of peasants and indigenous people are María Iglesias, Dalena León and Ronny Velasteguí, inventors of the Energy Ball, main objectives. In...
On Monday afternoon, President Guillermo Lasso offered details of his plan to vaccinate 9 million people for Covid-19 within the first 100 days of his administration. This came after a new platform was launched on Saturday that lets citizens verify the place where...
I’ve got to admit that I’m curious to see how President Lasso is going to move forward on several fronts. First, he tried to clean up a big mess on his first day and is now getting slapped around by the assembly because of it. He signed a draft law on freedom of the press, […]
The plan of the government of Guillermo Lasso to increase wages gradually, during the four years of administration, is not yet known. Unemployment is one of the problems that the new government will have to take on. Along with that problem, one of the new President’s...
Volume 5, Issue 33
From the week of May 23, 2021
With restrictions lifted and a confirmed case of the South African variant in the country, we have no choice but to voice a warning: keep following social distancing, wear your mask everywhere outside of your home, and be highly selective about who you chose to...
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic changed the priorities of purchases in the foreign market in the last year. When infections spread throughout the world, nations intensified negotiations to stock up on medical and biosafety supplies, such as masks, gloves, rapid virus...
Lasso tasked his team to fight corruption, emphasized the lack of resources, said that there is nothing more precarious than the lack of employment and spoke of concessions. Last Thursday, President Guillermo Lasso introduced fourteen more members of his cabinet, including former assembly members and people who have been close to Creando Oportunidades (CREO) years ago. […]
Ecuador’s new President, Guillermo Lasso, has already announced several tax reforms intended to stimulate the economy April 11, 2021, will unquestionably go down in Ecuadorian history as one of the country’s most memorable days. After a long year of pandemic-related restrictions and effects, not to mention years of governments dazzled by the promises of 21st […]
President Guillermo Lasso: “The political persecution in Ecuador is over. I have not come to satisfy the hatred of a few, but the hunger of many”
Lasso, 65, takes office after his third attempt Today, Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, became the forty-seventh president of the Republic of Ecuador. Lasso, a 65-year-old Catholic, takes office after his third attempt. In his administration, he will face challenges such as...
President Guillermo Lasso. We are going to have to get used to saying that. Today he finally became the President of the Republic of Ecuador, after trying to get to the seat over eight years and three elections. A lesson in “stick-to-it-ness?” Or a lesson in change? Let’s hope this is a lesson of life […]
Forty-eight hours before leaving his Presidency, Lenín Moreno held his last meeting with his enlarged cabinet, where he carried out a kind of rendering of accounts on his management of the government for the last four years. Moreno left power on Saturday when the transfer of command to the president-elect, Guillermo Lasso, was made. The ceremony […]
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has published the results of the 10th Flow Monitoring Survey on the Venezuelan population in Ecuador carried out in February and March 2021. The survey, part of the Displacement Monitoring Matrix (DTM), was implemented through 4,258 interviews with people of legal age (54% men, 46% women and less than […]
Last year an oil spill in the Ecuadoran Amazon that contaminated the Coca River, local Indigenous groups are still struggling to adapt to alternative livelihoods It started as an ordinary morning in Ecuador’s eastern Orellana province. Abel Jipa’s sons, Byron and Johnny, and his son-in-law, Gibson, set out on the Coca River to go fishing […]
Volume 5, Issue 32
From the week of May 16, 2021
Deaths Fall Again This Week, New Case Data Of Little Vaule As Sample Collection And Test Completion Fall
As we reported last week, one of the more alarming bits of information that was published last week was just how many “unusual” deaths occurred over the past year. That term in Ecuador means deaths that are above and beyond the average number of deaths seen year-on-year. Without repeating the details that we reported last […]
Agricultural and livestock expansion, roads, settlements, oil extraction and mining have a significant impact on populations Of the 635 species of amphibians registered in Ecuador, 57% are in some category of extinction threat (13% critically endangered, 23%...
Quito mayor, Jorge Yunda, called to trial for embezzlement, then his defense team quits The mayor of Quito, Jorge Yunda, is one of the 14 accused of the crime of embezzlement related to the purchase of PCR tests to detect COVID-19 Twelve days after the mayor of Quito, Jorge Yunda, was called to trial for […]
Lasso reaches agreement with Russia for Sputnik-V vaccine, may meet goal to immunize 9 million people
President-elect, Guillermo Lasso, who will take office on May 24th, announced this week that his administration will sign an agreement with Russia for the provision of Sputnik V vaccines to strengthen its immunization plan. This was something that the outgoing government failed to achieve. In the electoral campaign, Lasso said his administration would vaccinate 9 million Ecuadorians in […]
Juan Eljuri Antón, the low-profile businessman who forged one of the largest economic groups in Ecuador
The businessman Juan Eljuri died at the age of 78 in Cuenca on Monday, May 10, 2021 When Juan Eljuri Antón inaugurated one of his ventures or businesses, he preferred that his executives were in charge of public speeches. He opted for a lower profile, a little away from the cameras and the media gaze. Within […]
“The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!” It sounds like a battle cry warning everyone to hide, but in fact it may be Ecuador’s saving grace. What I’m talking about is the announcement that incoming President Guillermo Lasso has achieved what the outgoing...
Waste isn’t waste anymore Bertha Jimenez is the co-founder of RISE Products, a startup that turns organic industrial waste into value by converting it into raw materials. RISE is currently focusing on converting by-products of the beer and wine industry into food...
Some critically ill patients have damage to 75% of their lungs and require urgent mechanical ventilation, but ICU beds are hard to find The aggressiveness of the new variants of coronavirus that circulate in Ecuador hits the health system from different fronts. One of the most serious problems is that patients arrive at hospitals with […]
Volume 5, Issue 31
From the week of May 9, 2021
Update to: Banana sector reinforces prevention measures to avoid Foc R4T fungus Published: Volume 5, Issue 27 Alfredo Saltos: Most likely (Foc R4T) is already in Ecuador waiting for the best opportunities to hatch Alfredo Saltos, former Minister of Agriculture, indicated that it is important to study the behavior of the Formosana during various cycles […]
Deaths Fall This Week, But New Data Shows That Overall Number Of Deaths May Be Severely Underreported
One of the lead stories this week lays out how serious the situation is in hospitals across the country; we will not go into that further here. But along with that, one of the more alarming bits of information that was published this week was just how many “unusual” deaths occurred over the past year. […]
I didn’t think I’d write about this again this week, but the ex-pat community has lost another one of our best people. Dr. Alan Woods, died this weekend due to health complications (unrelated to Covid). He was a dentist. He was a minister. He was a teacher. He was a...
Nepotism, expensive gifts and party collections will be prohibited in the new Executive Code of Ethics
Guillermo Lasso will sign an executive decree with these rules of conduct on May 24th, when he assumes the Presidency of the Republic Issues related to conflict of interest, family ties, use of public assets and resources, norms of transparency and management with equality and non-discrimination will be addressed in the Code of Ethics for […]
President-elect Guillermo Lasso introduced eight members of his new cabinet over the last two weeks and said he intends to maintain a “laser focus” on ending the Covid-19 epidemic and restoring the economy. Of the new ministers, five are women. “I have chosen my ministers carefully, not just for their competence but for their dedication,” […]
The Comptroller's Office found irregularities in at least three hiring packages since 2016 The maintenance done to the ETAPA vehicle fleet from 2016 to 2019, the Zero Hunger summit organized by the Prefecture of Azuay in 2018 and the disinfection of the streets with...
Ecuador had 1,183 beds in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) as of 2019, according to the latest Registry of Beds and Hospital Discharges published in June 2020 by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC). How many are there now, after a year in crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and what is the level […]
A modern-day slavery case in which a Japanese company and the government of Ecuador were forced to apologize
The discovery of the abuses suffered by more than a hundred peasants in the Furakawa Plantaciones CA Ecuador farms "Subhuman" working conditions, without drinking water, electricity and sanitation. Working hours of more than 10 hours without contracts or social...
Volume 5, Issue 30
From the week of May 02, 2021
The outgoing government will deliver to the president-elect, Guillermo Lasso, a World Bank diagnosis to the IESS pension fund, the conclusion is that it needs an urgent reform. The World Bank made a technical diagnosis of the situation of the pension fund (IVM) of the...
On Friday, the daily cases of COVID-19 reached a record number of 903,410, more than a third of them concentrated in India, which on Sunday reported 354,531 new infections, a number never before seen in any country, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). With these new records, global cases since the beginning of the pandemic […]
Every time I come to the US, I get worn out by the unrelenting consumerism and a sense that American’s really have little else to occupy their time than buying and selling. Such a sharp contrast from Ecuador, which seems to be more interested in family, time spent not...
A month before leaving the presidency of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno leaves a signature piece of legislation, the "Law for the defense of dollarization," as a sort of inheritance for incoming president-elect Guillermo Lasso in the elections, a law that is vital for Ecuador...
On Wednesday, during his speech at the Twenty-Seventh Edition of the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, Ecuador President Lenín Moreno demanded universal, transparent and equitable access for countries to vaccines against Covid-19. The 22 participating Ibero-American states approved the inclusion of the Ecuadorian President’s position in the final declaration of the meeting, […]
“Corruption is not negotiable, and the president-elect will not interfere in judicial processes,” says Juan Carlos Holguín
One of the leaders of the transition team of president-elect Guillermo Lasso rules out some points of negotiation with the correista bloc in the Assembly. Juan Carlos Holguín is an advisor to the team of the president-elect, Guillermo Lasso. When asked about a possible negotiation with the new correista bloc in the Assembly, the request […]
The Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference sent a letter to the Court stating that the crime of rape cannot be solved with another crime On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, the plenary session of the Constitutional Court (CC) will debate and vote on the request to decriminalize abortion for rape. The action was presented in July 2019, by […]