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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 6, Issue 44
From the week of August 07, 2022
One of the main barriers that prevents young people from studying and improving their employment status is the lack of economic resources. As of June 2022, 18.5%* of young Ecuadorians between the...
After two consecutive election defeats, Correismo will seek to recover seats in local governments PAIS Alliance, Social Commitment Force, Democratic Center, Citizen Revolution; those are the political banners that Correismo has used since its birth. The last one will be released in the 2023 sectional elections. After two electoral alliances with negative results, in the […]
Other than my wife, my best friend in the world is my buddy, Jesse. He lives in Thailand (he’s been there for 12 years (except for the one year he came and lived here with me in 2014). I’ve known Jesse over 20 years. He even lived with me for 3 years in Denver way […]
It is a volatile indicator closely linked to national and international changes. Ecuador ‘s country risk has been high for two decades. However, the figure has been changing depending on the policies and the national and international situation. Country risk is an indicator of how likely a country is to default on its international financial operations. The further […]
Update to: Covid-19 cases increase in Cuenca, but few require hospitalization Published: Volume 6, issue 43 The National COE announced that as of August 2, 2022, people will be able to enter shopping centers, cinemas or restaurants without presenting a vaccination certificate. The Minister of Health, José Ruales, announced that it will no longer be […]
The economic situation of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS) is critical. Kenia Ramírez, deputy general director of the IESS, explained that if an urgent structural reform is not made to the entity, there is a high probability that in between 5 and 6 years, the IESS will not be able to “sustain the pensions of the people that […]
The prisoners of the Turi correctional unit in Cuenca have signed a “peace agreement,” promoted by the National Service for Comprehensive Attention to Persons Deprived of Liberty and Adolescent Offenders (SNAI). According to SNAI, this is an instrument of pacification, to which prisoners adhere voluntarily for their well-being and that of society. Abraham O., peace […]
The case of the ‘narco-generals’ moves forward. After eight and a half months, the State Comptroller General's Office announced that it found evidence of criminal responsibility in the asset...
US State Department says corruption, legal insecurity and legislative blockages are preventing Ecuador from overcoming its reputation as a high-risk investment destination. The United States State Department has issued a statement on the investment climate in Ecuador, concluding that there are three factors that damage the investment reputation of the country. Ecuador’s historically main trading […]
Update to: Quito Metro operator guarantees it will launch in December Published: volume 6, Issue 41 The Quito Metro Company expects to sign an operator contract at the end of September 2022, not in August, which puts the operation of the transport system at risk. The deadlines for the operation of the Quito Metro have […]
Volume 6, Issue 43
From the week of July 31, 2022
In a recent interview, US Ambassador Michael Fitzpatrick talked about security cooperation and withdrawing visas for high-ranking officials. US Ambassador to Ecuador Michael Fitzpatrick recently sat...
The Covid-19 contagion curve in Cuenca had a notable rise in the months of June and July. The average number of officially reported cases was 451 per week and 64 per day, according to the epidemiological report of the Cantonal Health Council. In the week of July 18th to 24th, the Ministry of Health registered 537 […]
Cuenca has received a certification that distinguishes it as a “Bike Friendly” city. It is the first city in Latin America to achieve this qualification, awarded by a Spanish organization that works to promote cycling, mainly in the tourism sector. The qualification was finalized after a series of evaluations and visits by representatives of “Bike Friendly,” […]
The coffee, which is mixed Arabica and Robusta comes from more than 400 producers in the Amazon. The coffee was sent to the Italian company Lavazza. Last Friday, July 29th, Ecuador exported its...
The Government awarded the Solarpackteam company the construction and operation of a photovoltaic plant in El Aromo. The Government reported that a Spanish company will build and operate the El Aromo photovoltaic plant, on 290 of the 1,300 hectares belonging to the failed Pacific Refinery in Manabí. However, the company must still meet some requirements […]
When I started this column over 6, almost 7 years ago, I guess I didn’t realize that I would have to write a column EVERY week. And I didn’t consider that some weeks I just wouldn’t have anything to say. This is one of those weeks. I don’t want to talk about US politics. I […]
The pilot plan will begin first in Guayaquil and then in Quito After two years of a severe shortage of medicines in the country in the hospitals of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS) and the strong criticism of the Lasso government for the health crisis, it was announced on July 29th that the outsourcing of medicine […]
The Ecuadorian economy could grow 2.9% in 2022, according to the latest analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This prediction is 0.6 percentage points lower than what was expected in the previous review. Also, the IMF only analyzed information up to May 2022; it is not yet known whether the social and economic impact of the strike in June this year will have […]
Minister of Transport says more than 50% of remaining 2022 budget will go to 2016 earthquake reconstruction
The Minister of Transportation and Public Works, Darío Herrera, says the Ministry will speed up investment in roads and public works, with the remainder of its $363 million budget. During the first seven months of 2022, the Ministry has only used $94 million or 26% of that budget. Herrera’s objective is to raise that execution […]
On Sunday, humanity reached Ecological Overshoot Day, going into debt with the planet by consuming all the resources it can generate in a year. Some countries in Latin America already did so in May and June. Over time, humanity has consumed its natural resources faster and faster each year. In 2000, the Ecological Overshoot Day — the day […]
Volume 6, Issue 42
From the week of July 24, 2022
The currencies in Argentina, Colombia and Chile reached historical devaluations in July 2022 against the dollar. In Ecuador, exports become more expensive. The US dollar has experienced an unusual...
Those seeking to restructure microcredits and small business and educational loans in public, private and cooperative banks will be able to receive months of grace. Customers with loans in arrears in public, private and cooperative banks will have four benefits, after Conaie and the government signed the first agreement in the context of the dialogue […]
The National Assembly is an increasingly hostile territory for the Executive, which, for now, only has the support of its bench. The decisions that the Plenary took on July 21, 2022, are proof that support for President Guillermo Lasso is minimal, if not non-existent. The appointment of the two vice-presidents of the Assembly and the […]
The Geophysical Institute divides the country into seismic hazard zones, though earthquakes have been felt in almost every province this year. On July 14, 2022, 151 of the 221 cantons of the country felt an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 that was centered in Daule, in the Guayas province. It left one person dead. According to […]
I’m worried about Ecuador. I don’t know if I’ve ever said that here in this column. I’ve always been pro-Ecuador and pointed out all the reasons to live and/or invest here. But now, due to the movements I’m seeing in the Assembly, I’m worried about its immediate future. If you’re not up on the most […]
The National Assembly has 30 days to acquiesce or ratify the veto. President Guillermo Lasso totally vetoed the reformatory project to the Humanitarian Support Law. On July 21, 2022, Lasso published...
Poverty and extreme poverty hit the countryside the hardest, where 42.9% of the population lives with severe economic deprivation. One-quarter of Ecuador’s population, or about 4.5 million people, are submerged in poverty, according to the latest report from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC). This means that one in four Ecuadorians lives on […]
In the second quarter of 2022, more than 3,000 Ecuadorians per month have been detained at the US border. Coyoteros offer longer and more expensive routes, up to $30,000 per trip. Between January and June 2022, a total of 10,527 Ecuadorians were detained on the US-Mexico border, according to US border patrol statistics. But it […]
Food, telecommunications, mining, oil and alcoholic beverage companies appear in the top 10 of companies with the highest sales in the country. Two ‘retail’ or mass consumption companies have positioned themselves as the ones with the highest sales in Ecuador during 2021, a year marked by economic reactivation. The information is part of the 2022 […]
Volume 6, Issue 41
From the week of July 17, 2022
Expectations about the performance of the Ecuadorian economy, for the remainder of 2022, have been diluted by factors such as lack of confidence in economic policy and corruption. The business...
Conaie, Feine and Fenocin managed to get the Government to sign an agreement and commit to managing results in 90 days. Other sectors watch the dialogue tables from afar. The ten dialogue tables established between the Government and the organizations that led the national strike, Conaie, Feine and Fenocin, will address issues that involve other […]
The Government announced on Friday, July 15th, that in the coming weeks it expects a remission of the rebound in Covid-19 infections registered in the last month and specified that said increase has not caused pressure on the health care network. Minister of Public Health, José Ruales, announced this at a press conference after a meeting of the Emergency Operations […]
Update to: Drug trafficking murders on the Colombia-Ecuador border spread fear and cause increased military activity Published: Volume 4, Issue 47 The most recent violent death was that of a taxi driver in Arenillas, El Oro province. The police captured the two alleged assassins. Giovanni Ponce, director of Citizen Security and Public Order of the […]
The blades of the 14 wind turbines that will convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity are already on their way to Huascachaca, where the largest wind farm in Ecuador is being built. The park is located in the San Sebastián de Yuluc parish, belonging to Saraguro, in the province of Loja, on […]
All seems to be right today. There is a clear blue sky, the birds are holding an intensely loud conversation in the trees, the dogs are resting quietly, and my wife is relaxing by the pool, quietly enjoying a cold beverage. And aside from writing this, I have been relaxing along with her. It’s a […]
Update to: Three arrested in murder investigation of pyramid scheme perpetrator ‘Don Naza’ Published: Volume 6, Issue 32 The National Police and the Prosecutor’s Office carried out 36 raids in six provinces, in the early hours of July 12, 2022. The investigation targeted six suspects for moving $41 million in the financial system. Carrillo explained […]
In the first half of 2022, the arrival of tourists to the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador, almost reaches pre-pandemic levels. Tourism in Latin America is showing strong signs of recovery, even...
Update to: Instead of rehabilitation centers Penitentiary Commission finds a corrupted prison system Published: Volume 6, Issue 40 According to the head of the SNAI, Pablo Ramírez, 350 prisoners of...
The new director of the Internal Revenue Service, Francisco Briones, says that there is a lot of room to collect taxes from companies that evade their responsibilities. The new director of the Internal Revenue Service (SRI), Francisco Briones, promises that there will now be greater control of tax evasion with a focus put on businesses […]
A delegation of North American buyers visited Songa, Omarsa and Grupo Almar to verify the production process of Ecuadorian shrimp. The Ecuadorian shrimp industry is looking to open a market in the retail segment of the United States and Canada, where so far in 2022 -in the case of the United States- exports grew 35% compared to […]
Update to: Peru president forced to install third cabinet amid criticism and resignations Published: Volume 6, Issue 18 The new attorney general summoned Pedro Castillo to appear on August 4th to testify in an investigation into his role in influence peddling. The previous prosecutor suspended the investigation, arguing that the president could not be investigated […]
The consortium formed by Metro Medellín, and the French company Transdev will operate the Quito Metro for the next six years. The start of operation of the Quito Metro is in its final phase. The consortium chosen to run the Metro operations for the next six years, made up of Metro Medellín and Transdev has […]
Volume 6, Issue 40
From the week of July 10, 2022
The majority report of the Communication Law contemplates issues such as incentives for the strengthening of the media. The majority report for the second debate on the Communication Law was approved in March 2022 and was due to be voted on the morning of July 7th. However, the session was suspended due to a request from the […]
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), the cost of the basic family basket, made up of 75 products, reached $751.04 in June 2022. The annual increase in the Consumer...
They will be suspended until the Court resolves a claim of unconstitutionality against these articles. The Constitutional Court suspended the validity of three articles of the Organic Law that Regulates the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy in cases of rape. The law entered into force on April 29, 2022, after the partial veto of President Guillermo Lasso was approved by the […]
Between 1985 and 2020, the Amazon basin lost thousands of hectares of forest equivalent to the size of Bolívar province. The Amazon is ancient, it has giant trees like the red Angelim, and others submerged in the water of the Cuyabeno River. It is also home to otters, dolphins, and other impressive mammals such as […]
The Penitentiary Dialogue Commission finished its work, made recommendations and left the task of pacifying the prisons to the SNAI. “We do not have rehabilitation centers, but rather prisons that...
Over the last week I read that two of my favorite actors passed away, Tony Sirico (best known for his roles in GoodFellas and The Sopranos) and James Caan (best known for his roles in The Godfather movies and Misery, but I loved him in Freebie and the Bean and Rollerball). What’s odd is that […]
The Legislature has 30 days to accept or ratify the partial veto. The Sovereignty and Comprehensive Security Commission will meet this Saturday to deal with it. On Thursday, July 7, 2022, President Guillermo Lasso made 21 objections to the draft Organic Law that Regulates the Legitimate Use of Force, approved by the National Assembly on June 7th, in […]
In hospitals and medical centers, the use of the mask will continue to be mandatory. Months after wearing a mask ceased to be mandatory in Ecuador, the National COE once again recommended its use, particularly in closed spaces. On the morning of July 7, 2022, the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) met to discuss the epidemiological situation. At the meeting, in […]
Political and social hurdles caused foreign direct investment to fall 45% in the first quarter of 2022
The country registered a smaller influx of foreign capital for construction, transportation, storage, and mining and quarrying activities. So far this year, the Government has been unable to achieve its goal of attracting capital from abroad. This is evidenced by the fact that foreign direct investment (FDI) reached $138 million in the first quarter of […]
Volume 6, Issue 39
From the week of July 03, 2022
The tuna companies of Manabí had a supply reserve of 21 days. If the strike continued, the industry was going to lose $5 million a day. The tension increased as the days passed. The national strike was in its third week and the stock of inputs from the Manabí tuna sector was beginning to run […]
Julio José Prado, Minister of Production, reported that during the 18 days of national mobilization there was a preliminary loss of 1,000 million. After the signing of the agreement between the...
The national strike—which lasted more than 18 days— ended with the signing of a “peace act” that sealed various agreements between the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the National Confederation of Peasant, Indigenous and Black Organizations ( Fenocin ), the Council of Evangelical Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Ecuador ( Feine), and the government of President Guillermo Lasso. After […]
The increase in oil prices has also raised the cost of the gasoline subsidy. The reduction of 15 cents in fuel prices will cost Ecuador an additional $340 million each year. To end the national strike that began on June 13, 2022, the government agreed, among other things, to reduce the price of a gallon of diesel and […]
All of this for $0.15? Really? Okay, so the “national strike” (I’m sorry, but I can’t call what happened a strike) was about more than the price of gas: a lot of other agreements that were reached during its settlement. But let’s be realistic, the government gave in on all of the demands of Conaie […]
Cuenca businessmen recognize the needs of the indigenous sector but question the strike. They say that the 18 days of lockdowns will delay the reactivation and deteriorate the labor market. The 18...
The Confeniae rejected Pérez’s statements and said that his words “sullied the legitimate struggle of the people in the streets.” On the night of June 30th, hours after the national strike ended, Yaku Pérez, former presidential candidate for Pachakutik, the political wing of the indigenous movement, spoke about the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie). Pérez made public accusations […]
Volume 6, Issue 38
From the week of June 26, 2022
The closure of the roads that connect Azuay with the rest of the country hits the productive sector of Cuenca. The Chamber of Industries estimates that in the first 11 days of the stoppage there are...
The name Leonidas Iza became relevant in the national strike of October 2019. Since then, his political profile has been on the rise, and now he is one of the main opponents of the Guillermo Lasso government. The arrest of Leonidas Iza, after leading the first day of mobilizations in the framework of the national […]
The Ministry of Transport and Public Works reportedly asked the Pichincha Prefecture at least 3 times to clear the Mitad del Mundo-Río Blanco highway. The Middle of the World-Río Blanco Road has been blocked for several days by protesters who support the national strike, despite the fact that the Prefecture has been asked to enable […]
On Friday night, June 25, 2022, on the 13th day of the national strike, the assembly members debated the ‘crusade death’ (or ‘cross death’), a mechanism proposed by the Unión por la Esperanza...
The president, who held an interview with CNN, faces a request for impeachment in the Assembly. Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, in an interview with CNN this past Saturday, said that once they managed to recover peace, he repealed the state of emergency decree “so that everyone who is concerned has the peace of mind that […]
From the beginning of the indigenous mobilizations on June 13, 2022, the Government and Conaie have both presented their arguments for and against the national strike. There has also been a lot of confusion as to what Conaie has demanded and how the government has responded to those demands—or if the Government agreed to any […]
Well, I had hoped that I wouldn’t be talking about this ‘national strike’ any longer (the finger quotes are because calling this protest a strike is like calling a fish a hammer). I had hoped that sense could win out and that the people in charge of both sides would not play a political game, […]
The legislator says that since the Saturday morning, videos have been circulating online with people saying that they will go looking for the assembly members house by house. Rafael Lucero, an assemblyman from Pachakutik, says that his daughter and grandchildren were intimidated on Saturday, June 25th by people who were looking for him to pressure […]
Volume 6, Issue 37
From the week of June 19, 2022
Sate agrees to cover 50% of urea cost, to increase Human Development Bonus, but rejects increased fuel subsidies
Starting July 1st, more than 100,000 farmers will receive subsidized urea to prevent the high cost of this fertilizer from continuing to affect production costs and prices. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock indicated on Monday, June 20, 2022, that it will allocate $27 million in this subsidy, which consists of covering 50% of the […]
President Lasso confirmed that he sent a letter to Conaie on Saturday, June 18, 2022, with the government’s response to their demands. After eight days of strike in different sectors of the country,...
The price of fuel has been, for a year, the main disagreement between the indigenous movement and President Guillermo Lasso. The first efforts to reach an agreement on gasoline prices were in June 2021, but the negotiation broke down in November, and the tension has been escalating since. The national strike facing the government for […]
Five of the eight government promises to meet the requests of the indigenous movement will require additional spending within the 2022 State Budget. Five of the eight measures announced by President Guillermo Lasso on June 17th imply an expense of $518.3 million for the State. In response to the 10 demands made by the indigenous […]
Early on Tuesday morning, June 21st, Ecuador’s Minister of Defense, General Luis Lara, gave a press conference in which he said that the Armed Forces offer their support to President Guillermo Lasso. This came after 9 days of national strike in which violence has escalated to levels that had only been seen in the demonstrations of October 2019. General Lara was […]
This is a democracy here in Ecuador. Right? Because it sure doesn’t seem like one when 6.2%* of the population can shut down the entire country. The indigenous population of the country is 1.1 million; there are 17.7 million people in the country. [CONAIE, who is leading the current protests is composed of three regional […]
A country once described by a US Drug Enforcement Agent as the “United Nations” of organized crime, Ecuador is witnessing its largest rise in violent deaths in a decade. Ecuador registered 2,000 murders in 2021, an increase on the 1,400 registered in the previous year. As of April this year, the country had already witnessed […]
Ecuador has managed to position itself as the world's leading shrimp producer, surpassing giants in this sector, such as China and India. Ecuador's shrimp sector seeking to maintain its position as...
Volume 6, Issue 36
From the week of June 12, 2022
Despite the calls for dialogue and the supposed openness of all the actors, the social sectors and the government of President Guillermo Lasso continue to clash with no points of consensus in sight....
The Minister also said that the cases of people who need hospitalization or who die from the disease have not increased. Ximena Garzón, Minister of Health, said that currently Covid-19 “has endemic levels in Ecuador.” According to the Minister, although the cases have increased in recent weeks, they are mild and moderate symptoms. Hospitalization and mortality levels have not […]
42.2% of respondents said they strongly support LGBTI people being open about their identity The last survey of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) that explored what...
Between January and May 2022, there were 118 gender-based violent deaths of women. In Ecuador there is a femicide every 30 and a half hours. The Feminist Alliance for the Mapping of Femi(ni)cides in Ecuador published a report on femicides in the first 5 months of 2022. In this period, there were 53 femicides in the country. It is necessary to […]
I’m sitting here scrolling thru the news from Ecuador and I have to say I’m worried. Those of you who lived in Ecuador in 2019 will understand why this national strike is setting off my alarm bells. That “protest” stranded many people throughout the country. Others, I included, were trapped trying to get somewhere urgently. […]
The increase in the budget has been possible due to the growth in tax revenues. The Decentralized Autonomous Governments (GAD) —municipalities, prefectures, governorates and parish councils— will receive more money from the State. The Ministry of Economy and Finance announced on the morning of June 7th that in the second quarter of 2022 —which runs from May […]
The law was approved with 104 votes, amid questions. With 104 votes in favor, the National Assembly approved the Organic Law that Regulates the Legitimate Use of Force. The law states that its objective is to regulate the progressive, adequate, and proportional use of force by “law enforcement officers” —including the National Police, the Armed Forces, and prison guards— “in […]
Volume 6, Issue 35
From the week of June 06, 2022
In the provinces of Orellana and Morona Santiago, overcrowding exceeds 19%, the highest percentage in Ecuador. In addition to that, 14% of houses in the country have structural damage. Living in precarious conditions continues to be a problem for thousands of Ecuadorians. A recent study by the Ecuadorian Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) reveals […]
The Cuenca tramway has been in operation for a year and a half without all the legal conflicts being resolved. The Municipality of Cuenca has not been able to legally receive the system nor collect...
Ecuador is experiencing a frightening increase in violent crime and the government intends to resolve it with more police and military personnel. At the inauguration ceremony of the military high command at the Eloy Alfaro Military High School, on May 31, 2022, in Quito, President Guillermo Lasso said that his government will incorporate more troops into the Armed […]
Ecuador is looking to reduce its traffic accident rate in half by 2030. The Ecuadorian Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) reports that traffic accidents are among the 10 main causes of death in Ecuador. And the World Bank says that the mortality rate in traffic accidents in Ecuador is 20 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. […]
Update to: Inflation reached 2.89% in April 2022, according to the INEC Published: Volume 6, Issue 31 The cities in which consumer prices increased the most in May are Manta, Cuenca and Santo Domingo, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC). The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose and stood at 3.38% in […]
The PSC says that Lasso is the ally of Correismo. The attacks between members of the Social Christian Party and the government of Guillermo Lasso have been a constant during the first year of the...
Update to: Glas released from prison after serving only 4 years for three different felony crimes Published: Volume 6, Issue 27 The former vice president was released on April 9th but returned to prison because the first ruling of the Manglaralto judge was declared null. Judge Soledad Manosalvas, of the Pichincha Specialized Judicial Unit for […]
I’m back in Boston. Been here for two weeks. I will leave in another week. My wife’s cousin is here, she is 38 years old, and she has a serious brain tumor. And I’m her healthcare agent (i.e., medical proxy). Her situation is not good, and without going into detail I’ll share that I came […]
Connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, a 4,000-kilometer trail created by indigenous people over millennia is now beginning to reveal its mysteries to the world. Overripe star fruits and guavas stuck to the soles of my boots in a sweet, fermenting mess as I strolled out of the sleepy town of Peabiru. I had travelled […]
Update to: Court requests extradition of Correa, Belgium granted him asylum Published: Volume 6, Issue 29 The request for the extradition of the former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa is already in Belgium, where the former president has refugee status and whose authorities, according to his lawyer, have already announced that they will not collaborate with the […]
Volume 6, Issue 34
From the week of May 29, 2022
Update to: Peru president forced to install third cabinet amid criticism and resignationsPublished: Volume 6, Issue 18Peruvian prosecutor investigates Pedro Castillo for corruption crimes The president of Peru is being investigated for ‘criminal organization, influence peddling and aggravated collusion.’ Prosecutor Pablo Sánchez expanded the investigation against the president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, for the alleged […]
The provinces with the least access to electricity, water and garbage collection are in the Amazon. The lack of services is also more prevalent in rural areas. The figures are alarming. A study by...
The Internal Revenue Service (SRI) reported that Francisco Briones assumed the position of Director General of the tax administration Francisco Briones is the new Director General of the Internal Revenue Service (SRI). Since May 2021, Briones had been serving as Deputy Secretary General of the Cabinet. Briones is an economist from the Escuela Politécnica del […]
The Cedatos polling company conducted 2,020 interviews in 19 cities across the country. The approval ratings of the National Assembly have plummeted in slightly more than one year of work. According to the polling firm Cedatos, at the beginning of this administration, on June 5, 2021, the Assembly had a 42.1% approval rating, but as of […]
A sprawling society with pyramids, moats, and “forest islands” thrived from 500 to 1400 A.D. in the Bolivian Amazon. The ruins of a vast ancient civilization that has remained hidden under the...
The Minister of Government, Francisco Jiménez, said that it will be done this year. The Minister of Government responded with a seriousness in tune with his navy-blue suit and his white and light blue striped tie. “We are going to implement it. We hope to do it in the course of this year,” said Francisco Jiménez last […]
$5.2 billion would be invested to repower and improve Ecuador’s highways One of the greatest concerns across the country in recent years is the deterioration of Ecuador’s highways. According to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, less than 13% of the country’s roads are in very good condition; 44% are rated as “good.” However, on the remaining […]
Our friends are moving back to Ecuador from Poland. They moved there a few years ago after leaving Ecuador for Spain; they didn’t like it there so then they went to Italy. Didn’t like that either. So, they went to Poland—because she’s from there. They’ve been there a few years. And they did kind of […]
Volume 6, Issue 33
From the week of May 22, 2022
Hydrogen (H2) is the most abundant element in the universe and could be the key to “decarbonizing” the planet. Scientists have made it clear: if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must find a way to stop global temperatures from rising further. The challenge is immense. Temperatures are already 1 degree […]
Over the last two years, capacity restrictions and the closure of bars and restaurants drove consumers to the craft beer market. About 250 craft beer brands are produced in Ecuador, says Katherine Gárate, administrator of the Association of Craft Breweries of Ecuador (Asocerv). That number is 20% higher than the number of craft beer brands […]
The blades of the wind turbines, made of balsa wood, pose a paradox; renewable energies can cause great social and environmental impact What does the deforestation of balsa wood in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest have to do with the generation of wind power in Europe? These two activities, apparently so far apart, have a perverse […]
More than 111 million citizens of the CAN twill be able to travel through member countries more easily. With the recent commencement of a move enacted last year, Ecuadorian tourists will now be able...
“I am free from the distractions constantly arising in civilized life from social claims. Nature offers unceasingly the most novel and fascinating objects for learning.” – Alexander con Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (September 14, 1769 – May 6, 1859) was a German polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. He was […]
With the end of the Covid-19 pandemic still a distant hope, masks remain a normal addition to our daily lives. But a study from Belgium suggests that they may be doing more damage to our oceans...
At noon on Tuesday, President Guillermo Lasso —received with applause and wearing the presidential tricolor sash around him— gave his first report to the nation in front of more than 500 people in the National Assembly. His discursive agenda was varied: he raised vaccination, which has already exceeded 80% of immunization in the Ecuadorian population as […]
Volume 6, Issue 32
From the week of May 15, 2022
The good economic environment leaves room for an increase in public spending in the second half of 2022, say Barclays and Bank of America. Ecuador will not need to issue debt bonds on the international market in 2022, due to the rise in oil prices, a good macroeconomic performance and the support of the International […]
Proposal for rules for leasing real estate for tourist use, released on Tuesday, May 10th, generated support and criticism, acknowledges Minister Niels Olsen. The draft of the Regulation for the Leasing of Properties for Tourist Use that the Ministry of Tourism disclosed on Tuesday, May 10th, was suspended due to lack of consensus, the Minister of Tourism, Niels Olsen, reported […]
Some 30 people denounced a counseling agency that offered them work visas for the United States for $20,000. The offer on social networks was tempting: “Work in the United States legally.” This is...
Update to: Online purchases flowing into Ecuador via 4×4 shipments Published: Volume 5, Issue 7 As of this past Monday, Ecuadorian purchases from abroad that are delivered through the ‘4×4...
Wow, gasoline in the US hit $4.11 a gallon in the US last month. Imagine what that does to the average American’s ability to spend on other critical items like food, utilities and other forms of transportation. I’ve read a lot about the anger this is generating back ‘home.’ And from the political cartoons, this […]
Update to: Bloody riot in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas prison leaves 44 dead Published: Volume 6, Issue 31 He was 46 years old and ran a gastronomic service business in Quito , together with “brothers” from the organization. Manuel Zúñiga or ‘King Majestic’ served as president and legal representative of the Latin Kings in Ecuador. Manuel Zúñiga or ‘King Majestic,’ his partner and his […]
The first disbursement in June will be of $1 billion dollars. Ecuador will access a new disbursement of one billion dollars by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that “the authorities would use for budget support.” The money will come after it is approved by the IMF’s executive board, according to a statement from the multilateral. By the end of the year, the […]
Three people were arrested for the alleged murder of Miguel Ángel Nazareno, known as Don Naza, the founder of the illegal money pyramid scheme called Big Money. Nazareno was found dead in Amaguaña, a rural parish in Quito, in mid-April of this year. According to the Police, Nazareno died from a gunshot wound in his left thigh. Last Wednesday, the Ministry of the Interior announced that […]
The cost of the products that make up breakfast is an indicator that shows the increase in prices of some foods in Ecuador. Although Ecuador's inflation is the second lowest in the region, after...
Update to: 2022 is shaping up to be a complex year for the banana sector Published: Volume 6, Issue 27 The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and BanEcuador presented a proposal to ease the financial pressure faced by banana producers due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has affected fruit exports. The proposal outlines […]
Volume 6, Issue 31
From the week of May 08, 2022
Another day, another bloody riot in the Ecuador prison system. This time the scenario played out early Monday morning at the Bellavista Rehabilitation Center in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas prison. The Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed 44 inmates died in the riot that began at 12:30 a.m. Monday. From Israel, where he arrived for an […]
Six out of 10 people have full employment in Cuenca, the highest rate in the country. The Azuay capital also registers the highest labor income. The situation of the labor market in Cuenca stands...
During the first four months of 2022, at the national level, more than 85 tons of drugs have been seized nationwide in Ecuador: double what was registered last year. More than half of the seized substances were already in the containers, about to leave for North American and European ports. In the balance of 2021, […]
Photo caption: Tadpoles of the marsupial frog were released in protected areas of the Bicentennial Park in Quito.
In danger of extinction, the marsupial frog returns to Quito Of five species of frogs that once existed in the Ecuadorian capital, three no longer exist. Approximately 200 marsupial frog tadpoles were reintroduced into protected areas in Quito’s Bicentennial Park, where the old airport used to be, in the north of Quito. On Saturday morning […]
The financial cost of Ecuador’s foreign debt has fallen since 2019, however domestic debt obligations are becoming more onerous. The average interest rate on Ecuador's public debt stood at 3.99% in...
In a recent interview, the Police Commander of Zone 8, Víctor Zárate also questioned why the Police should guard people under house arrest instead of patrolling the streets. General Víctor Zárate, Commander of Zone 8, made up of Guayaquil, Durán and Samborondón, says that the Police are wasting resources in guarding people under house arrest, […]
The so-called ‘cockroach effect’ adds to the mutation of the hegemonic gangs that seek to become cartels. In the middle of everything is the operation of microtraffickers, who compete for space. The Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, says that all the linked acts of violence, especially in Guayaquil, as well as the strengthening, in […]
Update to: Alias ’JR’ house arrest under habeas corpus cancelled Published: Volume 6, Issue 30 The Specialized Chamber of the Guayas Provincial Court of Justice revoked the habeas corpus issued in favor of Junior Roldán, alias ‘JR,’ second in command of the Los Choneros criminal gang. With this decision, ‘JR’ must remain in the Guayas […]
Wow, I saw a draft of this week’s edition of The Cuenca Dispatch, and it seems like it could be called the “Annual Crime Edition.” But I guess as stuff happens, it has to be written. And this week, the gangs seemed to have jumped to the front pages. And there wasn’t even a story […]
Update to: China says coronavirus found in Ecuador shrimp packaging; Ecuador says all exports meet international biosafety protocols Published: Volume 4, Issue 41 China's temporary suspensions of...
Update to: Inflation, driven by transportation, reaches 2.71% in February, Published: Volume 6, Issue 22 The cities where consumer prices increased the most, in annual terms, are Cuenca, Santo Domingo and Manta. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose and stood at 2.89% in April 2022, compared to the same month in 2021, according to the […]
Volume 6, Issue 30
From the week of May 01, 2022
The new entity will be the Bank for Economic Development of Ecuador BP The National Government is in the process of merging the National Financial Corporation (CFN) and BanEcuador, as approved under...
Over the years, the Cuenca prison ceased to be regional and became national. From the model with which it was conceived, it has become a prison that houses ringleaders and high-risk prisoners who come from all over the country. That prison has not been exempted from gang disputes and inmate murders, a worrying situation in a […]
Most resignations occurred in April 2022. In its first eleven months, President Guillermo Lasso’s government has had nine ministers and secretaries resign. At least 5 of those were in April 2022, a few weeks before President Lasso celebrates a year (on May 24th) in office. Mae Montaño, Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion The first Minister to go, […]
Update to: Glas released from prison after serving only 4 years for three different felony crimes Published: Volume 6, Issue 27 On Friday, April 29th, the former Vice President of the Republic,...
“It’s déjà vu all over again.” Yogi Berra said that. He said a lot of “Yogi-isms” over the years. Like, “You can observe a lot by watching.” Or “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” He was one heck of a ball player and certainly a character. And I got to meet him once. I […]
According to Lasso, the two want to “destabilize Ecuadorian democracy.” “Mr. [Rafael] Correa and Mr. [Jaime] Nebot together, these twins from the first day of my government are seeing how they destabilize Ecuadorian democracy,” said President Guillermo Lasso. According to him, former President Rafael Correa and former Mayor of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, —two of the most important […]
Vice minister Vera replaces Juan Carlos Bermeo who only lasted 11 months in the role. Xavier Vera Grunauer is a civil engineer from Guayaquil. He was the Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines until Thursday, when President Guillermo Lasso installed him as head of that ministry, replacing Juan Carlos Bermeo Calderón. Bermeo, who had held the position since June 2021, […]
State of exception decreed in Guayas, Manabí and Esmeraldas putting soldiers and police in the streets
The measure includes a curfew in certain parishes and special operations by the Police and the Armed Forces Making international news, President Guillermo Lasso announced that there will be a 60-day state of emergency in Guayas, Manabí and Esmeraldas. The objective of the state of exception, Lasso said, is to try to combat the criminal gangs that dominate those provinces. Lasso made […]
Corruption reaches all spheres, including institutional ones. The National Police is no exception and has the task of investigating their own. In the last few weeks alone, six policemen have been...
Update to: Judge who granted habeas corpus to Los Choneros leader dismissed by the Judicial Council Published: Volume 6, Issue 29 Junior Roldán, alias ‘JR’, will have to go to a hospital. This was ordered on Thursday by the judge of Penitentiary Guarantees, Carlos Cedeño. The magistrate decided to revoke the house arrest of the […]
Volume 6, Issue 29
From the week of April 24, 2022
It happened at half past three in the morning. It is the third bombing in 2022. The terror of organized crime networks hammers insistently in Guayaquil, which has become one of the most violent...
Lawyer Pedro Moreira only lasted five months as judge of the Guayaquil Penitentiary Guarantees Unit. The plenary session of the Judicial Council decided to dismiss the now former judge Moreira on Monday, April 25, 2022. It did so after Moreira used a controversial ‘habeas corpus’ ruling to grant house arrest to Junior Roldán Paredes, alias JR, one of the leaders […]
The war in Ukraine, the lockdowns in China and the power struggle between the Government of Guillermo Lasso and the Assembly have had an impact on the business climate in Ecuador. After a spike due...
President Guillermo Lasso, said this Sunday that he will not allow the siege of criminal gangs that have generated a wave of insecurity in the country, aided by judges who, according to him, have abused their hierarchy to favor criminals. “I will not allow Ecuador to become a State besieged by drug gangs aided by […]
Update to: Guillermo Lasso: ‘I must govern without considering that the National Assembly exists’ Published: Volume 6, Issue 25 The investment law is still in the plans of the national government. This was indicated by President Guillermo Lasso, in his weekly press interview on April 26, 2022. The President said that his first two paths […]
Belgium has granted political asylum to former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who has an executed sentence of eight years in prison for the crime of bribery in the Bribery case—which he maintains is an act of judicial persecution. The former president’s Belgian lawyer, Christophe Marchand, confirmed the news on April 22, 2022, the same day it was learned that […]
A diesel spill is being controlled in Galapagos. Around 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2022, a diving boat sank in Academia Bay, on Santa Cruz Island — the most populated island in the insular province. The boat’s sinking caused a diesel spill in the area where the accident occurred. According to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, personnel […]
It’s early summer here. The locals call it rainy season, but to me, it’s early summer. The mornings are crisp and cool, and the birds wake early at 6:00 a.m. to start their day. I tend to lounge in longer than that, though their tweets (the original tweet) get louder quickly and demand that I […]
Update to: Ecuadorians’ investment firm defrauded South America’s wealthy out of over $350 million Published: Volume 6, Issue 18 The founder of the massive Biscayne Capital scam, used to pay bribes to officials in Ecuadorian corruption cases, plead guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The first of the ‘Miami Boys’ to […]
Volume 6, Issue 28
From the week of April 17, 2022
The National Planning Secretariat reported last Thursday that the Strategic Committee for the Promotion and Attraction of Investments (Cepai) approved $400 million more in new investments. The...
The market share of the Ecuadorian-assembled automotive industry has fallen significantly since 2015. Vehicle sales in Ecuador’s first quarter of 2022 registered a growth of 21.6%, compared to the same period in 2021, according to data revealed by the Association of Automotive Companies of Ecuador (Aeade). The car business is growing significantly in the country, amid a greater […]
Today I was talking to my friend Wayne. We were both remarking on how much easier our lives are here than in the US and expressing shock at how expensive everything has gotten there. It’s easier to see your glass as half-full when you go back there. For lots of reasons. But certainly lately because […]
Update to: Glas released from prison after serving only 4 years for three different felony crimes Published: Volume 6, Issue 27 The president of the National Court of Justice (CNJ), Iván Saquicela, sent a document to the Constitutional Court for the authorities of the two entities to meet with the aim of discussing the application of ‘habeas corpus’ in Ecuador. The request, which bears the […]
President Alberto Fernández spoke of resuming diplomatic relations with Venezuela while President Guillermo Lasso indicated that his government ‘will analyze the issue.’ Venezuela was one of the high points of an interesting meeting between the presidents of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso and Alberto Fernandez, from Argentina. After the meeting, which lasted almost two hours, both leaders […]
Group pushes at-home Covid-19 testing though Minister of Health says it will hurt Ecuador’s pandemic surveillance efforts
According to the Ecuadorian Association of Distributors and Importers of Medical Products, the cost of the test would not exceed $7.00 Last January, a family of 15 members was tested for Covid-19....
Assemblywoman Johanna Moreira said that this was “the way we are going to continue the fight” for victims of sexual violence. The Justice Commission of the National Assembly will present a claim of unconstitutionality against the law of interruption of pregnancy in cases of rape when it is published in the Official Registry. This bill entered into force by the […]
Scientists from the University of Miami found Gasteranthus extinctus in the Centinela mountain range A team of researchers from the University of Miami visited Ecuador in search of a tropical plant that had been thought to be extinct for nearly 40 years, Gasteranthus extinctus. Biology professor Kenneth Feeley encouraged graduate student Riley Fortier to join an […]
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States has indicated that it will no longer enforce the use of masks in public transport and transportation centers after a court ruling ordered by a Florida judge. The requirement to wear masks within public transport applied to planes, trains and other means of transport due to […]
Volume 6, Issue 27
From the week of April 10, 2022
SRI issued the quarterly report, which shows a significant recovery in both VAT and ICE. An increase in income from equity was also reported. SRI delivered the collection figures from January to...
The alleged irregular payments were revealed by the Spanish media outlet El Confidencial. A Spanish consortium allegedly paid bribes of at least $1.2 million to Ecuadorian officials to secure a consultancy contract for the construction of the Quito Metro. This was revealed last week by an investigation published in the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial. The Spanish Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office “has […]
During the operation, four people linked to container import companies from Ecuador were arrested and a total of 3,500 kilos of cocaine, 250,000 euros in cash and seven high-end vehicles were seized. Last week agents of Spain’s National Police, in a joint operation with Customs Surveillance of the Tax Agency, dismantled a criminal organization dedicated […]
Update to: Exporters buy 685,000 clusters of bananas from producers in first week of plan to affront loss of sales to Russia and Ukraine Published: Volume 6, Issue 25 The drop in Ecuador’s banana exports occurs after four years of upward trend, according to data recorded by the Central Bank. The banana sector, the second […]
I’ve been sick for the last 6 days. I had been in Denver for a week and then travelled to Florida to visit my mother before I returned to Ecuador. I started feeling sick the day after I got here. Out of caution I’ve taken 4 at-home Covid tests and they have all been negative. […]
Pastaza province, located in Ecuador’s Amazon, has implemented a $52 million sustainable development plan working with Indigenous nations that includes their ancestral practices, knowledge, and life plans. The plan relies on curtailing dependence on oil and mining projects for economic development and implementing chakras, an ancestral agroforestry system, and conservation projects to boost food security […]
Update to: $8 million more to be invested to prevent arrival of Fusarium tropical race 4 Published: Volume 6, Issue 22 The National Institute of Agricultural Research (Iniap) will validate the plants, through a process of agronomic evaluation, adaptability and performance. The Government imported 4,620 banana plants of the Cavendish somaclonal variety, which is a […]
Assembly members and constitutional experts have divided opinions on whether the Legislature has the power to refer the veto to the Court. The plenary session of the National Assembly decided to send to the Constitutional Court President Guillermo Lasso’s partial veto of the law of interruption of pregnancy in cases of rape. However, constitutional experts are divided on whether […]
Glas served 4 years of an 8-year sentence in the Latacunga prison. Glas had received sentences of 6 years, 8 years and 8 years. Jorge David Glas Espinel, former Vice President of Ecuador, left the...
The restoration of heritage houses is booming in the Historic Center of Cuenca. Buildings from more than a century ago have become modern hotels, restaurants and terraces that are committed to the...