A hard blow to the provincial pride. The defeat of Guayas before Manabi, in La Manga del Cura, it is a difficult result to disguise as surprise. But it is certainly not easier to assimilate.
The Guayas politicians of all political movements agree: the shrinking of provincial boundaries go beyond a territorial extension.
“It has to do with the dignity of this people,” says Luis Castro, president of the Association of Municipalities of Guayas. “They are dismembering us. They are making Guayas smaller. I do not know for what purpose …,” he said without mentioning names or reasons.
Others dare. “It is unfortunate. This is another blow to the province during the correism,” cites Moises Tacle, Assemblyman of the Social Christian party for Guayas, who accuses the Government of not wanting to resolve the issue without having to go to a public referendum. But now, after the vote, there is nothing to do, according to Tacle. “And that hurts us.”
Nostalgia is one of the main elements of a political defeat. But it’s not just about that. The province invested, during the last years, more than six million dollars in works in La Manga del Cura. Works that no longer belong to it. Nor does it have rights on 75,000 productive hectares registered in its map, according to Lenin Valle, Mayor of El Empalme, which has lost 45% of its territory, after the close of the polls.
The defeat, with Prefect Jimmy Jairala to the head, leaves Guayas, the largest province of the Coast, with a greater blow to the dignity than to the accounts. And it is a difficult shadow to clear for authorities, especially in the near future, when the province (which still has a dozen pending territorial conflicts) confronts again the sense of belonging of its inhabitants.