translated from Spanish: Outrage in the arts world over the millions given to the cultural elite in the midst of the pandemic: “Personal and political favors are the rule in this ministry”

The pandemic affected many sectors of the country economically, such as the cultural sector. In fact, the same artists and cultural exponents said that they were practically abandoned by the Government and the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, because they could not access benefits granted and, on the other hand, they could not exercise their art.
In fact, almost all of them, because two grants were given, in different ways. As reported by La Red, the ministry led by Consuelo Valdés that year helped “Espacio Aninat”, whose owner is Isabel Aninat, mother-in-law of Evópoli deputy Luciano Cruz Coke, and another to “Patricia Ready Galería”, by Patricia Ready, married to businessman Juan Carlos Yarur and both along with their sons Gonzalo and Carlos Yarur, own Real Estate and Investments Cerro Sombrero.
In the first case, that of “Espacio Aninat”, the aid came in August 2020, after the results of the call for the Support Program for Collaborating Cultural Organizations (PAOCC) were announced, which is aimed at providing funding to cultural organizations that offer artistic content to the public, so that they can strengthen their capacities and sustainability, fund that delivered a total of $8 billion. Of that amount, $17,337,441 was given to “Espacio Aninat”.
In the second case, it is the Emergency Funds 2021, which is delivered by the Government and which, in the case of “Patricia Ready Gallery” amounted to a total of $99,707,380, which was delivered in two equal installments of $49,853,690. The first this year and the rest will be paid in 2022.
This fact generated outrage in the artistic world. From the National Association of Cultural Officials (Anfucultura), its president Jorge González, told El Mostrador that “in 2021, when we were in the discussion about emergency funds, we urged the Undersecretary and the Minister through the Culture Commission of the parliament to focus emergency resources on those cultural initiatives whose recipients were the popular sectors, those most affected by the crisis. We weren’t listened to and here are the consequences.”
Meanwhile, Arturo Duclós, president of the Board of Directors of the Society of Creators of Fixed Image -CREAIMAGEN- said that the complaint “is something that we had already seen last year in El Mostrador when the investigation was made on undersecretary Juan Carlos Silva, we already saw these relationships and these networks and this collusion, let’s say, between the ministry and the galleries.”
“What I find super strange is that now they come to surprise from this (…) this is what happens in the area of culture all the time and especially with this ministry where we see that personal favors and favors, friendships, political favors are part of the rule and it does not matter what juries they put, because in the end I also see that there are many things that after they did not appear there mysteriously appear. I don’t know what they’re filming with.”
Duclós went on to point out that “all this would have to be seen with the Comptroller’s Office, but what I think is more terrible about this is that finally all the emphasis on the social that had to do with the aid that the ministry was going to deliver last year from those 15 billion pesos that they announced of reconversion of resources, they were finally badly distributed no more, because it was something we were claiming all the time. I do not find it so surprising, and less so of this government and this ministry, because here clearly the minister is Juan Carlos Silva, not Minister Consuelo Valdes, the one who does and undoes in the ministry,” he added.
Teresa Ugarte, president of the Network of Cinemas, opined that “the competitive funds if they are already the only way to finance culture, at least should have as a variable of evaluation the economic situation and vulnerability of organizations, institutions and companies, even more in pandemic and a total economic crisis of the sector and its workers, in addition to a total prohibition of conflicts of interest with the judging jury”.
“I believe that cultural funds are universal so it is not prudent to define who may or may not be targeted under socio-economic parameters. Art must be free of these criteria. But I also think it is impressive that there is no self-regulation of ethics. This is like applying to the IFE if you don’t need it, leaving less money for others who really need it. It is urgent that we develop a culture of solidarityity and empathy. It is urgent that we learn to put ourselves in the place of the other. It’s outrageous, it gives me shame,” said Tehani Staiger, president of AdCultura.
The aforementioned media contacted the ministry to learn details of the public tender. They replied that they would send the names of the jurors who awarded the score to each of the projects, but at the close of their report, they had not received a document.

Original source in Spanish

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