Underground world of Cachinerias in Quito Ecuador, stolen goods market

Posted on November 20, 2015 • Filed under: Crime, Ecuador, Social Issues

Mercado San Roque
timesofindia.com reported …. QUITO: Six blocks from Plaza San Francisco, tarpaulins and spread-out sheets take over a maze of alleys in Ecuador’s capital city every Saturday. Men, dressed in worn-out jackets, hover around mounds of shirts, ornaments, backpacks, stuffed animals and a host of other knick-knacks put out for sale at the San Roque market. Buyers, a mix of foreigners and locals, take their time to browse through the wares. But not everything is hunky-dory.

Last year, a police raid revealed goods of doubtful origins at some of the units in San Roque. Ecuadorians call such spaces ‘Cachinerias’__ a meeting spot for demand and supply of stolen goods, not unlike Mumbai’s ‘Chor Bazaar.’ Over 53,000 illegal goods were seized across the country during police crackdowns in the first three-quarters of this year. But buyers continue to turn up.

The market at San Roque is open on all days of the week. It is busiest on Saturdays when most Quito residents step out to shop. The narrow alleys are more popular with shoppers than the main building that stands at the centre. Rows of furniture stores, where workers are bent over wooden sofas and chairs, are followed by units selling rubber boots. “Only 70 cents,” says an old man, his front teeth missing, as he points towards a pile of remote controls, each of a different shape. He appears to be fully prepared to gather his wares and dart across the stretch if a police vehicle passes by. Read Article


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