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Ecuador's economy minister temporarily takes over as defense minister

Ecuador's economy minister temporarily takes over as defense minister

Economy Minister Ricardo Patino has temporarily taken over as defense minister until the president fills the position with another woman following the death of Guadalupe Larriva, a defense ministry statement said Sunday.
Larriva, the country's first female defense minister, and her 17-year-old daughter Claudia Avila were killed when two helicopters collided last week during maneuvers to mark the 53rd anniversary of army aviation in Ecuador at a base near Manta. A colonel, three captains and a lieutenant also died in the crash.
President Rafael Correa said Friday at Larriva's funeral that, "We know that we are not going to find anyone to fill the void that Guadalupe has left behind, however, we will look for another Ecuadorean woman to take over the post of defense minister."
Larriva, 50, a teacher by vocation who rose through her Socialist Party's ranks and served in congress, was the first defense minister to have never served in the military.
Correa has ordered a special commission to investigate the apparently accidental collision, including outside experts from the makers of the French-designed Gazelle helicopters involved the crash.


Updated : 2021-05-14 10:27 GMT+08:00