New ministers of defense and interior suggest tougher approach on border conflict

May 6, 2018

President Lenin Moreno, flanked by new interior and defense ministers, Mauro Toscanini (left) and Oswaldo Jarrin.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Wednesday met for the first time with his new interior and defense ministers, Mauro Toscanini and Oswaldo Jarrin, after naming them to the post last week.

Following the presidential meeting, Toscanini and Jarrin said their approach to security issues on Ecuador’s northern border would emphasize restoration of law and order. Jarrin said he is opposed to any direct contact with the breakaway FARC unit led by El Guacho. “We negotiate with governments, not with outlaw gangs,” he said in response to a question to his openness to create a safe zone for the return of the bodies of three Ecuadorian journalists murdered in early April.

Moreno appointed Toscanini and Jarrin last weekend to head the Interior and Defense Ministries, after accepting the resignations of Cesar Navas and Patricio Zambrano.

Toscanini said in brief remarks to reporters at the presidential palace that he would take on his new duties “to guarantee the country’s peace, tranquility and governability.”

Meanwhile, Jarrin, the former Ecuadorian army commander, said that, in taking over the defense ministry, he felt “very motivated and sure of leading this collective effort … (of) the national defense,” speaking at a public event before military personnel and civilians, according to a statement issued by the Communications Secretariat.

The new interior minister is a commercial engineer, by training, and has served as dean of the Catholic University in Guayaquil, while the defense chief headed Ecuador’s Joint Armed Forces Command and held the defense portfolio in 2005-2006.

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Source: EIN News, https://world.einnews.com

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