QUITO – Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno met on Wednesday for the first time with his new Interior and Defense ministers, Mauro Toscanini and Oswaldo Jarrin, respectively, after naming them to the post last week.
The two new ministers were at their respective offices early Wednesday morning for the formal start of their tenure, the government said in a statement.
Moreno on Friday appointed Toscanini and Jarrin 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 portfolio, 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.
The two men are assuming their new duties amid significant security problems in the Colombia border region, where in recent months armed groups – perhaps offshoots of Colombia’s former FARC guerrillas – have killed four Ecuadorian soldiers and have kidnapped and/or killed several civilians.