LIMA – President Ollanta Humala relieved 22 generals of their commands in an effort to reinvigorate strategically important units of the Peruvian army, La Republica newspaper said Tuesday.
Personnel changes in the higher ranks of the military are usually made at the end of the year, the daily noted.
The shakeup comes less than a week after Humala, a retired lieutenant colonel, made a surprise appearance at a meeting of the army high command.
The changes were made now to give the new army chief, Gen. Ricardo Moncada, an opportunity to appoint unit commanders who have “his full confidence,” unnamed military sources told La Republica.
The same sources acknowledged, however, that some of the generals relieved by Humala had fallen short of superiors’ expectations.
The new commanders include three of Humala’s military academy classmates: Brig. Gens. Edgardo Zapata, Prospero Diaz and Juan Salazar.
Two of the units to get new commanding officers, the 5th Mountain Brigade in Cuzco and the 2nd Infantry Brigade in Huamanga, play key roles in the battle against drug cartels and remnants of the Shining Path rebel group in the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene Rivers, a conflictive region in southern Peru. EFE