The Ecuadorian Defence Minister, Guadelupe Larriva, has been killed in a collision between two helicopters. The crash, which also killed her 17-year-old daughter and two pilots, occurred in the port city of Manta, about 250 kilometers south of the capital Quito.
Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa spoke emotionally before leaving for the crash site. “This is a major tragedy” he said, “We ask everyone to join us in prayer for the souls of Guadelupe, her daughter, the pilots and the government of Ecuador.”
50-year-old Guadelupe Larriva was the first female defence minister ever appointed in Ecuador and one of seven women appointed to the cabinet of the leftist government. She had only been in the job nine days at the time of the crash.