Peru Renews Joint Command of the Armed Forces
By Dialogo December 13, 2010
In addition to renewing the general commands of the Navy and Army, Peru’s Executive Power named a new Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces on 6 December. A ceremony headed by Defense Minister Jaime Thorne, was held on 7 December to inaugurate him officially.
Formerly serving as Chief of the Central Military Region, Army Lieutenant General Luis Ricardo Howell Ballena was named Chief of the Joint Command of the Peruvian Armed Forces in replacement of General Francisco Contreras Rivas, according to Andina News Agency.
Lt. Gen. Howell’s appointment aims to maintain the Peruvian Army’s continued leadership in the country’s fight against the remaining terrorist guerrilla Shining Path in the VRAE region, the valley between the Apurimac and Ene rivers, according to Peruvian daily El Peruano.
While assuring that his troops will be properly trained to face narcoterrorism, the newly elected chief has already vowed to continue the efforts to make the national peace process a priority by defeating terrorism and narcotrafficking.
“We are committed to continuing the actions carried out internally against terrorism and its ally, narcotrafficking; we will not rest until we have completely pacified the affected areas,” said Army Lt. Gen. Howell during his inauguration speech, while assuring that all actions will take place with utmost respect to Human Rights, the Constitution and the law, reported Andina.
During his inaugural ceremony, Lt. Gen. Howell Ballena congratulated the Peruvian Armed Forces for an “impeccable” job in maintaining security during the last election, saying the country’s democracy had been strengthened, according to Peruvian daily Expreso.
Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Jorge Antonio de la Puente Ribeyro took charge as General Commander of the Navy and Army Lieutenant General Paul Tito da Silva Gamarra, who was in the same graduating class as Lt. Gen. Howell, was named Commander General of the country’s Army.
Vice Admiral de la Puente replaced Admiral Rolando Navarrete Salomón and Lieutenant General da Silva replaced Army General Otto Guibovich Arteaga. Both former leaders were retired.