Ecuador has been one of the last countries in the region to have a civilian minister of defense. Traditionally, this task has been given to retired military officers. The military has been and continues to be an area that civilian and academic society has little desire to learn about. President Correa himself has accepted that he knows very little about security issues, to the point that in one of his weekly media briefings, he offered to read and learn more about the subject. Despite knowing little about the subject - as he admits - during his government, a civilian minister for defense was appointed for the first time in more than 35 years. So far in his government two ministers have been women - one of whom died in a military helicopter crash. The current minister is a former journalist who, through his column in one of the national newspapers, was a sometimes unfair critic of the activities of the Armed Forces.
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