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Ecuador Replaces Three Top Military Commanders

Ecuador's president Alfredo Palacio has replaced three top military commanders. The move was neither expected nor explained.

The government said Friday that the president replaced the head of joint military command (with General Nelson Enriquez Gomez replacing Vice Admiral Manuel Zapater), the head of the army (with General Robert Tandazo Granda replacing General Jorge Zurita) and the air force chief (with General Jorge Moreno Artieda taking over General Edmundo Baquero's job).

The new chiefs were sworn in Friday.

The president's secretary of communications, Jose Toledo, called the changes a "renewal", saying they may seem a surprise but adding the president had been thinking about the move for a long time. He added Mr. Palacio may also make changes in the police command and the cabinet.

Mr. Palacio became president in April after Congress ousted Lucio Gutierrez from the post.