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DEMOCRACY
Paraguay removes 22 military commanders
by Staff Writers
Asuncion (AFP) Oct 16, 2013


Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes launched a dramatic overhaul of the military replacing 22 commanders, including his army chief, officials said Wednesday.

General Miguel Angel Christ Jacob was replaced by General Jorge Francisco Ramirez Gomez, state news agency IP said. There was no explanation given for the president's moves.

But Cartes insisted there was no sacking or intrigue at play.

"No one has been removed. Removed is a word that is off-base," he told reporters.

"Everything has been done under normal circumstances. And I am proud of the Armed Forces."

Cartes, 57, spoke as he headed overseas to Panama for Friday and Saturday's Ibero-American Summit there.

The talks are a gathering of leaders from Spain, Portugal and their former colonies across the Americas.

Conservative businessman Cartes was elected April 21, returning to power the Colorado party of Paraguay's late dictator Alfredo Stroessner.

The president has promised a "war on poverty" in a mostly rural country where 39 percent of the seven million inhabitants are poor.

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