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Defence Woman come in Peace?

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Rafael Correa has promised what it is reasonable to call a revolution of the Ecuadorian society – along the lines of Morales and Chavez. He won the election in November and will officially begin as president on January 15. Four years to change it all – quite a challenge. substantial parts of the education section are already privatised off in the first, as seen to by the leaving parties.

Yesterday Correa announced his cabinet, best described as “socialists and women”, if you judge the tone set by the media. (Really there are 17 members of the cabinet, 10 men, 7 women and all more or less socialists.) Amongst them a female defence minister – have you ever heard anything like it?!?!

Today Guadalupe Larriva was all over the radio telling how she was a woman and that women do not do war, they do care; and so she would do her defence job in that way. (As an aside, without wanting to deny anyone’s good intentions, let’s lament here the existence of Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi -amongst others- and celebrate the existence of Harriet Tubman and Phoolan Devi -amongst others- to dispel the myth of the caring woman.)

Later in the day, this afternoon, approaching el oriente in the bus, I wondered what impact Larriva could have on a society so heavily securitised and militarised, as we came to the military police check point, the usual scene:

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