Guadalupe Larriva

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Guadalupe Larriva (Cuenca, July 28, 1956 – Manta, January 24, 2007) was an Ecuadorian politician. She was the eldest daughter of Deifilio Larriva Polo and Teresita Gonzalez Harris. She had 5 sisters Silvana, Tania, Luz Marina, Mercedes and Tamara and two brothers, Mauricio, and Francisco. She was married to Rodrigo Avila with whom she had three children: Rodrigo, Priscilla and Claudia. She held a PhD in Geography from the University of Cuenca, Universidad Estatal de Cuenca. She was the head of the Ecuadorian Socialist Party-Broad Front (list 17), as well as the country's Defense Minister under President Rafael Correa. A former university professor, she was also the first civilian in 25 years, and the first female in Ecuador's history to hold the post.

Busto de Guadalupe Larriva 1.JPG

Larriva died near Manta Air Base in a helicopter crash on January 24, 2007 20:23h Ecuadorian time,[1] when 2 Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopters [2] of the "Aviación del Ejército Nº 43" collided during a night training. She died only nine days after being handed her portfolio as defense minister.[3][4] Two days earlier the defense minister had announced that Ecuador would not renew its contract with the United States Armed Forces which allows US troops to be stationed in and operate from Manta Air Base.[5]

All on board the 2 helicopters, including Larriva's 17-year-old daughter Claudia Ávila and 5 Army officers (Tnte. Crnel. Marco Gortaire Padovani, Cap. Celso Hugo Acosta, Cap. Byron Iván Zurita Basantes, Cap. Richard Marcelo Jurado Gallardo, Tnte. Luis Milton Herrera Espín)[6] died in the crash.

After the death of Larriva, Rafael Correa promised to appoint another woman to the position of Defense Minister. He fulfilled that promise on January 30, 2007 when he appointed Lorena Escudero to replace her. Escudero is also from Cuenca and was also a university professor.[7]


  1. ^ "Trágica muerte de ministra Larriva, su hija y 5 militares",, 25 January 2007
  2. ^ "Ecuador desestima atentado en choque aéreo",, 25 January 2007
  3. ^ "Ecuador defense minister killed in air crash",, 24 January 2007.
  4. ^ "Ecuador's Defense Minister Killed in Air Collision",, 24 January 2007.
  5. ^ "Manta: La base, arma de lucha y entorno de su muerte",, 25 January 2007.
  6. ^ "Hombres del aire perecieron",, 26 January 2007.
  7. ^ "Ecuador names second female defense chief", english.people/, 30 January 2007.