Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has fired the country’s military high command for refusing to pay back $41 million from an overvalued land deal.
Correa announced via Twitter the sacking of the heads of the army, navy and air force, as well as joint chiefs boss General Luis Garzón. He added that “no one is above the law.”
Garzón had just told a news conference the funds in question could not be returned because they were dedicated to military pensions.
Correa said the military chiefs had until April to leave office.
“The Armed Forces are a very important institution, but as part of the State and country, they are public service providers and act on behalf of the common good,” Correa added, El Comercio reports.
The dispute stems from the 2010 sale of 220 hectares that were converted into the Guayaquil park where Pope Francis said Mass during his July visit.
It was valued at $48 million at the time. The government later said the valuation should have been $7.3 million.