Minister out

Guatemala's new President, Ramiro de Leon, sacked the Defence Minister, General Jose Garcia Samayoa, and shook up the powerful military high command, Reuter reports from Guatemala City. A day after taking office, Mr de Leon named a former Defence Ministry chief of staff, General Roberto Perussina, known as a military hardliner, to replace Gen Garcia Samayoa. 'I made the decision not because he (Garcia Samayoa) has participated in a coup d'etat but because of some confusing events that took place,' Mr de Leon said at a press conference.

Mr de Leon was a bitter critic of the military in his previous post as Guatemala's human rights ombudsman.