President Ollanta Humala has fired two-thirds of all generals in Peru's police force in an unprecedented purge to stamp out systemic corruption, the government said on Monday. In the Armed Forces there was also a renewal with the promotion of 48 officers.
Thirty of all 45 generals in the force -- including its commander and the chief of the anti-drug police in one of the world's top cocaine producers -- were pushed into retirement in a decree signed by Humala.
Humala, a former military officer who took office in July, has a high approval rating of 65% and campaigned on promises to fight corruption.
Though the move could further please voters who have given Humala high marks for trying to introduce new social programs while attracting foreign investment, critics accused him of acting hastily without letting people defend themselves from corruption allegations.
At least one general said he was fired even though he had not been linked to graft.
If indeed it's the case that there are generals with problems, not all of them are corrupt, not all of them are inept some are very respectable Remigio Hernani, Interior Minister under former President Alan Garcia, said on RPP radio.
Humala also promoted 48 officers in the armed forces over the weekend, ostensibly to renew leadership posts with younger officers.
Lourdes Flores, a conservative politician in the opposition, warned that Humala could be giving favours to friends or politicizing the armed forces.
But Humala's aides said the changes were necessary.
The president, along with the Interior and Defence ministers, has done a rigorous evaluation for weeks to promote some in the armed forces and retire many police, said Vice President Omar Chehade.