Larriva took office on January 15 after being named Ecuador's first woman defence minister by Correa, the newly inaugurated president.
 
Correa appointed seven women to his cabinet, saying he wanted to promote gender equality in his country.
 
Larriva was a university professor and leader of the country's small Socialist party.
 
She had promised to strengthen presidential control of military ranks, improve salaries for the armed forces and make the promotions system more transparent in a country where the military has helped to remove three presidents in 10 years.
 
Correa asked the country to "pray for the soul of Guadalupe, her daughter, her family and the government of Ecuador".