María Fernanda Tamayo

María Fernanda Tamayo Rivera is an Ecuadorian law enforcement official, the first woman to become the country's inspector general of police.

María Fernanda Tamayo
María Fernanda Tamayo Rivera

20th century
Shell Mera, Ecuador
OccupationPolice official
EmployerNational Police of Ecuador
SpouseFausto Salinas

Early yearsEdit

María Fernanda Tamayo was born in Shell Mera, Pastaza Province, Ecuador. She has three brothers and two sisters. Since she was 8 years old, she showed signs of her vocation to join the police force.[1][2][3] She was inspired by watching the American TV series Police Woman, starring Angie Dickinson.[1][3]

Her mother always supported her in her aspirations. However, after finishing her secondary education, Tamayo could not attend the Superior Police School since women were not yet admitted to the institution, so she opted for her second passion, technology, and entered the National Polytechnic School as a systems engineering major.[1]

Police careerEdit

Two years later, Tamayo left the program after the National Police began to admit women, receiving 700 applicants, of which 32 were selected. She was part of the first women's class in 1983.[1] After graduating, she and her companions were assigned to research units with more administrative positions, in areas such as migration, where she spent four years. After this she moved to Urban Service in the Immediate Assistance Posts (PAI).[2]

Tamayo has held positions in the National Traffic Directorate, National Education Directorate, and General Personnel Directorate, among others. She aspired to be part of the Intelligence and Rescue Group (GIR), but was unable to as it did not admit women. Throughout her police career she has received 20 decorations for effective work.[1][3]

In 2014, she became the first officer to lead the Alberto Enríquez Gallo Higher Police School, where she was responsible for inclusion and gender equality in the training of officers.[2][3]

In 2016 she was promoted from colonel to the rank of general and designated director of planning of the National Police.[2]

On November 30, 2018, Tamayo became the first woman to be promoted to inspector general of the public force, in a ceremony where President Lenín Moreno and Interior Minister María Paula Romo recognized Tamayo's career and efforts.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "La impronta de una pionera en la vida policial" [The Imprint of a Pioneer in Police Life] (in Spanish). Quito: Ministry of the Interior of Ecuador. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Perseverancia y disciplina son los ejes de vida de la general María Fernanda Tamayo" [Perseverance and Discipline are the Axes of General María Fernanda Tamayo's Life] (in Spanish). Quito: Ministry of the Interior of Ecuador. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "La Policía rompe su historia con María Fernanda Tamayo" [The Police Break With Their History With María Fernanda Tamayo]. El Telégrafo (in Spanish). December 1, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  4. ^ "La generala María Fernanda Tamayo es la primera mujer en el Mando Policial de Ecuador" [The General María Fernanda Tamayo is the First Woman in the Police Command of Ecuador]. El Universo (in Spanish). November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2019.