President Reagan will nominate Frank V. Ortiz, recalled as ambassador to Guatemala by the Carter administration, to become ambassador to Peru, State Department sources said earlier this week.
Ortiz, the highest-ranking Hispanic American in the Foreign Service, was recalled from Guatemala in June, 1980, after less than a year on the job because of alleged disagreement with the Carter administration's policy on human rights in Central America.
Ortiz was reassigned as the political adviser to the southern military command in Panama, and his 30-year diplomatic career had seemed on the wane.
According to one source, Ortiz "is this administration's favorite. He had the pick of the Latin American embassies and he picked the plushest of all."
Ortiz drew criticism from Washington human rights lobbies and leftists in Guatemala who said that his friendly ties with the military government compromised Carter's efforts at a consistent human rights policy abroad.
In a move that caused confusion between Ortiz and the State Department, the then-ambassador approved the port visit of the Navy destroyer USS Manely without first obtaining permission from Washington.
State Department sources and human rights lobbyists here said the action "sent the wrong message" to Guatemala's military government. Ortiz' actions counteracted Carter's policy of not giving Guatemala military assistance until the government demonstrated a willingness to stop alleged violations of human rights, the sources said.
Amnesty International has charged that more than 20,000 Guatemalans have been killed in political violence, primarily by rightest death squads allied with the military for the last 10 years.
Although Ortiz has been basedin Panama, State Department sources said that he has visited the United States several times in recent months to consult with top administration officials about a new post.