Mexican College Student Takes Job No One Wants: Police Chief


Marisol Valles Garcia, a 20-year-old college criminology student, has taken a job no one else wants: police chief in the troubled northern Mexico town of Praxedis G. Guerrero, in the state of Chihuahua. Some see her as fearless, some as foolish, reports the Christian Science Monitor. In towns like hers, police chiefs and officers have been routinely killed by drug traffickers. But Valles Garcia, who is finishing her degree in criminology, says that the community must overcome fear and bring morals and values back to ravaged Mexico. “Yes, there is fear,” she told CNN. “There will always be fear, but what we want to achieve in our municipality is tranquility and security.”

Praxedis G. Guerrero is located in the once peaceful Juarez Valley, 35 miles south of Ciudad Juarez, the most dangerous city in Mexico, where more than 28,000 have been killed in drug violence since 2006. It is now seeing a mass exodus of residents amid violence between the Sinaloa and Juarez groups. Valles Garcia says she will use a mostly female, unarmed force to patrol the streets and focus on social programs and community-building. “The weapons we have are principles and values, which are the best weapons for prevention,” she said. “Our work will be pure prevention.”

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