Young Mexican police chief Marisol Valles Garcia may seek US asylum

There are reports that the young female police chief is leaving Mexico to seek asylum in the US. The area has been marked by drug violence, including the murder of her predecessor.

REUTERS/Gael Gonzalez
Marisol Valles Garcia at the police station in Praxedis G.Guerrero last October. Twenty-year-old Valles Garcia agreed to be police chief of one of Mexico's most dangerous drug war border towns, the only person to agree to take the job where local cops have quit or been killed.
REUTERS/Gael Gonzalez
The remains of a burnt house near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most violent city, February 8, 2011. Last year, drug gangs told residents of Praxedis G. Guerrero, an hour away, they had until Easter Sunday to leave town. About 50 houses were burned and one-third of the population left for good.

Crime-ridden northern Mexico may have lost another resident to drug-related activities. This loss could be more significant, however. Marisol Valles Garcia, the 20-year-old single mother and police chief, is rumored to have fled the city of Praxedis G. Guerrero amid mounting threats to her life.

The AFP is reporting relatives of Ms. Valles Garcia have said that the young police chief has left Mexico for the US to seek asylum. She has purportedly been receiving death threats from criminal gangs who wanted her to work for them.

However, town officials are denying reports that Valles Garcia has fled her post. CBS is reporting that town Secretary Andres Morales told the El Paso Times that the police chief was taking personal leave to be with her child and would return on Monday.

Praxedis G. Guerrero is located in the Juarez Valley just south of the Rio Grande. The region has witnessed a mass exodus in recent years due to drug related violence. Census estimates for the region indicate a population decline of up to 45 percent since 2005. Valles Garcia, a college student studying criminology, was the only person to step up to the open position after her predecessor had been kidnapped and beheaded.

During her swearing-in ceremony Valles Garcia said: "I took the risk because I want my son to live in a different community to the one we have today. I want people to be able to go out without fear, as it was before.”

Regardless of which report is true, it is difficult for many to comprehend why a young mother felt she had to risk everything and take one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Certainly the drug lords and gangs are to blame, but many point at America’s addiction to narcotics as equally responsible for the drug trade. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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