October 27th, 2010
11:05 AM ET

20-year-old woman becomes top cop in violent Mexican municipality

Arthur Brice

(CNN) - Some headlines are hailing her as the bravest woman in Mexico. Marisol Valles Garcia, all of 20 years old, says she's just tired of everyone being afraid.

Valles Garcia, a criminology student, became the police chief this week of Praxedis G. Guerrero, one of the most violent municipalities in the border state of Chihuahua. She was the only person who accepted the top job in a police force whose officers have been abducted and even killed.

"Yes, there is fear," Valles Garcia said Wednesday in an interview with CNN en Español. "It's like all human beings. There will always be fear, but what we want to achieve in our municipality is tranquility and security."

There's good reason for the fear. Just this past weekend, a 59-year-old local mayor, Rito Grado Serrano, and his 37-year-old son, Rogoberto Grado Villa, were killed in a house in which they they were hiding in nearby Ciudad Juarez. Another area mayor was killed in June.

Juarez is the bloodiest city in Mexico, with a reported 2,500 people killed in drug violence this year. Praxedis G. Guerrero is located about 35 miles southeast of Ciudad Juarez. Both are in the state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas.

Nationwide, the federal government says, more than 28,000 people have lost their lives since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels after taking office in December 2006.

Valles Garcia sees a non-violent role for her 13-member force, which will be mostly female and unarmed.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. mike

    Just bomb that part of the border and get it over with! Drug lords may have millions and machine guns but the marines have stealth bombers and tanks jus send em in to clean up house and let's make america a lil bigger lol I say we push the border back a few 1000 miles lol

    October 27, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    I hope she can accomplish what she wants and not get targeted by the bad guys. She is certainly brave and so young. Good luck to her.

    October 27, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  3. Jennifer - Michigan

    Gosh..I get stressed everytime I see this story, I'm afraid for her safety. She might be too brave for her own good. I don't know.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  4. Michele Gomis

    Hope sincerely that she can somehow turn things around. The area is savage and dangerous with amoral people murdering at will.

    She has my respect as well. Hope she can succeed and live to old age in dignity.

    Hope also that she gets the support from the community that she will need to make the rule of law work in her area in a way that it does not now.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  5. Mia

    We pray for your safety and strength. You go girl....

    October 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  6. William of Iowa

    This is the end of the innocence. Ms. Valles Garcia either suffers a "Gandhi" complex of epic proportion or is extremely naive. The portion of your report stating she will command an unarmed police force is disturbing given that narco thugs place no value on human life.

    October 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  7. Kristina Forsberg, Arjeplog Norrbotten

    Hallo! What a fantastic young woman fighting and working for justice and peace on the streets in these huge town. Best regards to Marisol and all people in the world who working every day trying to make our world to become a better place to live on. The childrens future depends on how we act today and how we not react. Best regards/ Kristina Forsberg

    October 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  8. GuyatComputer

    Holy Balls..of Christmas. What a brave woman!

    October 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  9. bgaassoc

    I wish Marisol safety and success. She has my respect.

    October 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm |