June 7th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Producer's Notebook: Interviewing 'the bravest woman in all of Mexico'

El Paso, TEXAS (CNN) - As Marisol Valles Garcia sat down for an interview with CNN correspondent Ed Lavandera, I was struck, by how uncomfortable and nervous she was while talking about the life she led as a police chief in her hometown of Praxedis, G Gurrero, Mexico.

Related: 'Bravest woman in Mexico' seeks asylum in United States

The 21-year-old woman, who was dubbed the “bravest woman in all of Mexico,” agreed to meet with us in El Paso, Texas. To escape death threats she says she was getting daily after accepting the job as police chief last October, she fled her country and the only life she knew with her one-year-old son, husband and family. She is seeking asylum in the United States, saying that had she stayed in Mexico, she’d be dead.

As she sat uncomfortably during the interview, she rubbed her legs together as she talked about the fear people live with in an area run by drug lords. A place, she says, where murders, decapitations and shootings became a normal way of life. She says she fears she¹ll never be able to return home and that her preference would be to remain in Mexico as she’s struggling with the fact that she may never be able to see family and friends that she has known her entire life.

After the interview we took Garcia and her husband along with her attorney to lunch. She talked about the things she wanted to accomplish in her hometown as police chief. She says she is so concerned about the youth who don’t have very many options outside of working for the drug cartels. She says that she wanted to put programs in place to give children hope that there was more out there for them than a life filled with crime and drug running for the cartels that rule the area.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Mexico
June 7th, 2011
04:42 PM ET

Letters to the President: #869 'Who says public floggings are out of fashion?'

Reporter's Note: Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner has been a champion of the president’s policies, but now he has fallen into a bit of a hard time.

Dear Mr. President,

It’s never easy to watch a friend or colleague fall, so I’m guessing you’re pretty unhappy over what happened with Rep. Weiner - admitting he was sending inappropriate photos and swapping racy messages with a half dozen young women.

But not only are a lot of Democrats understandably upset, I think a fair number of Americans in general are disturbed. Watching the congressman hold that press conference was painful, and for a lot of reasons. We would like to think our leaders (no matter which party) are a little more controlled, a bit smarter, or at least a tad more discreet.

Related: Weiner ends week of lies

On that scale, I know some of his political foes probably loved it. It was, after all, a trifecta of mistakes - the original messages and photos, the lying about the whole mess, and the hiding behind those lies while defenders unfairly accused his accusers. So I can’t fault anyone who says Weiner deserves whatever fate befalls him.

June 7th, 2011
01:37 AM ET

Crime & Punishment: Scientist testifies about smell in car

Editor's note: Gary Tuchman reports on unusual testimony Monday in Casey Anthony's murder trial.

Related: Body in Casey Anthony's trunk 'only plausible explanation,' scientist testifies

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
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