UPDATE [3/11/11]: CNN reports that Marisol Valles García was fired from her post as police chief after failing to return to work after taking a leave of absence. Unofficial accounts say that Valles Garcia fled to the United States to seek asylum. “Marisol Valles Garcia is in the United States and she will have the opportunity to present the facts of her case before an impartial immigration judge. Absent a signed privacy waiver, there are no additional details,” says an official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Marisol Valles García is a 20-year-old criminology major. She’s also the new police chief of Praxedis G. Guerrero, a Mexican border town that has a history of drug cartel violence. After the former police chief was assassinated, Valles was the only applicant for the position. She has lived in Praxedis G. Guerrero for the past ten years.
Many of the town’s residents are afraid to leave their homes at night, when the drug cartels are on the move. “Everyone is afraid and it’s very natural,” said Valles. “What motivates me here is that the project [to make the community safer] is very good and can do a lot for my town. I know that we are going to change and remove this.” She has been assigned two body guards but does not carry a gun, reports Aol News. Just this year, 11 Mexican mayors have been killed, including the former mayor of Guadalupe.
“The weapons we have are principles and values, which are the best weapons for prevention,” Valles told CNN en Español. “Our work will be pure prevention. We are not going to be doing anything else other than prevention.”
The town is willing to give the young woman a chance. “This is a town without law,” said one resident. “It is not likely things will change from one day to the next, but let’s see what a woman can do … things can’t get any worse.”