20-Year-Old Student Becomes Police Chief

Most of you have probably heard about all the violence going down on the Mexico/US border, mostly related to drug wars. Luckily Cancun is far away from this area, but quite a few of my good friends live in border cities like Reynosa, Tijuana and Juarez.

I came across a very interesting piece of news this week. Here it is, copied from ThirdAge.com :

Marisol Valles Garcia is just a 20-year-old college student, but she is now the new police chief of Guadalupe, Mexico.

How did the criminology major get the job? Easy: no one else applied.

The once coveted position is now one of the most feared jobs to take on due to the drug cartels in Mexico. Public officials are increasingly becoming targets of the cartels, and many have fallen victim to assassination, including the former mayor of Guadalupe was slain in June.

“Before, it used to be an attractive job, living on the public payroll,” said Dante Haro of the University of Guadalajara. “Now being a town mayor is very difficult, not just because of the economic problems but also this issue of obedience to organized crime.”

The town has fallen victim to a brutal rivalry between notorious drug cartels. The gangs are fighting over the town’s one highway, a lucrative drug corridor that gives them access to Texas.

Garcia already has plans in store for the town: she wants to establish programs in the neighborhoods and schools in order to secure public spaces and to gain cooperation from the neighborhood.

So far, Garcia says, the people of Guadalupe have been very supportive.

Other plans are more controversial, however. She intends to use a largely female police force.

“We are simply going to talk with them, with the people, with the families, giving them confidence so they will quit being afraid, so they can leave their houses,” she told CNN en Español.

“We have hope that we are going to exchange fear for tranquility and security.”


Anyway, I think it’s sad that the situation is so bad, nobody else stepped up.  Still, she sounds like a very positive and brave person, and it will be interesting to see what she does.

What do you think about Marisol?

12 thoughts on “20-Year-Old Student Becomes Police Chief

  1. Good for her for wanting to make her community better! Good for her for stepping up when no one else did!
    Good for the community for largely giving her support!
    I am a big fan of this story.

  2. I think it’s admirable, but listening to her plans to simply talk to them and thinking she’ll solve all the problems, I have a feeling she’s about to get a rude awakening. I wish her luck though and hope it works out.

    Very interesting article.

  3. A young woman with a lot of guts. Mexico needs more people who say, “Enough is enough.” No one here ever takes a stand. And I am not speaking of just the drug trade. I may be accused of being a racist (don’t care what anyone thinks), but I’ve seen it too many times where Mexicans do not complain or take a stand against injustices. They’ll just shrug their shoulders and say that’s the way it is.

  4. I think good on her for doing a job that everyone else seems too scared to do. I think its a bit risky though, shes not had enough life experience and may be a bit too naive to really do the job justice but give her a chance I say. Goodluck to her 🙂 x

  5. I think that she is very brave if not a tad idealistic. Here is hoping that she is able to accomplish what those before her have not been able to do thus far. She has a long road ahead of her.

  6. Marisol is definitely an inspiration! Not many 20 yr olds would take a hardcore challenge like that– she’s definitely got her work cut out for her but I love that she’s courageous to go for it. I wish her the best of luck! Definitely an inspiration for women.

  7. I’ve gotta agree with Leah. While I think it’s great that SOMEONE has stepped up to the plate, does she have a death wish… or something else behind closed doors. You can never trust ANYTHING in Mexico. Nonetheless, Kudos to her for standing up when no one else would.

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