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?