College Student New Top Cop in Mexican Crime Town

Criminology major hailed as Mexico's bravest woman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2010 4:04 AM CDT
Twenty-year-old Marisol Valles Garcia sits at her desk after her swearing-in ceremony as the new police chief of the border town of Praxedis G. Guerrero, near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Raymundo Ruiz)
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(Newser) – Police chiefs in Mexico are kidnapped and murdered with sickening regularity, so who would want to become one in one of the country's most dangerous towns? Step forward, Marisol Valles Garcia. The 20-year-old university criminology student was the only applicant for police chief in the northern Mexican town of Praxedis G. Guerrero, located in a drug corridor where cartels battling for power have killed numerous public officials. Her predecessor was gunned down more than a year ago and a replacement couldn't be found until now.

Garcia, who has a husband and baby son, is being hailed as Mexico's bravest woman, the Christian Science Monitor reports. She says she plans to use a mostly female, unarmed force to strengthen the community, restore values, and dispel fear. "Yes, there is fear. But what we want to achieve in our municipality is tranquility and security," she told CNN. "The weapons we have are principles and values, which are the best weapons for prevention."

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