Mexican Mom Police Chief Seeks US Asylum

Single mom took dangerous job last year when no one else would
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2011 2:02 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2011 3:47 AM CST
Female Police Chief Seeks US Asylum
Criminology student Marisol Valles, 20, became chief of police in her small town last October, but now AFP is reporting that she is seeking asylum in the United States.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A 20-year-old single mom and criminology student who became police chief of her small Mexican border town has fled to the United States to seek asylum, reports AFP. Marisol Valles Garcia "received death threats from a criminal group that wanted to force her to work for them," her relatives told reporters. Valles was sworn in last year after the previous police chief was tortured and beheaded by a drug gang.

But local officials are denying the report, saying that Valles only took some personal leave to spend time with her child, and will return to work today, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Praxedis G. Guerrero is a small town with less than 10,000 residents, located in the Juarez Valley, center of some of the worst violence in the ongoing drug war. "I took the risk because I want my son to live in a different community to the one we have today," said Valles at her swearing-in ceremony. "I want people to be able to go out without fear, as it was before.” (Read more Mexico drug war stories.)

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