Mexican Police Chief Seeks Asylum in U.S.

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Mighty Atom
Mexican Police Chief Seeks Asylum in US

_______________________________________________________ , Wednesday 9 March 2011 05.09 GMT

Criminology student Marisol Valles in her office in Praxedis Guadalupe Guerrero. Photograph: Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images

A young woman who received death threats after becoming police chief in a violence-plagued Mexican town has fled to the US where she is seeking asylum.

Marisol Valles Garcia, 20, made international headlines when she accepted the top law enforcement job in Praxedis G Guerrero, a township near the Texas border that has been overcome by drug violence. Her predecessor was shot to death in July 2009.

The town is in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where ombudsman Gustavo de la Rosa said Garcia was in the US and had initiated a formal asylum petition. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed she was in the country and would be allowed to present her case to an immigration judge.

Neither ICE nor De la Rosa would to say where Garcia was staying, citing privacy and security concerns.

Drug violence has transformed the township of about 8,500 people from a string of quiet farming communities into a lawless no man's land. Two rival gangs, the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels, are battling for control of its single highway, a lucrative drug-trafficking route along the Texas border.

Residents said Garcia had received death threats and the ombudsman said there may have been at least one attempt to kidnap her. Officials said they had given her a leave of absence from 2-7 March to travel to the US to tend to personal matters, but she never returned.

Garcia was officially fired on Monday for apparently abandoning her post. Police will answer to the mayor until a new chief is appointed, the city government's statement said.

Garcia was still a criminology student when she accepted the job in October to oversee 12 police officers. At the time, she said she wanted them to go door-to-door looking for criminals and teaching values to the families.
President Camacho

Wow. That lil thing is a police chief?

Somebody here mentioned that there are simply no men in Mexico (except the gangbangers)-- they're all working in America-- so the women have taken up many of the traditionally high ranking male jobs.

Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
Well, sort of. It would be more accurate to say the position is vacant, but someone still answers the phone & the mail, I guess.