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Entries in Police Chief (2)

Monday
Mar072011

Female Mexican Police Chief Fired

HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images(PRAXEDIS G. GUERRERO, Mexico) -- Marisol Valles Garcia, the 20-year-old who became police chief of Praxedis G. Guerrero, one of the most violent towns in Mexico, was fired after failing to show up for work Monday. 

It had been reported previously that Valles Garcia was seeking political asylum in the United States because of death threats; however, Andres Morales, secretary of the county in Mexico and second in charge after the mayor, told ABC News that he couldn't confirm that report.

Valles Garcia did request a few days off to care for her sick son, he said.

An unnamed relative of Valles Garcia told The New York Post that the chief had left Mexico with her young son.

Valles Garcia, called "the bravest woman in Mexico," was sworn in in November 2010 as the head of a new program of crime prevention in a farming town located in one of the bloodiest regions in Mexico. Since her predecessor's head was left outside the police station over a year ago, no one wanted to fill the vacancy. Valles Garcia took the position.

"I'm doing this for my people," she said then. "This is not for me. I'm tired of all the drug violence."

ABC News tried to talk to Valles Garcia about her job in December, but was unable to. A person who answered the phone said her presence in the office is unpredictable, for obvious reasons.

The downward spiral of drug violence in Mexico has touched nearly every community.

"[Drug-related violence] could deter leaders from taking government positions, a very pernicious development," said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. "We have seen more than 20 mayors in Mexico killed over the past three years."

President Barack Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Thursday to extend their collaboration on combatting drug violence. During the joint news conference at the White House, Obama said that he would speed up aid from the U.S. meant to train and equip Mexican forces, but he also acknowledged that the countries should make a greater effort to keep that aid out of the hands of the drug cartels.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec032010

Female Police Chief Murdered in Mexico

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MEOQUI, Mexico) -- The newly appointed female police chief of the northern Mexican town of Meoqui was shot and killed on her way to work by a convoy of gunmen who reportedly worked for drug traffickers, authorities said.

Hermila Garcia Quinones, 38, was sworn in on Oct. 9 as chief of the 90-person police force. Despite the growing drug-related violence in the region, "La Jefa," as Garcia Quinones was known, refused to have bodyguards or carry a weapon.

"If you don't owe anything, you don't fear anything," she was fond of saying when asked why she didn't have security. She was killed Nov. 29, another death in what has become a bloodbath in Mexico tied to drug traffickers whose wares supply users in the U.S.

"This is an area where Los Zetas operate in. Los Zetas are the meanest, most sadistic, most psychotic criminal organization in Mexico," said George W. Grayson, a crime expert and professor at William and Mary College. "I don't know that they did it. But they don't have any regard for gender, age, profession. They enjoy killing. They have raised the bar of brutality."

Meoqui, which borders Texas, was not always a dangerous region. But in recent months it has started to see some of the drug-related violence which has claimed almost 30,000 lives in Mexico since 2006. In the last year, there have been 40 drug-related deaths in the town.

When men refused to take the police chief position in Meoqui, Garcia Quinones stepped forward.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio