Unlikely officer takes on cartels
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Mention the word police chief, and what comes to mind? Older man with a belly, and we live in Texas, so probably a mustache too.
Not a 20-year-old college criminology major who is also a woman and a mother.
But Praxedis, Mexico, a quiet farming community near the Texas border, has just that since Marisol Valles Garcia took office.
The reason she got the job: no one else wanted it.
Her predecessor was shot in July 2009, and the town could not find a replacement for more than a year.
Honestly, she’s nuts. No one else was interested in stepping up because the drug lords keep assassinating public officials. The former mayor was killed in June.
Garcia claims she took the position to help people become less fearful. Does she realize she probably just added a lot more fear to the people’s lives? She’s a 20-year-old who stands in the way of the drug cartels. They kill people. Is she trying to be some modern-day Joan of Arc?
Yes, someone has to stand up, and her courage is applaudable.
Let’s face it. Half the men in Mexico probably wouldn’t take this job. But where are her parents? She’s an adult, but young and hardly ready for her new position. If this was some small town in Texas, it would be no big deal. But we are talking Mexico.
More shocking is that she does not even know how to shoot a gun. But no worries because she will have two bodyguards. The first thing she should do is get a big gun and learn – fast.
As awful as it is to say, she is going to have to watch her back. Or on the other hand, she might be fine because the cartel is probably laughing behind her back, thinking how much easier she just made their lives.
Her approach is non-violence. And she wants to add more women to her force. Currently, three of her 13 officers are female.
She wants the members of her forces to be unarmed.
That is not a typo. She wants them to go around protecting the people of the town against members of the cartel without guns.
Of course, no one likes violence, but Garcia may be sending the message ‘come out and shoot us. We won’t do anything about it.’
She needs to be at home with her husband and newborn baby, not out fighting unarmed against the cartel. A Mexican man needs to step up and take the reins of his town from a naïve woman.