Marisol Valles Garcia, 20, on Monday became chief of police of Guadalupe Distrito Bravos, a community with a population listed at about 9000, in the Valle de Juarez, not far from Ft. Hancock. She was the only applicant for the position. Each village in that area is assigned a patrol car and four agents by the municipality. Valles has not yet completed a degree in criminology. Since being named to the position last week she has managed to recruit three female officers to assist her. José Luis Guerrero, mayor of Praxedis, said that the surrounding communities have 19 police officers, of whom 9 are women. Police officers are not armed.
The Valle de Juarez has become something of a no-man's land, having been taken over at least in part by agents of the Sinaloa cartel, and said to be under the control of Gabino Salas Valenciano, a.k.a. el ingeniero. Some reports have indicated that half the population has fled, after being told pointedly to leave the area. Three local mayors (called jefes seccionales) have been killed in the Valle de Juarez in the past year. The last one, Rito Grado, was killed last Saturday night in Juarez, where he spent his weekends in a modest home. On June 19 this year former mayor of Guadalupe, Jesus Manuel Lara Rodriguez was murdered in his home in Juarez, where he had also fled after receiving death threats. A number of police officers have been killed, decapitated, or kidnapped in the Valle in the past two years.
Valles pointed out that as a municipal police chief she is not responsible for drug trafficking, which falls under the federal government, but will try to create preventive programs in schools, to make public places safer, and to organize neighborhood watch groups. She also suggested she might try to create a bicycle patrol. Click for notes here in Diario and El Pionero.