The 20-year-old police chief of the border town of Praxedis G. Guerrero, Mexico, was fired today when she failed to show up for work. Marisol Valles Garcia had requested a personal leave from March 2-7 to travel to the United States to receive care for her 8-month-old baby, who was said to be sick. She was to have reported back to work today.
Various news agencies have suggested that Valles Garcia left Mexico, in fact, to see asylum in the United States because she has been the target of numerous threats from drug cartels, and was possibly even the target of a kidnapping attempt.
She took the job as the top law enforcement official in her community last October following the kidnapping and murders of several local dignitaries, allegedly at the hands of drug cartels. The town’s mayor and his son were murdered shortly before she took the job, and her predecessor’s head had been left outside the police station a year before she stepped into the post, which remained vacant until she accepted the position uncontested.
CNN is reporting that several of Valles Garcia’s neighbors have said it is an “open secret” that she fled for the United States over the weekend, despite the fact that local Mexican authorities have not confirmed anything.
The town released a statement:
“In the absence of [Valles Garcia's] presence on the agreed-upon day, and since there was no notification of a need to extend the period of her absence, the mayor has decided to remove her from office,” the statement read.
“We don’t know anything about her whereabouts,” town secretary Andres Morales told CNN.
According to the Mexican government, there have been in excess of 34,600 drug-related deaths since their president ordered a crackdown on cartels five years ago.
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