Woman police chief flees Mexico after death threatsMarch 6th, 2011 - 11:16 am ICT by IANS
Ciudad Juarez, March 6 (IANS/EFE) A 20-year-old mother and criminology student who volunteered to serve as a police chief in a violent Mexican northern town has fled the country for the US after getting death threats, officials said.
Marisol Valles received a threat, after which she went to the US along with her family, Chihuahua state attorney general Jorge Gonzalez Nicolas said.
Valles accepted the job of police chief in Praxedis G. Guerrero, a border town 100 km from Ciudad Juarez, in October last year.
She stepped forward after the town government could find no one else willing to lead the force in the wake of the killings of several officers by drug cartel gunmen.
Officials in Praxedis earlier said Valles was on leave to take her son to a doctor.
Valles left for “personal problems”, but she continues being the chief. If she does not return to work, she will be dismissed, municipal secretary Andres Morales said.
An immigration lawyer in neighbouring El Paso, Texas, said Valles was weighing how to go about applying for asylum in the US.
The case is “symptomatic” of the situation experienced in the region and could open the doors for other police personnel to seek asylum, the lawyer said.
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Tags: asylum, border town, ciudad juarez, criminology student, death threats, drug cartel, gunmen, immigration lawyer, jorge gonzalez, killings, morales, municipal secretary, neighbouring, old mother, personal problems, police chief, state attorney general, town government, valles, woman police