November 27, 2021

20 Year Old Hopes To Change A Small Township In Mexico

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A small township in the one of the most dangerous municipals in northern Chihuahua is getting a new plice chief

Twenty year old Marisol Velles Garcia was sworn in Wednesday to be the new police chief in a small township of 8,500 people in the Jaurez Valley in Mexico. It’s one of the most dangerous municipals in northern Chihuahua. She hasn’t finished her criminology degree yet, but she is ready to try and solve some problems.

The area she is at was once a quiet farming community. Now two rival gangs, the Juarez and the Sinaloa, have been battling for control over the highway.

Garcia has her 12 officers going door to door, doing what she calls a “special brand of community policing.” She said, “My people are out there going door to door, looking for criminals, and (in homes) where there are none, trying to teach values to the families.”

The drug cartels have threatened and even killed some police chiefs and their departments. The mayors of Distrito Bravos and El Porvenir were both killed recently even after they sought refuge.

Local residents report that the gangs take over the streets at night. They go through town in convoys with assault rifles and .50 caliber sniper rifles.

Even in the last months, as soldiers and federal police have come in to take over patrols, they are still afraid to venture out to unfamiliar dirt roads, and roads that are heavily trafficked by the drug cartels. They instead stay on the main roads.

The federal government of Mexico has struggled to deal with the drug cartel threat. These federal law enforcement personnel are under trained, under paid and even end up corrupting the local police that work for one of the more than 2,000 municipal police forces in Mexico.

Many hope that Garcia’s acts aren’t reckless on her part. She just wants to educate the public on what is happening. She has two bodyguards assigned to her, although in the past the cartels have penetrated even more than that. Nonetheless she says she isn’t afraid.