A twenty year old criminology student was recently appointed police chief of one of northern Mexico's most violent bordertowns.
Marisol Valles Garcia took control of the Guadalupe Distrito Bravo, Chihuahua police department on Monday, October 18, 2010. She was the only applicant for the position.
Valles Garcia is married, has one small child, and is currently studying criminology in Mexico's most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, some 60 kilometres west of Guadalupe.
Raging territory battles between rival drug gangs have caused more than 7000 violent deaths and over 230,000 people to leave Ciudad Juarez since 2008.
Much of Chihuahua state has suffered from the spiral of drug violence, including in the less than 10,000 citizen town of Guadalupe, where the mayor was murdered in June and previous police officers have been kidnapped and killed, some of them beheaded.
Last week alone there were at least eight murders in Guadalupe, in an area deemed a high-traffic transit point for illegal drugs across the border into the US state of Texas.
Upon taking office Valles Garcia stated her priority is not to combat drug cartels and trafficking as the war against drugs is the responsibility of other government bodies.
She said her mission is to establish prevention programs in neighborhoods and schools, reestablish security in public areas and seek neighborhood involvement in forming networks of preventive monitoring.
Additionally she said she is not ruling out the possibility of creating a cycling police patrol and requesting older adults to join preventive surveillance programs in and around all educational establishments.
The Guadalupe police department at this time has only one police patrol car and receives security assistance from the Mexican army.