Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Two More Women Named Police Chiefs in Northern Mexico

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 |


Olga Herrera Castillo new police chief of Villa Luz.

Herald Tribune

Two housewives are taking over as the police chiefs in dangerous towns near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, with the appointments coming just weeks after a 20-year-old criminology student took command of the police department in another violence-plagued municipality in the northern state of Chihuahua.

Veronica Rios Ontiveros was appointed police chief in El Vergel, a community south of Ciudad Juarez, by the Samalayuca city council, while Olga Herrera Castillo will be in charge of the police department in the town of Villa Luz.

Samalayuca has four communities with a total population of 2,500.

Herrera Castillo said she was concerned about the crimes, including arson and kidnappings, that have occurred in the area.

“Maybe it makes me scared, but they encourage me and it goes away,” the 43-year-old mother of five said.

Herrera Castillo said she was taking the job to work for her family and “to help the town.”

Marisol Valles, a 20-year-old married criminology student, became the police chief last month of Praxedis G. Guerrero, another city in Chihuahua.

A large number of candidates ran for office in the recent elections in Samalayuca, while no one opted to run for the posts open in the nearby communities of San Agustin, El Sauzal, San Isidro, Ejido Zaragoza and Venustiano Carranza.

Some cities in Mexico do not have any police officers on their payrolls, while others have a few poorly paid and armed officers.

The majority of municipal police officers make an average of 4,000 pesos ($320) a month.

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