Showdown: Mexican Drug Cartels Vs. the 20-Year-Old Police Chief

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The Mexican government says over 28,000 people have died since it launched its campaign against the drug cartels


For once the real-life crime-stopper world is topping the drama of prime time TV.

The scene: The border town of Práxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, Mexico, where the threats from drug cartels run people out of their homes and the unforgiving, unchecked street law—complete with beheadings—has every family living in terror.

The conflict: No experienced lawman has the guts to take the job of police chief.

The twist: But one young woman, an attractive 20-year-old criminology student with an infant son, does. Enter Marisol Valles, the police chief now being hailed as the bravest woman in Mexico.

The mayor of the town appointed her as the most qualified of very few applicants for the post, and Valles now heads a team of 13 agents. At their disposal is a single police car, three rifles and a pistol, according to The Guardian. (Their backups being, presumably, a couple baseball bats and an old paint gun.)

“We are doing this for a new generation of people who don’t want to be afraid anymore. Everyone is frightened—it is very natural,” she told Mexican media. “My motive for being here is that one can do a lot for the town … we are going to make changes and get rid of a little of the fear in every person.”