Thursday, October 21, 2010

"And a child shall lead them..."

Living along the U.S. / Mexico border, just miles from Cuidad Juárez, which has been called the most dangerous city in the world, I hope and pray everyday that something happens to change the direction of this city and country in peril. I think the winds of change have begun to blow. Marisol Valles Garcia, a 20 year-old student majoring in criminology, married, and with one child, was offered a job that nobody else in Mexico wanted. After the mayor of Guerrero heard her plan on how to make the city safer, he offered her the job of police chief. Shortly after, Marisol was named the police chief of a small town called Praxedis G. Guerrero just 35 miles south of Juárez.

As the police chief, she refuses to carry a gun, but has been given two body guards. She says that her goal as police chief is not to go after the drug cartel but to focus on the community and help disapate their fear of all the violence that has been going on in around their community. Her plan also includes hiring more women to the force not as deputies to enforce the law, but as advocates of the community going door to door building the faith and confidence in the people that they can have a community again.

I have read all sorts of criticisms throughout the interent about how Marisol Valles Garcia is foolish, that she isn't thinking straight, that she isn't qualified, and that she is helpless against the power of the drug cartels. I respond to the naysayers by pointing out the fact that none of the men of Praxedis G. Guerrero applied for the job or have come forward with ideas on how to improve the social health of the community. In Spanish there is a phrase, "son sin verguenzas," which in English means "they have no shame." The men of Praxedis G. Guerrero have no shame in having a young woman step up to a leadership position. She is well aware of the situation she is going into, and sometimes it takes an act of courage, such as Marisol Valles Garcia's, to serve an example to the rest of the world that the only thing to fear is fear itself.