Érika Gándara, The bravest woman Police Chief of Mexico is kidnapped
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Érika Gándara, The bravest woman Police Chief of Mexico is kidnapped

Guadalupe : Mexico | Jan 12, 2011 at 5:00 AM PST
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20 Year Old Female Police Chief in the Middle of Mexico’s Drug War!

The female bravest and newly appointed police chief of village of Guadalupe in south of Juárez, Maxico, Érika Gándara is reportedly kidnapped by a group of armed men just two days before Christmas. Residents said she was taken from her home and has not been seen since.

The 28-year-old Gándara who took on the job nobody else wanted in October 2010, given by her mayor uncle GUADALUPE DISTRITO BRAVOS, Mexico. He had warned her to keep a low profile, to not make too much of being the last remaining police officer in a town where the rest of the force had quit or been killed.

However, in pictures for local newspapers, Gándara seemed to relish the role, posing with a semiautomatic rifle and talking openly about the importance of her new job. She allegedly was kidnapped two days after she reportedly told the media “I am the only police in this town, the authority”.

Guadalupe tried to put a nonthreatening face on law enforcement by appointing Ms. Gándara chief but he regret it.

“I told Érika, ‘Be careful,’ to not make waves,” Mr. Archuleta said, openly frustrated by the picture of her with the rifle. Like Ms. Valles, her role is more to issue citations, leaving serious crimes to state and federal authorities.

The farming communities in the violent Valley of Juárez with nearly half of its 9,000 residents have fled their cotton farming near Texas because they are frighten of outpost drug war. People have left their homes and at present, not one regular police officer.

The cotton towns south of Juárez sit in territory disputed by at least two major drug trafficking groups, according to government and private security reports, leading to deadly power struggles. But the lack of adequately trained police officers, a longstanding crisis that the government has sought to address with little resolution, allows criminal groups to have their way.

Although Mexico has been a producer and transit route for illegal drugs for generations, the country now finds itself in a pitched battle with powerful and well-financed drug cartels.

Within nearly four years, more than 28,000 people have been killed following President Felipe Calderón began his offensive against the nation’s drug organizations, with the gangs escalating fights over turf and dominance as the federal police and military try to stamp them out.

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Erika Gandara is seen next to an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at the police station in Guadalupe
Erika Gandara is seen next to an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at the police station in Guadalupe
Souk_Phaiboun is based in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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  • Bit by Bit, a Mexican Police Force Is Eradicated

      Newyork Times
    Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times A wave of terror has turned Guadalupe Distrito Bravos, near Texas, into a frightened outpost of the drug war...But in pictures for local newspapers, Erika Gandara, 28, seemed to relish the role, brandishing...
  • Bit by Bit, a Mexican Police Force Is Eradicated

      The New York Times
    Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times A wave of terror has turned Guadalupe Distrito Bravos, near Texas, into a frightened outpost of the drug war...But in pictures for local newspapers, Erika Gandara, 28, seemed to relish the role, brandishing...
  • Mexico: 34,612 drug war deaths, 15,273 in 2010

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    A total of 34,612 people have died in drug-related killings in the four years since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared a stepped-up offensive against drug cartels. Such killings jumped sharply in 2010 to reach 15,273 drug-related killings...

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