Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cape of Worry: Where fries incite abduction fear and Marisol Valles Garcia is praised

Female matador
I have a magic cape. Sometimes I hurl its glittery spandex satin across America so my nieces and nephews in L.A. are kept safe from life in general and the L.A.P.D. in particular who can harass citizens guilty of being Black while driving.

As rotten an aunt as I am (I'm a virtual aunt sending love and not much else), my (albeit) rotten auntness is active 24/7. In other words, I worry. I cannot imagine--or I can and am unable to understand--what mothers (and fathers) suffer daily, even in the best of circumstances. 

One time, for instance, my niece, with my greatniece and greatnephew in tow, generously dropped me off at LAX .

All three came inside to wave good-bye (or good riddance), and knowing the energy needed to sustain the motion of an arm from its at-rest position we got fries. Jets need fuel so they may fly; arms and hands need fries so they may wave.

My niece found us a little nook in which we could partake, which we did vigorously until more ketchup was needed. Arms and hands need fries with ketchup. My 10-year old (at the time) greatniece self-dispatched in search of.  She disappeared from sight! 

I went into shock, seriously, flashed on every heartbreaking headline not to mention every television show and movie and suspense novel  scene on child abduction.  I looked to my niece, only thirteen years younger than I am, for support in organizing an amber alert.

She shrugged. Repeat: My niece shrugged!  "She'll come back."  She'll come back?  But of course she did return shortly with ketchup. Which worked for me because I'd expended untold ergs by worrying and needed fuel.

This is true and may be lighthearted; and is remembered this morning as I read a news story about Marisol Valles Garcia, a criminology student in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Garcia is police chief of Praxedis G. Guerrero, near Juarez, where 26,000 people have been killed in drug wars or as collateral damage in drugs wars since 2006.

And where hundreds (some sources say "400," some "thousands") of women have been killed or disappeared.

Garcia is establishing patrols of the town staffed by women. The thought terrifies me. She's brave and foolish and young. And she might possibly mark the turning point.

I extend my protective glittery spandex and/or satin velour cape from N.Y.C. to L.A. to Praxedis G. Guerrero where women are trying to end the war.

From the article:

It might seem that a tough-fisted police chief is required for such a violent town. But Valles Garcia says she will take a reverse tactic, using a mostly female, unarmed force to patrol the streets and focus on social programs in schools and community-building. "The weapons we have are principles and values, which are the best weapons for prevention," she said. "Our work will be pure prevention. We are not going to be doing anything else other than prevention."

While she continues to garner praise for her courage, closer to home not all are thrilled with their new police chief. As CNN noted yesterday, one posting on the Periodista Digital site asked plainly: "Are there no men in Chihuahua?"

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