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20-year-old police chief fired

world Updated: Mar 08, 2011 23:53 IST

A young woman who made headlines when she accepted the job as police chief in a violent Mexican border town was fired Monday for apparently abandoning her post after receiving death threats.

Marisol Valles Garcia was granted a leave of absence from March 2-7 to travel to the United States for personal matters but failed to return to Praxedis G Guerrero as agreed, city officials said in a statement.

"In the absence of (Valles Garcia's) presence on the agreed-upon day, and since there was no notification of a need to extend the period of her absence, the mayor has decided to remove her from office," the statement read.

Local news media reported that she was seeking asylum in the United States, but there has been no confirmation of that and her precise whereabouts were not clear.

Human Rights Commission official Gustavo De la Rosa Hickerson said residents of Praxedis told him Valles Garcia had received threats against her life, and there may even have been an attempt to kidnap her.

Valles Garcia was named police chief of Praxedis G Guerrero in October at age 20, sparking intense media attention after few candidates dared to apply for the dangerous job.

The town had been without a police chief since her predecessor was shot to death in July 2009.