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‘Bravest woman in Mexico’ seeking U.S. asylum soon to have her story staged off-Broadway

LatinaLista — A new play making its world premiere next month at New York City’s legendary La MaMa theater brings the courageous story of a young Mexican police chief to the Big Apple stage. “so go the ghosts of mexico, part one” was written by Matthew Paul Olmos and tells the story of Marisol Valles Garcia.

At the age of 20, Marisol Valles Garcia served as police chief of the Mexican town of Praxedis, until she received death threats from drug cartels.

At the age of 20, Valles Garcia was installed as the new police chief of Praxedis, Chihuahua, Mexico. The position fell on the young girl’s shoulders after the previous police chief was beheaded by local drug cartels for not co-operating with them and other interim chiefs were frightened off the force.

While Valles Garcia was hailed as the ‘bravest woman in the world’ and attracted worldwide media attention, she was excited about implementing a new strategy to deal with the cartels. Having studied criminology in school and served as the Secretary for Public Security of Praxedis, Valles Garcia felt she was the right person to bring peace and tranquility to her town.

She was wrong.

After announcing that she planned to implement a nonviolent approach, hire more female police officers and that none of the officers would be armed, Valles Garcia received the shock of her life.

Instead of leaving the police department alone, drug cartel representatives began calling Valles Garcia threatening her. It wasn’t long before Valles Garcia saw strange cars outside her home and office. Then one day she received a call from a cartel member who said they were coming for her.

Valles Garcia left Mexico at that moment and is currently seeking asylum in the United States. Her first hearing in immigration court takes place in 2013.

Valles Garcia’s experience is but one story that playwright Matthew Paul Olmos plans to tell about the U.S./Mexico drug wars. The second play in the trilogy will be performed by an all-female cast and will focus on the cartels, while the third play attempts to give some perspective to U.S. involvement in the cartel drug war.

“So go the ghosts of Mexico” is Olmos’ first play to be produced in New York City and is a result of being selected by the Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Sam Shepherd, who was the first recipient of a new award honoring the founder of La MaMa and who named him the inaugural recipient of the Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Award.

Performances will be staged from April 11-28, 2013 at La MaMa.

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