|Erika Gandara, the last police officer in Guadalupe, Mexico, has been kidnapped and her house set afire.|
Gunmen have kidnapped a 28-year-old woman who was the last police officer in the town of Guadalupe, Mexico, close to the violent northern border city Ciudad Juarez, according to Mexican officials.
About 10 unidentified gunmen last Thursday set fire to the home of Erika Gandara and torched both cars parked outside for good measure before abducting her, witnesses told the state of Chihuahua prosecutor’s office, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
All of Gandara’s colleagues on the Guadalupe police force had already either resigned and fled, or were killed by drug cartels.
Guadalupe, population 9,000, is located about 60 kilometers southeast of Ciudad Juarez, in an area frequently used by smugglers to transport drugs into the United States.
The town is just up the road from Praxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, where a 20-year-old female college student and mother named Marisol Valles took over as police chief in October after nobody else wanted the job.
Late last month, unidentified gunmen killed Hermila Garcia Baeza, police chief of Meoqui, which is on a key Chihuahua highway about 175 km from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Garcia Baeza, a lawyer, had only been on the job for a month.
The Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels are in a bloody fight for control of Ciudad Juarez and the surrounding territory, key points to smuggle illicit drugs into the lucrative U.S. market.
More than 30,000 people have been killed across Mexico in drug-related violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon announced a nationwide crackdown and ordered the military to get involved in fighting the drug cartels.