Women In Blue: The Story Behind Mexico’s First Female Police Force and Its Cinematic Inspiration

In early May 2024, Apple Television released the trailer of a drama series called Women In Blue. Set in Mexico and scheduled to start streaming at the end of July, Women In Blue follows four women who become Mexico’s first female police officers. 

The women will defy the barriers placed on women in law enforcement as they come together to create a secret investigation to uncover a serial killer that the male police officers have failed to bring to book.

The Spanish language series is inspired by true events surrounding Mexico’s first female police force and is set in 1971.

Although set in 1971, it tells a story about the struggles of Mexican women police officers that is still prevalent in 21st century Mexico. 

To give an example, Valles Garcia who was the first female police chief in the district of Praxedis G. Guerrero is often called “the bravest woman in Mexico” due to how she took on a job that no one wanted to take for a year. Praxedis is home to some of the most violent drug cartels in Mexico and shortly after Ms. Garcia started, she began to receive threatening calls. Eventually, although she took the job to embark on community transformation, she had to flee Mexico and seek asylum in the United States of America.

The series Women In Blue seeks to highlight the stories of female police officers in Mexico like Valles Garcia and how they continue to play often overlooked roles in community development and law enforcement. Even as police officers, women in Mexico’s law enforcement are still open to discrimination even within the police force. 

For example, the Guardian reported in 2016 that female police officers in Queretaro had filed complaints about how male police commanders were subjecting them to “attractiveness inspections”. 

The complaints were filed to the human rights commission and the female police officers said that it was done by Chief Hidalgo Eddy as part of a selection process for a new female police unit in the town. One of them said: “I trained to be a police officer, not a showgirl.”

The role of female police officers in community transformation and law enforcement cannot be underestimated.

Even more, the role of well trained, prowomen  and empathetic female police officers in the advancement of women’s rights and justice cannot be underestimated. 

In Mexico and most parts of the world, a major hindrance to women’s issues is the lack of empathy at the first point of justice seeking which is the police station. Several women who are victims of domestic violence and rape have often had to let go of cases because they were victim blamed at the police station or not given adequate and time sensitive care.

The presence of feminist minded female police officers is not only needed to properly advance the safety and protection of women’s issues, rights and freedoms. As earlier mentioned, there is a lack of not just women but women who are pro women in their outlook in the law enforcement agencies of most countries in the world.

But the far reaching effect of that lack of representation is what it says about the larger society and to children in particular.

If law enforcement is mostly seen as a male preserve, it is not to be seen as a surprise if most children do not see their mothers as people to be respected. It is not to be seen as a surprise if children only respect a mother and do what she tells them to do when she threatens to report them to their father.

Furthermore, the lack of visible women in the police and law enforcement can deter younger women watching from running for leadership positions in areas like politics. They will fail to do so because somewhere in their minds is the idea that taking initiative and being authoritative are traits only men can have.

It is therefore imperative that more series like Women In Blue are created to encourage the normalisation of not only positive representation of female police officers but also women in leadership positions.

By doing this, more robust conversations on the role of women in community enforcement and transformation will be had.

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