By Anastasia Moloney
Mexico’s congress has approved a bill that paves the way for women to head the country’s army and air force, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports.
Mexican congresswoman Diva Gastelum said the reform will allow women to take command of the armed forces and to serve as defense minister.
Gastelum, an opposition lawmaker, was quoted as saying that, “if a woman was at the head of the Defense Secretariat there would not be so many deaths and (so much) insensitivity on the streets,” an apparent reference to the participation of the military in the fight against drug traffickers and the more-than-40,000 drug-war deaths since December 2006, the paper reports.
In other parts of Latin America, women serve as high-ranking officers. In Colombia, for example, Martha Lucia Ramirez, served as defense minister from 2002 to 2006.