(CNN) -- One of a small number of women who have filled a void by becoming police chiefs in violence-torn Mexico was gunned down Monday, authorities said.
Hermila Garcia, 38, became the top cop in the town of Meoqui just two months ago.
Gunmen attacked her as she drove to work by herself, authorities said.
Garcia was one of a handful of women who have taken leadership roles in police departments in cities and towns where men have stayed away because of fear.
One of the most high-profile women to take such an assignment is 20-year-old Marisol Valles Garcia, a student who became police chief of Praxedis G. Guerrero, also in the state of Chihuahua.
Hermila Garcia was a lawyer by profession and was single with no children.
Violence in Chihuahua is due to struggles between rival drug cartels over lucrative smuggling routes, as well as police operations against the cartels.
Journalist Edgar Roman contributed to this report for CNN.