Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple denies security breach in celebrity photo leak

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

    Read more

  • France’s former first lady lifts lid on 'cold' Hollande

    Read more

  • French mum reunited with daughter 'kidnapped by jihadist father'

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces advance on IS as protesters storm parliament

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

France

French woman elected Interpol's first female chief

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-09

The world’s largest international police organisation Interpol made history on Thursday when it elected top French police chief Mireille Ballestrazzi as its first female president. Ballestrazzi made her name fighting organised crime in Corsica.

A top French police officer has been elected the first woman to lead the world’s largest international police organisation Interpol at its general assembly in Rome on Thursday.

Mireille Ballestrazzi, 58, well-known for her work combating organised crime in Bordeaux and Corsica, is currently second in command of France’s police force.

Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon, announced the historic appointment on Twitter.

Significant moment for women

Speaking about her appointment to French media Ballestrazzi said it was a significant moment for France and particularly for women.

“Of course I am happy they have put their trust in me,” Ballestrazzi told French radio RTL after her appointment was made public. “I am proud for women because this can have an impact and I am proud for France,” she added.

Ballestrazzi said she was “wholly committed to the fundamental role Interpol must play in global police cooperation.”

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who attended the Interpol assembly earlier this week, said Ballestrazzi was "a great police woman".

"She is one of the women who are the pride of the French police," he said.

Valls said her experience with organised crime would serve her well in fighting drug trafficking, mafias from southern and eastern Europe as well as growing political violence that requires a coordinated international response.

'Invaluable experience'

Ballestrazzi became a police commissioner in France in 1975 and was already vice-president for Europe on Interpol's executive committee.

She is particularly well known for her time as director of judicial police in Corsica in the 1990s at a time of fierce turf wars on the island.

France has not held the presidency of the Interpol since 1992 when Yvan Barbot was in charge of the organisation.

Interpol, whose aim is to promote cooperation between national police forces, has 190 member states.

The organisation’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said Ballestrazzi’s appointment was another example of Interpol’s evolution.

“She brings invaluable experience in cross-border police collaboration to her role, as well as proven leadership abilities, and I look forward to working closely with her to ensure that Interpol continues to provide innovative responses to meet the needs of our member countries,” said Noble.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-11-09

  • LIBYA

    Interpol puts Gaddafi's son on most-wanted list

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Interpol seeks to arrest maker of faulty implants

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN

    Pakistan to ask Interpol to help arrest Musharraf

    Read more

COMMENT(S)