Things That Matter

Mormon Family Still Seeking Answers One Year After Nine Members Killed In Mexico

Update November 12, 2020

It has been a year since the Langford/LeBaron family lost nine members in a brutal killing. The victims, women and children, were killed in their care in northern Mexico. One year later and the family is still seeking justice for the deaths.

Another fugitive has been arrested in connection with the death of members of the LeBaron family.

Nine members of the LeBaron family were killed in November 2019 when they were driving. The death of the victims, all women and children, shocked both Mexican and American societies because of its brutality.

According to reports, the attorney general’s office of Mexico arrested a 12th person in connection to the attack. The latest fugitive is said to be the person who ambushed the family as they were driving in Sonora.

Earlier this year, the family filed a lawsuit against the Juarez cartel.

The family alleges that the Juarez cartel carried out the slaying because the family protested against them. Family members of the women and children killed believe that it was done in retribution.

“We will no longer be silent victims,” Adrian LeBaron Soto, whose daughter Maria Rhonita LeBaron was killed, said in a statement. “We will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice for the murder of my daughter and grandchildren.”

Original: This week, nine members of a prominent Mormon family were killed by heavily armed men while on their way to a wedding in Chihuahua, Mexico. Six of the victims were children. The children that survived hid beneath branches by the road until help arrived. The LeBarón family are dual Mexican and American citizens who have lived in the northern state of Sonora for decades. Three mothers and their children were driving from their fundamentalist Mormon community in the mountains in a convoy of three SUVs when they were attacked, for reasons still unknown. Mexico’s top security official, Alfonso Durazo, suspects the cartel involved may have thought the SUV convoy appeared as a threat from a rival gang.

Mexican police have arrested a suspected drug lord believed to be responsible for the massacre. The case is still under investigation.

Rhonita Maria LeBarón, 30, and her four children were all murdered.

Credit: Tiffany Langford / Facebook

Rhonita was driving to Phoenix that day to pick her husband up from a work trip, but her car blew a tire. Rhonita went back home to get another car and set out again, this time with two families ahead of her, heading to a wedding. Family member Kendra Miller posted to Facebook the horrifying outcome: “Nita and the four of her seven children she had taken on the trip were burned to mostly ashes and only a few charred bones left to identify that all five had been inside. It appeared that one tried to escape as the front passenger door was open and the remains were partially in and out of the vehicle.”

Rhonita LeBarón, her six-month old twins, Titus and Tiana, Krystal, 10, and Howard, 12, were all killed.

Christina Langford, 31, died saving her seven-month-old baby, Faith.

Credit: Kenny LeBaron / Facebook

Ten miles ahead of Rhonita’s family, Christina and baby Faith were in one car, with a family of ten in another car. According to family member Kendra Miller, “Christina jumped out waving her arms to let the attackers know that it was women and children in the vehicles. She gave her life to try and save the rest.” Before she died, Langford quickly threw baby Faith to the floor of the SUV, saving her life. Later, Miller says armed family members arrived at the scene to find “Christina’s baby Faith with the vehicle around her riddled with bullet holes. Somehow she had remained untouched, and alive. She was in her car seat, which looked to have been hurriedly placed on the floor of the vehicle by her mother for protection.”

Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and two of her children perished in the other vehicle.

Credit: Tiffany Langford / Facebook

Dawna Langford, 43, and her two children, Trevor Harvey, 11, and Rogan Jay, 3, were killed. Seven of her children survived, but several suffered gunshot wounds.

After witnessing his mother and brothers being shot dead, Dawna’s son Devin hid his 6 other siblings in the bushes and covered them with branches to keep them safe while he went for help,” Kendra Miller shared in a Facebook post. “When he took too long to return, his 9-year-old sister left the remaining five to try again.”

Six hours after the ambush, young Devin had hiked 14 miles to alert the rest of the family to the dire news. Devin’s uncles called for help, and armed themselves, arriving an hour later to the site of the massacre. They found the children, who were still hiding, and baby Faith alive. 

Five of Dawna’s children were injured and are being treated at a U.S. hospital.

Credit: Kenny LeBaron / Facebook

Miller shared that they were treated at a local hospital until the Mexican military transported them by helicopter to another hospital. From there, their father, David accompanied them as they were transported to a U.S. hospital. McKenzie, 9, was found by soldiers after she went looking for help, and got lost hiking for 4 hours. Kyle, 14, was shot in the foot. Cody, 8, was shot in the jaw, and leg. Xander, who is just 4 years old, was shot in the back. Brixon, who is just 8 months old, was grazed across the chest and wrist. 

Trump wants to wage a “war,” but Mexico’s President doesn’t feel that’s the answer.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

“If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters,” Trump tweeted. “The United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively. The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”

In a follow-up tweet, Trump suggested waging “war,” saying, “This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth. We merely await a call from your great new president!” During a daily press briefing, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rebuffed Trump’s suggestion, saying, “It’s not in agreement with our convictions. The worst thing is war.”

READ: They Discovered Mass Graves And Now These Grieving Mothers Are Being Threatened By Drug Cartels

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Things That Matter

Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

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Mexico Is Owning The Instagram-Worthy World Of Glamping With These Bubble Hotels

Culture

Mexico Is Owning The Instagram-Worthy World Of Glamping With These Bubble Hotels

Right now just about everyone is itching to go on vacation. But considering that we’re still mid-pandemic and the call remains to socially distance, what can one do?

Sure, glamping is nothing new – it’s filled our Instagram feeds for years and was around long before that – but it may just provide travelers with that socially-distanced staycation that so many of us need right about now. Or, better yet, wait a little while longer and get yourself to Mexico where several new glamping bubble hotels are popping up.

Mexico will soon have three “bubble hotel” options for tourists looking for the next level of “glamping.”

When you think of camping, many of us think of bugs, not showering, and doing our private business behind a bush somewhere. While that’s still definitely an option for those of us that are into it, glamping has been a trend towards making the camping experience a more comfortable one.

Glamping has been gaining popularity among nature lovers, who also want to enjoy those everyday creature comforts, but in the midst of beautiful landscapes. That’s why bubble hotels have been popping up across Mexico, to offer clients a unique stay, close to nature they’re the perfect ‘getaway’ to get out of your daily routine.

From the bosque outside Mexico City to the deserts of Baja, Mexico is a glamping paradise. 

These bubble hotels have rooms described by travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet as essentially inflatable, transparent domes designed to allow guests to cocoon themselves in nature without quite leaving their material comforts behind. 

There are already two such properties across Mexico with a third which will begin welcoming guests sometime toward the end of this year.

One of those that is already operational is Alpino Bubble Glamping in Mexico City while the other is the Campera Bubble Hotel in the Valle de Guadalupe wine region of Baja California.

Located in the Cumbres de Ajusco National Park in the south of the capital, the former has just two “bubbles,” a 40-square-meter deluxe one that goes for 4,500 pesos (about US $220) a night and a 25-square-meter standard where a stay costs a slightly more affordable 4,000 pesos.

Both have views of the Pico del Águila, the highest point of the Ajusco, or Xitle, volcano, and come equipped with telescopes that guests can use to get a better view of the surrounding scenery and night sky.

Bubble glamping isn’t the camping our parents dragged us out to do in the woods as kids.

Credit: Alpino Bubble Hotel

Sure you may be connecting with nature and enjoying awesome activities like horseback riding, stargazing, hiking or rafting, but these properties come with all the creature comforts we’re used to. 

Move nights, wifi, breakfast in bed, warm showers, luxurious bedding, and even a full bar are all standard amenities at many of these properties.

What do you think? Would you be up to stay the night at one of these bubble hotels?

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