Fundamentalist Mormon Family Targeted In Shooting Receives Beginning Of Justice As Suspects Are Arrested
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) met with a relative of the recovering fundamentalist Mormon family to offer updates in the arrests of suspects who murdered 9 people, all young children and their mothers, in northern Mexico. The LeBaron family moved to Mexico over 50 years ago when the United States placed a federal ban on polygamy. In the foothills of northern Mexico, the family established a commune for other fundamentalist Mormon families to live and continue to have multiple wives. The Langfords have since abandoned their Mexican homes for the United States, supported by a nearly 100-person family caravan that escorted the Langfords down the road that mothers and children were murdered just days prior.
Last month, Mexico made an arrest that became a source for “fundamental information and evidence,” according to the Mexican’s Attorney General’s Office news release. Over the weekend, several more suspects were arrested and taken into custody.
A relative of the LeBaron’s said that the family is “pleased with advances made in the investigation,” CNN reported.
The day after the Attorney General released news that several more people were arrested, Adrián LeBaron met with AMLO. The family plans to meet with the president again next month but said that “it was dangerous” for him to give any further information, according to CNN. Right now, all the public knows is that several more arrests were made over the weekend, thanks to information given by the initial suspect allegedly involved in the killings.
The weekend marked the third time Mexican authorities announced arrests related to the case, which has become known as La Mora Massacre. The first arrest was made the day after the massacre along the U.S.-Mexico border and was later revealed to have been unrelated to the attacks, though the suspect was allegedly found with two hostages and four assault rifles in a bulletproof vehicle. The second string of arrests gathered enough information to launch this latest string of arrests of an undisclosed number. The most active cartels in the area are La Linea, Los Jaguares and Jalisco Nueva Generación, each with their own long, bloody history.
After the family members were buried, the Langfords left in an “exodus.”
David’s sister, Leah Langford-Stadden, told the Daily News, “They’re scared for their lives. They’re leaving everything behind. It’s an exodus.” As the Langfords packed their things and began the final drive out from their home, a caravan of 100 family members joined them to send them off in solidarity. Many of them may leave as well. “It’s horrible. It’s a paradise lost, for sure. It’s heartbreaking,” Langford-Stadden said of a community shattered.
The Langfords left hundreds of acres of pecan orchards behind after burying Dawna, 43, Trevor Harvey, 11, and Rogan Jay, 3. Their relatives are just beginning a new political fight.
The families are now petitioning Trump to call Mexican cartels a foreign terrorist organization.
“Families of LaMora 9” have launched a Change.org petition that is calling on Trump to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. The petition lists how “the cartels control the flow of opioids, heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, ultra-deadly fentanyl, and all other illegal drugs” smuggled into the U.S. and the increasingly high murder rates within Mexico itself. “Their unbridled acts of violence and murder have overrun our borders and created an international crisis. They seek political power in order to create a narco-state in Mexico. Each year, there are approximately 35% more murders committed in Mexico than by all officially designated terrorist groups combined,” the petition says. “We cannot afford to continue the same failed policies used to combat organized crime. They are terrorists, and it’s time to acknowledge it!”
Trump says he’s already moving forward with designating Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
The FBI largely defines terrorism as violence committed by individuals “to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental nature,” and many U.S. officials believe cartels meet those qualifications. If Mexican cartels were named a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), that would also mean that the U.S. would be able to prosecute Americans selling drugs that came from Mexico to much harsher anti-terrorism laws, increasing life sentences in the U.S. The petition currently has 3,000 signatures. President Trump has already told Mexico it needed to declare “war” against the cartels.
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