Sonora, Mexico. Yesterday, November 4, convoys of vehicles carrying members of the extended LeBaron family, an American family of Mormons, were attacked by cartel gangs at two different sites near Bavispe, Sonora state, about 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona. At least nine, possibly more, women and children were massacred. Numerous others, all children, were either kidnapped or left wounded along the roads.
One small group of about a half dozen children escaped and made their way back to the family’s La Mora settlement, outside Bavispe. Led by one of the older children, this group hid an undetermined number of their injured siblings and cousins along the roadside.
Surviving family members described how the women and their children were executed by the cartel gangs, gunned down as they fled or burned alive while trapped inside their SUVs.
One victim, Rhonita Maria LeBaron, was driving to Phoenix with her four children when her SUV broke down. A gang opened fire on the vehicle, causing the gas tank to explode and incinerating all inside. At another spot, eight miles away, other members of the extended LeBaron family were gunned down at the same time.
Relatives at La Mora said no help came from the authorities, and family members dispersed from the settlement into the mountains in an attempt to help their relatives under attack.
At this time, no motive for the attacks has been identified. Authorities suggest cases of “mistaken identity,” but the family has been attacked before. In 2009, Benjamin LeBaron, an anti-crime activist, was murdered in neighboring Chihuahua. The area of Mexico where the attacks occurred was described by one survivor yesterday as a “war zone,” home to drug cartels and “thugs.”
The La Mora community is one of several Mormon settlements in Sonora and Chihuahua, founded early in the 20th century by breakaway factions of polygamous Mormons. George Romney, father of Senator Mitt Romney and once a candidate for president himself, was born in one such community in 1907. The LeBarons are American citizens. Some of the children hold dual citizenship.
This massacre, along with the shootout last month in Sinaloa state where gang members defeated government troops in a successful effort to free the son of “El Chapo” Guzmán, illustrates all too clearly that Mexico is a destabilizing failed state, controlled by criminal cartels, and disintegrating into open civil war. The situation there should take top priority in Washington, yet our government concerns itself with meddling in the affairs of insignificant desert kingdoms half a world away, while misguided American “progressives” push for open borders.
For more, see the Daily Mail.