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World The LeBaron family: What we know about the Mormons killed in Mexico

06:25  06 november  2019
06:25  06 november  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

Trump calls for 'war' against Mexican drug cartel 'monsters' after Americans murdered in shootout

  Trump calls for 'war' against Mexican drug cartel 'monsters' after Americans murdered in shootout President Trump on Tuesday offered U.S. assistance as he called on Mexico to “wage war” against the country's murderous drug cartel “monsters,” in response to the killing of multiple Americans in a shootout. “If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” Trump tweeted. “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!”© FoxNews.

At least nine members of a Mormon family that has tangled with Mexican drug cartels were killed on Monday when their vehicles were ambushed by gunmen in a When the LeBaróns first arrived in Mexico , they practiced polygamy, but that has now largely faded from the community, the family says.

The victims are members of the LeBaron family , linked to a breakaway Mormon community that settled in Mexico several decades ago. What do we know about the ambush? A group of three mothers and their 14 children had set off in a convoy of three cars from Bavispe in Sonora state and

Video provided by Associated Press

The massacre of nine American women and children has prompted US President Donald Trump to offer to help wipe Mexico's drug cartels "off the face of the Earth".

Those killed in the daytime attack, which left their vehicle bullet-riddled and charred on a dirt road, were Mexican-American Mormons who belonged to the LeBaron family.

Here's what we know about them and why the family first decided to live south of the US border.

After the U.S. outlawed polygamy, thousands of Mormons fled to Mexico. Nine just died there.

  After the U.S. outlawed polygamy, thousands of Mormons fled to Mexico. Nine just died there. The exodus began in 1885, led by Mormons who refused to give up the practice of plural marriage.It was 1885. That year, Mark Twain published the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” A French ship delivered the Statue of Liberty to New York City. A skyscraper went up in Chicago. And the U.S. government had just outlawed polygamy, plural marriage that critics equated with slavery.

Family members have speculated the LeBarons — fundamentalist Mormons who’ve lived in the border region for decades — were ambushed by cartel shooters on Two members of the Lebaron family were kidnapped and killed a decade ago after they confronted gangs that controlled the area.

There are reports of LeBaron family murders in Sonora Mexico , relatives say. They posted photos and pleas for help for the Mormon family , who are U . S “13 us citizens kidnapped and being killed …” Kenny LeBaron posted on his Facebook page, adding that 10 of the family members had

Members of the LeBaron family react in shock to the deaths

A relative, Julian LeBaron, told Reuters that four boys, two girls and three women were killed in the attack.

"We don't know why, though they had received indirect threats. We don't know who did it," he said.

Lafe Langford, whose aunt and cousin were killed, said that five injured children had been airlifted to a hospital in Tucson, Arizona, while a boy in critical condition had been transferred to a Phoenix hospital.

Taylor Langford, the cousin of one of the victims, called the attack a "whole new level of cartel violence".

An unverified video posted on social media showed the wreckage of the vehicle:

In the video, a man can be heard choking up as he says, "Nita and four of my grandchildren are burnt and shot up."

Nine U.S. Citizens Killed in Highway Attack in Mexico

  Nine U.S. Citizens Killed in Highway Attack in Mexico Gunmen in Mexico ambushed three SUVs carrying U.S. citizens, killing three women and six children, leading President Trump to call for a war on Mexican drug cartels and pressuring Mexico to counter rising violence.The victims, from a Mormon community in northwestern Mexico, were traveling between two family compounds to plan a wedding when they were attacked on Monday by gunmen in broad daylight less than 100 miles from the U.S. border, Mexican officials said.

Family members have speculated the LeBarons — fundamentalist Mormons who’ve lived in the border region for decades — were ambushed by cartel shooters on Two members of the Lebaron family were kidnapped and killed a decade ago after they confronted gangs that controlled the area.

MEXICO CITY — At least three women and six children in a prominent local Mormon family were killed on Members of the LeBarón family , dual Mexican and American citizens who have lived in a “When you know there are babies tied in a car seat that are burning because of some twisted evil

a group of people sitting posing for the camera: A photo shared on Facebook shows the family of Rhonita Miller, who died with four of her children in the attack. (Facebook: Kendra Lee Miller)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation A photo shared on Facebook shows the family of Rhonita Miller, who died with four of her children in the attack. (Facebook: Kendra Lee Miller)

It's not the first time Mormons have been killed in Mexico

In 2009, Mormon activist Benjamin LeBaron and his brother-in-law Luis Carlos Widmar were murdered by drug hitmen for denouncing cartel kidnappings.

Earlier that year, according to The New York Times, a 16-year-old had been kidnapped from Colonia LeBaron (a town in Chihuahua founded by a member of the family) with a ransom set at $US1 million.

The motive of the latest attack isn't known. Mexican Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the nine had been travelling in several SUVs and could have been victims of mistaken identity.

But the LeBaron extended family has often been in conflict with drug traffickers in Chihuahua, and other relatives of the victims said the killers surely knew who they were targeting.

The Latest: 5 kids are stable after surviving Mexico attack

  The Latest: 5 kids are stable after surviving Mexico attack A relative of the extended family members killed in a drug cartel ambush in northern Mexico says five children who survived the shooting are in stable condition at an Arizona hospital. 6:30 p.m.

A Mormon family was brutally killed . What we know about the Mexico attack. Staddon told The Arizona Republic that three mothers were driving from Bavispe to a wedding in LeBaron , another Mormon community in the state of Chihuahua, when their three vehicles loaded with children were

Many Mormons in Mexico enjoy dual Mexican and American citizenship and - according to Mexican media - the Lebaron family asked for the help of the US embassy. It is not the first time the family have been targeted. LeBaron 's sibling, Benjamin, founder of a crime-fighting group called SOS

Mexico has registered more than 250,000 homicides in the last dozen years, most of them related to the drug war.

Mormonism has a long history south of the US border

In the late 19th century, many high-profile Mormon families fled Utah's anti-polygamy laws and headed to the north of Mexico.

By the time of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, there were thousands of Mormons in colonies in Chihuahua and Sonora.

There have been major setbacks — many Mormons had fled back to the United States amid the violence of that revolution — but today there are estimated to be more than a million members of the Latter-Day Saints in Mexico.

According to Jason H Dormady, writing in Just South of Zion: The Mormons in Mexico and Its Borderlands, the farming and ranching town of Colonia LeBaron remains a place where "fundamentalist Mormon polygynists continue to thrive and struggle against the narcotics violence surrounding them in the 21st century".

The LeBarons were a significant early Mormon family

Their history in the religion goes back to David Tulley LeBaron, who joined the Mormon Church around 1840, just a decade after the movement's foundation.

What Trump Didn’t Say About the Massacre in Mexico

  What Trump Didn’t Say About the Massacre in Mexico MEXICO CITY — The seven-month-old baby Faith Marie Johnson survived hours without food and water in a bullet-ridden SUV in northern Mexico until her family members arrived. The seven-month-old baby Faith Marie Johnson survived hours without food and water in a bullet-ridden SUV in northern Mexico until her family members arrived. She had miraculously escaped the bullets flying around her. Her mother was among the three women and six children killed on Monday when gunmen ambushed their cars after they left a nearby Mormon community. Five other children survived being shot in the back, jaw, leg, wrist and chest. Those killed were all American citizens.

At least nine members of the LeBaron family , including six children, were killed in the massacre, family members said. A probe has been launched The victims belonged to the LeBaron family from a breakaway Mormon community that settled in the hills and plains of northern Mexico decades ago.

MEXICO CITY — At least five members of a prominent Mormon family were killed on Monday when their vehicles were ambushed in northern Mexico by gunmen The LeBarón family , which has been living in the border region for decades, several family members said, were traveling in three separate

David was close to founder Joseph Smith and married the sister of Smith's adopted son, Benjamin F Johnson.

According to anthropologist Janet Bennion, writing in her book Desert Patriarchy: Mormon and Mennonite Communities in the Chihuahua Valley, the LeBarons believe that Smith passed his priestly authority to Johnson, who in turn passed it on to David's son, Benjamin LeBaron.

It was Benjamin LeBaron's son, Alma Dayer LeBaron, born in Arizona in 1886, who founded Colonia LeBaron.

It was Alma Dayer's polygamy — according to Professor Bennion, he had a dream in which God told him that he would have priestly glory if he continued to practice plural marriage — that had forced him to leave for Mexico in 1924. (The Mormon Church itself stopped supporting polygamy in 1890.)

Alma Dayer LeBaron's son started breakaway movement

According to Professor Bennion, Joel LeBaron claimed to have spoken with heavenly messengers in 1955 who told him "the exact pattern to be used in setting the house of God in order".

Later that year, he said, he received a revelation from Jesus to build a new church, which he founded under the name the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times.

According to Professor Bennion, Joel was able to find hundreds of converts:

"Joel summoned all true saints of God's kingdom to leave the United States and other 'nations of Babylon' and gather in the Mexican wilderness, where the kingdom would be built anew under his divine leadership.

"New converts' bloodlines would be fused with Joel's own royal blood, as firstborn."

Like his father, Joel was a firm supporter of plural marriage.

According to The New York Times, Joel was killed in 1972 by followers of his brother Ervil, who led a "killing spree in the United States for more than 15 years".

ABC/Reuters

Mormons flee Mexico after 'massacre' by drug cartels .
US Mormons who re-settled in Mexico are fleeing the country after a "massacre" by drug cartels that left nine women and children dead. Around 100 members of the religious community packed up their belongings and are travelling north in an 18-vehicle caravan, with more expected to follow.They are leaving the site their ancestors settled in nearly 70 years ago after an ambush on the LeBaron Mormon family.Three cars were shot at and one was set on fire, survivors said, as they travelled along a dirt road in northern Mexico earlier this week.

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