World: Mexico's security strategy called into question after Mormon killings and other violence - - PressFrom - US
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World Mexico's security strategy called into question after Mormon killings and other violence

12:10  09 november  2019
12:10  09 november  2019 Source:   cnn.com

Trump: US ready to help in 'cleaning out' the 'monsters' who killed Americans

  Trump: US ready to help in 'cleaning out' the 'monsters' who killed Americans President Trump said Tuesday the U.S. is willing to aid Mexico in "cleaning out these monsters," after at least 10 members of a prominent Mormon family were killed in an ambush attack near the border between the two countries. © Getty Trump: US ready to help in 'cleaning out' the 'monsters' who killed Americans The dead included three women and seven children, including two infants, according to a report by the Arizona Republic."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.....

Worsening violence around Mexico in recent years reflects an increasingly volatile criminal landscape. The security situation varies widely across Mexico ’ s different regions and even within individual states. Have there been other issues against Mormons in Mexico or is this truly random?

MEXICO CITY — Three women and six children from a prominent local Mormon family were killed on Monday in northern Mexico , family members said, when gunmen believed to be members of organized crime ambushed their vehicles on a desolate road.

After three women and six children were slaughtered on a remote dirt road in Mexico, relatives and members of their small religious community stood around the smoldering carnage for hours before local authorities arrived.

a close up of a rock: CNN's Matt Rivers visits the site where a family of Mormons were massacred in Mexico.© CNN CNN's Matt Rivers visits the site where a family of Mormons were massacred in Mexico.

The horrific broad-daylight crime stunned even a country long ravaged by drug violence and on pace for a record high number of homicides this year. A convoy carrying women and children -- dual US-Mexican citizens -- ambushed and sprayed with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. A mother gunned down as she begged the children be spared.

Mormon Family Massacre Stuns Mexico, Laying Bare Government’s Helplessness

  Mormon Family Massacre Stuns Mexico, Laying Bare Government’s Helplessness MEXICO CITY — The women and their children were taking a drive along a familiar rural road in northern Mexico when the gunmen attacked, riddling the three-car convoy with bullets. One woman was shot at close range in the chest. One child was shot in the back. Several others — among them 6-month-old twins — were burned beyond recognition when one of the vehicles caught fire. When the shooting stopped, six children and three women were dead, all members of the LeBarón family, dual Mexican and American citizens who have lived for decades in a fundamentalist Mormon community near the border.

[Is Mexico Becoming More Violent ? Our Journalists Answer Reader Questions After a Brutal Attack]. Since then, American senators from both parties have criticized Mexico ’ s failure to control the violence and called for its government to step up its fight against the criminal organizations that

The deaths of nine women and children has thrust into focus a small religious community and their long history in a remote corner of northern Mexico .

"I'm the first person that arrived... They never showed up," said Julian LeBaron, a Mormon community leader related to some of the victims. "We came on the crime scene before any authorities."

Indeed, Mexico's latest tragedy in the long fight against cartel violence is viewed by some as a sign its "hugs, not bullets" security strategy -- focused on combating social problems -- has done little to wrest large chunks of the country from the grip of criminal organizations.

"You do have to go after the inequality, the lack of opportunity that drives criminality but what's the short term strategy?" asked Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

US victims in Mexico massacre were tied to family with long history of violence

  US victims in Mexico massacre were tied to family with long history of violence The roadside killings of nine U.S. citizens in northern Mexico has brought renewed attention to the scattered communities of Mormons who settled in the country more than a century ago to escape persecution. The six women and three children whom assailants ambushed Monday as they drove toward Arizona from the town of Bavispe in Sonora state included descendants of a fundamentalist Mormon community that has lived in the country for decades. The Mexican government has not identified suspects in the crime or a motive, though a Mexican official said the killers may have mistaken the family for members of a rival drug cartel.

MEXICO CITY - President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday rejected U. S . suggestions he adopt more aggressive security policies after a massacre of fundamentalist Mormons in northern Mexico , saying that approach has been a "disaster" in the past. The barbaric killing Monday of three

At least three women and six children from an American Mormon community in northern Mexico have been killed in an ambush in an area notorious for drug traffickers. Julian LeBaron said his cousin was traveling with her four children to the airport when she was attacked and shot in Rancho de la Mora

"How is it that you actually go after these criminal groups that are, as we see, willing to directly challenge the state?"

Municipalities have no police officers, Mexican president says

The government quickly suggested Monday's attack was a case of mistaken identity, stemming from a conflict between rival drug trafficking groups in a virtually lawless region near the US border.

"We still don't have all the officers needed," President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office in December, admitted this week. "There are municipalities where we don't have police... Everything related to public safety was completely abandoned. We're working on that."

Mexican officials said the massacre could be linked to a shootout one day earlier in the town of Agua Prieta, across the border from Douglas, Arizona. The corridor is a hub for moving drugs into the US.

A criminal group known as Los Salazar, from Sonora state, exchanged fire with members of La Línea, the Chihuahua-based enforcement arm of the Juarez cartel. La Línea later dispatched an armed group to prevent their rivals from entering Chihuahua, said Gen. Homero Mendoza, Mexico's chief of staff for national defense. Those gunmen might have mistaken the families' vehicles for the SUVs of rivals.

Killing of Americans sucks Mexican president into Trump election vortex

  Killing of Americans sucks Mexican president into Trump election vortex The massacre of nine American citizens has dealt a new blow to the Mexican president's aim to free his country of foreign interference, enveloping him in a growing security crisis just as U.S. counterpart Donald Trump seeks re-election. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); On Monday, gunmen killed three women and six children from a Mexican-American Mormon family in northern Mexico, prompting Trump to offer President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador help in wiping out drug gangs he blamed for the ambush.

The brutal killings come as Mexico ’ s government has struggled to contain the extreme violence tied to drug cartels, which The ambush occurred in northern Mexico , where group of women were driving their children in three separate vehicles from Sonora state to a Mormon community called La Mora in

The killings of six children and their three mothers burst the illusion that only criminals fall victim to Mexico ’ s gang-fueled violence . The attack has devastated the tight-knit Mormon community. “Why should our family have these soldiers around us for protection when other people have nothing?”

At the state level, Chihuahua Attorney General César Peniche Espejel offered another theory: A drug trafficking group known as Los Jaguares, an offshoot of the Sinaloa cartel, could have been behind the massacre.

Mexico's new 'hugs, not bullets' strategy comes under fire

Still, the attack -- coupled with recent violent episodes in the region -- has many Mexicans and security analysts questioning the short-term effectiveness of López Obrador's policy of attacking poverty and inequality instead of the cartels.

"It's unfortunate, sad, because children died," López Obrador told reporters this week. "But trying to resolve this problem by declaring a war? In our country, it's been demonstrated this doesn't work. This was a disaster."

The leftist president, known by his initials AMLO, came under criticism after his controversial decision last month to release Ovidio Guzmán López, a leader of the Sinaloa cartel and son of imprisoned kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.

A botched government operation to arrest and extradite the younger Guzmán on October 17 was called off after the cartel unleashed a heavily-armed fighting force that outmaneuvered and overpowered military on the streets of Culiacan, the state capital. Guzmán was cut loose and security forces retreated in what was widely seen as a victory for the powerful cartel once headed by his father.

Mormon Massacre in Mexico May Be Tied to Gang War, Officials Say

  Mormon Massacre in Mexico May Be Tied to Gang War, Officials Say A conflict between two criminal groups fighting for control of a region in northern Mexico is a focus of the authorities in their investigation into the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family, officials said Wednesday. Gen. Homero Mendoza Ruiz, Mexico’s chief of staff for national defense, said that before the family was attacked on Monday, the groups had a shootout in the town of Agua Prieta, on the border with the United States. At least one person died and another was wounded. The authorities identified the groups as Los Salazar, based in the state of Sonora, and La Línea, based in the neighboring state of Chihuahua.

Mormon killings : Mexico ’ s López Obrador rejects U.S. suggestion he adopt more aggressive security policies. MEXICO CITY — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday rejected U.S. suggestions he adopt more aggressive security policies after a massacre of fundamentalist

MEXICO CITY - President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday rejected U. S . suggestions he adopt more aggressive security policies after a massacre of fundamentalist Mormons in northern Mexico The Mexican leader’ s strategy “may work in a children’ s fairy tale,” Cotton told Fox News.

"AMLO's strategy highlights the great failures that have benefited the cartels," said Raúl Benítez Manaut, a security expert and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. "They will not become pacifists on their own volition. On the contrary, the violence is increasing."

In the western state of Michoacan, 13 Mexican police officers were killed in an ambush last month, authorities said. Images on social media showed posters left on the police vehicles signed "CJNG" -- the initials of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, a dominant trafficking gang the US Drug Enforcement Agency calls "one of the most powerful and fastest growing in Mexico and the United States."

"This is an area which is under dispute but is highly valuable for criminal organizations because it's so close to the US border," Wilson said.

Massacre may be linked to extortion and kidnapping, expert says

Gladys McCormick, an expert on Mexico drug violence at Syracuse University, said the failed attempt to capture El Chapo's son as well as the ongoing violence indicate "a clear lack of intelligence gathering in the AMLO administration."

AMLO's decision last spring to send large numbers of his newly created National Guard, drawn from former soldiers and police, to the border with Guatemala have compounded the problem, she said. The troops have been detaining Central American migrants heading for the US border.

Former US ambassador to Mexico: Ambush murders show closer US-Mexico cooperation needed to fight crime

  Former US ambassador to Mexico: Ambush murders show closer US-Mexico cooperation needed to fight crime The U.S. and Mexico must cooperate more closely to fight cross-border organized crime that is seriously endangering citizens of both countries. Transnational criminal groups are undermining the sovereignty of both nations daily.The horrific murders of three American women and six children in Sonora, Mexico on Monday should prompt closer and more effective United States-Mexico cooperation against the cross-border organized crime that is seriously endangering citizens of both countries.  As the former U.S. ambassador to Mexico (2011 to 2015), it is clear to me that these transnational criminal groups are undermining the sovereignty of both nations daily.

Aaron Staddon married into the diaspora of Mormon families who have long lived in the rural valleys of northern “Innocence is shattered right now,” said Joe Darger, another relative who quickly called an The extended family struck by Monday’ s violence has long roots in the broader community of

MEXICO CITY — Mexico ' s president said he would discuss security on Tuesday with the United States after President Donald Trump urged Mexico to "wage war" on drug cartels following the killing of nine members of a US- Mexican Mormon family in the north of the country.

The move, prompted by Trump administration threats to impose tariffs, came "at the expense of increasing violence in places such as Michoacán, Guerrero, Baja California and Chihuahua," McCormick said.

In a remote corner of northern Mexico, fundamentalist Mormon families who settled in the neighboring states of Chihuahua and Sonora had maintained an uneasy peace with the criminal organizations. But relatives of victims said cartels had recently threatened families over where they could travel or from whom they could purchase fuel.

"A whole series of sort of mid-tier and lower level and smaller kind of up-and-coming, wannabe cartels are sort of trying to set up shop in this terrain," McCormick said. "They're striking deals with each other, with the big players. What I do think is that this (massacre) had nothing to do with drugs per se. I think it had to do with extortion and kidnapping."

Fundamentalist Mormon families largely coexisted with criminal elements

Chihuahua's LeBaron family, whose relatives are among the dead, has had a long history of conflict with the cartels.

In 2009, Eric LeBaron was kidnapped and returned unharmed a week later. His older brother, Benjamin LeBaron, 32, became an anti-crime activist who pushed the local community to take a stand against violence.

Months later, Benjamin LeBaron and his brother-in-law Luis Widmar were beaten and shot to death after armed men stormed their home in Chihuahua. Authorities later arrested the alleged ringleader of a drug trafficking family that ran a smuggling operation on Mexico's border with Texas.

Until now, the fundamentalist Mormon families had largely coexisted with the criminal elements around them.

"We haven't been threatened, at least not in any way to suppose that women and children would be murdered," said Julian LeBaron, an outspoken critic of organized crime in the area. "We see the armed people all the time and they kind of leave us alone."

After the attack, Trump called for war against Mexico's drug cartels in a series of tweets.

"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!" he wrote.

Mexican authorities noted the cartridges recovered from the massacre site were manufactured in the US.

Nahoma Jensen De LeBaron, the cousin of one of the nine victims, said the cartels thrive only because of the demand for drugs north of the border.

"I believe the United States is the reason why Mexico has drug cartels, because they're the biggest consumers," LeBaron told CNN en Español before families buried more of the victims on Friday.

"Our plea to Mexico is we need a justice system that (ensures) those who commit these atrocities be brought to justice."

FBI investigating killing of US women and children in Mexico .
MEXICO CITY (AP) — FBI agents are in Mexico helping investigate the fatal shootings of nine American women and children in northern Mexico last week. FBI spokeswoman Lauren Hagee said Tuesday that agents are "providing assistance at the invitation of the Mexican Government." "The FBI remains committed to working alongside our international partners to help bring justice to the perpetrators of this heinous act of violence," Hagee said in aFBI spokeswoman Lauren Hagee said Tuesday that agents are "providing assistance at the invitation of the Mexican Government.

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