The grandfather of the Mexican-American Mormon clan massacred en-route to a wedding has said he is “ashamed” at the wave of violence in Mexico.
The nine who were killed in Chihuahua, northern Mexico in November last year were all U.S. citizens and died in an ambush by drug cartel gunmen.
They were part of the extended LeBaron family, Mormon fundamentalists who first came to Mexico nearly a century ago when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City became divided over polygamy.
The family head Alma Dayer LeBaron brought his wives and children across the border to Mexico in 1924 and founded the LeBaron colony.
Mexican Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said he believed the killings were most likely a case of mistaken identity, with a drug cartel mistaking the family SUVs for a rival gang.
After the murders brothers Adrian, Julian and Bryan LeBaron participated in a protest in Chilapa, in the western Mexican state of Guerrero which saw protestors walking under the name ‘Caminata por la paz, la justicia y la dignidad’ (Walk for peace, justice and dignity).
The protest was organised by an organisation for the relatives of missing people in Chilapa called Siempre Vivos (Always Alive).
Senator Emilio Alvarez Icaza, and the president of the civil organisation of Causa Comun (Common Cause), Maria Elena Morera, also participated in the protest.
The LeBaron family members participated in a meeting as part of the protest.
Adrian LeBaron, the father of one of the three women who were killed in the massacre and the grandfather of four of the six children murdered said that he was ashamed that the country could not show a different face other than violence to the world.
He said: “When the house is dirty or it has cockroaches or the bathroom is blocked, you are ashamed of inviting anybody, I feel it is exactly the same in Mexico, as we are ashamed of inviting people here due to the violence, the dead people, the missing people, because there is nothing to brag about.”
He added: “I remember when I was a child that Acapulco was the most visited place in Mexico, everybody wanted to go to Acapulco, it was iconic, and now it is shameful.”
Speaking about the situation in Chilapa, one of the most violent municipalities in the state of Guerrero, he said: “When I arrived I realised that there are a lot of widows. It hurts me to think how much they suffered, a lot of people told us not to come, because Guerrero is very dangerous.
“I prefer to fight beside a woman who is a fighter rather than beside thousands of cowards around the cities. If institutions are not well organised, we should organise ourselves as citizens.”
The nine victims of the LeBaron massacre all held US-Mexican citizenship and were named as Titus Miller, an 8-month-old twin, Tiana Miller, the other 8-month-old twin, Rogan Langford, 2, Krystal Miller, 10, Trevor Langford, 11, Howard Miller, 12, Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29, Rhonita Miller, 30, and Dawna Langford, 43.
In December 2019, the current director of Public Security of the municipality of Janos, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, identified as Fidel Alejandro Villegas, alias ‘El Chiquilin’, was arrested by members of the general prosecution for his alleged links with organised crime and his suspected participation in the attack on the LeBaron family.
Brothers Hector Mario, alias El Mayo, and Luis Manuel were arrested for their alleged links with the attack, which is believed to have been carried out by a drug cartel.
The investigation is ongoing.
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