In a massacre that shocked people around the world, three American women and six children were slaughtered by drug cartel sicarios in northern Mexico on Monday. They were killed in broad daylight while traveling in a convoy of SUVs. Several of them, including infant twins, burned to death when one of the cars exploded. Six more children were wounded.
More than 24 hours after the attack, Mexican security forces have not identified which drug cartel was responsible for the killing. What is known is that the victims, members of the extended LeBaron family with dual U.S.-Mexican nationality, were part of a Mexico-based offshoot of the Mormon church whose leaders have defied violent drug cartels in the past.
Mexican Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo has suggested that the victims, who were driving on a rural road in Sonora near the border of the state of Chihuahua and not far south of Arizona, may have been mistaken for a rival gang or even caught in the crossfire between warring groups.
There are many of those.
The area where Monday’s massacre occurred is believed to be territory still under the sway of the Sinaloa Cartel, formerly presided over by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, now in the U.S. Supermax prison. But it’s at war with rival groups, including remnants of the Juárez Cartel with an allied group called La Línea, and the fast-rising, incredibly ruthless Jalisco Cartel New Generation.
César Augusto Peniche, the attorney general of Chihuahua, told an interviewer from Imagen Radio on Tuesday that the deadly attack occurred in territory that is dominated by a group called the Jaguars, who are aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel. more