Funerals Begin for Americans Killed in Mexico Cartel Ambush

Mexico Cartel Ap

Nine Americans, including six children, were killed on Monday.

Relatives of the victims rejected the mistaken identity theory, arguing that shell casings and personal belongings found near the torched auto suggest the attackers came close and made sure everybody was dead before igniting the vehicle. "They found out in school what had happened", said Brent LeBaron, a relative who was working construction in Montana when he received the news. Government officials say more than 200 bullet casings found at the scene were manufactured by an USA -based gunmaker and are commonly used in military-style assault rifles. But he said they have watched the cartels get stronger in the past two decades, with nearby communities in the mountains suffering from violence and extortion. Many La Mora residents call themselves Mormons but are not affiliated with the church.

She was found alive in a bullet-ridden auto on a dirt road in Mexico's northern state of Sonora following the brutal gang attack on Monday.

But Julian LeBaron, whose brother Benjamin, an anti-crime activist, was killed by cartel gunmen in 2009, disputed that.

Langford's mother, Dawna Ray Langford, 43, was killed along with two of her sons, ages 11 and 2. Her daughter Faith Marie Johnson, 7 months old, was found unharmed in her vehicle seat. "She loved people", Karen Woolley, the mother of Dawna Langford, told AFP in a strained voice.

Her mother Christina Langford Johnson, who died in the tragedy, has been credited with saving her daughter's life after stashing her vehicle seat on the floor of her SUV as gunfire rang out. "She gave her life to try and save the rest". She was listed as missing for a while.

"They were heading towards Phoenix, towards Tucson", said Daniel LeBaron.

Inside, they saw the charred remains of Rhonita Miller, 30, her 10-year-old daughter, a son, 12, and her 8-month-old twins.

The victims belonged to three families of dual U.S.

"We are applying a plan to transform (Mexico), despite all the obstacles", said the anti-establishment leftist, who took office in December 2018. But several are still recovering, including 8-year-old Cody, who according to a relative, will not be able to talk for six weeks following surgery where his jaw had to be wired shut.

Lopez Obrador's comments came shortly after Trump tweeted that it was time for Mexico to wage war on drug cartels and "wipe them off the face of the earth" with "help" from the US. "ISIS have an ideology", said Rosa LeBaron, 65, whose cousins, nieces and nephews died in the attacks.

The head of the Mexican military's joint chiefs of staff, Homero Mendoza, said authorities now believe the massacre was carried out by La Linea (The Line), a drug cartel based in Chihuahua.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador created the militarized National Guard after he took office last December to help law enforcement, but its 70,000 troops have to cover a vast territory.

"They shot us up, burned our vehicles to send a smoke signal into the sky", Langford said, arguing that the gang's goal was to draw the Sinaloa gunmen into battle.

"President Lopez Obrador said that he thought that Mexico could solve its safety issues without international" intervention", but he's opened the doorway to Federal Bureau of Investigation alliance that supplied the nation's national sovereignty isn't violated. The suspect had assault rifles and a.50-calibre sniper rifle and was holding two bound kidnap victims, authorities said.

But those killings - which sparked a further crackdown on cartels - also showed how much worse things have become: No children were killed back then.

"I think it's not accurate to say they were caught in the crossfire".



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