Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Donald Trump offers to send the US army to Mexico in response to Mormon murders

Donald Trump offers to send the US army to Mexico in response to Mormon murdersDonald Trump has offered to send in the US army to take on Mexican drugs cartels after at least three women and six children from an American Mormon community based in northern Mexico were killed in an ambush. Mr Trump tweeted that “the United States stands ready, willing and able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” adding that “sometimes need an army to defeat an army!” He added: “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!” Mike Vigil, the former chief of international operations for the US drugs enforcement agency (DEA), who spent 20 years infiltrating Mexican and Colombian cartels, said Mr Trump’s statement was “absolutely absurd”. He told The Telegraph: “The US army is good at what it does, but is not trained to engage in counter-drug operations. Trump has absolutely no understanding of sovereignty issues, nor the drug problem.” Rhonita Maria LeBaron died along with her 6-month-old twins and her two other children Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Mexican president, swiftly declined the US president’s offer. “It’s a firm no,” he said on Tuesday morning. “Of course this is painful, and we wish it never happened. But riddling the place with bullets, massacring people, only using firearms and spilling blood, will not resolve the problem.” He said that he would be calling Mr Trump on Tuesday, to thank him for his support, and see what cooperation could be agreed upon. “But foreign soldiers are not coming to Mexico,” he said. A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing. If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2019 ....monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively. 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2019 The Mormon victims, who are believed to hold dual US-Mexican nationality, had been living in the northern states of Sonora and Chihuahua. On Monday two of the women were driving a group of children from Bavispe, in Sonora, to a Mormon community known as La Mora, in neighbouring Chihuahua, at around 1pm. Drug cartels in the area have been fighting and may have initially mistaken the vehicles for their rivals, said Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s security minister, who comes from Bavispe. The area is known to be a flashpoint in the fight between the Cartel of the Pacific against a splinter group, known as Los Salazar. One vehicle, driven by Rhonita Miller LeBaron, 30, had a flat tyre, and the second car turned back to get help, according to the reports. The gang attacked the first car, killing Ms LeBaron and her four children — Howard, 12; Krystal, 10; and eight-month-old twins Titus and Tiana. They then set the vehicle on fire. When the rest of the group returned to the site in two vehicles, they were also ambushed. Dawna Ray Langford, 43, was driving the second car. Her sons Trevor, 11, and Rogan, aged two, were killed, as was passenger Christina Marie Langford, 29. A six-month-old baby, Fe Maria, the daughter of Christina Langford, was found unharmed, hidden on the floor of the car. On Tuesday night it emerged that one of the children, 13-year-old Devin Langford, witnessed his mother being murdered and escaped to raise the alarm - walking 13 miles, for six hours through the desert. He hid his six siblings before setting off to seek help.  Six children have been rescued - at least four of them injured. Mexico has one of the world’s largest Mormon communities, with 1.45 million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints living in the country, according to their website. They worship in 1,846 congregations across the country, but mainly in the north. The pioneers arrived in Mexico in the late 1870s, sent from Utah through Arizona to colonise the area. The LeBarons are descendants of Mormons who moved to Mexico in 1924, after disagreeing with the central church over polygamy. For almost a century they have lived quietly in farming communities, maintaining close ties with relatives in Utah, where a large number of Mormons are based, and speaking both Spanish and English. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president of Mexico, on Tuesday declined Donald Trump's offer of sending in US troops Yet in recent years they have been targeted for their comparative wealth, as organised crime groups gained control of the region. In 2009, a prominent member of the clan, Benjamin LeBaron, 31, was shot dead after publicly denouncing the drug traffickers, who had earlier abducted his younger brother, demanding a $1 million ransom – which the family refused to pay. The killers left a message saying they were retaliating for LeBaron’s activism. Mr Lopez Obrador was elected a year ago on a promise to end the drugs violence that has ravaged the country since former president Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels in 2006. Yet in the first nine months of this year 26,000 people have been killed – an average of around 95 a day. This year is on track to be among the bloodiest in Mexico’s history. Last month the Mexican president was fiercely criticised for releasing a son of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who had been captured in the Sinaloan city of Culiacan. Ovidio Guzman was freed after his cartel henchmen launched a ferocious attack on the police, seriously injuring 19 soldiers and police officers. Mr Lopez Obrador defended bowing to the cartel pressure, saying that the capture of one kingpin was not worth the lives of innocents.




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