Last victim of Mexico border killings to be laid to rest

Mexico Cartel Ap

Funerals Begin for Americans Killed in Mexico Cartel Ambush

Hundreds of friends and family members gathered in a remote northern Mexican region on Thursday (Nov 7) to mourn the nine American women and children who were slain in a burst of bullets and fire earlier this week.

"We are applying a plan to transform (Mexico), despite all the obstacles", said Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who took office in December 2018.

Members of breakaway Mormon communities that settled in Mexico decades ago, the three families were ambushed as they drove along a dirt track in Sonora state, leading to U.S. President Donald Trump urging Mexico and the United States to "wage war" together on the drug cartels. An offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they are not affiliated with the mainstream church.

Mexican authorities have said the family may have been mistakenly caught in a battle between rival drug gangs, however, others have suggested the family may have been targeted in the merciless attack, CBS News reports.

Loved ones released new video of 8-month-old Brixon who was shot in the chest, and 7-month old baby Faith who was found in her auto seat after her mother, Christina Langford Johnson, was killed has now been reunited with a man identified as her father.

In a raw, tearful service, relatives recounted valiant efforts to try to rescue their loved ones after the ambush, and how some of the children walked miles out of the mountains to the town, situated about 110km south of the Arizona border.

"God will take care of the wicked", Jay Ray, Dawna's father, said in a eulogy.

The driver of the second SUV, Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 31, had leapt out of the vehicle to try to alert the gunman that it was only women and children in the SUVs, but she was shot to death, according to post on Facebook from relative Kendra Lee Miller. "I usually am a very forgiving guy, but this kind of atrocity has no place in a civilised community".

"Dawna was a person who was full of life".

Dawna Langford - Devin's mother - had been driving one of two SUVs headed to meet family in Chihuahua when the gunfire broke out.

Mexican military patrol in La Mora, Sonora state, Mexico, the community where people are holding the funerals.

When the shooting stopped, the gunmen reportedly pulled the surviving children out, telling them in Spanish to leave the area.

Rhonita was eulogized as an "innocent spirit" with a "beautiful heart" whose laugh "could light up a room".

Son Howard Jr. loved basketball and recently was delighted to make his first three-pointer; daughter Kristal was "the apple of her daddy's eye;" twins Titus and Tiana, born March 13, were remembered as "two flawless angels in the first precious moments of their lives".

Their bodies were to be taken later across the road where they died for burial in Colonia Le Baron.

The state is also home to drug cartels who smuggle their goods across the border to the United States, and at times war over territory.

Nestled in the fertile valleys of the Sierra Madre mountains just a few hours drive south from the USA border, the oldest communities stem from the late 1800s, when upheaval over polygamy in the Utah-based church led to their founding.

She said Mexico needed to overcome pride and accept outside help from a neighboring country or worldwide coalition, like the United Nations, to stamp out the cartels.

Who carried out the attack?

The biggest concern for residents is finding out why the women and children were massacred.

In 2009, Erick LeBaron was kidnapped for ransom. "And another one. and Dawna's yelling at the kids to get down", a man said in another.

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. "There was no mistaken identity", Taylor Langford, a nephew of one of the women killed, told the news outlet. An official had come from Mexico City following the killings to discuss the possibility of establishing an army base in the area, he said, and hopefully that could help people feel safer, just like what happened in LeBaron.

Latest News