Father in Mexico Mormon Massacre Has Message to Leaders

"If I place the blame for my daughter's murder on something — that something is called the abandonment by... the governments of Chihuahua and Sonora." Adrián LeBarón spoke with Brut about the brutal massacre of his family.

‘I can’t get that sight of my family out of my head’

The daughter and 4 grandchildren of Adrián LeBarón — grandson of the founder of Colonia LeBarón in Galeana — were murdered at the border of Chihuahua and Sonora. The nine women and children killed by drug cartel gunmen in northern Mexico lived in a remote farming community where residents call themselves Mormon — descendants of former members of The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints who fled the U.S. to escape the church’s 19th century polygamy ban.

“The reason why I’ve agreed to this interview is that my daughter was killed in this massacre: María Rhonita LeBarón Tucker. If I place the blame for my daughter’s murder on anything, that something is called the neglect by both governments – the governments of Chihuahua and Sonora – of this area. One thing that clearly confirmed for me the neglect to which this area is subject is that when I heard about my daughter, that they’d set fire to the car she was in. Yes, we sought help from the federal police. They came with us, because we heard that and we went there, and a couple of Army soldiers also came with us. And what shocked me the most was arriving at the scene. Seeing them there, going down and seeing their bullet-ridden bodies, shot dead and covered in blood. I can’t get that sight out of my head,” Adrián Dayer LeBarón Soto, Father of Rhonita LeBarón tells Brut.

Many of the families living there trace their origins to the community of La Mora to the 1950s — and some have much deeper roots. With a population of less than 1,000 dual U.S.-Mexican citizens, La Mora lies in a desert valley ringed by rugged mountains about 70 miles south of the border towns of Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta in Mexico’s Sonora state.