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Howl

Mormon Massacre in Mexico - LeBarón Family

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Howl

Reading the latest CNN update, the man arrested with two hostages was not involved.  Nobody knows for sure which cartel was involved.  

At this point, I doubt the killers will ever be brought to justice. It's a symptom of how broken Mexico is from drug violence related to cartel control.  As horrifying as this is, I cannot emphasize enough that this is not the worst that the cartels can do.  It's business a usual. 

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Howl

To clarify just how broken the justice system is and how powerful the cartel armies are:  A son of El Chapo Guzman (currently incarcerated in the US) was arrested by authorities in Mexico last week or so. 

The militarized response from his cartel was so strong, violent and of such magnitude that the son was released to save lives and structures.  There. is. no. bottom. with these people.  They have more hardware, weapons, rockets launchers, whatever than the actual military and police and have zero moral compass.  Zero.  There is no action too heinous.  

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Maggie Mae

My local paper found a connection to my area - there might be some information here that wasn't reported elsewhere in regard to family history. 

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2019/11/07/lebaron-family-with-nine-members-killed-in-mexico-massacre-has-anchorage-ties/

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Grimalkin
1 hour ago, Maggie Mae said:

My local paper found a connection to my area - there might be some information here that wasn't reported elsewhere in regard to family history. 

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2019/11/07/lebaron-family-with-nine-members-killed-in-mexico-massacre-has-anchorage-ties/

Ooooo thanks for this, his mom was Irene Spencer. I read her memoir years ago and I’m happy for the update. This is the first I have heard confirmed one of the victims was in a plural marriage..

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Howl
1 hour ago, Maggie Mae said:

My local paper found a connection to my area - there might be some information here that wasn't reported elsewhere in regard to family history. 

Interesting details. Thanks for posting that link! 

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Grimalkin
5 hours ago, clueliss said:

I found this on Yahoo - CBS News
https://news.yahoo.com/family-attacked-mexico-had-few-061344650.html

Manages to detail the history of the family a bit as well as actually calls them Fundamentalists.  

    The Vice episode mentioned was good. A couple of things that stood out to me was that they were very aware of how dangerous it was there and that they never showed any of the women. I wonder if they were involved in the decision making process to stay and if they were told the extent of how dangerous it was to live there.

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Howl
On 11/6/2019 at 7:52 AM, quiversR4hunting said:

I don't know how they keep their US citizenship and still be born in Mexico.

Children born to US citizens are automatically US citizens, even if born in a foreign country.  Those born in Mexico have dual Mexico/US citizenship.   

These folks have lived in Mexico, but  close to the US border, since the late 1920s.  My impression is that everyone is bilingual, but with English as the primary language. 

I'll also speculate that they are very careful about making sure their bazillion children have proof of US citizenship.  Everyone needs a passport these days to get back into the US. 

 

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PlentyOfJesusFishInTheSea
On 11/5/2019 at 6:29 PM, apandaaries said:

The Vice video is really interesting but just in case people don't have 40 minutes:

- it was filmed in 2012 during Mitt Romney's presidential run. They show clips of his views on the war on drugs and on illegal immigration and compare them to situation around Juarez, which is pretty much run by cartels. Drugs go north to the US and illegal guns go south to Mexico.

- the LeBaron family colony is across a valley from the Romney colony. They have quite a bit of money compared to the Mexicans in the area and it shows in the greenery and well-kept buildings. Colonia LeBaron has put up military-style checkpoints and appears to have a national police base in their town. The police patrol the streets. (I"m slightly unclear if these are actual police or a private security team but they have Policia Nacional on their shirts).

- the cartels feel they "own" the highways in the area because they're drug smuggling pathways. They have killed many journalists which makes the Vice team with their cameras pretty nervous.

- owning guns is not legal in Mexico unless you form a gun club. After two LeBarons were killed by cartels (this was in revenge for some previous cartel deaths), the LeBarons attempted to get a gun club but their former mayor (who must have been a LeBaron?!) sold the list of potential gun owners to the cartels and later went to jail. Therefore, the LeBarons and many other Mormons in the area let it be known that they have illegal guns and aren't afraid to use them. There's a LeBaron who's a Mexican congressman (or was in 2012; Google tells me he's no long) and seems fine with all this.

- the Mexican Romneys (I believe it was Kelly Romney, so maybe the whole clan doesn't believe this) were in favour of decriminalizing all drugs in the US and were for the Dream act. In their words, it's a very poor region, so most people choose between working for the cartels or illegally crossing into the US. He was for temporary work visas too.

The Vice team goes drinking with the good ol' Mormon boys and no women and kids are ever seen.

So yeah, it seems very possible that this was a targeted kill and not a misidentification.

 

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fundiefollower
17 hours ago, Maggie Mae said:

My local paper found a connection to my area - there might be some information here that wasn't reported elsewhere in regard to family history. 

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2019/11/07/lebaron-family-with-nine-members-killed-in-mexico-massacre-has-anchorage-ties/

Interesting article!  Thanks for sharing. 

The family also apparently has ties to my neck of the woods.... Williston ND.  I think one of the women killed was married to a man who is working in the western ND oil fields and had been planning on relocating the whole family here.  Local articles of any real substance have been scarce, some saying they all lived here and were visiting there and others saying they were moving here soon.  Bbut there have been some "friends" of the deceased commenting on FB posts and I believe started a Go Fund Me.... I'll see if I can find it.  The oilfield jobs have attracted a lot of types of people we don't usually see here in ND.  Tommy Washburn (of the Christian Jew-type Washburn family) is living in Williston. On his FB page he has a pic of himself and his wife blowing some kind of large horn (like from a ram) near the river on a Jewish holiday.... I would have loved to see the reaction of a ND local who stumbled across them doing that.  LOL. 

 

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apandaaries
2 hours ago, fundiefollower said:

On his FB page he has a pic of himself and his wife blowing some kind of large horn (like from a ram) near the river on a Jewish holiday.... I would have loved to see the reaction of a ND local who stumbled across them doing that.  LOL. 

 

That’s a shofar, if I’m reading your description correctly.

3 hours ago, PlentyOfJesusFishInTheSea said:

 

So yeah, it seems very possible that this was a targeted kill and not a misidentification.

 

As brutal as the hit was, I totally agree. The Romneys paid their hostage fees, but the LeBarons refused. They also appeared to have been taking more than their fair share of water for their walnut trees, which isn’t likely to engender positive feelings amongst the neighbors. 
Personally, I doubt the women and children knew exactly how dangerous their trek would be, but I suspect some of the male leaders had been warned.

I also think it’s important to point out that the US has disrupted the Mexican economy in so many ways over the past few decades, and the guns come from our side of the border. Farmers can’t compete with our tariffs, and the poverty line sinks lower. Available jobs are scarce. Cartels are fierce and threaten entire families, not just the target. People can find themselves doing previously unimaginable things under these circumstances. 
This isn’t to absolve the cartels, but we should remember that we’ve been shitty neighbors for a long time. The cartels couldn’t do nearly as much harm as they do without the mass production of guns and weapons of war by the US.

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acheronbeach
On 11/5/2019 at 6:17 PM, AussieKrissy said:

Just looking for clarification on what I understand of what I have read. I have never heard of this family before.

The people that were killed were USA citizens. Do they live in the USA and were down there visiting? Or from what I am understanding were (dual) citizens having been born in mexico into this commune that was started in mexico after polygamy was banned. ??

If so, how do they keep their USA citizenship after so many generations have been born in Mexico? Do they still practice polygamy. I do like to read about the flds and the kingston clan but had never heard of this sect. Are they as bad?

This is a horrendous thing, with all these possible connections to something so infamous I am surprised no news media has picked up on it.

The Mormon settlements in Mexico and Canada have a really interesting history.  I read a book of academic articles once at the University of Toronto libraries about how the two communities started out with the same goals, but diverged massively because the very different cultures and government enforcement in the two countries.  I wish I could remember the name.  

Long and the short, Mexican Mormons have always been viewed and viewed themselves as outsiders in the country, and they've maintained very strong ties to the USA.  My understanding is that there's a lot of movement back and forth between the two countries and a lot of the women go back to the States to give birth. 

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Howl
On 11/8/2019 at 12:33 PM, acheronbeach said:

The Mormon settlements in Mexico and Canada have a really interesting history. 

I'd be interested in how they discovered this little eden in Mexico.  When you look at google maps, it's a beautiful valley, heavily cultivated along a river coming out of a mountainous area. 

Perfect for Mormons who at that time already had many years experience moving into remote arid areas with livestock and seedstock, and farming from scratch. 

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nelliebelle1197
On 11/5/2019 at 3:13 PM, VBOY9977 said:

I feel extremely bad for the family. I can’t imagine the pain.

That being said, I truly don’t get why fundie families put themselves in this situations going to dangerous areas to convert people, especially with little kids in tow. I just don’t think a few conversions are worth it. 

 

The LeBarons are a murderous cult of fundamentalist Mormons. They are in Mexico so they can practice polygamy. 

On 11/8/2019 at 1:33 PM, acheronbeach said:

The Mormon settlements in Mexico and Canada have a really interesting history.  I read a book of academic articles once at the University of Toronto libraries about how the two communities started out with the same goals, but diverged massively because the very different cultures and government enforcement in the two countries.  I wish I could remember the name.  

Long and the short, Mexican Mormons have always been viewed and viewed themselves as outsiders in the country, and they've maintained very strong ties to the USA.  My understanding is that there's a lot of movement back and forth between the two countries and a lot of the women go back to the States to give birth. 

The LeBarons are a whole different animal. They are not part of the those settlements. 
 

 

Edited by nelliebelle1197

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acheronbeach
2 hours ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

The LeBarons are a whole different animal. They are not part of the those settlements. 
 

The Lebarons are a Mormon settlement in Mexico, IMO.  They're not an official church stake.   Church presidents starting with Taylor directed Mormon leaders to settle stakes in Canada and Mexico starting in the 1880's.  The idea was to find places that the polygamist fugitives could settle.  IIRC, Card made a personal agreement with Sir John A. MacDonald that they would not practice polygamy under threat of prosecution from the Mounties, and virtually all the settlers brought only one wife to Alberta.  By contrast, the Mexican stakes like Colonia Juarez and Dublan had little interference from local government (IIRC Diaz's government was pretty supportive of them) and remained somewhat isolated from the locals.  

In 1890 the church passed the Manifesto so Utah could become a state.  The idea from Church leaders was that polygamy would continue under the table, but the culture changed and by the 1920's, mainstream Mormons no longer tolerated polygamy.  There was still a fierce subset of Mormons who believed in and practiced "celestial marriage," as a requirement of the faith who were now under constant threat of prosecution as well as social pressure.  The Lebarons were one of many families who chose to start their own Mormon splinter fiefdoms in Mexico.  

In contrast, I haven't read about any fundamentalist Mormons who started any settlements in Canada.  The Bountiful settlement was started by a Canadian (Harold Blackmore), who was converted to polygamy (during a speech by one of the Lebarons in Cardston!).  

I love Mormon history.  They're one of the most interesting sub-cultures to develop in North America, IMO.  

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scoutsadie
4 hours ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

The LeBarons are a murderous cult of fundamentalist Mormons. They are in Mexico so they can practice polygamy. 

The LeBarons are a whole different animal. They are not part of the those settlements. 

There was a split among the LeBarons when Ervil provoked his followers to violence; they killed his brother Joel and were gunning for Verlan, as well. So it's not quite accurate to say "the LeBarons are a murderous cult" when some were merely victims.

(I just read memoirs by an ex-plyg-wife of Verlan and one of Joel's daughters, and have the books of another of Verlan's wife on deck; all are mentioned in the thread above).

And I'm still not clear on how widespread polygamy is in these Mormon colonies today in Mexico. Yes, it was still being practiced in the late '70s and early '80s, but that was 40 years ago.

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apandaaries
1 hour ago, scoutsadie said:

And I'm still not clear on how widespread polygamy is in these Mormon colonies today in Mexico. Yes, it was still being practiced in the late '70s and early '80s, but that was 40 years ago.

I don’t think they’re the type to lose their beliefs easily. Leaving that cult is hard. Part of why Irene Spencer moved to Alaska was distance. The Vice clip also avoids showing any women or children; I suspect they were trying to show their best images for the American public. They’re living in a separate world for a reason.

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Bethella

Approximately 100 members of the community are moving to the US. Part of me is wondering if that was the motive- scaring them into leaving the area.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-11-09/mormons-mexico-arizona?_amp=true

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Howl

From the article linked by @Bethella

Quote

The assets that they’ve acquired down there are tremendous,” he said. “And to have to up and leave from one day to the next and leave all that behind, there’s definitely a lot of sad people here.”

Extensive orchards and fields, lovely houses, outbuildings, livestock; I'm assuming, maybe incorrectly, that they are being abandoned. People who are American citizens cannot own Mexican real estate.  My understanding is that Americans set up long-term leases for the property where they want to build. However, as dual Mexican/American citizens, perhaps they can own real estate outright.  However, can those who are leaving sell? Are they structured like the original Short Creek United Effort Plan where everything is owned collectively?  

 I'd be curious to know how many people live (or lived) in these two communities and how many are staying. Also, at some point with the gazillion kids that they have, it seems like they would run out of arable land for the offspring and how do they bring in new blood for their children to marry? 

I also wonder if there is any intermarriage with locals.  In one of the pics I saw of an original polygamist family with 8 or 10 wives in the 1920s or 1930s, at least two were clearly Hispanic women.  

 

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hoipolloi

So, the Houston Chronicle is reporting there's a connection between the LeBaronista Mormons & the NXVIM cult:

Quote

 

ALBANY – The nine U.S. citizens slaughtered in an ambush Monday were from a Mormon community in northern Mexico where NXIVM recruited teenagers for a "girls school" to live in the Capital Region under the care of a high-ranking "slave" for Keith Raniere.

The Mormon community’s ties to the disgraced NXIVM leader's cult-like organization were revealed in May during the testimony of NXIVM defector Mark Vicente, a filmmaker based in Los Angeles who once lived in Knox Woods, the same Halfmoon townhouse complex as Raniere....

Penza, [formal federal prosecutor in the NXVIM trial and] now a partner at the firm of  Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz in Manhattan, told the Times Union that some of the girls attending the so-called school took courses at Jness, a purported women’s group in  NXIVM. There, they were “exposed to Raniere’s pedophilic and misogynistic teachings, and, I believe, being groomed to have sex with Raniere,” the former prosecutor explained.

“I believe the girls from the LeBaron community were targeted specifically because, having been raised in a polygamist sect, they were more vulnerable to Raniere’s teachings on sexuality, including that it is natural for women to be monogamous and for men to have more than one partner—a philosophy that served Raniere’s own sexual preferences,” Penza said.

At a Jness meeting in Apropos, a former Halfmoon restaurant on Route 9, NXIVM president Nancy Salzman parroted Raniere's words that some children are "adult-like," mentally capable of experiencing sex with adults and "perfectly happy" doing so....

 

:shock:   :shock:  :shock:

 

Edited by hoipolloi
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AliceInFundyland

I was not expecting that

(We have episode 6 in the limited docuseries now 🍿)

Edited by AliceInFundyland

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nelliebelle1197
13 hours ago, Howl said:

From the article linked by @Bethella

Extensive orchards and fields, lovely houses, outbuildings, livestock; I'm assuming, maybe incorrectly, that they are being abandoned. People who are American citizens cannot own Mexican real estate.  My understanding is that Americans set up long-term leases for the property where they want to build. However, as dual Mexican/American citizens, perhaps they can own real estate outright.  However, can those who are leaving sell? Are they structured like the original Short Creek United Effort Plan where everything is owned collectively?  

 I'd be curious to know how many people live (or lived) in these two communities and how many are staying. Also, at some point with the gazillion kids that they have, it seems like they would run out of arable land for the offspring and how do they bring in new blood for their children to marry? 

I also wonder if there is any intermarriage with locals.  In one of the pics I saw of an original polygamist family with 8 or 10 wives in the 1920s or 1930s, at least two were clearly Hispanic women.  

 

The original  LeBaron men all had Mexican wives and there is still a lot of inter marriage 

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Howl
7 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

So, the Houston Chronicle is reporting there's a connection between the LeBaronista Mormons & the NXVIM cult:

OK, I'm trying to pick up the pieces because my damn head just exploded at 6:15 in the morning.  

1 hour ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

The original  LeBaron men all had Mexican wives and there is still a lot of inter marriage 

Thanks for the clarification.  This must make for some incredible heartbreak for those deciding whether to stay or go. 

Also, if there are current polygamist families with a man with US citizenship married to a Mexican national, the wife would not be able to automatically come to the US.  If the man wasn't married formally to a Mexican national, I don't know if the kids would have automatic US citizenship. 

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hoipolloi

Not to make people's heads spin or splinter any further, but The Daily Beast is saying it's all about the water.

If true, this would NOT surprise me in the least, drug cartels & Mormon polygamists notwithstanding.

Quote

 

One possibility now being reported in Mexico is that the killings are linked to an ongoing series of violent clashes between the LeBarons and an alliance of local farmers over land and water rights in the semi-desert of northwestern Chihuahua.

The farming collective is called El Barzón. Its dispute with the Mormon clan over local aquifers goes back some six decades, and had escalated dramatically over the last few years. The farmers accuse the family of syphoning “excessive” amounts of water from rivers and vital aquifers for the commercial cultivation of maguey, nopal, and walnut trees, leaving nearby communities without enough water for subsistence farming.

Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA) also alleges the LeBarons’ have sunk hundreds of illegal wells on their properties. They also have reservoirs allegedly bulldozed to hold water diverted from local rivers, leaving little or nothing for indigenous communities downstream.

 

 

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Cleopatra7
6 hours ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

The original  LeBaron men all had Mexican wives and there is still a lot of inter marriage 

I remember reading a true crime book about the LeBarons called the  Four O Clock Murders (which is really good, albeit out of print), and I remember it saying that white Mormon marriages to Mexican women were okay, because the latter were considered wayward Lamenites who would benefit from having “white and delight some” offspring or something like that.

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