An anti-violence activist and relative of the nine victims of a cartel ambush in Sonora last month declared on Sunday that defending human life must be the No. 1 priority in Mexico.
“For the love of God, let’s stop fighting for secondary things,” Julian LeBarón said at a rally against violence in Mexico City. “Let’s agree that the obligation of each one of us is to defend human life.”
While an estimated quarter of a million people listened to President López Obrador speak in the zócalo to mark the first year of his government, a few thousand marched from the Angel of Independence to the Monument to the Revolution, where the anti-violence (and anti-AMLO) event was held.
Julian and Adrian LeBarón and other members of the Mormon community in northern Mexico, devastated by the November 4 attack that left three women and six children dead, marched at the rear of the contingent.
“Those who murder women or children, those who murder their neighbor have no [place in this] country. . .” Julian LeBarón said.
“. . . What’s at risk now is our freedom. If we have no way to protect life, we have no way to protect freedom. We have to join together to protect life and take up the battle to those who are taking it away. They’re not Mexicans!” he added.
“. . . We have to be united to defend life. That’s a lot more important than all the differences we have.”
Speaking to the rally attendees, among whom were leaders of three opposition parties, Adrian LeBarón also said that other issues paled in comparison to the violence plaguing Mexico.
“I’m sorry if I offend anyone but my heart is full of pain and my voice is trembling with rage. Sorry to come here and say that today I don’t care about the economy or corruption, the airport or political party colors . . .” he said.
“. . . We live in a country where we lose life for the most unfair of reasons: wanting to live. For being – I’m saying this in the name of Rhonita [one of the three women who were killed] – a woman, girlfriend, wife, lover . . . a giver of life, a daughter, granddaughter . . .” LeBarón said.
“We live in a country that has lost the respect for life . . . that has lost the capacity to feel . . .”
Also on Sunday, federal authorities said that three suspects had been arrested in connection with last month’s attack including a suspected plaza chief of La Línea, a gang with links to the Juárez Cartel.
Authorities said shortly after the attack that the criminal group may have mistaken the vehicles in which the women and children were traveling as those of a Sinaloa Cartel splinter cell called Los Salazar. Family members rejected the claim.
Sunday’s arrests followed the detention of another suspect in Mexico City last month. Military authorities said the man detained in November provided information about the alleged perpetrators of the crime that led to the latest arrests in a joint operation between police, the National Guard and intelligence agents.
After a meeting with López Obrador on Monday, Adrian LeBarón said that he and other family members were happy with the progress that has been made in the investigation.
“. . . We can’t say more because it’s dangerous even for us. We have another meeting with him [the president] in a month . . .”