The president in La Mora on Sunday. The president in La Mora on Sunday.

Justice in LeBarón massacre case will serve as an example: AMLO

'There will be justice,' president vows, as well as a monument at the site

Justice for the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family in Sonora in November will serve as an example that crime committed during the administration of the current government will be punished, President López Obrador said on Sunday.

Speaking to residents of the small Mormon community of La Mora after meeting with the family members of the victims of the November 4 attack, López Obrador said that his government’s first goal is to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.

Seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack allegedly perpetrated by La Línea, a criminal gang with links to the Juárez Cartel, including the chief of police of Janos, Chihuahua.

The investigation “is progressing and there will be justice,” López Obrador said.

The president said he had agreed to meet again with the victims’ family members in two months and that he would subsequently return to Bavispe, the Sonora municipality where the massacre occurred, to present a plan for regional development, including road improvements.

“We’re going to return because a proposition has been made . . . Firstly, justice – those responsible must be punished, there must be no impunity, [this case] must be an example of he who commits a crime is punished,” López Obrador said.

“. . . We’re going to continue meeting so that these unfortunate events are not forgotten . . . I, as president of Mexico, would like to be . . . with all the families of victims, all those who suffer in Mexico due to insecurity and violence.”

The president also said that a monument will be erected to commemorate the lives of the nine dual United States-Mexican citizens – three women and six children – who lost their lives when the vehicles in which they were traveling on a remote dirt road outside La Mora were ambushed.

An agreement had been reached with municipal and Sonora authorities to put up a monument “where these lamentable and painful events took place,” López Obrador said, adding that it will also recognize those who risked their lives to help the victims and survivors of the attack.

“So that we exalt this, the true solidarity: he who is willing to give his life for another,” he said.

In addition, the president reiterated his commitment to combat insecurity by addressing the root causes of violence – such as poverty, inequality and lack of opportunity – rather than by using force against criminal groups, a strategy that failed to curb violence during the two previous governments led by Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto.

“We have to achieve the pacification of Mexico, not like . . . in other times just with the use of force. Now there is a new way that I think will yield results . . .nobody is bad from birth,” López Obrador said.

Loretta Miller, grandmother of four of the children who were killed, said that she was happy with the outcome of the meeting with López Obrador but Julian LeBarón, a relative of the victims and an anti-violence activist, called for an investigation into authorities in Chihuahua, asserting that there are state police that are involved in criminal activities.

“. . . What’s happening with the police that turn their weapons at the community and murder women and children? This is the extent of the problem,” he said.

Source: El Diario de Juárez (sp), Associated Press (en) 

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