Source: The Federalist
The American family gunned down in northern Mexico should be a wake-up call for U.S. policymakers that the spiraling cartel violence in Mexico is not going to remain south of the Rio Grande, and that the time has come to fight back against the cartels—unilaterally, if need be.
The brazen daylight ambush, in which at least six children and three women from a Mormon community near the U.S.-Mexico border were killed, is the latest flashpoint in the growing instability of the Mexican state and the country’s descent into warlordism.
Simply put, some areas of Mexico are under the de facto control of drug cartels. Last month, hundreds of gunmen with the Sinaloa cartel besieged the city of Culiacan after Mexican National Guard troops arrested one of the sons of the infamous drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera. In a stunning display of coordination and overwhelming force, cartel gunmen eventually forced the military to release El Chapo’s son and surrender, a decision Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador later defended.
Monday’s attack, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, targeted the LeBarón family, members of a Mormon community of dual Mexican and American citizens who have lived in the border region for decades. It was unclear why the caravan of three vehicles came under fire, but gruesome news reports detailed the intentional slaughter of defenseless women and children, some of whom were burned to death inside their vehicles. Family members told The New York Times that one child was gunned down while running away.