Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
After Deadly Mexico Ambush, Stories of Bravery and Horror
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
November 6, 2019

Share

GALEANA, Mexico — The eight children, some mere infants, who survived the ambush in northern Mexico not only escaped the drug cartel gunmen who killed their mothers but managed to hide in the brush, with some walking miles to get help despite grisly bullet wounds.

“Those who attacked the occupants (of the vehicles), they let the children go, so that we can deduce that it was not a targeted attack [against the families].” — army chief of staff Gen. Hector Mendoza
In a testament to a mother’s devotion, one woman reportedly stashed her baby on the floor of her Suburban and got out of the vehicle, waving her arms to show the gunmen she wasn’t a threat. Her bullet-riddled body was found about 15 yards away.
The mother was one of nine U.S. citizens — three women and six children, all living in northern Mexico — slaughtered Monday when gunmen opened fire on three SUVs along a dirt road in an attack that left one vehicle a burned-out, bullet-riddled hulk.
Mexican officials said the attackers may have mistaken the group’s large SUVs for those of a rival gang. The Juarez drug cartel and its armed wing, known as “La Linea,” or “The Line,” are fighting a vicious turf war against a faction of the Sinaloa cartel known as the “Salazar.”
“Those who attacked the occupants (of the vehicles), they let the children go, so that we can deduce that it was not a targeted attack” against the families, said army chief of staff Gen. Hector Mendoza.
Mendoza said the ambush consisted of two attacks, two hours apart at two places along the road. He said at 9 a.m. a Chevy Tahoe was hit by bullets and exploded in flames, and at 11 a.m., two Suburbans — one carrying the mother and her baby — were hit by gunfire.
Photo of burned-out vehicle
This combination of frames from a video by Kenny Miller and posted on the Twitter account of Alex LeBaron shows two views of a burned-out vehicle that was being used by some members of the LeBaron family as they were driving in a convoy near the Sonora-Chihuahua border in Mexico. Mexican authorities say drug cartel gunmen ambushed multiple vehicles, including this one, slaughtering several women and children. (Kenny Miller/Courtesy of Alex LeBaron via AP)

The Ambush Took Place in the Remote Area of Sonora State

The five wounded children were flown to the border by Mexican authorities in a military helicopter to receive hospital care in the U.S. Health authorities said they were in stable condition when they were transferred.
Three other children who were not wounded are in the care of family members in the hamlet of La Mora in northern Mexico.
The ambush took place in the remote, mountainous area of Sonora state.
Thirteen-year-old Devin Blake Langford, one of the few uninjured young people, quickly took charge, eventually walking about 14 miles back to La Mora for help, said Kendra Miller, a relative.
“After witnessing his mother and brothers being shot dead, Devin hid his six other siblings in the bushes and covered them with branches to keep them safe while he went for help,” according to the relative’s account. “When he took too long to return, his 9-year-old sister left the remaining five to try again.”
That girl, Mckenzie Rayne Langford, walked for hours in the dark before she was found several hours after the other children were rescued.
Altogether, the youngsters were on their own from about 11 a.m. until about 7:30 p.m., when they were rescued. Relatives from La Mora tried to reach them before that but were turned back by gunfire from the cartel gunmen.

The Killers Were Believed to From La Linea

In recordings of calls between the rescuers, they can be heard debating whether to risk more lives or wait an hour or two for Mexican army troops to arrive. It was an agonizing decision.

The killers were believed to from La Linea, whose gunmen had entered Sinaloa cartel territory the previous day and had set up an armed outpost on a hilltop near La Mora and an ambush farther up the road. The Juarez cartel apparently wanted to send a message that it controlled the road into Chihuahua state.
What they saw when they found the children was terrifying.
Cody Greyson Langford, 8, had been shot in the jaw and bled profusely. Another girl had been shot in the foot and the back.
The killers were believed to from La Linea, whose gunmen had entered Sinaloa cartel territory the previous day and had set up an armed outpost on a hilltop near La Mora and an ambush farther up the road. The Juarez cartel apparently wanted to send a message that it controlled the road into Chihuahua state.
It was this invasion force that the American mothers drove into.
But it wasn’t the cruelty of the cartels but the bravery, innocence and sacrifice of the victims that relatives wanted remembered.
Austin Cloes, a relative of the victims, said from his home in Salt Lake City that they loved their children and enjoyed their quiet lives based around a successful pecan farming operation.
Photo of a car passing through Colonia LeBaron
A car passes through Colonia LeBaron, one of many locations where the extended LeBaron family lives in the Galeana municipality of Chihuahua state in northern Mexico, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Drug cartel gunmen ambushed on Monday three vehicles along a road near the state border of Chihuahua and Sonora, slaughtering at least six children and three women from the extended LeBaron family, all of them U.S. citizens living in northern Mexico, authorities said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)

The Attack Underscored the Cartels’ Increasing Indifference

“These sorts of people shouldn’t just be buried without their names being put out there. These are great people,” Cloes said.
The victims lived about 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona, in La Mora, founded decades ago by an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many La Mora residents call themselves Mormons but are not affiliated with the church.
All of the victims were apparently related to the extended LeBaron family in Chihuahua, whose members have run afoul of the drug traffickers over the years. Benjamin LeBaron, an anti-crime activist who founded neighborhood patrols against cartels, was killed in 2009.
The group had set out to visit relatives in Chihuahua. One woman was headed to the airport in Phoenix to meet her husband.
While a drug-related violence has been raging for years in Mexico, the attack underscored the cartels’ increasing indifference to the killing of children as collateral damage.
In August in Chihuahua, cartel gunmen fired 123 bullets at a man and also killed three girls, ages 4, 13 and 14. In June, a young boy was killed along with his father in Sonora. In July, a 10-year-old was killed during a robbery in Puebla state.
Officials said Tuesday that a suspect was arrested in the border city of Agua Prieta with assault rifles, but they later said the suspect apparently had not been involved in the ambush.
[activecampaign form=29]

DON'T MISS

Russia Summons the American Ambassador Over a Deadly Attack That Moscow Says Used US-Made Missiles

DON'T MISS

Who Are the Winners and Losers in California’s Budget Deal?

DON'T MISS

Supreme Court Rejects COVID-19 Vaccine Appeals from Nonprofit Founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

DON'T MISS

Things to Know About the Gender-Affirming Care Case as the Supreme Court Prepares to Weigh In

DON'T MISS

Netanyahu Says He Won’t Agree to a Deal That Ends the War in Gaza, Testing the Latest Truce Proposal

DON'T MISS

Funny Car Legend John Force, 75, Alert After Fiery Crash in Virginia

DON'T MISS

Sonny Gray Allows 1 Hit in 7 Innings as Cardinals Sweep the Reeling Giants

DON'T MISS

Glasnow Fans 10, Ohtani Homers Against His Old Team as Dodgers Belt Angels

DON'T MISS

One Man Drowns in San Joaquin River, Another Is Hospitalized

DON'T MISS

How to Navigate the End of Your Pet’s Life

UP NEXT

Netanyahu Says He Won’t Agree to a Deal That Ends the War in Gaza, Testing the Latest Truce Proposal

UP NEXT

Fresno Police Will Target Dangerous Drivers on Saturday

UP NEXT

Still Need Your Landline? California Just Stopped AT&T from Pulling the Plug

UP NEXT

Newly Named Washington Post Editor Decides Not to Take Job After Backlash, Will Stay in Britain

UP NEXT

FDA OKs First Menthol E-Cigarettes, Citing Potential to Help Adult Smokers

UP NEXT

FBI Raids Several California Homes, Including Oakland Mayor’s

UP NEXT

The Latest | Armenia Recognizes Palestinian State Amid Gaza Child Malnutrition Crisis

UP NEXT

Quiet Administrative Change Advances Far-Right Israeli Minister’s Effort to Control West Bank

UP NEXT

Donald Sutherland, Iconic Actor of ‘M.A.S.H.’ and ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies at 88

UP NEXT

The Supreme Court Upholds a Tax on Foreign Income Over a Challenge Backed by Business Interests

Things to Know About the Gender-Affirming Care Case as the Supreme Court Prepares to Weigh In

10 mins ago

Netanyahu Says He Won’t Agree to a Deal That Ends the War in Gaza, Testing the Latest Truce Proposal

17 mins ago

Funny Car Legend John Force, 75, Alert After Fiery Crash in Virginia

1 hour ago

Sonny Gray Allows 1 Hit in 7 Innings as Cardinals Sweep the Reeling Giants

2 hours ago

Glasnow Fans 10, Ohtani Homers Against His Old Team as Dodgers Belt Angels

2 hours ago

One Man Drowns in San Joaquin River, Another Is Hospitalized

2 hours ago

How to Navigate the End of Your Pet’s Life

5 hours ago

Trump’s Allies Say They’ll Enforce the Comstock Act. Believe Them.

1 day ago

Small Dog With a Big Personality: Lester ‘Les’ Schwab Needs a Forever Home

2 days ago

A DA Kept Black Women Off a Jury. California’s Supreme Court Says That Wasn’t Racial Bias

2 days ago

Russia Summons the American Ambassador Over a Deadly Attack That Moscow Says Used US-Made Missiles

Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the American ambassador on Monday to protest what it says was the use of U.S.-made advanced missiles in a ...

56 seconds ago

56 seconds ago

Russia Summons the American Ambassador Over a Deadly Attack That Moscow Says Used US-Made Missiles

2 mins ago

Who Are the Winners and Losers in California’s Budget Deal?

6 mins ago

Supreme Court Rejects COVID-19 Vaccine Appeals from Nonprofit Founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

10 mins ago

Things to Know About the Gender-Affirming Care Case as the Supreme Court Prepares to Weigh In

17 mins ago

Netanyahu Says He Won’t Agree to a Deal That Ends the War in Gaza, Testing the Latest Truce Proposal

1 hour ago

Funny Car Legend John Force, 75, Alert After Fiery Crash in Virginia

2 hours ago

Sonny Gray Allows 1 Hit in 7 Innings as Cardinals Sweep the Reeling Giants

2 hours ago

Glasnow Fans 10, Ohtani Homers Against His Old Team as Dodgers Belt Angels

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend