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US victims in Mexico attack from Mormon offshoot community

Posted: 1:02 PM, Nov 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-05 23:39:00-05
This combination of frames from Nov. 4, 2019, 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)

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The nine women and children killed by cartel gunmen in northern Mexico lived in a farming community known as La Mora, where experts say residents identify as Mormons but consider themselves independent and separate from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The community's roots lie in the church's banning of polygamy in the late 19th century, when families established colonies in remote northern Mexico to continue the practice.

Cristina Rosetti is an expert in Mormon fundamentalist groups and said Tuesday that today some La Mora residents still practice polygamy while others do not. Residents believe in the main Mormonism tenants, but there is little organized religious practice.

Gunmen killed three women and six children traveling in three vehicles from La Mora on Monday.

The victims were U.S. citizens.