Some Family Members Of Massacre Victims Dissatisfied With Mexico’s Investigation

Published: Monday, October 5, 2020 - 5:02pm
Updated: Monday, October 5, 2020 - 5:04pm
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Over the weekend, Mexico’s president visited neighboring Sonora for the tenth time since taking office nearly two years ago. During the visit, he spoke with family members of nine women and children massacred in the state last year. But some family members are not satisfied with Mexico’s investigation.

Speaking at the inauguration of new National Guard barracks in Bavispe, Sonora, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said there has been progress in the investigation into the murders of three women and six children by suspected cartel members last November.

"We're here with you to reaffirm our promise that there will be justice," he said. "We are advancing in the investigation. I have already informed family members about what we have done, and we are going to continue. The case isn't closed. We're going to know the truth and those responsible must be punished."

Officials have arrested several people suspected of being involved in the case, but so far only one has been charged with murder.

Adrián LeBarón, whose daughter and four grandchildren were murdered in the attack, is frustrated with the government’s efforts.

"I'm quite, quite disappointed," he said. "This isn't about me. It’s about justice, and the way I see justice, and especially a promise that I made to my daughter and my grandchildren about pursuing justice."

And for there to be justice in this case, he said, he wants three things: reparations for the harm done to the victims and their families; everyone involved in the murders to be punished and "the third part of the justice is to know what really happened. And you and I still don’t know."

LeBarón said Mexican authorities have yet to uncover the facts of the case, much less punish those responsible. And he’s disappointed the president didn’t share any new information during his visit. He said López Obrador promised to bring additional information to the family during his next visit planned for December.

In the meantime, LeBarón and his family are calling for the United States to become more involved with the investigation. The FBI arrived in Sonora shortly after the attack to assist Mexican officials with the investigation. In a written statement, LeBarón said he the family is asking for international cooperation from security officials, as well as the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and international human rights groups.

"We're grateful for the president's visit," LeBaron said in the statement. "But unfortunately the inauguration of these National Guar barracks is really a campaign event to push forward the political asperations of (Alfonso) Durazo for governor of Sonora."

LeBarón said he feels his family's pain is being leveraged for the benefit of Mexico's Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo, who announced last week that he would resign from his post to run for governor. During his speech in Bavispe, López Obrador commended Durazo for his "great help" in resolving Mexico's security and violence issues.

"To me they're using the massacre, my pain, from my heart, to advance somebody's candidacy," LeBarón said.

He admitted, however, that not all of the victims' family members feel the way he does. Some are less critical of the investigation and the president's visit and are grateful to have additional security from the new National Guard installation in the region.

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