January 9, 2020 / 11:02 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. arrests two in Mexico massacre probe: victim's father

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - U.S. authorities investigating the massacre of nine members of a U.S.-Mexican Mormon community in northern Mexico have made two arrests in the United States, a relative of several of the victims said on Thursday after a meeting with the U.S. ambassador.

Suspected drug cartel gunmen in early November shot dead the nine victims, three women and six children, in a daytime attack as they were traveling by car in the northern state of Sonora.

The massacre sparked outrage in the United States and Mexico and prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to call for both countries to “wage war” against Mexico’s brutal drug cartels.

Adrian LeBaron, the father of one of the murdered women, told reporters that the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, had revealed the detentions during a meeting in Mexico City.

“He told us they had made two arrests in the United States, that they’re investigating and that this is going forward,” said LeBaron, who also lost four grandchildren in the attack.

An official with the U.S. Embassy’s press office declined to comment on LeBaron’s remarks, referring the matter to the FBI, which is assisting Mexico in the investigation. The FBI’s Washington, D.C., office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mexico has arrested seven suspects over the massacre, which investigators believe may have been linked to a dispute between two rival drug gangs that operate in the area.

Separately, Adrian’s cousin Julian LeBaron said the family aimed to hold a march later this month aimed at drawing attention to lawlessness and missing persons in Mexico.

Earlier this week, Julian LeBaron said officials believed around 40 people were involved in the attack in November.

Cartel violence in Mexico has been blamed for the deaths of more than 200,000 people in the past dozen years.

Reporting by Roberto Ramirez and David Alire Garcia; Editing by Leslie Adler

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