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Pictures | Tue Jan 14, 2020 | 4:20pm EST

Mormon relatives torn over future in Mexico after massacre

A soldier patrols the Mormon community in La Mora, Sonora, Mexico January 10, 2020. Two months after cartel gunmen killed three mothers and six children and left their charred vehicles riddled with bullets, beefed-up security has helped calm the holdout residents of a tight-knit community of U.S.-Mexican families of Mormon origin. But with only a few families staying put, at least one village is being hollowed out.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

A soldier patrols the Mormon community in La Mora, Sonora, Mexico January 10, 2020. Two months after cartel gunmen killed three mothers and six children and left their charred vehicles riddled with bullets, beefed-up security has helped calm the...more

A soldier patrols the Mormon community in La Mora, Sonora, Mexico January 10, 2020. Two months after cartel gunmen killed three mothers and six children and left their charred vehicles riddled with bullets, beefed-up security has helped calm the holdout residents of a tight-knit community of U.S.-Mexican families of Mormon origin. But with only a few families staying put, at least one village is being hollowed out. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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A cordon set up by the office of Mexico's Attorney General is seen at the crime scene. The gangland ambush has shaken a once-strong faith in the picturesque hamlets the families have called home for generations.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

A cordon set up by the office of Mexico's Attorney General is seen at the crime scene. The gangland ambush has shaken a once-strong faith in the picturesque hamlets the families have called home for generations. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

A cordon set up by the office of Mexico's Attorney General is seen at the crime scene. The gangland ambush has shaken a once-strong faith in the picturesque hamlets the families have called home for generations. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Kendra Miller is seen with relatives in La Mora. "La Mora will never be the same," said 27-year-old holdout Kendra Miller, whose brother Howard lost his wife Rhonita and their four children in the attack. "There are families that will come back to visit, but they're not going to live here again because they don't feel safe," she said.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Kendra Miller is seen with relatives in La Mora. "La Mora will never be the same," said 27-year-old holdout Kendra Miller, whose brother Howard lost his wife Rhonita and their four children in the attack. "There are families that will come back to...more

Kendra Miller is seen with relatives in La Mora. "La Mora will never be the same," said 27-year-old holdout Kendra Miller, whose brother Howard lost his wife Rhonita and their four children in the attack. "There are families that will come back to visit, but they're not going to live here again because they don't feel safe," she said. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Today, roads in and around La Mora are patrolled by hundreds of heavily-armed soldiers, helicopters buzzing overhead. Some locals complain that the police presence before November's attack was almost non-existent, but since then army soldiers and National Guard troops have flooded in, along with FBI and Mexican investigators.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Today, roads in and around La Mora are patrolled by hundreds of heavily-armed soldiers, helicopters buzzing overhead. Some locals complain that the police presence before November's attack was almost non-existent, but since then army soldiers and...more

Today, roads in and around La Mora are patrolled by hundreds of heavily-armed soldiers, helicopters buzzing overhead. Some locals complain that the police presence before November's attack was almost non-existent, but since then army soldiers and National Guard troops have flooded in, along with FBI and Mexican investigators. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Many relatives who have fled saying they no longer feel safe, abandoning homes with once-tidy gardens now overrun with weeds. 

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Many relatives who have fled saying they no longer feel safe, abandoning homes with once-tidy gardens now overrun with weeds. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Many relatives who have fled saying they no longer feel safe, abandoning homes with once-tidy gardens now overrun with weeds. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Loretta Miller, grandmother to four of the children killed, estimates that 80% of her brothers and sisters-in-law and their families have left and do not plan to ever return.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Loretta Miller, grandmother to four of the children killed, estimates that 80% of her brothers and sisters-in-law and their families have left and do not plan to ever return. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Loretta Miller, grandmother to four of the children killed, estimates that 80% of her brothers and sisters-in-law and their families have left and do not plan to ever return. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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The inside of an abandoned house in La Mora. Other family members describe how kids suffer from recurring nightmares, and those relatives who have left fear coming back.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

The inside of an abandoned house in La Mora. Other family members describe how kids suffer from recurring nightmares, and those relatives who have left fear coming back. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

The inside of an abandoned house in La Mora. Other family members describe how kids suffer from recurring nightmares, and those relatives who have left fear coming back. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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The inside of an abandoned house in La Mora. Nearly all of the family members are both U.S. and Mexican citizens, meaning they can easily travel, or relocate, between both countries.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

The inside of an abandoned house in La Mora. Nearly all of the family members are both U.S. and Mexican citizens, meaning they can easily travel, or relocate, between both countries. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

The inside of an abandoned house in La Mora. Nearly all of the family members are both U.S. and Mexican citizens, meaning they can easily travel, or relocate, between both countries. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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The abandoned house of Rhonita Miller, who was killed along with four of her children by unknown assailants, in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

The abandoned house of Rhonita Miller, who was killed along with four of her children by unknown assailants, in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

The abandoned house of Rhonita Miller, who was killed along with four of her children by unknown assailants, in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Soldiers are seen in Bavispe town near La Mora, Sonora, Mexico January 11, 2020. Picture taken on January 11, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers are seen in Bavispe town near La Mora, Sonora, Mexico January 11, 2020. Picture taken on January 11, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers are seen in Bavispe town near La Mora, Sonora, Mexico January 11, 2020. Picture taken on January 11, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Soldiers patrol the Mormon community in La Mora. The large families that have populated this part of northern Mexico, nestled among rolling hills and gurgling rivers, stem from breakaway Mormon communities that began fleeing the United States more than a century ago in search of safe havens for their polygamist beliefs. 

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers patrol the Mormon community in La Mora. The large families that have populated this part of northern Mexico, nestled among rolling hills and gurgling rivers, stem from breakaway Mormon communities that began fleeing the United States more...more

Soldiers patrol the Mormon community in La Mora. The large families that have populated this part of northern Mexico, nestled among rolling hills and gurgling rivers, stem from breakaway Mormon communities that began fleeing the United States more than a century ago in search of safe havens for their polygamist beliefs. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Members of the Mormon community play softball. The families built ranch-style homes with orchards where the young children of growing families could ride their bikes and play all day outside.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Members of the Mormon community play softball. The families built ranch-style homes with orchards where the young children of growing families could ride their bikes and play all day outside. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Members of the Mormon community play softball. The families built ranch-style homes with orchards where the young children of growing families could ride their bikes and play all day outside. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Members of the Mormon community watch a softball game. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Members of the Mormon community watch a softball game. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Members of the Mormon community watch a softball game. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Kendra Miller shows the old basketball court where she used to play as a kid in La Mora. Many wax nostalgic about care-free childhoods, even if their own kids might be raised elsewhere. "I was set to get married one week after the massacre," Miller said, "and now my fiance wants us to live in the United States." REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Kendra Miller shows the old basketball court where she used to play as a kid in La Mora. Many wax nostalgic about care-free childhoods, even if their own kids might be raised elsewhere. "I was set to get married one week after the massacre," Miller...more

Kendra Miller shows the old basketball court where she used to play as a kid in La Mora. Many wax nostalgic about care-free childhoods, even if their own kids might be raised elsewhere. "I was set to get married one week after the massacre," Miller said, "and now my fiance wants us to live in the United States." REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Loreta and Kendra Miller, relatives of Rhonita Miller who was killed along with four of her children by unknown assailants, are seen in their home in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Loreta and Kendra Miller, relatives of Rhonita Miller who was killed along with four of her children by unknown assailants, are seen in their home in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Loreta and Kendra Miller, relatives of Rhonita Miller who was killed along with four of her children by unknown assailants, are seen in their home in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Mateo Langford, brother of Cristina Langford who was killed by unknown assailant, sits near his house in La Mora. "I'm not going anywhere," said Mateo. "Bad things happen in every corner of the world, including in the United States. We just can't run away," he said.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Mateo Langford, brother of Cristina Langford who was killed by unknown assailant, sits near his house in La Mora. "I'm not going anywhere," said Mateo. "Bad things happen in every corner of the world, including in the United States. We just can't run...more

Mateo Langford, brother of Cristina Langford who was killed by unknown assailant, sits near his house in La Mora. "I'm not going anywhere," said Mateo. "Bad things happen in every corner of the world, including in the United States. We just can't run away," he said. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Workers pack pecan nuts in La Mora. As he sorted pecans from last year's harvest, Mateo's brother Steve Langford, whose sister Christine was killed, said he will stay put as well. He said his immediate plans are to help his cousin David with the harvest, and try to convince him to stay too. David lost his wife Dawna and two of their children in the attack. Another remains hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the jaw. "I'll never leave here," said Langford.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Workers pack pecan nuts in La Mora. As he sorted pecans from last year's harvest, Mateo's brother Steve Langford, whose sister Christine was killed, said he will stay put as well. He said his immediate plans are to help his cousin David with the...more

Workers pack pecan nuts in La Mora. As he sorted pecans from last year's harvest, Mateo's brother Steve Langford, whose sister Christine was killed, said he will stay put as well. He said his immediate plans are to help his cousin David with the harvest, and try to convince him to stay too. David lost his wife Dawna and two of their children in the attack. Another remains hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the jaw. "I'll never leave here," said Langford. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Adrian LeBaron waves to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during the president's visit to La Mora. Lopez Obrador pledged that those behind the massacre will be punished and that the truth surrounding the crime will eventually come out. He also promised to keep relatives appraised of the investigation. "There will be justice," he declared.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Adrian LeBaron waves to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during the president's visit to La Mora. Lopez Obrador pledged that those behind the massacre will be punished and that the truth surrounding the crime will eventually come out. He...more

Adrian LeBaron waves to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during the president's visit to La Mora. Lopez Obrador pledged that those behind the massacre will be punished and that the truth surrounding the crime will eventually come out. He also promised to keep relatives appraised of the investigation. "There will be justice," he declared. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Mormon children are pictured next to soldiers in La Mora. Beyond the sympathetic hand extended to the victims' families, Lopez Obrador's one-year-old government has struggled to tame rampant drug violence nationwide as homicides are at a record high and several spectacular security setbacks have played out on his watch. Lopez Obrador was warmly received during his visit.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Mormon children are pictured next to soldiers in La Mora. Beyond the sympathetic hand extended to the victims' families, Lopez Obrador's one-year-old government has struggled to tame rampant drug violence nationwide as homicides are at a record high...more

Mormon children are pictured next to soldiers in La Mora. Beyond the sympathetic hand extended to the victims' families, Lopez Obrador's one-year-old government has struggled to tame rampant drug violence nationwide as homicides are at a record high and several spectacular security setbacks have played out on his watch. Lopez Obrador was warmly received during his visit. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Soldiers are seen in Bavispe town near La Mora. The Mexican government has arrested seven suspects to date as part of the investigation into the massacre, but the reasons behind the killings remain shrouded in mystery. Officials have suggested the attack may have been linked to a turf battle between two rival cartels known to fight over lucrative smuggling routes between Sonora and Chihuahua states, which both border the United States.

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers are seen in Bavispe town near La Mora. The Mexican government has arrested seven suspects to date as part of the investigation into the massacre, but the reasons behind the killings remain shrouded in mystery. Officials have suggested the...more

Soldiers are seen in Bavispe town near La Mora. The Mexican government has arrested seven suspects to date as part of the investigation into the massacre, but the reasons behind the killings remain shrouded in mystery. Officials have suggested the attack may have been linked to a turf battle between two rival cartels known to fight over lucrative smuggling routes between Sonora and Chihuahua states, which both border the United States. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Adrian LeBaron and members of the Mormon community wait for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to arrive for a visit to La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Adrian LeBaron and members of the Mormon community wait for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to arrive for a visit to La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Adrian LeBaron and members of the Mormon community wait for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to arrive for a visit to La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Kenneth Miller, father in-law of Rhonita Miller who was killed along with four of her children, is seen inside his house in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Kenneth Miller, father in-law of Rhonita Miller who was killed along with four of her children, is seen inside his house in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Kenneth Miller, father in-law of Rhonita Miller who was killed along with four of her children, is seen inside his house in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Children play in the Mormon community in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Children play in the Mormon community in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Children play in the Mormon community in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Soldiers are seen as Kendra Miller drives around the Mormon community in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers are seen as Kendra Miller drives around the Mormon community in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers are seen as Kendra Miller drives around the Mormon community in La Mora. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Soldiers check a vehicle at a checkpoint in Janos, Chihuahua. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers check a vehicle at a checkpoint in Janos, Chihuahua. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Soldiers check a vehicle at a checkpoint in Janos, Chihuahua. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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