Following a deadly cartel attack on an American family that left three women and six children dead, President Trump urged Mexico to “wage war” on the drug cartels and “wipe them off the face of the earth.”
“A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing,” Trump tweeted early Tuesday.
“If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing [and] able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” he offered. “The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” the president concluded. “We merely await a call from your great new president!”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador denied Trumps offer claiming that war is not an option.
“The worst thing you can have is war.” He said in a news conference seemingly afraid to battle the evil cartels.
“We declared war, and it didn’t work,” Lopez Obrador said, referring to the policies of previous administrations. “That is not an option.”
Officials say at least six children and three women, apparently all U.S. citizens living in a community of Americans in Mexico, were gunned down after their convoy came under fire during a daylight ambush Monday.
Those attacked were members of the LeBaron family, a well-known American clan who has lived in the community in the northern part of the country for decades, according to The New York Times.
Six children were found alive, five of whom have been taken to hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. One child is currently missing, and authorities are searching the mountainous area on the Sonora-Chihuahua border for the child.
Members of one of the Mexican drug cartels that have been terrorizing the region reportedly opened fire on the vehicles and burned them, resulting in the death a total of nine people and injuring at least three others. The families suspect that a cartel based in Chihuahua is responsible for the massacre.
“Maria Rhonita Miller and four of her children died on a road in northern Mexico, according to [Lafe Langford Jr.] and social media posts,” The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“The bodies of Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and Christina Marie Langford, 31, were found later Monday, Lafe Langford Jr. said. The bodies of two of Dawna Ray Langford’s children, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 3, also were recovered Monday.”
In addition to the six children who tragically died, Late Langford Jr. says three other children suffered bullet wounds.
Langford wanted to show exactly what kind of monsters these murderers are and did so by showing footage of the burned vehicles. “This is for the record,” Langford says, choking back tears. “Nita and four of my grandchildren are burnt, shot up. Right out on the road …”
In the text of the Facebook post, written in Spanish, Langford says that the vehicles were ambushed by the cartel. He later told the press that the gunmen appear to have mistaken the family’s SUVs for targets.
Langford said that a relative of one of the kidnapped victims received a call from her and heard screaming and men talking loudly. The family has also described one of the children trying to run away and being shot dead by the gunmen.
As reported by The New York Times, Kenny LeBarón, a cousin of one of the women killed, said in an interview that he fears the death toll will only continue to rise.
“When you know there are babies tied in a car seat that are burning because of some twisted evil that’s in this world, it’s just hard to cope with that,” said LeBarón.
According to Langford, doctors from across the Mexican state were coming to help the wounded, but he said the family would prefer to fly to the U.S. for help.