Tiny town LeBaron seeks peacePosted: Updated:
The tiny Mexican town LeBaron in the border state Chihuahua is in mourning for two of its sons who were dragged from their homes and murdered in the middle of the night last week. Just days after family and friends laid Benjamin LeBaron and his brother in law Luis Widmar Stubbs to rest, the town is once again facing threats.
The international media attention that followed the killings put LeBaron in the spotlight and the residents in more danger. Townspeople tell me some media portrayals had the town taking on drug cartels.
LeBaron's residents want to make it clear all they ever wanted was to protect themselves from kidnappers and killers. They tried to do this by staging peaceful demonstrations to demand the Mexican government do more to crackdown on the kidnappers who are terrorizing this border state.
It was a risky move - going public about a crime most families suffer in silence: kidnappings. At the funeral LeBaron's residents banded together again to bury two young family men. A community leader who is facing a death threat also came to pay his last respects - despite the danger.
So many people attended the funeral, they didn't all fit in the church. An overflow crowd of mourners sat in folding chairs under a tent and watched the services on a big screen.
Some people made the drive from other parts of the state to show their support for the small town that is now at the center of public outrage in Mexico over the killings.
But the residents of this close knit community don't want to be labeled crime fighters. Rather they say they're just families who dared to speak out about kidnapping. Now, they want nothing more than to live in peace.
And it seems the State Attorney General's allegations that a drug trafficking gang is behind the LeBaron killings--had that very group denouncing the claim in "narcomantas" or narco banners in Juarez this weekend. Authorities quickly removed the banners.