Benjamin LeBaron

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Benjamin LeBaron
Benjamín Le Barón.jpg
Personal details
Born Benjamín Franklin LeBaron Ray
(1976-10-04)October 4, 1976[1]
Died July 7, 2009(2009-07-07) (aged 32)
Cause of death Killed by drug cartel members during the 2009 Mexican drug war
Known For Founder of the Sociedad Organizada Segura and Anti-crime activism.
Residence Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico
Nationality Dual American-Mexican
Occupation Pecan farming and trade between Mexico and the US
Relatives Brother-in-law of fellow murder victim Luis Widmar

Benjamín "Benji" Franklin LeBaron Ray (October 4, 1976 – July 7, 2009) was an anti-crime activist and community leader in a fundamentalist Latter Day Saint community in Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico, who had founded the advocacy group SOS Chihuahua[2] (Sociedad Organizada Segura[3] or Secure Organized Society[3]). LeBaron, 32, a member of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times[4] and a citizen of both Mexico and the United States, was murdered along with his brother-in-law Luis Carlos "Wiso" Widmar Stubbs, 29, on 7 July 2009, by a group of assailants.[5][6][7]

Activism[edit]

After LeBaron's death, the movement has operated without a single figurehead.[8] Mexico has strict gun control laws but began to train and supervise armed citizen's patrols among the Chihuahua religious enclaves.[2] This would be an extension of an existing program that trains members of remote Mexican indigenous tribes to man such patrols.[2] SOS Chihuahua's media contact, Karyn Longhurst of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, said the group desires rapid response to kidnappings (presently the police must await a police report's being filed), the forfeiture of the assets of convicted kidnappers, mechanisms for reparations to victims, tightening of judicial and sentencing loopholes used by those suspected or convicted of kidnapping, increased prosecutions and punishments for those aiding and abetting kidnapping, including through official corruption.[3]

Death[edit]

Benjamin was killed on July 7, 2009 by a local drug cartel. Benjamin was captured and beaten by the cartel, which included 10 men, all armed,[7] in front of his family. They terrorized the wife and children and took him outside. When one of his brother-in-laws, Luis Widmar, heard the commotion, he ran to help Benji. They were both taken by the cartel and were later found beaten and shot to death outside of town.[9]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Malkin, Elisabeth. "In Mexico, the Violence Continues". The NY Times. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Malkin, Elisabeth (25 July 2009). "Fear and Death in a Mormon Town in Mexico". The New York Times (Colonia Lebarón, Mexico). Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Taylor, Scott (1 July 2009). "Mexicans to rally for tougher laws in wake of kidnappings". Deseret News. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Althaus, Dudley (10 July 2009). "Defying Mexican gangs costs Mormons their lives". Houston Chonicle (COLONIA LeBARON, Mexico). Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Booth, William (23 July 2009). "Drug Cartels Target Mormon Clans in Mexico". The Washington Post (Colonia LeBaron, Mexico). Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mexican Feds Probe Slaying of Anti-Kidnapping Activist". Latin American Herald Tribune. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Ellingwood, Ken (9 July 2009). "Protest leader, relative shot to death in Mexico". Los Angeles Times (Mexico City, Mexico). Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Adams, Brooke (8 July 2009). "Two with polygamous roots gunned down in Mexico". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Booth, William (24 July 2009). "Mexico's drug war engulfs breakaway sect of Mormon Church". The Seattle Times Company (Colonia LeBaron, Mexico). Retrieved 11 February 2014. 

References[edit]