The brutal killing of 9 members of an American family in northern Mexico on Monday highlights the long history of religious fundamentalist settlers in the region. Our religion reporter, Elizabeth Dias, details their history back to the early 20th century. https://t.co/rfvtzdTN9i
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 5, 2019
In other words, the NYT wants you to know that the American family recently murdered by the Mexican cartel had it coming, for the usual Current Year antiquarianist reasons.
They’re not immigrants, they are settlers!
Unmentioned: The Romneys were run out of Mexico during the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s. The Mexican government paid them a cash settlement for their lost land in 1938 as part of its nationalization of foreign oil interests: the leftist government wanted to dot the I’s and cross the T’s to show it wasn’t stealing the oil, it was paying compensation to the oil companies. So it went ahead and did the same for some Americans like the Romneys with old claims going back to the chaotic Revolution.
It actually shows that Mexico has often been less violent than it is at present.
For example, I knew a Mennonite (monogamous, of course) (or perhaps a Molokan, who are like Russian Mennonites) who was born on a farm in Baja California. Mennonites are more or less pacifist, so the huge Mennonite migration (often from Canada) into Mexico, beginning in the 1920s, suggested a lot of trust in the ability of the Mexican state to provide law & order. What’s the Matter with Mexico is an interesting topic, but one that doesn’t come up much in the U.S. in the 21st Century.
UPDATE: It turns out Ervil LeBaron was not a pacifist. From Wikipedia:
Ervil Morrell LeBaron (February 22, 1925 – August 15, 1981) was the leader of a polygamous Mormon fundamentalist group who ordered the killings of many of his opponents, using the religious doctrine of blood atonement to justify the murders. He was sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating the murder of an opponent, and died there.
He had at least 13 wives in a plural marriage, several of whom he married while they were still underage, and several of whom were involved in the murders.
Thanks to commenters.