Mexican cartel boss reportedly arrested in connection with deaths of Mormons

David Millward
Relatives of the Mormons killed in the Bavispe massacre of 2019 attend a ceremony to mark the first anniversary  - Luis Torres/Shutterstock
Relatives of the Mormons killed in the Bavispe massacre of 2019 attend a ceremony to mark the first anniversary - Luis Torres/Shutterstock

The alleged head of a Mexican drug cartel has been arrested in connection with the murder of three Mormon mothers and their six children last year, it has been reported.

Roberto González Montes,  who is known "El Mudo" - or the mute - was taken into custody in the northern province of Chihuahua, Emilio García Ruiz, the local secretary of state said.

Montes, who is allegedly the leader of the  La Línea cartel, has been flown to Mexico City to be charged. According to sources in Mexico two other cartel members Eulalio Domínguez Alanís and Santiago Casavantes Radovich, have also been arrested.

The deaths of the Mormons, dual American-Mexican citizens, caused widespread revulsion. 

They had set off to attend a wedding and unwittingly drove into an ambush and were gunned down by drug cartel members who had positioned themselves up in the hills.

The bodies of those who died were burnt in the cars.

The motive for the killings is unclear. It is believed the party of three adults and 14 children - eight of whom survived - were caught in the crossfire between two warring gangs - one of which was the Sinaloa cartel once led by Joaquin ” El Chapo” Guzman.

In all more than a dozen cartel members have been arrested in connection with the slaughter as part of an operation being carried out by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organised Crime Investigation, the Secretary of National Defence, the National Intelligence Centre and the navy.

Cartel violence is endemic in Mexico. An estimated 200,000 people have died in the country since the country's government declared war on the drug gangs since 2006.

Following the killing, the Mexican government turned down an offer from US president Donald Trump to send troops.