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A shotgun blast from the past

18 May 2010

Jacqueline LeBaron — one of the Chihuahua Le Barons of Colonia Lebarón, Chihuahua — was arrested in Honduras and extradited to the United States to face multiple murder charges from the 1988 killing of three adults and an eight-year old girl in Texas.

Yup, she one of THOSE Le Barons, who are usually only described as U.S. citizens when they’re sympathetic figures (usually as murder victims) and as Mexicans when they’re not.  At least this time, the U.S. press is describing the unsympathetic LeBaron as an American, and glossing over the Mexicanidad.

The LeBaron colony in Chihuahua, which was founded in the 1920s by Jacqueline’s grandfather, Alma Dyer LeBaron was excommunicated by the Mormon Church in Utah and fled to Chihuahua where his colony became associated with Apostolic United Brethren, a relatively “mainstream” polygamous offshoot of Mormonism.  After Alma’s death, his son Joel left the colony and moved to Baja California where he founded the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times.  Another son, Ervil, founded his own sect, The Church of the Lamb of God.

Ervil launched a jihad against Joel, which left a string of corpses across northern Mexico and the southwest United States.  Most of the Lambs were Ervil’s 13 wives and fifty or so children, many of whom joined in the killing spree.  Jacqueline was indicted for mass murder (three adults and an eight-year old child) in 1992 and has been a Lamb of God on the lam (with the godly sum of $20,000 offered for her capture).

The LeBaron colony in Chihuahua lived down the notoriety (and claims Ervil was a paranoid schizophrenic, but they’re just hard-working Mexican farmers.  Except when they’re U.S. second hand furniture dealers.

Back in 2008, the colony was again in the news, as a possible refuge for a polygamous sect in Texas accused of child abuse (the charges turning out to be false) and again in July 2009, when the colony garnered sympathy after a kidnapping and murder which fed into both Mexican and U.S. story lines about narco-violence — the U.S. using the violence to claim AMERICANS were unsafe and the Mexican administration milking it to justify more state security spending.

When I first wrote about the LeBarons, Jason — who is an expert on the varieties of religious experience in Mexico — said “Colonia Lebaron is to the [mainstream Mormon] folks in Chihuahua what Santa Muerte is to the Archbishop of Mexico: A real pain in the patootie, something like that weird second cousin that keeps flashing the neighbors and you wish you weren’t distantly related to.”

Sort of what what I  expect colonia LeBarón’s residents are thinking about the latest of the extended clan to make the papers.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. anamaria permalink
    21 May 2010 5:05 pm

    Viewers of Big Love on HBO know the LeBarons as The Greens.

  2. BNEmexico permalink
    26 May 2010 5:05 pm

    I know some of the good people of LeBaron, and they are not doing anything against the laws of Mexico, or the laws of the Bible [-paul]…as a matter of fact the people of LeBaron make the average American, look like a lazy & soft bunch of govermaent ass kissers…that they are..

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