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Utah lawmakers react to ‘unthinkable’ violence after US citizens slain in Mexico

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – “Tragic.” “Horrific.” “Outrageous.” Those are some of the sentiments Utah lawmakers used to respond to the news that nine people with dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship were killed in an attack in northern Mexico.

Drug cartel gunmen ambushed three SUVs along a dirt road, slaughtering at least six children and three women — all of them U.S. citizens living in the northern Mexican state of Sonora — in a grisly attack that left one of their SUVs burned-out and bullet-riddled, authorities said Tuesday.

The victims are members of a faction that long ago broke away from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and some have family ties in Utah.

After Senator Mitt Romney (R) was briefed on the slaying of the nine U.S. citizens, he called it “a great tragedy” and something “really unthinkable.”

He said he agrees with President Donald Trump that “Mexico has to really knuckle down and go after some of these cartels and stop this escalating level of violence.”

Congressman Ben McAdams (D) called it outrageous that mothers and children cannot drive through an area without being attacked by violent criminals.

“I learned from my recent visit with Republicans and Democrats to border facilities in McAllen, Texas that the drug cartels operate with near impunity and are a threat to the safety of U.S. and Mexican citizens, to asylum-seekers from Central America, and to our border security.  My deepest sympathies go to the family members and friends of the shooting victims,” said McAdams in a statement.

Senator Mike Lee (R) said he hopes Mexcian leaders will cooperate with the United States to bring the killers to justice.

“We’ve got narco-terrorists throughout Mexico who are wreaking havoc on their society and that havoc is spilling across our borders into the United States. There’s a lot we can do by providing resources to their law enforcement, to their military if they’re willing to accept it,” said Lee.

Mexico’s foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called President Donald Trump to express condolences for the slayings of the women and children.

Ebrard said the Mexican leader expressed “thanks for the offer of help if Mexico needs some sort of help.” And he said Trump “reiterated confidence” in Mexican authorities “to apply justice.”

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