MEXICO CITY (AP) — The nine women and children killed by cartel gunmen in northern Mexico lived in a farming community known as La Mora, where experts say residents identify as Mormons but consider themselves independent and separate from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The community's roots lie in the church's banning of polygamy in the late 19th century, when families established colonies in remote northern Mexico to continue the practice.
Cristina Rosetti is an expert in Mormon fundamentalist groups and said Tuesday that today some La Mora residents still practice polygamy while others do not. Residents believe in the main Mormonism tenants, but there is little organized religious practice.
Gunmen killed three women and six children traveling in three vehicles from La Mora on Monday.
The victims were U.S. citizens.