By Jon Dougherty

(TNS) As long-time readers know, we don’t do conspiracy theories here, so take what you’re about to read in that context.

As you may know, a group of nine Mormon women and children were gunned down earlier this month in Mexico. At the time, the Mexican government announced that the victims were unfortunately caught in the crossfire of a shootout between rival drug cartel factions.

But on Saturday, the UK Daily Mail reported that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, the paper quoted U.S. intelligence officials who say the killings a targeted assassination, with some victims (children) killed at point-blank range.

The paper reported:

Several of the nine women and children who were brutally murdered by suspected gunman on an isolated highway in Mexico were reportedly shot at point-blank range in a targeted assassination.  

The revelation comes as Mexican authorities reportedly refuse to allow American officials to investigate the massacre that left members of a small American Mormon village dead. 

An American federal investigator disclosed to the New York Post that some of the evidence from the shootings could already be compromised. 

‘They were taken out of their cars and shot,’ an American federal investigator said. 

“It’s kind of disturbing that the FBI has had no access to the crime scene, which is probably a disaster already because the Mexicans have allowed families to remove the bodies. Any evidence that could have been gathered is probably destroyed,: a federal source said.

A Mexican investigator, meanwhile, said the alleged hitmen “shot some of the victims at point-blank range.”

The Daily Mail added:

The Mexican government claims that the sudden attack on Monday, November 4, was the result of local drug cartel gunmen who mistook the Mormons’ fleet of dark SUV’s for a rival gang’s.

Hector Mendoza, the Army chief of staff, said that the incident involved a faction of the Juarez cartel, La Linea, and their competitors from the Sinaloa Cartel – once controlled by Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

Mendoza says that the two groups had an altercation one day before the massacre in the same area. 

He said that the gunmen allowed some of the surviving children to flee, signaling that ‘it was not a targeted attack.’

However, both of the previous sources told the NY Post that this was simply a cover up done by the Mexican government to hide the attacks’ true targets.  

“We’ve been saying all along that the Mexican government just doesn’t want to investigate anything related to drug trafficking,” a U.S. official added. “They will go to any extreme to cover everything up. It’s completely corrupt, and it’s only going to get worse.”

The same source reported that authorities in the state of Sonora, where the victims were assassinated, asked the FBI for assistance, but the Mexican federal government put the kibosh on that.

And that got us to thinking: This all sounds familiar.

It’s worth noting at this point that the cartels have been deriving a substantial portion of their income in recent years from smuggling humans in addition to drugs; any crackdown on U.S. border security would put a major dent in both of those revenue streams.

With that said, a report in February 2017 by NewsTarget, based on a couple of sources, claimed that the wrath of the cartels was going to be unleashed on the American public in retaliation for President Trump’s border wall pledge and crackdown on illegal immigration.

Phase 1 of that threat, if you will, began earlier this year when the Mexican government allowed tens of thousands of Central Americans to traipse through the country in caravans enroute to the United States.

Mexico only backed down after Trump threatened to slap sanctions on the country — a move that would have likely led to disruptions in the U.S. market, for certain, but widening unemployment in Mexico (and unrest), not something the newly elected President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would welcome.

The crux of the NewsTarget report was:

— The cartels are upset with Trump over his border crackdown;

— The Mexican government is too corrupted by the cartels to control them at a minimum or in bed with the cartels at worst;

— “One former Mexican foreign affairs secretary, Jorge Castañeda Gutman, has all but threatened they would be unleashed on the American public if Trump doesn’t back down from his pledges,” the news site reported.

What did Gutman say?

In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, he noted:

“Mexico has a lot of negotiating chips in this matter, Fareed, but it also has measures we could take in other areas,” he said, as quoted by “For example, the drugs that come through Mexico from South America, or the drugs that are produced here in Mexico all go to the United States. This is not our problem. We have been cooperating with the United States for many years on these issues because they’ve asked us to and because we have a friendly, trustful relationship. If that relationship disappears, the reasons for cooperation also disappear.”

One final element to this story.

In October we reported that Derek Maltz Sr., a 30-year veteran of DEA special operations, told Tucker Carlson of Fox News that Chinese mafia gangs have formed an “alliance” with the Mexican cartels to ramp up production and distribution of dangerous drugs that are killing tens of thousands of our citizens every single year.

Maltz, who lost a brother in Afghanistan, says it’s time to stop messing around with the cartels and expecting Mexico to do something about them because the Mexican government can’t or won’t.

He said it’s time to declare them members of legitimate terrorist organizations, which would automatically qualify them for some special attention from some U.S. special forces types who make it their business to hunt down people like them.

With or without Mexico’s assistance.

The Daily Mail quoted one of the family members of the victims as saying, “This is so beyond comprehension, we’re living like we’re in Afghanistan, 100 miles from the U.S. border. They have to wipe these bad men out of Mexico just like the coalition that goes into Syria and these places.”

Increasingly, that sounds very accurate.

No wonder Trump tweeted out the day after the assassinations that he would be willing to offer U.S. military assistance to Mexico. Sounds like the president already had the intel.

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