HEARTBREAKING pictures show the funeral of a mother and her four children who were gunned down by an evil Mexican drug gang.
On Monday, ruthless gunmen blasted three cars carrying families belonging to a breakaway Mormon church killing nine people – including six kids – on a mountain road in Sonora in the north west of the country.
Yesterday mourners gathered to watch the body of Rhonita Miller LeBaron, 30, laid to rest with her son, 13, daughter, 11, and 7-month-old baby twins.
Tragically, Rhonita’s car was sprayed with so many bullets the vehicle burst into flames burning her and her kids to death.
The 30-year-old mother is survived by her husband and three other children.
On Friday the bodies were brought from La Mora to Colonia LeBaron in neighbouring Chihuahua state by a convoy of cars that followed the same mountainous road where they were killed.
Many residents of the two communities that lie a five-hour, bone-jarring drive apart are related.
They are not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The three simple wooden coffins arrived at the cemetery flanked by cotton fields and were lowered into three graves under white tents set up to guard from the intermittent rain.
“Nita,” as she was affectionately known, was laid to rest in the middle grave with the remains of her 8-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana, in her arms.
Twelve-year-old Howard Jr and 10-year-old Kristal were buried in their own coffins on either side.
Kenny Miller, Rhonita’s father-in-law, said she was “like an angel” and the children “little angels.”
Miller said he hopes their deaths can spotlight a nationwide concern with thousands of Mexicans mourning missing and dead loved ones amid record-setting homicide levels.
He said: “We’ve got terrorists here.
“I would like this to be used for people who have no voice and I think ‘Nita’ would approve wholeheartedly.”
Another funeral on Friday saw the body of Christina Langford Johnson laid to rest.
During the bloodthirsty gun attack, she jumped out of her vehicle and waved her hands to show she was no threat to the gunmen and was shot twice in the heart, community members say.
Her daughter Faith Marie Johnson, 7 months old, was found unharmed in her car seat.
The burial ceremony, the third in as many days, culminates an outpouring of grief in the closely knit community with family ties in two Mexican states and across the border in many western US states.
All the victims were US-Mexican dual nationals.
Cartel violence in Mexico
In the first half of 2019, there were a staggering 17,608 gangland murders in Mexico – with 94 people being killed every single day.
Last year saw a total of 33,341, making it the bloodiest year on record, but this year is set to be the most violent of all time.
And the bloodshed is spilling into affluent tourist hotspots including Mexico City and Cancun – where over half a million Brits holiday every summer.
While the latest homicide statistics are horrific, the methods cartels use to keep rivals in check is just as terrifying.
In recent years, large cartels have splintered into smaller factions who then battle for previously shared turf, escalating the violence, and prompting kidnaps and torture.
On Wednesday, one of the suspected gunmen was arrested by Mexican authorities who found him with gagged hostages.
The man, who has only been identified as Leonardo, 30, was detained in Agua Prieta, near the Arizona border, and supposedly belonged to the Juarez cartel.
He was discovered inside a white bulletproof vehicle with three women and four assault rifles.
The developments came amid a massive manhunt for the killers of six children and three women of the Mormon faith.
The gut-wrenching and “terribly sickening” attacks saw victims burned alive while others were shot, according to family member Willie Jessop.
Thankfully, not all the children involved in the assault were killed.
Eight young children, including several babies, survived by hiding in the bushes.
Five of the most injured kids were transported to hospital in Arizona for treatment – with heartbreaking footage showing one baby who had been caught in the crossfire.
The FBI has offered help to the Mexican government to pursue the attackers, hours after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rejected the aid of US President Donald Trump.
In a tweet, Trump vowed to “wage war” on the country’s drug cartels in response to the brutal slayings.
He wrote: “The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army.
“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth.”
While Obrador thanked Trump, he declined the help, saying: “We declared war, and it didn’t work.”
This referred to the previous failed policies of previous administrations. “That is not an option,” he added.