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Utah politicians react to news of 3 women, 6 children killed in Mexico shooting

By Jacob Klopfenstein, | Updated - Nov. 5, 2019 at 12:55 p.m. | Posted - Nov. 5, 2019 at 7:40 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Local politicians and public figures are responding to the news that three women and six children with Utah ties were massacred Monday in the Mexican state of Sonora.

“Ann and I are heartbroken for the victims of the horrific attacks in Mexico,” United States Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said in a tweet. “The U.S. must work with Mexican officials to hold accountable those responsible for this senseless violence.”

He added that he and his wife Ann were praying for the families who suffered the tragedy.

Romney's father, George, was born in Mexico in a Latter-day Saint colony similar to the community in which the massacred family was living. George Romney was born in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, but was a U.S. citizen.

The family of the women and children who were killed were living in a community called La Mora, decades-old settlement in the state of Sonora, Mexico that was founded by early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he was "devasted" by the attacks in Mexico.

"I am heartsick for the victims and their families," he said on Twitter. "Together, we must find a way to end the callous and cruel violence cartels inflict on innocent victims."

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox also tweeted about the massacre, saying he is grateful that President Donald Trump is willing to help Mexico end such violence.

“The news out of Mexico last night is terrible,” Cox said. “These families with ties to Utah being gunned down is awful and appalling.”

Trump tweeted that the U.S. is “ready, willing and able” to provide help to Mexico if the country needs or requests American help.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said the people responsible for the attack "must be held accountable."

"I am heartbroken to hear of this horrendous attack," Stewart said in a tweet. "My heart is with those affected by this tragic loss of life."

Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, also added his thoughts on the attack on Tuesday afternoon. He said during visits to the U.S.-Mexico border with his fellow lawmakers, he learned that cartels "operate with near impunity."

He added that drug cartels threaten the safety of American and Mexican citizens, as well as Central American asylum-seekers.

"It’s outrageous that mothers and children cannot drive in the area without being gunned down by these violent criminals," McAdams said in a statement. "My deepest sympathies go to the family members and friends of the shooting victims."

McAdams also said Mission Mexico will be providing consular assistance to the families, and the FBI is working with local law enforcement authorities.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes also pledged his support to family members affected by the attack in a tweet Tuesday.

"The violent murders of nine Americans in Mexico — including six children — are nothing less than horrific and despicable," Reyes said. "Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones and our office pledges to continue fighting against the addictive and deadly drugs that drive the cartels."

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