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LDS members in Mexico protest kidnappings

LDS members in Mexico protest kidnappings


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CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO -- Thousands of people are expected to protest a recent spate of kidnappings, demanding their government do more to stop them from happening.

Among the protesters, hundreds of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are fed up with the kidnappings.

"We're trying to get something done about it," said Karyn Longhurst, who lives in Colonia Dublan.

The kidnappings have united people of all faiths. In May, members of the LDS community joined members of a fundamentalist Mormon community and the Mennonites to protest the kidnapping of a 16-year-old boy who was kidnapped from Colonia LeBaron. He was later released unharmed.

In June, former LDS temple president Meredith Romney was abducted. He was released after a ransom was paid.

Wednesday's demonstrations come as Chihuahua's governor is expected to unveil anti-kidnapping squads as an effort to stem the violence affecting the border region. Longhurst said they applaud the efforts, but want the governor to do more.

"We truly hope so and that's why we are all coming together to show the governor that we are supporting his efforts," she said in an interview with KSL NewsRadio from Mexico. "We're hoping this is going to work."

Longhurst said local church leaders have reached out to Mexican government officials. A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to comment on the issue.

Longhurst said they expect as many as 12,000 people to be at the demonstrations, where they will urge the governor to pass laws allowing kidnappers' assets to be forfeited and remove roadblocks on reporting kidnappings to get police to investigate.

Some feel that church is the only safe place in an area spiraling out of control with violence. Longhurst said her stake recently unveiled a theme about finding refuge in holy places.

"Basically with everything that's going on around us, we just need to stay in holy places where, hopefully, we will be safe," she said.

E-mail:bwinslow@ksl.com

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Ben Winslow

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