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LeBarón Family Faces Investigations While Confronting State Authorities

MEXICO CITY — A new conflict has erupted between the governments of the Mexican border states of Sonora and Chihuahua and the LeBaróns, the community near the U.S. border where nine women and children were attacked and murdered in 2019. 

Members from the LeBarón family have accused Chihuahua’s governor, Javier Corral, of protecting organized crime and held rallies against him.

Bryan LeBarón threw his shoe at a meeting of Chihuahua authorities, saying it’s his way to protest in the name of the victims of the massacre. A surviving girl from the crime escaped by running away wearing just one shoe.

Corral said some LeBaróns are despicably using their tragedy for political purposes and to hide accusations against them.

The governor said that Sonora, Chihuahua and the federal government are investigating members of the LeBarón family for illegal dispossession of land and water.  

Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.