South of El Paso, Texas, there are three Mormon colonies in Chihuahua, Mexico left over from the days that Mormons fled to Mexico 100 years ago in order to continue practicing polygamy after the LDS Church. It was there that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's father George Romney was born in 1907. And it is there that Mitt Romney's family members still live today.
VICE's Shane Smith decided to travel to Chihuahua via Ciudad Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities for journalists in the world, to uncover the story behind this under-reported, yet highly important Mormon community in Mexico. In typical VICE style, he's put together an entertaining and compelling film called "The Mexican Mormon War" that uncovers some revealing secrets about Romney's relatives in Mexico.
In the seven-part series, Smith gets to the heart of the Mexican drug war, speaking with officials about drugs, guns, and the sheer extent of the violence that's resulted from the decades long war on drugs. He reveals that the war on drugs has killed 10 times as many people as the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He investigates the obscure Mormon community living in Mexico, a collection of Utah polygamists residing in upscale communities and native Mexicans who joined the LDS Church.
Romney's family has been living in the community since 1885, and Smith speaks with several of Mitt Romney's family members, including his cousin, about their feelings of his candidacy for president and his policies on immigration and drugs.
Beneath the story of Mormons, cocaine, and the war on drugs, Smith's underlying thesis is that it is strange that Mitt Romney, as a first generation immigrant, has taken such a hardline position on immigration. According to Smith, "Mitt Romney, who’s father would be considered the poster child of the DREAM Act, has one of the staunchest views on immigration in his already conservative Republican party."
"Maybe one of the reasons Mitt Romney is so concerned with the drug wars taking place in Mexico is he’s directly involved," Smith says.
There are seven installments of this film, and I'd highly encourage you to check out the film in its entirety. For a first look, see the first episode and recently released sixth episode here.