Sex-slavery cult in Mexico dismantled
MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials broke up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring among its followers on the U.S. border, authorities said on Tuesday.
The “Defensores de Cristo” or “Defenders of Christ” cult allegedly recruited women to have sex with a Spanish man who claimed he was the reincarnation of Christ. Followers were subjected to forced labor or sexual services, including prostitution, according to a victims' advocacy group that said it filed a complaint more than a year ago about the cult.
Federal police, agents of Mexico's National Immigration Institute and prosecutors raided a house earlier this week near Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas, and found cult members, including children, living in filthy conditions.
The institute said 14 foreigners were detained and have been turned over to prosecutors, pending possible charges.
Those detained include six Spaniards, and two people each from Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela. One person from Argentina and one from Ecuador were also detained. Spain's Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed its citizens were among those arrested.
The institute said 10 Mexicans were found at the house, mainly women, and are presumably among the victims of the cult.
The Attorney General's Office said the investigation was still under way. Given the binds of sect loyalty that had been built over an estimated three years, prosecutors were still trying to work out which of the detainees may be considered victims.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.