Mexico raids cult on U.S. border

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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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 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, and found cult members, including children, living in filthy conditions

The institute said 14 foreigners were detained in the raid 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 that its citizens were among those arrested.

The institute said 10 Mexicans were also 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 as to what charges, if any, might apply in the case.

An official of the institute who was not authorized to be quoted by name said that women were recruited to the sect and then were forced to have sex with sect elders.

Spaniard Ignacio Gonzalez de Arriba set up shop in Mexico about three years ago, after a stint in Brazil and other parts of South America.

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