Shocking sex-slavery cult unveiled in Mexico run in Jesus Christ's name
- Zero-tolerance towards communal violence, must act: Centre to states
- Varanasi: Violence breaks out during protest march, vehicles set ablaze
- Germany our natural partner, says Modi after meeting Merkel; 18 MoUs inked to boost trade
- Why the BJP finds itself in a spot before Gujarat local body polls
- Supreme Court suspends beef ban in Jammu & Kashmir for two months
The "Defensores de Cristo" or "Defenders of Christ" allegedly recruited women to have sex with a Spanish man who claimed he was the reincarnation of Christ, according to an official of a victims' advocacy group, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Followers were subjected to forced labor or sexual services, including prostitution, according to the National Immigration Institute 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, according to the institute official.
The institute in a statement 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 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. 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, and which were abusers.
The institute statement said the sect's leaders made members pay "tithes," with money or forced labor.
The institute said in a statement that the Defenders of Christ was headed by Venezuelan citizen Jose Arenas Losanger Segovia.