Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Four held over fire baby ritual

The sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, who remains at large (AP/ Chile's Police Investigative Unit)

Police in Chile have arrested four people accused of burning a baby alive in a ritual because the leader of the sect believed the end of the world was near and the child was the antichrist.

The three-day-old baby was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay, near the port of Valparaiso, on November 21 and was thrown into a bonfire.

The baby's mother, 25-year-old Natalia Guerra, allegedly approved the sacrifice and was among those arrested.

Miguel Ampuero, of the Police Investigative Unit, Chile's equivalent of the FBI, said: "The baby was naked. They strapped tape around her mouth to keep her from screaming. Then they placed her on a board. After calling on the spirits they threw her on the bonfire alive."

Authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large.

"Everyone in this sect was a professional," Mr Ampuero said. "We have someone who was a veterinarian and one who worked as a flight attendant, we have a film-maker, a draughtsman. Everyone has a university degree."

Police said Castillo Gaete was last seen travelling to Peru to buy ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew plant he used to control members of the sect.

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