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Head of Ritual Slaying Cult Killed in Mexico, Police Say

May 07, 1989|From Associated Press

BROWNSVILLE, Tex. — The ringleader of a drug-smuggling cult that killed 15 people has been slain in a gun battle with Mexico City police and his girlfriend has been captured, police said Saturday.

Cameron County Sheriff's Lt. George Gavito said Mexican authorities told U.S. investigators Saturday night that cult leader Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, 26, was killed and that police have arrested Sara Aldrete, a 24-year-old former Texas college student described as the "witch" of the cult.

"They have confirmed that Adolfo is dead and Sara has been arrested," Gavito said.

The two had been sought in an international manhunt and are suspected of being the masterminds in a cult that killed 15 people in a series of ritualistic sacrifices and drug-related slayings.

Second Man Killed

Another man involved in the cult, Martin Quintana Rodriguez, also was killed in the shoot-out at a Mexico City residence, said Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez.

Gavito said he spoke on the telephone with Aldrete, who is in police custody in Mexico City, for about five minutes Saturday night, but he would not divulge details of the conversation.

Mexico City police confirmed that two people were killed during a shoot-out Saturday afternoon in a supermarket and that their identity was in question. But police would not confirm that Constanzo had been killed in the shoot-out.

Not Immediately Confirmed

The attorney general's office in Mexico's Federal District would not immediately confirm the story.

"We don't know anything about it," Luis Gomez Saenz told the Associated Press by telephone Saturday night.

Constanzo, 26, and Aldrete, 24, had been charged with aggravated kidnaping by Cameron County authorities and are believed to have directed human sacrifices, mutilations and the boiling of brains and other organs in rituals to bring occult protection for their drug-smuggling ring.

15 Bodies Unearthed

The ring and its macabre activities was discovered when authorities unearthed 15 bodies buried west of the border city of Matamoros, Mexico, beginning on April 11.

Constanzo and Aldrete, missing since the first 12 bodies were uncovered April 11, are among 11 people indicted in the United States on a four-count drug indictment.

Four of the five men in custody in Matamoros said the cult leaders were Constanzo and Aldrete. The pair flew from McAllen to Mexico City on April 11, officials have said.

In the Mexican capital, the investigation led to searches of residences where occult altars were found.

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