The mother of a two-day-old baby that was burned to death as part of a satanic ritual has been apprehended by police after evading capture for two years.
Natalia Guerra was detained on Tuesday in the Maipo district of Santiago, Chile, along with another person who helped keep her hidden as a fugitive from justice. The 33-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 for her involvement in the death of her infant son.
Just two days after giving birth, Guerra agreed to have baby “Jesus” killed after the leader of the “Antares de la luz” cult and father of the child, Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, declared the infant to be the Antichrist and that the sacrifice would help prevent the end of the world on December 21, 2012.
In the secret ritual, the tiny baby was stripped naked, gagged, then tied down to a wooden board before being tossed into a bonfire on November 12, 2012, at a house in Colliguay, near the Chilean coastal resort of Valparaiso.
Police arrested four people from the 12-member sect, including Guerra, in April, 2013. Gaete managed to escape to Peru, but took his own life when cornered by local police the following month.
Pau Undurraga, another member of the sect, was sentenced to five years in prison for homicide, while fellow cult-members David Pastén, Karla Franchi, María Pilar Álvarez, Carolina Vargas and Josefina López, were sentenced to three years in prison as accomplices to the crime.
Those involved in the sect consumed ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brewed from a plant that Gaete reportedly used to control his disciples and have sexual relations with them. Guerra had previously stated in her defense that she was drugged at the time of the murder, but a forensic psychologist declared that the members were not under the influence when the sacrifice was carried out.
Natalia Guerra was apprehended by police where she was residing in Santiago
After her sentence, Guerra managed to flee and was on the run for two years. Investigators noted that she had lived in different houses and even changed her identity in order to evade capture.
“She moved constantly, she hid indoors and never went out, her partner did everything for her,” said Juan Pardo, head of the Special Police Investigations Brigade, in a statement.
Police became aware of a couple living there and after obtaining some of her handwritten notes from their trash, compared it to previous handwriting they had from Guerra in 2013. Investigators then monitored the house for three months before making the move to apprehend her.
“This was key to the investigation because we got some notes that she wrote and with the help of some experts we compared her handwriting from old documents that we had and the result was positive. With this, we got a warrant to search her home and arrest her,” Pardo added.
Police discovered that she held regular meetings, two or three times a week, with groups of between five and six people: “Meetings were held in the house, following an unknown cult,” said Pardo. “But cults aren’t illegal in Chile unless they carry illegal activities,” he added.
He also noted that after being apprehended Guerra did not show remorse and claimed that she was manipulated by the cult and was therefore innocent.
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