Latin America & Caribbean

Chilean 'cult leader' Ramon Castillo found dead in Peru

Police in Peru say they have found the body of the alleged leader of a Chilean cult accused of burning a newborn baby alive last November.

Ramon Castillo Gaete, 35, had been on the run for more than two months. Police believe he killed himself.

His body was found in a house in the Peruvian city of Cusco and identified from fingerprints.

The baby girl was thrown into a bonfire because the sect reportedly considered her an antichrist.

The baby's mother, Natalia Guerra, and three other suspects were arrested in Chile last week.


Mr Castillo was thought to be the baby's father. He is accused of persuading Ms Guerra to give up the baby for sacrifice in the town of Colliguay, in Chile's Valparaiso region.

He believed he was a god and expected the world to end on 21 December 2012, Chilean authorities said.

The death of the three-day-old baby last November shocked Chile, a predominantly Roman Catholic country.

Peruvian police said Castillo's body was found with a rope around his neck hanging from a beam inside a house on the outskirts of Cusco.

"There is no evidence of anyone else taking part in his death," Cusco police chief Juvenal Zereceda told Chile's La Tercera Newspaper.

"All the preliminary evidence indicates this was a case of suicide," Mr Zereceda added.

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