Lima - The fugitive leader of a Chilean cult accused of sacrificing a baby
to save the world from December's supposed Mayan apocalypse has been found dead
in Peru, authorities said on Thursday.
Gustavo Castillo Gaete - the dead baby's father - was found hanging at an
abandoned building in the southeastern city of Cusco on Wednesday morning,
police chief Javier Avalos told reporters.
"The body was found hanging from a rope, we proceeded to lower it to
take fingerprints, which were sent to Chile. The results of the fingerprints
came back positive," Avalos said.
Gaete, 36, is believed to have been in Peru since February. The murdered
baby's mother and three other suspects were arrested on Friday.
Chilean authorities say Gaete was the leader of a cult which burned the baby
alive on 23 November at a farm outside the city of Quilpe, some 110km west of
The search for the members of the cult, believed to number about 10,
followed a four-month investigation after police were notified of the disappearance
of a newborn that was never registered with authorities.
Police said Gaete repeatedly slept with the five women in the group, whose
members consumed ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic Andean brew.
When Castillo learned that one of the women was pregnant he locked her up
during her pregnancy.
When the baby was born he asked to use it in a ritual to save the world
ahead of the 21 December 2012 "Mayan apocalypse", police said.
The date marked the end of a 5 200 year era on the Mayan calendar, though
many were convinced it actually marked the end of the world as foretold by
ancient Mayan hieroglyphs.