These images show a “Satanic” altar allegedly containing human remains used by cartel mobsters to make them immune to bullets and unearthed by police during a raid.
The arrests were made during a raid on five houses in the colonies of Peralvillo and Tepito, in the municipality of Cuauhtemoc, in Mexico City, Mexican capital in a joint operation between the Secretary of the Citizen Security, the General Prosecution of the State and the Army of Mexico. The 31 suspects, 26 men and five women, are all suspected of belonging to the La Union Tepito cartel.
Local media report in one of the houses a “satanic altar” was discovered with human remains which were allegedly used as offerings.
The altar was reportedly made with figures referring to the devil, as well as masks and mud jars allegedly containing human remains. Cops allegedly also found skulls covered with blood on the altar.
Local newspaper Televisa said that four altars with objects of Santeria were found, with human skulls, crosses, clothing and lances.
Santeria is an Afro-American religion of Yoruba origin. The word means worship of saints and is influenced by and syncretised with Roman Catholicism. Some rituals linked with Santeria involve praying to and giving offerings to Santa Muerte (Saint Death).
Local resident Martha N. reportedly claimed that the members of the La Union Tepito gang carried out satanic rituals every three days in order to receive good fortune in their alleged criminal activity and become ‘immune’ to bullets.
Local newspaper El Grafico report the elements in the raid suggest the suspects used Palo Mayombe, considered one of the darkest branches of Santeria.
Local media quoted an unnamed expert with specialist knowledge who said: “With those elements agreements are done and it is said this was the case for those people so that they were not arrested, human skulls are used and they have to keep on feeding, meaning to cover them with blood every three months so that they get stronger, through the blood, the ritual gets stronger.”
According to El Grafico, an altar in honour of Ochosi, a god represented by a hunter that is believed to guide the police, belonging to the Yoruba religion and also linked with Santeria, was found. The expert said: “They do this so that the police, who are said to be the children of Ochosi, those who hunt, cannot arrest them, cannot hunt them.”
Authorities are investigating in order to find out how many victims were murdered in the place, who they are and where the rest of their bodies are.
Omar Garcia Harfuch, Head of the police in Mexico City, told local media that gang were receiving protection from the authorities of the government of the capital, meaning they may have been warned of the raids which allowed the alleged leader of the gang, nicknamed El Lunares, to escape.
The authorities reported that in the area known as Peralvillo, a tunnel connecting the street of Tenochtitlan with one of the raided houses was found and it is believed that the leader managed to escape through it.
In the colony of Morelos, two laboratories for cooking synthetic drugs were found and 50 kilogrammes of chemical precursors were seized, as well as more than 2.5 tonnes of cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine.
In the third and fourth houses, 13 handguns were seized, 13 long guns, a grenade launcher tube, 17 clips for long weapons, 37 for hands,1,520 rounds of ammunition and five grenades.
In the fifth property, vehicles, cannabis and 1.5 million MXN (60,800 GBP) were seized.
The investigation is ongoing.
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