Authorities in Guatemala raided the compound of a haredi Orthodox sect living there, separating children from their parents, after allegations of physical and mental abuse surfaced.One of the reports I saw about this case says that Guatemala wisely raised its age threshold for marriage from 14 to 18, making it easier to charge the sect members with child abuse and forced marriage.
Israel’s Justice Ministry said Sept. 13 that the Central American country had obeyed its request to crack down on the Lev Tahor group, according to Orthodox news website Kikar Hashabbat.
The Guatemalan government suspected the sect of performing child marriages and abusing members, including children.
The Justice Ministry said it was in touch with Guatemalan authorities to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens, including minors, who are members of the group, according to Kikar Hashabbat. The report did not specify how many people are currently members of the group or in what city the compound in question was located.
However, there is a sad bit of related news in all this:
In June, a court in Guatemala indicted the ex-mayor of a small town for “participating in the expulsion of a religious community,” after some 230 members of Lev Tahor were forced out of the village in 2014. The expulsion followed religious disputes with its Mayan residents, who are Roman Catholic.Excuse me? What did the guy do wrong? The cult was abusing their welcome and insulting everyone's intellect, and they accuse him of acting illegally? The cult was asking to be thrown out for their contempt, and their behavior was disgusting. It's time to shut down Helbrans's repulsive charade once and for all, and the former town mayor should be acquitted of the charges against him.
The mayor of San Juan La Laguna, Antonio Adolfo Perez y Perez, was charged with abuse of authority and discrimination and sentenced to house arrest, the local newspaper Prensa Libre reported. He had lost his political immunity on Jan. 14 after he was not re-elected.
I'm certainly glad for now that the authorities have acted properly and ensured the cult would be detained. Those facing charges for abuse and kidnapping in Canada should be extradited back there, and also back to Israel, where I'm sure there's charges being filed against them too.