Mexican police raided a local immigration facility near the border with Guatemala on Friday and arrested 26 Lev Tahor members, Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated on Motzei Shabbos.
The raid, which took place in the city of Tapachula, was carried out by dozens of police officers and welfare officials. Two of the cult members, a Canadian citizen and an Israeli citizen, were arrested for alleged human trafficking and sexual offenses punishable by about 20 years in prison.
Yisrael Amir, who escaped the cult several years ago, and several of his relatives, paticpated in the raid in order to identify his four-year-old son. His son was found and transferred to his custody and the two flew to Israel together.
According to a Channel 12 News report, Amir has been working on a plan to bring his son to Israel since he escaped the cult three years ago. He reportedly worked with former Mossad agents to formulate a plan to save his son amid reports of the children in the cult being abused and neglected.
Amir told Channel 12 that his one dream from the moment he escaped the cult was to save his son from what he himself experienced there, what Amir called “a nightmare.”
“I couldn’t leave him there,” he said.
בנו הקטן של ישראל עמיר, צעיר שברח מכת "לב טהור" – הושב לזרועותיו בעקבות הפשיטה במקסיקו, והם נחתו בארץ pic.twitter.com/673mM6Brxr
— ynet עדכוני (@ynetalerts) September 27, 2022
ישראל עמיר, שחילץ את בנו מהכת החרדית-קיצונית במקסיקו בתגובה ראשונה: "הגשמתי חלום בערב ראש השנה. מהרגע שברחתי בעצמי מהכת, הייתה לי משאלה אחת – להציל את הבן שלי מהסיוט הזה.
עכשיו אנחנו בבית – נחים, אוכלים ובעיקר מחובקים. אני מתחיל לבנות את החיים החדשים שלי כאבא צעיר במדינת ישראל" pic.twitter.com/nsdB86aj15
— החדשות – N12 (@N12News) September 27, 2022
Five cult members are expected to be deported for staying in the country illegally and the rest of the cult members at the compound were transferred to the Mexican Welfare Ministry.
The Israeli consulate in Mexico reported that despite attempts to persuade them, the children and families who have guardianship orders in Israel refused to return to Israel. “Our request to deport them to Israel is expected to be answered positively but we wouldn’t want significant force to be used against them and a violent deportation. It should be noted that in light of the residency certificates they somehow obtained, they may be able to remain in Mexico.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)