LIMA – The Peruvian police located Patricia Aguilar, a young Spanish woman who left her home in Elche, Spain, in January 2017 after the leader of a sect in Peru convinced her to travel to the South American nation, the spokesperson of Aguilar’s family, Noelia Bru, told EFE on Thursday.
The young woman, who was 18 when she left Spain, was found on Wednesday in a house in the small town of Satipo, some 600 km (373 mi) west of Lima, located in one of Peru’s most dangerous regions, where drug trafficking groups and remnants of the Shining Path terrorist organization are active.
Aguilar was found with a one-month-old baby daughter, as well as with four other minors and two women who became part of the sect, whose families were also looking for them.
They were all living in unsanitary conditions, the women showed signs of mistreatment, and the children had not been attending school, Bru said.
Several kilometers from the house in Satipo, police arrested the leader of the sect, Felix Steven Manrique, who allegedly lured the young women through social networks.
Aguilar and her baby daughter, as well as the two other women and four minors, arrived in Lima on Thursday.
Manrique was also taken to the capital, where he is being held at the headquarters of the Peruvian police’s human trafficking squad, which is carrying out the investigation.
A few months ago, Aguilar released several videos explaining that she was not in Peru against her will, although her family members contended that she was being held captive and struggled to get her back.
“Patricia is in Peru illegally, so we hope she will be deported, although we don’t know what will happen because of the baby. We hope to bring her back to Spain,” Bru said.