| Crime |

MS-13 Gang Members Charged in Satanic Cult Killing

MS-13 graffiti
MS-13 graffiti
Walking The Tracks/Flickr
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Two MS-13 gang members have been charged with killing a woman as part of a satanic cult, and have been accused of kidnapping a male victim with the intent to sexually abuse him.

Houston police arrested Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, while investigating the aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping of another 14-year-old girl. The girl had been held captive by El Salvadoran members of the MS-13 gang for nearly three weeks.

According to prosecutors, she had run away from school and gone to an apartment complex, where she came into contact with members of the MS-13 gang packaging large amounts of cocaine. When she tried to leave, the gang members forced her to stay, then later handed her off to other gang members who took her against her will to various locations, torturing her and sexually assaulting her. Prosecutors say that Alvarez-Flores — called Diabolico in the gang — held the 14-year-old down while tattooing an image of the grim reaper from her knee to her foot.

It was at this apartment that the girl told police she came into contact with the woman they found shot and killed in west Houston, on the 9900 block of Sharpcrest. The 14-year-old said the woman, identified only as Genesis, was also being held captive. One night, she observed Genesis "make an outburst against the shrine dedicated to the gang member's satanic beliefs," prosecutors said. "This victim stated the leader of the group, Diabolico, was offended at the outburst and immediately gave the offering of a lit cigarette to the satanic statue. He returned from the statue and told the entire group that the beast did not want a material offering. It wanted a soul."

When the 14-year-old victim woke up the next day, Genesis was gone.

Alvarez-Flores's co-defendant, Hernandez-Rivera, admitted to police in a statement that, during a trip to pick up marijuana from a dealer with Genesis in the car, Alvarez-Flores had told him that it was "his turn," which Hernandez-Rivera understood as an order to kill the woman. The gang members stopped on the side of the road in a grassy field, and Hernandez-Rivera told police he shot the woman once in the head. Alvarez-Flores shot her once in the chest at close range.

Alvarez-Flores and Hernandez-Rivera are being held on $150,000 bond each for the murder and $100,000 bond each for the aggravated kidnapping of the male victim. They have not been charged, at least not yet, with the aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping of the 14-year-old victim.

MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s as a prison gang formed by Central American immigrants to protect against rival Hispanic gangs. Since then, the gang has spread internationally and has wreaked havoc in El Salvador amid territorial wars against other rival gangs. According to police, about 800 MS-13 gang members live in Houston.

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