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Jailed Mexican Cult Member Has AIDS

August 29, 1989

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ A Mexican cult member who is accused of gory human sacrifices is suffering from AIDS, a defense attorney and the state news agency Notimex said.

Omar Francisco Orea Ochoa, 23, has acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Notimex said Monday.

Judicial officials confirmed Orea had been tranferred to a prison hospital but refused to disclose his illness.

″He has AIDS,″ defense attorney Horacio Moyar Quintanilla said in a telephone interview. ″That’s what the doctors told me.″

Moyar Quintanilla represents the woman prosecutors say was the cult’s ″godmother″ - Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal.

The lawyer said doctors’ reports show Ms. Aldrete, 24, does not have the fatal disease though she and Orea Ochoa both were lovers of cult leader Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, who died in a May 6 shootout with police in Mexico City.

Several other cult members also were lovers of the 26-year-old Constanzo, according to court testimony.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is a usually fatal disease in which a virus attacks the body’s immune system, leaving victims susceptible to a wide variety of infections and cancers.

AIDS is most often transmitted through sexual contact. Other means of transmission include transfusions of tainted blood or blood products, and the sharing of contaminated hypodermic needles or syringes by drug abusers.

Cult members had been on the run since the April discovery of 15 mutilated bodies on a ranch near Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas. Among the victims was Mark Kilroy, a 21-year-old University of Texas student who cult members say was sacrificed in a ritual to provide protection for their drug-smuggling business.

Orea Ochoa and Ms. Aldrete claim to know nothing about the killings. They face homicide charges.