Mexico Mexican media reports on Saturday that the body of Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, 55, was found in a river that he entered for a ritual immersion late Friday afternoon.
The Foreign Ministry of Israel said it was aware of the reports and investigating, but could not confirm the information, according to Channel 10.
The Lev Tahor group practices an extreme form of cult religion that started in the 1980s under which the women wear black head-to-toe cloaks similar to the Muslim chador.
The 500-strong sect has left Israel, Canada and the United States in recent years amid allegations of child abuse and has been dubbed “the Jewish Taliban.”
The group has been accused of raping,sodomizing, molesting kids and other digusting behavior.
In March 2014, the community resettled in Guatemala.
The anti-Zionist Helbrans, who left Israel in 1990, served two years in prison in the US in the 1980s for kidnapping a boy.
In April 2017, an Israeli court designated Lev Tahor a “dangerous cult” that is abusing children.
And just a year ago the former mayor of a small town in western Guatemala was sentenced to a year in prison for expelling the Lev Tahor sect of haredi Orthodox Jews.
Antonio Adolfo Perez y Perez of San Juan La Laguna was found guilty of coercion in the expulsion, which took place in 2014.
Perez said during his trial that he forced the sect out to end the “clash of cultures,” the AFP news agency reported.
He was given the option of paying a $1,000 fine instead of jail, according to the report.
Lev Tahor had maintained a small presence in San Juan La Laguna, a village about 90 miles west of Guatemala City, for about six years, but it expanded considerably after a large contingent arrived from Quebec complaining of persecution by Canadian authorities, which accused the sect of child abuse and neglect. Tensions appear to have flared after the newcomers sought to impose their practices on the indigenous people.
Following the expulsion, the group then moved to Oratorio, a village 30 miles east of Guatemala City in September 2014, living in tents while homes were constructed.
Lev Tahor female members wear black robes from head to toe, leaving only their faces exposed. The group was founded by an Israeli, Shlomo Helbrans, in the 1980s and rejects the State of Israel, saying the Jewish Promised Land can only be established by God, not men.
Guatemala is home to some 1,200 Jews in a population of 15 million.
Elementos de protección civil del estado rescataron el cuerpo del Rabino un kilómetro abajo del ejido San Jerónimo del municipio de Unión Juárez
La tarde de este viernes fue localizado el cuerpo del Rabino judío, Shlomo Erez Helbrans, quien falleció tras ser arrastrado por la corriente del río Shujubal en Unión juárez.
Elementos de protección civil del estado rescataron el cuerpo un kilómetro abajo del ejido San Jerónimo donde el Rabino se encontraba bañándose y haciendo oración.
La persona de aproximadamente 55 años de edad, pertenecía al grupo de judíos ortodoxos que se encuentran temporalmente viviendo en Unión Juárez.
Este grupo de 40 familias judías ortodoxas ingresaron a Chiapas hace tres semanas de manera legal procedentes de Guatemala de donde fueron expulsados víctimas de xenofobia, intolerancia religiosa y discriminación por su aspecto y vestimenta.