Guatemalan media reported that police had conducted a raid lasting several hours on the village where over 200 Lev Tahor members live. One unconfirmed report said children were taken away from their parents, and another said that Israeli officials were present during the raid.
Originally established in Israel, cult leader Sholomo Helbrans fled to the United States at settled in Monsey, NY during the early 1990's. In 1994 he was convicted for kidnapping in the 13-year-old child Shay Fima case, and served a two-year prison term. Following the loss of status in the US, he was deported to Israel in 2000, where he was to be sentenced for various accusations by people whose family members had joined the community Lev Tahor. He fled to Canada, where he was granted refugee status, and settled his cult in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, for 12 years. In November 2013, amid clashes with the education authorities most members of the group (claiming religious persecution) left for Ontario. A year later, under the cover of night, he moved his group once again, this time to Guatemala, where they remain today.
Inside the Lev Tahor Cult (Spanish)
Lev Tahor's Lawyer In Defense Of Community (English)
Cult leader Shlomo Helbran is seen on Guatemalan News report. Through his charisma and brainwashing techniques, Helbrans has destroyed many families within the Frum Community.