Drug cult leader Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, fearing police were closing in, littered the street with $20 bills and ordered one follower to kill him, said a member of the group who admitted granting the death wish.
Alvaro de Leon, one of five suspects brought before reporters Sunday at the attorney general's office, described Constanzo as paranoid and said he shot and killed the 26-year-old cult leader blamed for 15 deaths, most coming during ritualistic human sacrifices near the U.S.-Mexico border.Constanzo's girlfriend, Sara Aldrete Villarreal, 24, the cult's so-called "witch," also was arrested Saturday after a shootout in a five-story apartment building in Mexico City's posh Cuauhtemoc section.
Constanzo and Aldrete had been sought by police in Mexico and the United States since April 9, when the first of 13 bodies were found at the Rancho Santa Elena near the border city of Matamoros.
The bodies of two more victims, who were not killed ritualistically, were found at a nearby ranch. Authorities believed those men had double-crossed the drug smugglers.
De Leon told reporters that Constanzo, becoming nervous when he saw police officers near his apartment hideout inspecting a car on the street, cried: "All is lost!" and began throwing $20 dollar bills to the street below. "This money is not going to be for anyone," de Leon quoted Constanzo as saying.
Shouting, "Take this, you poor slobs!" Constanzo then began shooting at police, who returned fire and called in reinforcements.
Deputy Attorney General Abraham Polo Uscanga said the officer inspecting the abandoned car was unaware Constanzo was in the building.
When Constanzo saw he was surrounded by police, he ordered de Leon to kill him and Martin Quintana Rodriguez, another cult member, said Aldrete and de Leon.
Asked who killed Constanzo and Quintana, Aldrete pointed to de Leon and said, "He was the one that killed them because (Constanzo) ordered him to do it. (Constanzo) wanted to die because he said everything has ended."
"It was finished, and he wanted to die with Martin. He was shouting, `Do it! Do it! If you don't do it, the circumstances will be hell!' He got all desperate."
Aldrete insisted she did not know about the cult's sacrificial slayings in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, until she saw the bodies of some of the 15 victims on television.
"When I saw the things on the television, watching all the sacrifices and all that, I just . . . it was amazing," Aldrete said in a low voice.
Asked if she loved Constanzo, Aldrete said, "I did not love him, but I followed him."