A fugitive self-help guru from the United States was arrested Sunday in Puerto Vallarta and quickly deported to the U.S. where he faces sex trafficking charges.
Keith Raniere, 57, who founded the self-help organization Nxivm 20 years ago, was located in a luxury villa that rents for up to US $10,000 a week.
As he was taken away by police he was followed by several women who federal prosecutors said were living with him.
He is believed to have spent some time in Monterrey, where Nxivm has an office.
Raniere headed for Mexico after The New York Times published an article in October that detailed how women who belonged to a secret sorority within Nxivm were branded in the pubic region with his initials.
Prosecutors say that women who joined the organization were required to provide nude photos or other potentially damaging information about themselves if they wished to join. The women were subjected to an abuse system that made them “slaves” in the service of their “masters.”
“Raniere has maintained a rotating group of 15 to 20 women with whom he maintains sexual relationships,” the criminal complaint against him states. “These women are not permitted to have sexual relationships with anyone but Raniere or to discuss with others their relationship with Raniere. Some of the Nxivm curriculum included teachings about the need for men to have multiple sexual partners and the need for women to be monogamous.”
Nxivm has had a presence in Mexico for the last 15 years under the leadership of Emilio Salinas Occelli, one of the sons of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
Salinas has declared that no abuse took place in the Mexico chapter of Nxivm, which instead was focused on “entrepreneurship and leadership.”
Raniere was to appear today in a Brooklyn court.