A Satanic cult that conducted grave robberies, human sacrifices, and large-scale drug trafficking

Religion: Satanism
Founder: Adolfo Constanzo
Founded: 1980s
Ended: 1989
Location: Mexico and United States
Other Names: The Narco-Satanist Cult, The Constanzo Cult, The Hernandez Brothers’ Cult

The Narcosatanists, a term that vividly conjures images of dark rituals intertwined with the illicit drug trade, was not merely a product of sensational journalism but a stark reality rooted in the activities of a cult led by Adolfo Constanzo, a figure as enigmatic as he was dangerous. Born in Miami to a Cuban family, Constanzo’s early life was marked by an involvement in Santería and Palo Mayombe, a religion with African roots that emphasizes communication with the spirits through rituals, including animal sacrifice. His practices took a dark turn as he moved to Mexico City, where his services—ranging from protection spells to curses—were sought after by the rich and the notorious, including drug cartels seeking mystical safeguarding for their operations.

Constanzo’s descent into notoriety was accelerated by his charismatic leadership over a cult that blended narcotics trafficking with satanic worship, earning the moniker “Narcosatanists” from the media. The cult’s base of operations was Rancho Santa Elena, near Matamoros, Mexico, where ritualistic sacrifices, believed to confer invincibility and prosperity, were performed. Constanzo, self-styled as “El Padrino” (The Godfather), and his second-in-command, Sara Aldrete, dubbed “La Madrina” (The Godmother), led their followers into a spree of heinous acts. The cult’s activities reached their darkest depth at Rancho Santa Elena near the Mexico-US border, where human sacrifices were performed as part of their rituals, resulting in the murder of up to 26 victims. Believing these sacrifices would offer protection and power, especially against law enforcement, the cult targeted rivals, corrupt police officers, and, most infamously, Mark Kilroy, a US college student kidnapped and murdered during spring break in 1989​​​​.

The investigation into Kilroy’s disappearance unveiled the gruesome activities of the Narcosatanists. Law enforcement authorities, led to Rancho Santa Elena by the brazen actions of a cult member, unearthed a chilling scene: multiple bodies, many mutilated, buried in shallow graves, alongside ritual paraphernalia. This discovery triggered a manhunt that caused Constanzo and some followers to flee to Mexico City, where, after being surrounded by police, Constanzo was killed by a fellow cult member on his orders, rather than be captured. Sara Aldrete was arrested during the raid and, despite claiming innocence, was sentenced to prison for her role in the cult’s activities​​.

The aftermath saw the arrest and sentencing of several cult members, including Aldrete, but the shadow of the Narcosatanists’ activities loomed large, stirring a mix of horror, fascination, and disbelief. The cult’s blend of drug trafficking, satanic rituals, and human sacrifice marked a dark chapter in the annals of crime and religious deviance, leaving an indelible mark on the collective memory of those who encountered the story of the Narcosatanists​​​​.

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