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Guatemalan authorities question Canadians

TORONTO - There are media reports that Guatemalan authorities have picked up six children who are members of a Jewish sect who fled Canada earlier this month.

The Toronto Star is reporting that police questioned three adults and six children who were staying at a hotel in the town of Panajachel.

The Star says the members of the Lev Tahor sect were taken from the hotel to appear before a judge, but it wasn't clear when that was to happen.

At least two Lev Tahor families left Canada for Guatemala last week in the face of child custody hearings.

About 200 members of the sect — 114 of them children — settled in Chatham, Ont., last year after suddenly leaving from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que.

Child-welfare authorities in Quebec spent a year investigating issues related to hygiene, health and allegations that the children weren't being educated according to the provincial curriculum.

Late last year, a Quebec court ordered that 14 Lev Tahor children be placed in foster care.

The group has denied all allegations of mistreatment.

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