The California Prosecutor’s Office assures that it continues to lead international police operations to capture Azalea Rangel, one of the alleged accomplices of Naason Joaquin Garcia, leader of the La Luz del Mundo church, who is now serving a sentence of almost 17 years in prison for pederasty.
Rangel, who was Naasón Joaquín’s personal assistant in Mexico, She has been a fugitive for more than three years. Nothing is known about this 43-year-old woman since the arrest of the evangelical pastor and his two accomplices in June 2019. It is believed that she is hiding somewhere in Mexico.
“We continue to coordinate with our partners in charge of enforcing the law and the charges against Meléndez are still pending,” said the State Prosecutor’s Office in a statement sent to Univision News.
In Mexico, the operations to locate her focused on the addresses indicated in your driver’s license issued by the government of Mexico City, vehicle records in that locality and a request for passport that she presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), according to the file of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), which reviewed this medium.
Agents from the Secretariat of Public Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) located two addresses where he lived: a three-story house in the Benito Juárez mayor’s office, in Mexico City, and another in Torreón, Coahuila, his birthplace. She also lived in the Hermosa Provincia neighborhood, headquarters of the church.
A few years ago she was driving a 2012 Dodge i10 compact car and a 2004 Volvo XC90 station wagon. Both cars were registered in Mexico City.
The researchers took from social media photos of her and her husband, Gadiel Meléndez Arroyo, in a trip in Cambodia, as well as in rites and events of the Light of the World.
In Mexican documents she appears as Azalia Rangel Garcia, while California prosecutors identify her as Azalea Rangel Meléndez, with an “e” and adding her husband’s last name.
The California Prosecutor’s Office and Interpol avoided answering the questions made by this medium about whether there is a notice or red card from Interpol requesting Rangel’s arrest and extradition.
Videos of a sexual threesome
rangel faces two counts of rape and forced oral copulation to the detriment of an adult woman, Jane Doe 4. Naasón Joaquín would also have participated in that crime. The pastor pleaded guilty to three counts related to the sexual abuse of three minors, identified as Jane Doe 1, 2 and 3.
The California Department of Justice assures that between June 1 and July 30, 2015, both raped their victim by forcing her through force, threats or instilling fear.
His name was mentioned by agents of the Prosecutor’s Office in hearings in the Superior Court of Los Angeles in 2020, when describing videos in which Naasón Joaquín and Rangel would have participated in a sexual threesome with a minor. The recordings were on the iPhone and iPad of the leader of La Luz del Mundo.
“That series of videos shows a sexual threesome between an anonymous victim and co-defendant Azalea Rangel (…) and defendant Garcia engaging in sexual conduct in his private home at the La Luz del Mundo temple in Guadalajara, Mexico,” testified the agent Steven Stover on August 17 of that year.
The alleged victim, who was about 15 years old when the events allegedly occurred, was called “the child” in the close circle of Naasón Joaquín. The State Attorney’s Office calls that minor ‘John Doe 2’.
That teenager would have been under the influence of some narcotic during the abuse, prosecutor Patricia Fusco said at the sentencing hearing of the Mexican pastor two weeks ago. ” He could be drugged in that video, you don’t see emotion, ” Fusco described.
Troy Holmes, the California Attorney General’s Office leading this investigation, recounted the alleged sexual abuse suffered by a woman identified as ‘Jane Doe 5’. He recounted that she was raped in a hotel in Beverly Hills, California, during what he called a “sexual display” along with co-defendants Alondra Ocampo and Azalea Rangel. The spectator was the leader of La Luz el Mundo, assured the agent.
At the moment Rangel does not face new charges for the complaints made by ‘Jane Doe 5’.
“He is the one who moves the money”
In the accusations made before the Mexican Prosecutor’s Office, it is alleged that Rangel was in charge of the maidens of Naasón Joaquín in Guadalajara, headquarters of the church. She bought them plane tickets, watched them, gave them money, kept them busy, participated in orgies with them, He indoctrinated them stating that they fulfilled the wishes of God’s representative on Earth and scolded them when they did not want to satisfy Naasón Joaquín, according to the complaints.
“Azalea Rangel is the one who moves the money and makes the deposits in the bank… sometimes there was so much money that we couldn’t count it quickly; part of that money was put in the vaults or in the bank. Azalea Rangel has the maximum control of that, ”reads the FGR file.
Her husband Gadiel Meléndez Arroyo, another member of La Luz del Mundo, was an advisor to the Mexican senator Israel Zamora Guzman, affiliated with the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) and also a parishioner of that evangelical institution. He resigned after the arrest of Naasón Joaquín in 2019.
Meléndez Arroyo, who in 2018 signed a contract with 140,000 pesos (7,000 dollars) for his services in said legislative office, he also disappeared.
Before the scandal, he attended La Luz del Mundo events linked to politics. At the end of 2015 he traveled to Tegucigalpa to give a speech at a congress of the Association of Professionals and Entrepreneurs of Honduras (APEH), linked to another church organization, the APEM, which is directed by the father of his former boss, Rogelio Zamora Barradas, former legislator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Senator Rogelio Zamora Guzmán has described Meléndez Arroyo as “a hard-working, talented businessman and economist” who is “law-abiding and committed to helping others.”
Azalea Rangel is the only one implicated in the La Luz del Mundo case who has not been brought to justice.
Naasón Joaquín is in a Los Angeles jail awaiting his transfer to a state prison, to continue serving his reduced sentence. According to sources and information given at the hearings, now the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has it under the magnifying glass.
Susana Medina Oaxaca, who pleaded guilty alongside the church leader, avoided going to jail and is serving a sentence of one year probation. The judge took into account the time she was detained in 2019 and three years under house arrest. In addition, he demanded that she do six months of psychiatric counseling in an institution that is not linked to La Luz del Mundo.
Lark Ocampo, meanwhile, she pleaded guilty to four counts and will be sentenced next October 12 °. She is being held in a women’s prison in Lynwood, California.