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Aquí y Ahora - 16 de mayo, 2021

Tras múltiples denuncias una red de oscuros secretos y abusos a menores es descubierta, los líderes de una iglesia se ven envueltos en terribles crímenes que tendrán que pagar en prisión.
17 May 2021 – 12:00 AM EDT

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isioninvestiga present. they have broken a strict codeof silence. it is not normal for a nine or10-year-old girl should dance and take off her clothing for agrown man. >> several members of la luz delmundo make accusation against leaders of the church.>> he did these things with small children that he molested.>> they talk about young girls given to the self-proclaimedservant of god. >> they say that under thistemple, there is a web of secret tunnels and private roomsin the basement. >> he began to abuse me mentallyand control me. >>, many people ask themselveswhere do thered donations go. >> i was not working for god, iwas working for a multimillion dollar enterprise.>> they also want to know how the lavish lifestyle of anapostle and his family are financed.the dark light of the world. ♪>> in june 2019, mexican pastore naason joaquin garcia,spiritual leader of the church la luz del mundo, was arrestedin california under sexual charges.this opened a number of other charges from men and women whosay they were groped by him. he declared himself not guilty.>> hello. >> for months, journalistsgather documents and evidence regarding this church.>> some of these stories are crude and not advisable foryounger viewers. we now see an introduction tothe dark light of the la luz del mundo.>> i remember i was a small child.>> it is not normal for a nine or 10-year-old girl to dance andtake off her clothing for a man of that age.>> he told me, you have to be sexier, you have to look at iseyes, -- at his eyes. >> as a i did not think it wasbad -- as a little girl i did not take it was bad.>> sochil martin, a mexican-american girl grew up --who grew up under the commandments of the la luz delmundo, her drama began, according to her, when she wasnine-year-old and she was taken by her aunt to dance naked infront of samuel joaquin flores, the supreme leader of the church. she gave us two interviews.>> all these years passed, and i could not believe that he woulddo that with small children. that he would molest, he wouldhurt, he would abuse. that is not godly.>> the church went to naason joaquin garcia, and he turnedher into his sex slave, according to a civil suit filedin california. this happens in a global churchthat, for decades, has exploited children and others as a centralpoint of its operations. but that changed, he said, whenmartin refused to masturbate a 14-year-old girl in front ofhim. he beat her brutally andprevented her from being taken to a hospital.the boy was then forced to have sexual relations with his motherwhile the pastor watched. >> the boy was trembling.he was cold. i remember i looked at hismother, and his mother was smiling at me, as though thiswas normal, or as if this was something she was expecting.then i would look at nasson and he was excited.he was excited. and i remember kissing him.the little boy was so cold. i couldnt.i turned around and i just stared at naason, and heseemed upset. >> i dont want loyalty fromyou. >> sochil martin is just one ofseveral former members of the church who have broken aftercentury -- half a century of a code of silence.>> what la luz del mundo says is if you hear something that goesagainst the church or against the apostle, you are blind, youare deaf, and you are mute. that is the rule.>> some of the followers who have rebelled against that rulemay be witnesses in a criminal suit against naason joaquingarcia. hes accused of rape, humantrafficking, and distributing child pornography.>> when someone takes advantage of that faith or that devotion,many abused children who are 14 years old, for me, that is not areligious leader. that is a demented person.>> xavier becerra was named as secretary of health and humanservices by president joe biden. church leaders say the victimsgave their consent, and there was no proof of minorsparticipating. >> are you here, sir?>> for the government, gascon is one more inmate.but for his community, hes a representative of god who isunder arrest on earth. >> im not a lawyer, anarchitect or a doctor, but i will tell you the truth.god called me, cheering. >> in this neighborhood ofguadalajara, is the headquarters of la luz del mundo church.>> im here to pray for the people of god.>> the faithful are baptized here in they receive the holyspirit. they sing, they cry, andsometimes, they have to marry whomever the apostle says.>> you end up marrying somebody you dont even know.>> la luz del mundo has said they have 5 million followersthroughout the planet. >> for them, its about gettingclose to grace. >> the love you feel for me.>> that belief has burrowed so deeply in the psychology offollowers that they are willing to accept whatever the joaquinfamily says. >> you cannot judge a servant ofgod. that is not cannot even think wrong about them.i had friends who would go with them and say i was with theservant of god. and i knew she had spent thenight with the servant of god and with her cousins, they wouldgo and not come out until the next day.and we would think, what a blessing, they were with theservant of god. >> in proceeding the trial, theattorney general presented accusers named jane and doe.>> they were asked to kiss each other, and they would touch eachother on their breasts. >> ocampo was declared guilty.her lawyer tells us why she tried to recruit others.>> she was abused her whole life and was indoctrinated intobecoming a groomer. and sadly, when she firststarted doing this, she thought that she was helping these girlsget a blessing. >> some of the churchsfollowers who have expressed their disappointment have beenrejected by their families. >> shes one of them.>> family members from mexico and some from the states send mesome awful messages. they say some hateful, hatefulwords. >> days later, he got thismessage in his whatsapp. >> if you dont want to believe,that is your problem. i will tell you one are getting involved not just with one man, but with god.>> when we return, an accusation against the highest authority of" and univision la luz del mundo, and what heion>> these kindles for la luz del mundo -- the scandals for la luzdel mundo began with their previous leader.he faced charges of immorality against women and in 1997, themexican attorneys general office received complaints of actscommitted by his son, samuel. geraldo reyes tells us whathappened to a man who dared to speak out.>> for several months, the religious group called la luzdel mundo has been in the news in guadalajara.this man says that the church is responsible for acts againsthim. >> -->> he says he was attacked in february of 1998 with a knifeafter accusing la luz del mundo of abusing him sexually, as wellas others. >> thank you for your supportfor the last 40 years. >> i said that some will joaquinflorez was the person responsible.>> he was stabbed 42 times, according to this medicalreport. >> i was hit here was terrible. when i felt this, i felt otherwounds in my back. >> i want to demonstrate thatfaith is a measure of goodness. >> he said that during histeenage years, he had been raped by the pastor on a trip.he said when he returned, he told me he was an angel andangels did not have sex, and that i should not feel bad.on the contrary, i should feel blessed for having learned thesecrets of a servant of god. the testimonies against theleaders of the church date back to its origins.the founder would surround himself with young women whowere given to him by family members.>> he was surrounded by women who were called the women of thebig house. it was a group of six to 10women, and they would prepare the next generation.>> erin was followed by his son samuel in 1974.he was less discrete on jericho street.he was always accompanied by girls ages nine to 14.they were also given up by their parents, according to testimony.>> they have properties that are private.they invite you. they talk to your parents.and because parents want to be part of a blessing, they willsay, look, at such and such a basement in such a such a church, this boy or girl will be there.>> she says she was one of those girls.>> they abused me mentally, they controlled that house. the woman who lived there, therewere four of us young woman who lived there.they gave samuel a key so he could come in at 3:00 a.m. andgrope us. they groped all of us.>> this former pastor says his wife was part of a group ofwomen who worked in samuels house.>> she was often beaten by samuel because she did notaccept some of the situations he proposed she engage in withother women. he would wait until the girlsturned 14 to be able to penetrate them fully, but hewould other have them masturbate him or engage in oral sex whenthey were as young as nine or 10.>> all of us women who were young girls there are not in thesame boat. we are all because of see them and they are like zombies.they think that they are involved in something good.they think it is a blessing. but the truth is, it is abuse.>> sergio was samuels chauffeur.disappointed that la luz del mundo took the best years of hislife by sending him to new areas to open new temples, he thinks ahereditary church is a farce established by the joaquinfamily. >> where do you find in thebible that an apostle engenders another possible?where do you get that from the bible?>> he says he witnessed how the sexual abuse culture was part ofthe churchs structure when he was sent to investigate a pastorin the state of chihuahua. >> that man in his dark heartand his malice built a bathroom next to the pastoral house.but the wall of the bathroom faced the window of his house,so whenever the girls would bathe, he would look at them.the pastor had molested almost all the girls in the church.>> according to him, he pastor was transferred to anotherplace. in 1997, the church was not ableto control the silence, and there were several scandals thepress found out about, as r icardo remembers.he announced the all-powerful samuel joaquin.>> there was this gigantic ghetto with thousands of peoplewithin the city of guadalajara, such an important city.they were giving all of their devotion to a living god.he was a common man. if you saw him on the street youwould have no idea he had that much power.>> the sexual abuse charges did not go anywhere.>> we were not able to continue with the investigation, becausewe did not have enough information.what i do remember is that he was afraid.he thought that he may have made it through this, but he may notsurvive again. >> i would not be surprised ifthe attempt on my life was a birthday gift to samuel.>> he died and left us a legacy this temple of secrets, built inone of the most conservative catholic cities in mexico.a story that, hes witnessed for 23 years.>> we try to get an interview with its leader in vain.>> when we return, the supreme leader of the church la luz delmundo is arrested and is facing serious charges.>> for this church, hes not just the pastor.they believe he is the chosen one, cho>> beneath the structures of these majestic temples,witnesses say the darkest secret was was a network of tunnels. we learned what the routes wereand what they were used for. [cheering]>> here is the heart of the church la luz del mundo.its also been the center of scandals and accusations ofabuse since 1997. >> a man is accusing the servantof god of stabbing him all over his body.>> it is called la hermosa, founded in the 1950s.they are eight streets with biblical names.>> it was like entering another place.another landscape, different way of dressing.with customs that were different.>> renee, a social scientist, has been studying this religionfor over 30 years. >> one of the common elementswas surveillance. >> what was not common for herwas how samuel joaquin moved from one place to another duringthe celebration of the church, which brings together almost onemillion photographers. >> the photographer was waitingto take a picture at the balcony and when i got next to him hesaid he never entered. he did not enter through a door.>> her experience confirms what, for many, was a legend, but aopen secret for othersn, that under this roundabout there wasa series of tunnels. >> i was only in some of thetunnels, but yes, they are all over the province.>> they communicate his offices to different parts of thetemple. >> they take you to the temple,the pastoral office, to jericho house.there are different exits. >> during pretrial testimony,one detective mentioned a room inside the temple where one ofthe victims said she was sexually abused several times.>> there is furniture in the room, there is a wall ofmirrors. there is a large, oversized,almost seven foot tall teddy bear on the left side of theroom. there is a couch and otherfurniture also. there is also fake butterfliessuspended from the ceiling. >> this is her attorney.she injuries with -- agrees with the testimony.>> i have seen a picture of one of the rooms.there is a bedroom and it has, like, a large stuffed animal inthe room. you know, when she saw thatpicture she recognized that was one of the secret rooms.>> the attorney says she was abused as a child by samueljoaquin, the father of the self-proclaimed apostle ofchrist. >> and he proceeded to kiss herand take off work c -- off her clothes.then he laid with her and forced himself upon her and had sexualintercourse with her. >> they also said that naasonasked that drugs and alcohol be given to the girls so they wouldbe more complacent. >> mr. garcia talked aboutdrugging young girls to make them more relaxed.>> he told a blogger he also knew the tunnels.>> what was most interesting to me was that there was a have got to move a marble was filled with firearms. >> sochil says the tunnels hadanother purpose. >> he simply did not want towalk on the street and say hello to of the temple took almost nine years.this man ask we protect his identity.he said he participated in the building of the church, which heestimated costs about $50 million.>> we saw the hallways and make sure somebody could walk throughthem comfortably. i thought it was simply to movearound in. under the ground there is atunnel. to the main office.>> this is where the leaders would come out to greet peoplefrom the balconies. he says that the tunnels wereused to get to naasons office. young women were taken to thesetunnels and taken to the private chambers of the leader.>> there is a passageway that leads to the altar, which leadsfollowers to believe he can be in multiple places at once.>> there is a vault with a 12 inch solid wall.. >> martin says in those vaultsthere was gold and a lot of money.>> millions. not just pesos, but dollars andeuros. >> is approximately 272 feettall. they wanted to send a message ofgrandeur and power. people who study the behavior offollowers, they say that the number of followers after hisarrest has gone down. spokespeople for the churchrefused to speak with us. weeks after his arrest, this iswhat they said. >> we do not anticipate adecrease. on the contrary.>> in la hermosa, drugs and alcohol is not is a mini city was schools, a market, a bank, and soon ahospital. massive baptisms are heldoccasionally here. >> this is a very special dayfor me. >> you could say it is the mostspecial day in my life. >> since that day, jasminemartinez, like many other followers, will have to wearlong dress, will have to cover her head, and not be able to usemakeup or jewelry. until she gets married, her freetime will be devoted to the church.>> the dress code is part of the doctrine, written in theapostolic letters. >> while the trial againstnaason continues, inside the church followers gather threetimes a day to either pray, or for their leaders release.>> they will have to keep this going and create an analogybetween this unjust sacrifice that naason is experiencing andequate it to the crucifixion of jesus christ.>> we were slaves and now we are free thanks to the grace of ourlord. >> after a break, withinvestigations in mexico and the united states, la luz del mundois accused of being power-hungry.>> they wanted 40>> the power of the la luz del mundo church has allowed it togain control of neighborhoods' churches and have an economicemporium. they have also stoppedinvestigations against them for over 20 years.we found documents about an investigation.♪ >> in may 2019, la luz del mundowas celebrating that its leader, naason joaquin, had received atribute at the palace of fine arts and he turned the end, he gave thanks, public opinion was shocked in acountry where there is a strict separation of church and state.>> there were prominent members of the current administration,the morena administration, giving tribute to the man.>> the president responded to the scandal.>> are we going to be tolerant or not?or are we only going to be tolerant of things that we arein favor with? >> two weeks later, joaquin wasdetained in california, accused of physical beach.the church has -- physical abuse.the church has defended him. >> it reflects a political backinto a church that has been investigated for sexual abusesince 1997. >> there are new allegationsagainst the current leader, samuel joaquin.he got close -- >> he got close, he placed hishand in the front of my pants. >> he said he was a king andneeded women who would bathe and perfume him.>> he had political power. thats why these allegations didnot go anywhere. >> the accusations only worsened-- the accusations against him worsened.>> it is not correct that a man of god, a religious leader touchyou, take off your clothing. it is not right for you to takepictures for him, to dance for him, that you have to engage insexual acts for that person. that is not godly.that is sexual abuse. >> i am an apostle of jesuschrist. >> the mexican attorneysgenerals office opened an investigation in june of 2019.we had --univision investiga had exclusive access to it.>> there are allegations of human trafficking.some men and women have been forced, pressured, lied to aswell. fraud has been committed so theycan serve their leader. >> the mexican investigation hadan evaluation that said that sochil martin had experienced apsychological trauma the way that victims of sexualtrafficking exhibit. >> there were rapes.i got to see how friends of naason, politicians, sometimeseven journalists, writers would come.not ministers of the church. their friends.>> for its part, the investigation also includedtestimony from another witness. she told authorities that naasonsexually abused her when she was a virgin, and for three yearsshe was his sexual slave. several church members werementioned. among them is israel zamora, thesenator who got the permit for the event.he says he respects the process in the united states and noinformation has been asked from him.>> there are other people who were involved that need to beinvestigated. >> at the same time, thefinancial unit in mexico investigated another angle, theroute the money took. >> they have properties and carsall over the world. >> they found that the churchwas using followers as shell names to hide assets.naason joaquin was receiving a salary as though these shellcompanies were small businesses that he worked for.this is the headquarters of la luz del mundo.for mexico city and the central part of the country.mexican authorities found out that naason joaquin was thelegal trustee and -- trustee of this and four other churcheswhile he was also a stockholder in another company that dealt.with the churches. >> basalt money to the u.s. andthey triangulated these resources.>> the money from the followers was deposited in the churchaccounts. that was sent to differentjurisdictions and then ended up in accounts that naasoncontrolled directly. >> i was not working for god, iwas working for a multimillion dollar enterprise.>> sergio was a pastor of the church for decades and he sawhow the joaquin family lived like millionaires while thechurch followers lived in poverty.for him, one of the examples of how they lived happened duringthe russian world cup. he reported this video whichturned viral showing how naason traveled to russia with hisfamily. the money belongs to theapostle. >> in mexico, naasons attorneyshave been able to stop an investigation into the churchproperties. >> why do -- how do politiciansprofit from la luz del mundo? >> it is a perverserelationship. the religious leaders in thepolitical leaders use people. why?for their own gain, so they can give money to the church or votein elections. >> let them speak.let them say the church has reached the highest ground.>> i think the power of the church is very strong.>> the husband of sochil martin, who was the political liaison inthe church, explains that for naason joaquin, politicalrelationships were very important.>> he wanted to have 40 federal congresspeople.from there, to form a political party.>> guzman indicated there was very little advance -- verylittle progress in the investigation.>> right now they want for them to defend them is not possible that in mexico the attorney generalsoffice is not doing anything, given that in california, thereis a similar -- there are similar charges against himsaying there were victims in guadalajara.>> when we return. >> good morning.>> an investigation reveals generous donations and a lifefilled♪ >> the case against naasonjoaquin garcia opened up questions regarding wheredonations ended up. our reporter traveled to one ofthe properties. >> in the united states, theproperties belonging to the leaders of the la luz del mundochurch are worth a fortune. they own a ranch with a zoo intexas. this seafront home incalifornia. and at least four others in losangeles county. >> good morning.the joaquin family visits this ranch in san bernardino,california frequently. several victims of abuse saythat what keen would have sexual parties here.the property has a value of nearly $4 million.for parents of the girls it was a source of pride that thesegirls would be chosen to serve the leaders of the congregationin private. >> they live like anymillionaire would. >> in interviews with univision,the victims have also mentioned these cabins in california.they stay in this complex unknown until now but univisiondiscovered the father of samuel joaquin would watch theprovocative dances these girls would engage in.>> it was a complete village. it was called joaquin village.they say it does not exist. i have several friends i stilltalk to who say of course, i was there.i got to dance there, i went there, i served there.>> with the rest of naason, the first chapter of theinvestigation ended. during that time, detectivesgathered testimony and audiovisual material that,according to them, served as evidence of sexual abuse at thehand of the spiritual leader. >> the series of videos ismultiple girls engaged in. they ar naked or nudee.engaged in oral sex, vaginal penetration.what i would describe as an orgy.>> the defense questioned the bail imposed on naason, thehighest ever in the state of california.>> bail is not a leverage, a constitutional extortion scheme.naasons attorneys have questioned the evidence.>> because of the lack of evidence that any of theindividuals in these circumstances was under the ageof 18. >> sochil martin filed a suit incalifornia and helped other women break the her suit, martin admits she recruited other young womenunder orders of the pastore. she says naason asked forpictures of the girls wearing underwear and having sex withanimals. >> he would tell us who to find,how to find them, what skin color, but kind of hair, how hewanted their eyes and lips to be.>> martin says even after she was married, she would continuehaving sexual relations with naason.but one day her husband found messages on herself run -- onher cell phone from the pastor. >> she unplugged her iphone toplug in mind, and i saw that moment she had a moment saying-- she had a message saying naason had sent her a kiss.i sent my wife a kiss. >> he checked the chat in whichhe refers to her -- to himself as her boss.he asks her to take pictures with a minor.she says she is going to do bad things today.he said he likes playing with her.>> for me, it was a shock. i was thinking, it mi -- sochilmight be unfaithful to me, but the servant of god would not dothis. >> i told him the truth.they have been taking advantage of you.he said this is not a man of god.hes been raping you. >> the couple reconciled anddecided to press charges against the pastor.>> i love my wife. i love my family and mydaughter. for me, that is my priority.that is more important to me than a cult or following a man.>> brendan also faced the church.her husband is the son of a pastor in minnesota.>> he would open the door. i dont know how.and he would go inside and grope his stepdaughters.>> my mom said if you say something, forget you ever had afamily. >> one of the most surprisingrevelations is that the fbi is investigating naason.francisco, another former church member, says federal agentsinterviewed him. he described a moment when heasked him to describe his girlfriend.>> he began rubbing himself and he was grabbing his privateparts. >> from jail, naason continuesleaving the church through letters that are red in all ofthe temples. >> am i in prison?yes. hoping to come out soon.i know god will grant me that. >> sochil martin continues herbattle. >> it is necessary that peopleknow what is going on inside this institution, la luz delmundo, so that girls who are my daughters age, when they growup, know that the world is not always what it seems.beautiful. can be a very dark, dark placethat hides behind a religion. >> naasons attorneys havedeclined to speak with univision, but they spoke to thelos angeles times and said that a laundry -- said they aretrying to get in good with the attorney generals office bymaking false accusations. >> this brings us to the end ofthis edition of. >> thank you.see you next week. ♪

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