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Possible Family Feud in 'La Empresa', One of the Largest Gangs in Ciudad Juárez

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“MX” for Borderland Beat

Three women were found dead in Ciudad Juarez. They were brutally tortured and at least two of them had severe face traumas. No one was arrested for the crime (photo credit: Diario de Juarez)

Once again, the gang wars in Ciudad Juarez have reached a new turning point as local authorities said that there is a violent family feud between two high-ranking members of La Empresa  (The Company), one of the largest gangs in the city.

The Chihuahua Prosecutor’s Office believes that La Empresa leader Rene Gerardo Garza Santana (“El 300″) is having differences with his half brother Omar Alejandro Chávez Santana (“El Nomo”, The Gnome) on how to run the drug business. El 300 is currently behind bars but continues to control part of La Empresa through envoys. El Nomo is the successor of imprisoned gangster Jose Dolores Villegas Soto (“El Iraqui”).

A source based in Chihuahua that was consulted by Borderland Beat confirmed that the grudge was likely over Ciudad Juarez’s puntos (drug sale spots) and neighborhood boundaries. As reported by Borderland Beat, most of the homicides in Ciudad Juarez are driven by gangs competing over street corners to sell heroin, cocaine, and meth.

News of a possible infighting in La Empresa surfaced this week after sicarios dumped the bodies of three women on a road in Ciudad Juarez. The victims were brutally tortured before they were killed.

Initially it was thought that the victims were men, but when the police arrived they soon realized that they were women and notified personnel of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Women (FEM), who sent experts and investigating agents to process the crime scene.

The first victim was found wrapped in a brown blanket, her hands tied with a red cord. The second was wrapped up to the waist in a black and white blanket and had her face shattered. The third was found on a brown coverlet, her hands were tied with a black cord. She also had blows to the face and chest.

Two of the victims were identified by press time. Their names were Leslie Michel Parra Gallardo, 21, and Eveline Guadalupe Martínez, also 21. The third victim’s name was not revealed by authorities, which means she could have been a minor.

FEM personnel worked for almost two hours at the site and then transferred the bodies to the facilities of the Forensic Medical Service. Some factories in that area have surveillance cameras and may have captured the moment when the women’s bodies were deposed.

“It had been a while since cartel members dumped bodies here. On this street they have left bodies of murdered men but now they were women. That is what the night guard who stays at a nearby warehouse told us,” explained Julio, the manager of a building on Nardos Street, close to Waterfill Avenue, where the bodies were found.

Investigators say that the killing was possibly due to a dispute in narcomenudeo (street drug sales) between members of La Empresa and Los Mexicles, another Ciudad Juarez gang that has recently experienced infighting among its ranks too.

With this triple killing, the murder count in Ciudad Juarez reached 80 in May alone, and 540 since January. At least 71 of those killed this year were women.

Chihuahua ranks among the five deadliest states in the entire country and among the six entities where more than half of the homicides registered in Mexico occurred last year.

The cruelty of some of these murders shows that criminal groups in Ciudad Juarez are sending a message to their rivals.

Rene Gerardo Garza Santana (“El 300″) is a founder of La Empresa


La Empresa emerged in June 2018 after El 300 had a disconnect with several leaders of La Linea and Los Aztecas, two groups once allied to the old Juarez Cartel.

Cartel bosses Eduardo Ravelo (“El Tablas“) and Juan Arturo Padilla Juarez (“El Genio”) considered that El 300 was getting out of line and trying to take over more street drug spots in Ciudad Juarez. When confronted, El 300 and his close associate Luis Gerardo Mendez Estevane (“El Tio”) deserted and formed La Empresa.

As violence rose in Ciudad Juarez, law enforcement efforts against La Empresa, La Linea, and Los Aztecas increased. Ravelo was arrested in June, and El Genio was killed two months later. El 300 was arrested in November 2018, but he continued running La Empresa while imprisoned at the Ciudad Juarez federal penitentiary. He then formed an alliance with Los Mexicles, once allied to the Sinaloa Cartel, and gained support of their leaders Jesús Eduardo Soto Rodríguez (“El Lalo”) and Luis Elías Cardoza Santiago.

La Empresa is currently headed by El Nomo and two individuals simply known by their aliases El Saavedra and/or El Menos, and La Guera.

Sources: Diario de Juarez (1); (2); (3); (4); (5); (6)Heraldo de Juarez; La Parada Digital


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