La Empresa boss ‘El 300’ stands trial in Chihuahua; his lawyer was murdered in December

 “MX” for Borderland Beat

Rene Gerardo Garza Santana (“El 300”) is the founder of La Empresa, a violent gang in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.

Rene Gerardo Garza Santana (“El 300”), the leader of La Empresa, one of the deadliest gangs in Ciudad Juarez, is on trial for a triple murder conducted in this city in October 2016. His attorney Miguel Angel Almanza was prepared to represent him but he was murdered last December. El 300 is now under the legal representation of Jorge Humberto Carrillo and Luis Calderon, two prominent criminal defense attorneys from Chihuahua.

The prosecution is looking to prove that El 300, who is currently at the Federal Social Readaptation Center in Oaxaca, masterminded a triple murder at Tres Mentiras bar in Ciudad Juarez. The three victims were: Héctor Daniel Carreón Zúñiga, Adrián Vargas Contreras, and Alejandro Renteria Arreola. Two gang members (Joel Martínez Lozada and Mario Alberto Gómez) were arrested for the crime, but they were released nearly three years ago after authorities were unable to prove their involvement in the mass murder. Witnesses say that the killing was driven by a dispute in narcomenudeo (street drug sales).

As reported by Borderland Beat, most of the violence in Ciudad Juarez is driven by competition for street-level drug sales. Investigators say that there are over 61,000 active drug users in Ciudad Juarez and that local gangs generated over US$1.5 million a week in drug proceeds. In addition, there are approximately 7,000 drug dealers in Ciudad Juarez. Many of them also operate as hitmen.

Background 

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 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 leaded by Omar Alejandro Garza Santana or Omar Alejandro Chávez Santana (‘El Nomo’, The Gnome), and two individuals simply known by their aliases ‘El Saavedra’/’El Menos’ and ‘La Guera’. 

Sources: Diario de Juarez (1); (2); (3); (4); (5); (6); Borderland Beat archives