Lawyer who defended Tijuana Cartel kingpin was killed in Ensenada

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“MX” for Borderland Beat

Rubén Arenivar Garza
Lawyer Rubén Arenivar Garza, who defended a Tijuana Cartel kingpin in court earlier this month, was killed by unknown assailants in a drive-by shooting in Ensenada, Baja California, on Friday. The incident occurred at around noon in Bahia neighborhood while Arenivar Garza was inside his vehicle a few blocks from his law firm.
Eyewitnesses told the police that the suspects were wearing military uniforms and were driving two vehicles. One of the vehicles was abandoned a few blocks from the scene and the gunmen drove off in the other getaway vehicle. The perpetrators are currently at large.
Background
Arenivar Garza was a promising young attorney who once served as the President of Ensenada’s Independent and Free Opinion Bar Association (Spanish: Colegio de Abogados Independientes y de Libre Opinión).

In 2018, he defended Héctor Daniel Quiñónez Cortez, a small-time drug dealer who was charged with the murder of U.S. citizens Ray Edgar Ball (aged 72) and Jo Ann Butler (aged 69) in Bahía de los Ángeles, a coastal bay in Ensenada. Quiñónez Cortez was able to go free after Arenivar Garza won the case.

In January 2020, he defended Manuel Enrique Villa Flores and Jesús Daniel Sánchez Serrano, two men who were charged with the murder of Jesús Ramón Flores Sánchez (aged 28). The victim was an avid cyclist, university student and employee of a port company in Ensenada. He was shot dead by the two men while he was exercising on his bicycle one morning.

Tijuana Cartel case
His latest case, and the one investigators are looking at more closely, is the one Tijuana Cartel kingpin and ex-police officer Ricardo Bozada Alvarado (“El Bozadas”). El Bozadas was arrested last month after he arrived to Mexico City from Europe, as reported by Borderland Beat.

Ricardo Bozada Alvarado (“El Bozadas”)

El Bozadas is identified by law enforcement as a chief operator under Pablo Edwin Huerta Nuño (“El Flaquito”) and his relative José Luis Escudero Escandón (“El Quieto”), captured in January 2020. El Bozadas is wanted for aggravated kidnapping and organized crime involvement. He is mentioned in the same criminal case against El Quieto.

Murders reported in the port city of Ensenada are a direct result of the turf war between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Tijuana Cartel, who compete for control of the retail drug sales and port facilities in the region. Earlier this month, a businessman Fausto González Michel was killed by the Sinaloa Cartel in Ensenada. He was a long-time money launderer for the Tijuana Cartel.

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