Stories impacting San Diego's Latino Community

Escondido Charros Arena at Center of Dispute

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The city of Escondido plans to terminate the lease of a long time equestrian club called The Liezno, where Mexican equestrian culture has become a way of life.

    A long time North County equestrian club could face eviction and as the City of Escondido plans to end the lease for Lienzo Arena next month.

    But the city says they are not evicting anyone, that is unless, they cannot figure out whose name belongs on the lease.

    While the Charros lease will not end until May 18, Charros de Escondido President Ben Cueva blames the mix up on four disgruntled members.

    “We had lost money to them [so] we took them to small claims court and we won,” said Cueva.

    Cueva says the former members have now gone to the city to start their own group.

    He says the Charros de Escondido have leased the Lienzo Arena for more than 40 years and showed us the documents to prove it.

    The Lienzo is where the long time equestrian club has held numerous events and taught youth the skills of "La Charreada," also known as the Mexican rodeo style.

    “We try to keep everything straight,” said Marcos Bautista, a member of the Charros de Escondido since 1985. “We do everything the city asks for and lately they’ve stopped all our events because they say we have internal problems."

    This is not the first time the City of Escondido has had issues with the Charros.

    Back in 2011, the city tried to evict them so they could use the land for their public works operation. “Our fear is that they city may have some sort of a plan to increase our rent,” said Cueva.

    The City of Escondido declined to discuss the issue with us on camera.

    But a spokeswoman tells that they recommended the two groups share the arena.

    Cueva says that cannot happen.

    “We really don’t want to have anything to do with those guys our association is strong, we have more new members and do more community projects than ever, we have no internal problems," he said.

    The Charros de Escondido have submitted their documents to the City of Escondido. They hope to have it added to the city’s next council meeting. 

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