Mexico Considering Organized Crime Charges Against Former Tijuana Mayor
Monday, June 6, 2011
SAN DIEGO Hank Rhon was detained over the weekend with ten of his bodyguards for possession of 9,000 rounds of ammunition and more than 40 high-caliber guns at his Tijuana home.
One of the richest men in Mexico, Hank Rhon was mayor of Tijuana from 2004 to 2007, and is the owner of casinos, malls and the local soccer club, the Xoloitzcuintles.
Over the years, Hank Rhon was allegedly linked to the killing of a Tijuana reporter for Zeta Magazine, and to money laundering for the Arellano-Felix cartel, but he's never been charged for either.
"There's always been speculation that he operates in conjunction with organized crime, that he represents the money laundering side of local organized crime, especially tied to the cartel Arellano-Felix," said
Nathan Jones, a fellow with the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California who's currently doing field work in Tijuana. "His response to the organized crime accusations is, 'I'm not corrupt, I'm too rich to be corrupt'."
Mexican prosecutors are currently considering organized crime charges against Hank Rhon. Meanwhile, the business tycoon claims he's the subject of political persecution and that the weapons were planted in his home.