Jorge Hank Rhone Accused of Murdering His Daughter-in-Law

The Attorney General of Baja Calfornia, Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, in a press conference Tuesday afternoon, has accused the former mayor of Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rhon, of the murder of the common law wife of his son Mario Hank Kraus. María Angélica Muñoz Cervantes, 24-years old, was murdered in August 2009.

The prosecutor has said he has a witness who has accused Hank Rhon of ordering him to commit the murder.

This murder has been added to the two others that were uncovered when guns recovered in Hank Rhon’s home were linked to other murders in Tijuana. Minutes after announcing the new charges against Hank Rhon, he was released from custody by a judge who cited weak evidence.

Go figure.

Jorge Hank Rhon (on the right)
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Wikileaks On Jorge Hank Rhon

As Fulano blogged on Saturday, the former Mayor of Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rhon, was arrested at his house and a cache of illegal weapons were discovered.

The Mexican press is covering every minute detail of what is going on, and politicians have lined up along party lines on the issue. As Hank Rhon is a powerful member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI for its initials in Spanish) every PRI politician has voiced strong opposition to Rhon’s arrest, claiming politics and dirty tricks as the motivation for his arrest.

There is a cacophony of competing accusations and rebuttals endlessly streaming across the wires. One island of clarity in all this is a Wikileak of a consular message from former American consul in Tijuana Richard Kramer. In it, Kramer accuses Hank Rhon of harboring criminals and using Mexican police on his payroll. Here is 09TIJUANA709:

R 082351Z JUL 09
FM AMCONSUL TIJUANA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8977
INFO AMEMBASSY MEXICO
ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL TIJUANA

215758
2009-07-08 23:51:00
09TIJUANA709
Consulate Tijuana
CONFIDENTIAL

SUBJECT: LAW ENFORCEMENT HIGH JINKS IN TJ: HOW NARCOTRAFFICKERS EVADE AUTHORITIES
CLASSIFIED BY: ARADETSKY, Political Officer, Pol/Econ, STATE. REASON: 1.4 (d)

1. (C) Mexican state and federal authorities have made impressive numbers of arrests and narcotics seizures over the last two years in Baja California, weakening, but not defeating, the organized crime syndicates that operate in the state. Despite these successes, the complex interactions among the various local and federal law enforcement agencies and local powerbrokers make Baja California, and Tijuana in particular, still a relatively safe place for narcotraffickers to ply their trade.

2. (C) This fact was demonstrated by a June 30 incident in front of Consulate Tijuana. Acting on information from the law enforcement community (LEC), Post’s ARSO requested Baja California State Preventative Police (PEP) appear at the Consulate to arrest an American citizen who had a U.S. arrest warrant for drug trafficking and was scheduled to come in to renew his passport that day. PEP forces, as they have done in similar cases in the past, duly stationed an unmarked car outside the Consulate and waited for the subject to exit the building. However, when the subject walked out, he entered a Crown Victoria vehicle with two body guards which quickly sped off and entered the parking lot of the Agua Caliente Racetrack, across the street from the Consulate, which is owned by Tijuana former mayor Jorge Hank Rohn. (NOTE: it is unclear if the bodyguards inside the Crown Victoria were policemen offering protection to the subject or part of Hank’s security apparatus, but the Crown Victoria is a typical car used by policemen who provide protection for drug traffickers or government officials). As soon as the vehicle entered the Racetrack, the PEP forces stopped their (half-hearted) pursuit and told ARSO that they “could not enter” the racetrack. And that was that.

3. (C) Hank is widely believed to have been a corrupt mayor and to be still involved in narco-trafficking. Post usually receives exceptional cooperation from the PEP, but our normal liaison declined to involve himself in this case, and ARSO also found it odd that the PEP stationed outside the Consulate did not use normal police situational awareness procedures to notice the Crown Victoria before the subject’s escape. Despite Hank’s political defeat in the 2007 Baja California gubernatorial race, he still enjoys wide influence in Tijuana, and state law enforcement officials appear unwilling to meddle on areas considered his turf. This is not the first time law enforcement agencies from outside Tijuana have rubbed up against Hank. Just a month ago, Mexican military forces were involved in a standoff with local security at Hank’s racetrack. There are still plenty of safe havens for organized crime in the border region.

KRAMER

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Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon Arrested By Military

The former mayor of Tijuana was arrested and accused of having more than 50 weapons, many of which are “large weapons.” The arrest occurred around 1AM or 2AM this morning.

Link to article in Spanish.

Jorge Hank Rhon

Update at 2PM:

The Mexican Army has released some more information. Hank is currently being flown to Mexico City along with 10 other people arrested along with him. Hank’s lawyer had already received an amparo from some judge (a release order), but the federal attorney general has already received a suspension of Hank’s amparo, so he will not be released.

Here is the inventory of what they found:
• 40 rifles
• 48 pistols
• 9,298 cartridges
• 70 magazines
• 1 gas grenade

He is initially being charged with violation of federal laws on firearms and explosives.

The detainees are:
• Jorge Hank Rhon
• Marco Antonio Trinidad Gómez
• Luis Alfonso Sánchez Solís
• Rubén Muñoz Nava
• Víctor Manuel de la Torre Horta
• Javier Marco Polo Ayala Roldán
• Rigoberto González López
• César Pérez Guerrero
• Carlos Gonzalo Pérez Contreras o Carlos Gonzalo Rizo Pérez
• Ramón López Apodaca
• Juan Ignacio Parra Santo

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Gringo Steals Police Truck And Sets Off A Chase

[Translated by Fulano from the original news article.]

TIJUANA – June 3, 2011. An American stole a municipal police patrol truck and tried to kill a policeman in the parking lot of the municipal jailhouse.

The foreigner demonstrated police incompetence around 11:30PM when he attacked officer José Antonio Osuna Orozco as he was removing various arrestees out of the back of the police pick-up truck to be sent to pre-trial detention.

Robert James Archer, 36-years of age, hit the policeman from behind and tried to strangle him, including first trying to take his pistol. After a struggle, the officer fell to the ground, meanwhile the foreigner took advantage of the situation to get into the patrol unit and flee. He then tried to run over the officer, who fired at the tires to defend himself.

The security guard in charge of the parking lot entrance closed the gate, but Archer broke through with the patrol pick-up. Still in the back of the pick-up was another detainee, identified as José Luis Morales González, who manged to jump out, although he injured his left hand.

After the American fled, other officers joined the pursuit and arrested him on the Vía Rápida Poniente, about 500 meters from the Manuel J. Clouthier bridge. The offender, and now criminal, had a wound on his left arm and the patrol pick-up had body damage and a broken windshield.

Link to article in Spanish.

Robert James Archer

[Fulano’s note: Other news stories report that Archer was wounded in the left arm when police shot at him and that he is a former Marine who was arrested for being under the influence of drugs.]

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Keystone Cops of Tijuana

This morning two undercover Tijuana municipal police officers were in pursuit of two assailants, who entered the Tijuana river channel. While in pursuit in the river channel, two uniformed Tijuana police officers arrived, saw the undercover police with their weapons drawn and immediately fired on their fellow officers, wounding one and allowing the bad guys to escape.

Link to article in Spanish.

Oiga? Oiga? Malandros en el canalización? Andale!
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Tijuana Police Officer Who Filmed Police Lapdance To Seek Asylum in US

Noé Gaytán Monroy, the Tijuana police officer who filmed and released the now famous lapdance at a Tijuana police station says he will seek asylum in the US.

Gaytán Monroy says he has been harassed since the release of the video on May 23, 2011. He said a group of armed men surrounded his home in colonia Gloria last Saturday night, and even though he called the Tijuana municipal police, they never came. He then had to call the state preventative police.

He is holding Tijuana police chief Gustavo Huerta Martínez responsible for what has happened to his family.

Link to article in Spanish.

Noé Gaytán Monroy
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Tijuana is not competitive in tourism

[Translated and summarized by Fulano from an article in El Sol De Tijuana.]

Tijuana – The few tourists that come to Tijuana demand reasonable prices in restaurants, businesses and hotels, quality service and cuisine priced based on costs. Some Latino visitors say that the Mexican border town is “not competitive and they even abuse us with the dollar/peso exchange rate.”

Terry López, a promoter of events and trips in San Diego, said as much and organizes trips between the two sides of the border every 15 days, to take advantage of the the geography of both sides of the border, “but the truth is, when it comes to Tijuana, it seems as if visitors don’t have blue eyes, they are not tourists.”

In an interview on avenida Revolución, he said his customers complain they are served such small servings of food at a high cost that they have to resort to eating at small food stands, as the restaurants are so expensive, at least $12 per person for half a serving of something.

He explained that most of the people he arranges to come to Tijuana are Latinos, and the people of Tijuana mistake them for locals, which he believes is ideal as they will feel at home. But the opposite happens, the police give them tickets and ask for large sums of money because they say they are driving illegally imported cars.

Terry López said that instead of this being “the business of my life”, the behavior of some restaurant owners, hotel service people, taxi drivers, police and even supermarket employees, “only makes me lose customers, because of the excessive greed and poor attention paid by employees of the tourist sector.”

The food in many restaurants is “very poor,” with high costs and “it’s sad that they treat us like residents of Tijuana and reserve the best for tourists, meanwhile the police think that my customers are from Tijuana and bring in luxury cars because they are criminals, or their cars with American license plates are stolen or contraband.”

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This Won’t Go Over Very Well At TJAmigos

The president of the National Action Party in Tijuana, Enrique Méndez Juárez, said he disagrees with the proposal by MP Rosie Orozco, president of the Committee against Human Trafficking, to close the vice-ridden sites located in callejón and calle Coahuila, in order to avoid the use of minors in prostitution.

“I do not like to generalize that the entire Zona Norte is bad. I know many of the entrepreneurs in the area, I think there are very respectable people there, there are others who are looking every day to circumvent the authorities. I know they have found secret passages between a bar and a hotel, or between a bar and another location, tunnels, etc., but they were truly isolated cases, “said Méndez Juárez.

Link to article in Spanish.

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