TIJUANA – Flamboyant former Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon gave a rare peek inside his house and his private life in the latest issue of a Mexican entertainment magazine.
“He poses for the first time with his wife María Elvia beside him and chats frankly showing us his human side,” reads the headline with the cover photo of a massive snake draped around Hank Rhon.
Caras magazine devoted 17 pages to the story on Hank Rhon, who talks about his childhood, his marriage and his love of animals.
The 56-year-old tycoon owns Grupo Caliente, which includes casinos, the Agua Caliente Racetrack, the Xolos professional soccer team and Pueblo Amigo Hotel.
In the interview, Hank Rhon said he does not have bad childhood memories perhaps because he’s blocked them from his mind or because there simply were none.
He said he’s never had a lot of friends, in fact, he was considered withdrawn. He said he can no longer be anti-social and only pass the time with his animals, as he did when he was younger.
The story shows a photo when he was a child next to his mother and photos with his wife of 16 years.
“I think I am the ideal husband, I think I’m a very good husband,” he said. “To me, marriage is a relationship involving two people that should be constantly supported.”
He recalled that he had his first ranch, called “Don Catarino,” at age eight.
Today he has his own private zoo, located on the racetrack grounds, which has more than 20,000 animals.
For her part, his wife said that her mother told her that the relationship with Hank Rhon would never amount to anything.
And she returned to a familiar complaint – that high-level journalists express their opinion of her husband without knowing him.
“A lot of has been said, but nothing has been proved,” she said.
He’s had brushes with the law over the years. In June, he was arrested by military authorities, who found 88 guns and nearly 10,000 rounds at his mansion. A federal judge freed him ten days later, saying there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.
A member of one of the most powerful political families, Hank Rhon has expressed interest in running once more for Baja California governor, a race he lost the last time around.