3 December, 2012
Word Count: 908
Bridges The Border
Tijuana, Mexico is best known for drug violence and tacky tourist shops. But the city of more than a million residents has deep cultural and economic ties to the north. And now, you can add sports to that connection. The Tijuana Xolos soccer team is tied for first place in Mexico, and they are becoming a regional team whose players, reputation and fans transcend borders. Jorge Hank Inzunza owns local soccer club Tijuana, believes that if the side wins the Mexican league final this weekend it will boost his chances in the election. His major dream is to become governor of this country; he has made a lot of things to accomplish this goal.
Xolos are obviously the team of Baja California, but also the team of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). The rise of Xolos brings votes for the party and for Hank in the race for governor. According with the article, “The Tequilas Files” the PRI will need any additional support it can muster, having not won the Baja California governorship since the election of National Action Party (PAN) candidate Ernesto Ruffo Appel in 1989. Ruffo was the first opposition-party governor of any state since the Mexican Revolution. Hank faces competition from several other local PRI politicians in the state election set for August 4, 2013, but he is by far the most high profile candidate in the race. The owner of lucrative gambling syndicate Grupo Caliente and the father of 19 children, he has a colorful past to put it lightly. He was born into a political dynasty, the son of Carlos Hank Gonzalez, a self made billionaire who served as mayor of Mexico City, and secretary of agriculture and then tourism under President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
Hank won the Tijuana mayoral race of 2004, beating PAN candidate Jorge Ramos by a slim margin, thus ending 15 years of PAN government in Tijuana. His apparent charisma and high profile...