Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente will begin its first season in the Mexican Primera Division on July 24th.
Los Perros Aztecas, winners of the 2010 Apertura in the Liga de Ascenso, will open their campaign against Clausura (Primera Division) runner-up Morelia and their supporters are ecstatic about life in the big leagues after their founding in 2007.
They are also excited that the architect of that rise, owner Jorge Hank Rhon, was recently released by authorities despite having “a stash of 40 rifles, 48 pistols and a gas grenade.” Citing a lack of evidence, judges freed the former mayor of Tijuana, who also acts as owner of Mexico’s largest betting company (Caliente) and Agua Caliente Racetrack, amidst an outcry from those who claim that he is a prominent figure in a group of criminals essentially being harbored by the Mexican government.
The son of former Mexico City mayor Carlos Hank González, Rhon appears to be the Mexican Silvio Berlusconi, noting that his favorite animal is women (he fathered 19 children spread out amongst several different mothers) while also collecting an actual menagerie that included an attempt at purchasing an endangered gorilla.
Although ballistics tests confirmed that one of the seized guns had been used to kill security guard Olegario Figueroa Leandro in December 2009 and another was used in the murder of car salesman Martín Feliciano Camacho Ontiveros in June 2010, judges ruled that the search had been illegal, thus freeing Rhon with all charges dropped. However, he is still being questioned in the 2009 murder of Angelica Muñoz, who had been dating his son Sergio at the time of her death.
Things aren’t all bad at Club Tijuana, however. Their promotion to the Primera Division came in a playoff, with their win at the expense of an Irapuato side that featured Cuauhtemoc Blanco.