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Former Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon expressed disappointment to El Sol de Tijuana that his former bodyguard, convicted of killing a Tijuana journalist in 1988, has not been given early release from prison.
Antonio Vera Palestina was given a 25-year sentence in 1991 for the killing of Zeta journalist Héctor "El Gato" Félix.
Zeta reported last week that Vera had been transferred to El Hongo prison in Tecate on April 25. He had been transferred away from a Baja California prison in the 1990s, reportedly because he had acquired too much of a run of the place. Just before he was transferred to El Hongo, he had been moved from Puente Grande prison in Jalisco, where he spent 17 years, to a medium-security facility in Ciudad Juarez.
Sol quoted Hank as saying, "This is one of the few cases I know of where someone has not been released, like they should be, midway or three-quarters of the way through (a sentence)." Zeta reported that Vera has had a history of not being a model prisoner, however.
Hank told Sol he did not know why Vera was moved to El Hongo.
Hank, a gambling magnate, said Vera would have work at his Grupo Caliente operation when he is released. Vera would not be a bodyguard because he would not be allowed to carry a gun as a convicted felon, Hank said.