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Rusty Windle with girlfriend Kristie lzzo LEFT FIELD La Familia Lcredo National Bank wants a retraction and $10 million. The retraction would clear the good name of Mexico’s Grupo Hank, which bought into the Laredo bank and at one time controlled 70 percent of the its assets. The quarterly Latino journal ElAndar, based in California, reported that the Hank family amassed some of its fortune in criminal enterprises as well as banking and transportation enterprises that it takes credit for. It’s the reporting on the Hanks’ “criminal enterprises” that the bank \(represented by the San Antonio firm of Davis, the bank’s attorney Richard Cedillo writes in his demand letter to ElAndar, will be used “to offset legal fees and expenses incurred in prosecuting your false and defamatory article worldwide.” “Worldwide” might be a stretch, but the Hank family, previously untouchable by the Mexican press, is getting more negative coverage than it ever experienced at home in the form of secondhand reporting of the El Andar story in Mexican news outlets. \(One of the oldest rules of journalism: if you can’t report it yourself, report what was The Hank business combine is led by family patriarch Carlos Hank Gonzalez, a former Governor of the state of Mexico and a power broker in the dinosaurio faction of one of Hank’s sons, Carlos Hank Rhon, who bought into Laredo National Bank. El Andar editor Julie Reynolds told Left Field that the magazine refused to comply with the demand that publi cation of the article be stopped. \(Grupo Hank filed suit before the magazine published the article, in response to an El Andar press release outlining the story. The Hanks have also recently threatened to sue the Washington Post and the Canadian BroadIn his demand letter, Cedillo insisted that “the Hank family has never been accused of any wrongdoing involving drug or money-laundering activities.” In July of this year, however, a confidential re port by the National Center for Drug Intelligence was leaked to the press and published in the Mexican daily El Financiero and the Washington Post. The report concluded: “Grupo Hank poses a significant criminal threat to the United States. Its multibillion-dollar criminal and business empire, developed over several decades, reaches throughout Mexico and into the United States.” Reynolds says Laredo National does not acknowledge the existence of the report. Lawyers from the bank did not return phone calls from Left Field. Reynolds speculated that the San Antonio law firm has been swamped with phone calls from Mexico since the El Andar story was picked up by the Mexican wire services, and therefore the lawyers have stopped commenting on the article and threatened lawsuit. + Gail Woods Department of Corrections and Wimberley have in com on? Left Field is still scratching its head over that conun drum, after an early November phone call from Regis DeArza, the comman der of the Hays County Narcotics Task Force. DeArza was apparently deliver ing the official response to Nate Blakeslee’s investigative report on the shooting death of Wimberley resident Rusty Windle by a task force member last May \(“Zero Tolerance,” October officers who surrounded his house before dawn to serve warrants on a charge of delivery of two half-ounce bags of pot. Before being shot, he allegedly came to the door with a rifle and pointed it at two of the officers. In a five-minute tirade, DeArza \(who phoned to object to the Observer’s managed to cite as military precedent the 82nd Airborne Division, the Gulf War, and the Vietnam War. By the time the one-sided exchange had revealed less about the Observer’s reporting than it had about the mindset of law enforcement in Hays County. According to DeArza \(who was not not worn by the police at Windle’s house that night. Yet in two separate interviews with suspects whose residences were also raided that night, the See “Corrections,” page 6 NOVEMBER 26, 1999 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5