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Paul Coates -- Confidential File, February 3, 1959

February 3, 2009 |  2:00 pm

Bail Cut on Yanks in Tijuana

Bail on some of the 20 U.S. residents held in Tijuana on gambling charges has been reduced from $1,600 to $400 and on others to $800. State Atty. Gen. Stanley Mosk was informed by telephone today. The alleged operator of the games was still held in lieu of $3,200 bail.


Mirror News Columnist

Paul_coates TIJUANA, Feb. 3-- Twenty Americans shivered in the unheated city jail here today, awaiting word on their request to have their $1,600 bail lowered.

Nineteen men and one woman remained in jail of the 43 U.S. residents arrested in a raid on a gambling casino at Rosarito Beach nine days ago.

Federal District Judge Eduardo Langle Martinez has promised a decision today.

Without bail, the gambling suspects face several months in jail awaiting trial.

The woman, Mrs. Rita Nathaniel, 35, of 2330 Coolidge Ave., West Los Angeles, probably will get her freedom today regardless of the judge's decision.

Friends Raise $1,600

1959_0202_rock Employees and patrons of cafes in Santa Monica where she worked as a waitress were reported to have raised $1,600 for her bail and sent an emissary here with it.

Last night, when I visited her in her cell, she was taking it bravely -- but there were lines of worry on her face. She is concerned about her children, a girl 14 and a boy 12.

Blue with the cold, her worst complaint was that she hasn't been permitted to wash in nine days.

Mrs. Nathaniel said she hadn't been afraid until the other American women had been granted bail, leaving her alone.

Homes Mortgaged

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rungo of San Diego, who had been released earlier, visited the jail with cigarettes and $10 in change -- all they said they could afford -- to make jail life easier for the others.

"Relatives in the East mortgaged their homes so we could get out," Runge

1959_0203_music U.S. Consul Gen. Robert Hale petitioned the court here for lower bail.

Other expressions of concern came from California's Gov. Brown, who said he had instructed State Atty. Gen. Stanley Mosk to check on the rights of the California residents involved.

Mosk wired Baja California Atty. Gen. Silva Cota:

"The people of California are disturbed at reports of excessive bail being demanded of Californians and other Americans arrested. Mosk asked Cota to "use your good offices to investigate." 

Brown said he will ask the U.S. State Department to "make representations to the government of Mexico" if there is no satisfactory response from Cota. 

Ask U.S. Help

U.S. Reps. Bob Wilson and James Utt also have asked the State Department to intercede.

Baja California residents generally seem to deplore the high bail set in the case, fearing that it may frighten off the heavy tourist trade.

But Ruben Padilla, director of tourism for the state of Baja California, said there has been no appreciable change in the number of visitors from the U.S. since the raid.


He said, however, that "we want to do all we can to have this situation clarified so that it isn't damaging to tourism -- Mexico's biggest industry."

He urged potential visitors to look at the raid "in its true perspective."

The Mexican government repeatedly had said card and dice gambling were illegal, he pointed out.

"The people arrested were breaking the law," he said.