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Hyland Freed, Deported From Prison in Mexico

By Garrett Epps

After three months in a Mexico City jail, Richard E. Hyland '69-70 was released by Mexican authorities December 20. Hyland--who had been arrested and charged with conspiracy and "withholding information" about a Mexican revolutionary group--was deported to Texas on December 23.

Hyland was released after the Mexican Magistrates' Court--the equivalent of the Supreme Court for criminal cases--reduced his bail from 500,000 pesos ($40,000) to 150,000 pesos ($12,000). After paying ten per cent of the smaller bail in cash, he was taken to an immigration jail.

Although the authorities could have released him and required him to remain in Mexico City, immigration officials instead placed him on a flight to San Antonio.

Hyland will be tried in absentia in Mexico, and his case is expected to be heard in about six months.

The Mexican police had sought to link Hyland with nine alleged members of a revolutionary group known as Command Armado del Pueblo (People's Armed Command) who were seized at about the same time. Hyland said yesterday that one of the nine had died in prison. The remaining eight will face trial in the next few months, he added.

"At no time was I was a member of any of those (revolutionary) groups," Hyland said. "In fact, I had not spoken with them for six months before I was arrested."

Hyland said yesterday that he had been researching a book on the Mexican left when he was arrested. After he told the court this--and introduced a letter from the Crimson stating that he had been preparing an article on Mexico--the judges pronounced him "not dangerous and probably not responsible" and ordered his bail reduced.

Hyland returned to his parents' home in San Diego after being deported. He said yesterday that he plans to come to Boston soon.

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