Sunday, June 8, 2014

México: Marine Veteran, 25, After Serving Two Months in a Mexican Prison "Unjustifiably," Responds

According to The Latin American Tribune, US Marine veteran and former Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, who was jailed in México in April 1, 2014, after accidentally getting lost and ending up on the Mexican side of the US-Mexican border, has understandably attempted escape twice and injured himself in order to gain access into the prison hospital in order to avoid being targeted by inmates.

COMMENT: First of all, it is NOT a crime to have a poor sense of direction;

Secondly, once Mr. Tahmooressi inadvertently ended up in México, he declared his three firearms, ammunition and magazines to Mexican police, pointing out that he took the wrong turn that resulted in his traveling into the country; and

Thirdly, Mexican police were in the process of permitting  to return to the US, when Mexican soldiers suddenly appeared and proceeded to treat him as Public Enemy No. 1 by pointing their pistols at him.

Please see:

Please see:

What I find so repugnant about this case is that US and Mexican travelers alike have accidentally ended up in México through no fault of their own, which seemingly falls on the shoulders of the US Department of State, which should have provided US travelers at a minimum, detailed driving instructions in how NOT to end up in México unintentionally.

Moreover, given the incredible amount of cross-border trade the US provides to México, not to mention foreign assistance to México, which includes US$316.7 million dollars, Mexican authorities seemingly enjoy "sticking it to the US whenever given an opportunity to do so."

What really sticks in my "craw" the most is that a US Marine with PTSD is given to "no quarter" for his experience and mental injuries sustained in combat.

It is completely understandable why Mexican authorities are indifferent, but the fact that Tahmooressi is a US citizen who served honorably in Afghanistan twice, yet the Obama Administration in particular has not lifted one measly finger to help the endangered Marine.

The icing on the cake? US Secretary of State John Kerry recently visited México and said nothing about Tahmoorressi!  

Based upon a statement issued by the Attorney General's office on Friday (June 6), Tahmooressi has attempted to escape twice and injured himself in order to gain access to the prison hospital, after being threatened by other inmates.

Moreover, the Attorney General's Office insists it will prosecute Tahmooressi on weapons violations which may draw the Marine up to 15 years in a Mexican prison.
Tahmooressi, a Marine veteran who served two combat tours in Afghanistan, and suffers from PTSD, was arrested on April 1 when he entered the northwestern Mexican border city of Tijuana from San Diego with firearms, ammunition and ammunition clips. 

Federal prosecutors launched an investigation into violations of Mexican firearms and explosives law and on April 3 the suspect was brought before a judge and jailed at the La Mesa Penitentiary in Tijuana.

He was later transferred to another facility, also in Baja California state.

Two hearings in his case were postponed after Tahmooressi changed his defense attorney and no new dates have been set.

Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services committee, has made efforts to secure the suspect’s release, arguing that the whole episode was a misunderstanding.

Hunter, a combat veteran like Tahmooressi, asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to suspend all military aid to México until the Marine is released from custody, to which there was no response from Secretary Hagel.

Does the Obama Administration have any loyalty to veterans at all, or is it really all about ideology?