Lost Marine Ends Up Chained Down In Mexican Jail
May 4, 2014 3:37pm PST
The mother of a decorated Marine that was put in jail on seemingly bogus charges says that she’s been living through a “nightmare” ever since her son was detained.
Andrew Tahmooressi was jailed on gun charges after he accidentally crossed the border into Mexico in the early morning hours of April 1. Mexican officials surrounded his black F-150 that had everything he owned in it, which included three guns that were legal and registered, after he made a wrong turn at the San Ysidro, California border crossing and wound up in Mexico.
The following day his mother Jill received the call that her 25-year-old son had been arrested and was being indefinitely detained at the La Mesa prison in Tijuana.
She said that “The nightmare is getting worse and worse.”
Tahmooressi is a Marine reservist who served two tours in Afghanistan and returned to America with many decorations, one of which was the combat meritorious promotion to sergeant. Unfortunately he was both physically and emotionally scarred from his deployments.
While overseas he suffered a severe concussion from an improvised explosive device flipping over his combat vehicle, causing him to suffer from what his mother and nurse call “directional dysfunctionality,” meaning he gets lost in places that he often travels to. In addition to his dysfunctionality, the Marine also suffers from PTSD where he suffered from bouts of depression and hyper-vigilance, according to his mother. She also said that he was on his way to move to San Diego to live with a buddy in the Marines so he could be close to his treatment center.
Jill said that his history of getting lost combined with the poor signage near the border is why he was even in Mexico to begin with.
“You’re a football field away from Mexico and you don’t even know it,” she said. . “It’s irresponsible that the U.S. government who protects our borders can’t provide good signage.”
Andrew told his mother that he was constantly threatened by gang members that were in the prison because he was in general population.
“He was in the general population, but when he called me it sounded like a riot was going on,” she said. “Gang hitmen told him he was going to be raped, tortured, killed and leave the prison in a body bag.”
The Marine did try to escape by jumping over the barbed wire fence, however he was caught and had his wounds treated at the nearby hospital in Tijuana after a self-inflicted stab wound. Since then he’s been in the infirmary with his arms and legs restrained.
Olivia Hammer, the mother of a different Marine who was jailed in Mexico after he declared an antique firearm at the border, said that “We’re talking about at least 27 days in restraints.” She added that “We don’t even do that in Guantanamo Bay.”
Her son was imprisoned for four months after he made the declaration at the border, and she called out Mexican authorities for their outlandish tactics.
“In our case, Johnny disclosed that he had the gun and in Andrew’s he just wanted to turn around,” Hammar said. “This is not how gun runners behave. They want to get into a country and they don’t declare the guns.”
The State Department has been assisting Tahmooressi and petitioned to at least get him into a single cell away from the other inmates. At this point no real progress has been made, however Mexican officials plan to question their border patrol agents as to why they detained Andrew to begin with.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our government was as vigilant as the Mexicans are?
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