A note from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen regarding the inexcusable and malicious imprisonment in Mexico of American Marine veteran, Jon Hammar:
As many of you are aware Jon Hammar – U.S. citizen and United States Marine Corps veteran who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan – is being jailed in a Mexican prison, where he has been since August of this year, for possessing a .410 bore old-fashioned Sears & Roebuck shotgun that he inherited from his great-grandfather.
While in the U.S. and before crossing the border, Jon asked U.S. Customs and Border Control if he could bring the family shotgun. Our U.S. officials weighed it, photographed it and told him that the weapon was approved to enter Mexico as long as he registered it. While turning in the gun registration papers with the Mexican authorities as soon as he crossed the border, Jon was immediately arrested. He was told that he was being charged with possession of an assault rifle which is restricted for military use and was taken to Centro de Ejecución de Sanciones (CEDES) de Matamoros, where he was beaten and harassed by the other inmates. Some of these inmates attempted to extort money from the Hammar family, calling them and threatening that they would kill Jon if they didn’t wire money into their accounts.
The Hammar family contacted the U.S. consulate who managed to get Jon out of general population. However, Jon was then isolated and chained to his bed and to the wall. Although U.S. officials have told us that Jon is no longer chained to his bed, I have received conflicting reports from Mexican authorities who have clearly told me that jon must be chained to his bed to prevent his escape.
When I heard about this mistreatment I was outraged. The extortion attempts, the threats, and the wanton disregard by the Mexican authorities for Jon’s basic human rights are inexcusable.
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