Will Obama Rescue This Marine?
Why is the Obama administration doing nothing to free Jon Hammer?
We urge you to call and contact
your local representative in Washington, DC and demand that the Obama
government work to free former US Marine Jon Hammer.
An ex-Marine who survived dangerous patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan
is now “chained to a bed” in a notorious Mexican prison after a road
trip to Costa Rica went terribly wrong, his friends and family say.
Hammar was en route to Costa Rica for a surfing trip when he cleared
the gun with U.S. customs and was told he could do the same in Mexico.
Four months later, he’s still behind bars in a notorious prison and is
A chorus of supporters are calling on the Mexican government to
release Jon Hammar, 27, who was jailed in August for carrying an antique
shotgun that he believed could be legally registered in Mexico.
Hammar, of Palmetto Bay, Fla., was headed to Costa Rica for a surfing
trip to try and recover from post-traumatic stress after four years of
combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The only time Hammar is not losing his mind is when he’s on the
water,” fellow Marine veteran Ian McDonough, who was arrested with
Hammar during the August incident but later released by Mexican
authorities, told McClatchy newspapers.
Hammar and McDonough had stocked up a used Winnebago with surfboards
and camping supplies and had just crossed the border from Brownsville,
Texas into Matamoros, Mexico, where they were detained.
Hammar had registered the shotgun, a Sear & Roebuck model that
once belonged to his great-grandfather, with U.S. Customs and Border
Protection officials on the U.S. side of the border.
After being told by U.S. agents the shotgun posed no problem and
could be reigstered in Mexico, Hammar and McDonough crossed the border,
tried to declare the weapon, and found themselves separated and behind
“The crux of it is the length of the barrel,” his mother, Olivia Hammar, 46, told Reuters.
“There’s an old law on the books that says it can’t be under 25
inches…It’s a 2-foot barrel…It’s strictly a technicality.”
“It’s a glorified BB gun,” she said.
McDonough, who has Argentine residency in addition to his U.S.
citizenship, was freed a few days after the Aug. 13 arrest and walked
back to Brownsville.
But the nightmare was just beginning for Hammar, who on Aug. 20 was
charged with carrying a deadly weapon and placed in a prison known as
CEDES in Matamoros, a notorious facility heavily populated, and run, by
Mexico’s dangerous drug cartels.
His parents have even received late night phone calls
saying he would be killed if they failed to make thousands of dollars in
payments into a Western Union account.
“He was housed in a wing controlled by the drug cartel,” said Eddie
Varon-Levy, a Mexican lawyer hired by the family. He told Reuters the
charges in Mexico appear to be an effort to “make an example out of the
The Embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C. did not immediately respond
to a request from the Daily News about Hammar’s case or why he wasn’t
turned back at the border. After receiving the death and extortion
threats, Hammar’s family made frantic calls to U.S. diplomats who were
able to get the former Marine temporarily placed in solitary
confinement. source – NY Daily News
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