Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers are pushing John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, to step in and save a reservist in the US Marines detained within in a Mexican prison close to the US border.
Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican, elected from the border of San Diego, sent a letter to Kerry on May 2. He asked for Kerry’s help in releasing Andrew Tahmooressi. Rep. Hunter termed the reservist’s detainment as an unusual and unfortunate event.
According to his interview with a newspaper from Tijuana’s La Mesa Penitentiary, Tahmooressi, 25, was detained on April 1 after he got lost and accidentally crossed over to Mexico at the checkpoint of San Ysidro, close to San Diego. The Marine had with him three firearms bought legally within US, but not permitted under Mexican laws. Tahmooressi is a much adorned soldier and has completed two Afghanistan tours.
In his letter to Kerry, Hunter wrote that it is very important to release Andrew quickly. He mentioned that the US Marine served the nation faithfully and the least US government can do is get him out of the prison safely and quickly.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida, also contacted the State Department. Jill Tahmooressi, mother of the US Marine had written a letter to Representative Schultz asking for help as her constituent. Bill Nelson, another Democratic Senator from Florida is also in touch with the soldier’s family.
Marie Harf, the spokesperson for the Deputy State Department did not agree to discuss about Tahmooressi during the press briefing on May 5 citing privacy concerns.
Role of the US Consulate
Jill Tahmooressi has admitted to receive considerable support from Tijuana’s US Consulate. The consulate is keeping her updated with news about the condition of her son. According to her, the ordeal is a nightmare. She said that her son was once shackled by the help of four point-chain restraints inside the prison infirmary. He was shackled after he made an attempt to escape over the prison wall on April 6. Andrew Tahmooressi is, by unconfirmed reports, is struggling with a neck wound after his failed attempt to escape the prison.
The penitentiary of La Mesa State is known for corruption, overcrowding and violence. The prison has witnessed two riots, which resulted in the death of 21 inmates.