Diaz-Balart Calls for Release of U.S. Veteran Unjustly Imprisoned in Mexico



December 19, 2012

Diaz-Balart Calls for Release of U.S. Veteran Unjustly Imprisoned in Mexico

Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and other members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, calling for their leadership in securing the release of U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jon Hammar, a U.S. citizen who has been imprisoned in Mexico since August.

“Jon Hammar set out to drive to Costa Rica with a fellow veteran to vacation, yet the past few months have been anything but that. Mr. Hammar brought along an antique shotgun he received from his grandfather. When Jon attempted to register the gun while crossing the border in Mexico, he was arrested and charged with possession of an assault rifle restricted for military use, and was taken to a Mexican prison. Other inmates have beaten and harassed Jon, and have even gone as far as trying to extort money from his family by threatening to kill him if they didn’t immediately wire money into their accounts. Jon was later removed from general population, but was put in isolation, where he was chained to his bed and to the wall.

“For the past four months, the Hammar family has suffered and agonized over the unjust and cruel imprisonment of their son. The State Department must do more to bring home our veteran who so bravely risked his life serving his country in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Administration must step up its efforts and do everything in its powers to arrange for his release. Jon Hammar did not think twice before risking his life to defend his country. Now, his country must not fail him.”

Read the whole letter here.