Ex-Marine jailed in Mexico to be released

Dec 21, 2012 Full story: KLKN

A Marine veteran jailed in a dangerous area in Mexico for carrying a shotgun across the border was expected to be released Friday, officials and his lawyer said.

Full Story
Sirius

San Miguel Allende, Mexico

#1 Dec 21, 2012
By CURT ANDERSON
Associated Press
MIAMI (AP)- A Marine veteran jailed in a dangerous area in Mexico for carrying a shotgun across the border was expected to be released Friday, officials and his lawyer said.

An aide to a legal representative of the Mexican attorney general's office told U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson's staff about the pending release after Nelson's office got word from the mother of Jon Hammar, a press release said.

"No American should be in a Mexican jail for five months without being able to have his case in front of a judge," Nelson said in a statement. "We're grateful; this is a good Christmas present."

Hammar's attorney, Eddie Varon Levy, said he was flying Friday from Mexico City to Matamoros to pick his client up. After that, the attorney said they intended to fly to Brownsville, Texas, later in the day. "I'm very happy. I feel that the Mexican legal system came out the way it should have," he said.

A defense lawyer said it was determined there was no intent to commit a crime, Nelson's office said in the press release. A U.S. Consulate official said they are standing by to escort the former Marine safely back to the United States as soon as they get official word of a release. Nelson was among a handful of local elected officials who urged the State Department to help get Hammar out of Mexico. His family said he was being held in isolation after they received threats to his safety.

Civilian gun ownership is illegal under Mexican law unless the owner purchases the weapon from a special shop run by the country's Department of Defense.

"The Department of State warns all U.S. citizens against taking any type of firearm or ammunition into Mexico," according to the website of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. "Entering Mexico with a firearm, certain types of knives, or even a single round of ammunition is illegal, even if the weapon or ammunition is taken into Mexico unintentionally."

Mexican law also bans shotguns with barrels of less than 25 inches. The family said Hammar's shotgun has a barrel of 24 inches.

Tourists are allowed to bring guns for hunting on rare occasions, but Mexican officials said all visitors must receive a special permit before entering the country. Mexican customs agents do not issue gun permits. As a result, anyone crossing the border with a firearm or ammunition without a previously issued government permit is in instant violation of Mexican law, which stipulates long jail terms for breaking weapons laws.

Hammar and his friend were on their way to Costa Rica in August and planned to drive across the Mexican border near Matamoros in a Winnebago filled with surfboards and camping gear. Hammar, 27, asked U.S. border agents what to do with the unloaded shotgun. His family said agents told them to fill out a form for the gun, which belonged to Hammar's great-grandfather.

But when the pair crossed the border and handed the paperwork to Mexican officials, they impounded the RV and jailed the men, saying it was illegal to carry that type of gun. Hammar's friend was later released because the gun did not belong to him.

Varon Levy said he was not sure of Hammar's immediate plans once he returns to the U.S. "Probably some down time," he said.

___

Michael Weissenstein contributed to this report from Mexico City.

http://www.klkntv.com/story/20402929/ex-marin...
Sirius

San Miguel Allende, Mexico

#2 Dec 21, 2012
It was strange that the Ambassador of Mexico, Arturo Sarukhan said just yesterday that Hammar will be tried, that confused a lot of people (including me).

Are really all the "news" one sees around really confirmed?

Strange.
Sirius

San Miguel Allende, Mexico

#3 Dec 21, 2012
For starters, I was confounded... I confounded Sarukhan with a famous catedratic of a Mexican pulbic university... but no. He happens to be someone else, and has a career that really don't sound great...

(Obviously the fact that Calderon put him as Ambassador to the US should have been a reason so I checked who he really was).
Sarukhan graduated from El Colegio de México with a bachelor's degree in International Relations and received a master's degree in U.S. Foreign Policy at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., where he studied as a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation Fellow. In 1988–1989, before joining Mexico’s Foreign Service, Sarukhan served as the Executive Secretary of the Commission for the Future of Mexico-US relations, a non-governmental initiative funded by the Ford Foundation to recast the Mexico-US relationship.[4]
He has served in different posts at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. In 1991, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs and during that period he also represented Mexico at the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). In 1993, he was posted to the Embassy of Mexico in Washington DC and was the Chief of Staff to the Ambassador, during the NAFTA negotiations.[5] In 1995 he was put in charge of the office for antinarcotics in the same diplomatic mission. In 2000–2003, Sarukhan was designated Chief of Policy Planning to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and served as Consul General in New York City in 2003–2006.[6]
As an academic, he has taught several courses at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), at the National Defense College, at the Inter-American Defense College and at the National Defense University of the United States.[7]
On 3 February 2006, he requested a leave of absence from the Foreign Service and left his post at the Consulate General in New York City to join Felipe Calderón's presidential campaign as international spokesperson and coordinator of foreign affairs.[7]
He was appointed Ambassador to the United States on 27 January 2007.[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arturo_Sarukh%C3...
Sirius

San Miguel Allende, Mexico

#4 Dec 21, 2012
Now, this is the real Sarukhan. Obviously a very different man in every sense.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Sarukh...

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