Jon Hammar, a former U.S. Marine with PTSD is being held, chained to his bed, in the notorious CEDES prison. Mexican officials state he is being held because he was carrying an antique hunting rifle when he crossed the border into Mexico. Jon suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after serving two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He and his friend were hoping to enjoy surfing and hunting in Mexico, while trying to put the horrors of war behind them. Instead, they were met with even more horrors on their trip into drug cartel controlled Mexico.
Ian McDonough, Hammar's traveling companion (also a combat veteran) stated in a Fox News report :
"Jon was told to fill out a form with his name and the specs of the rifle and show it to the customs agent on the Mexican side. I don't know what they expected Jon to do after they gave him the registration form and sent him on his way."
Hammar could spend up to 15 years in the Mexican prison if found guilty. His attorney, Eddie Varon-Levy, stated that the gun should have been confiscated and a fine levied, not the aggravated felony charge for possessing a gun used by the military. Varon-Levy also stated that according to high-ranking Mexican military officials, neither the gun, nor the ammunition, are used by the Mexican military.
Efforts by his parents, who have received death threats on their son from drug cartel members in the CEDES prison, have been unsuccessful. U.S. Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), has been trying to make efforts on Jon's behalf. Unfortunately, a letter from Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan to Ros-Lehtinen stated that Mexico has "very stringent gun control laws" particularly "as a result of the weapons illicitly purchased in the U.S. and then trafficked into Mexico."
In light of the fact that millions of U.S. dollars are poured into Mexico each year, it should behoove Ambassador Sarukhan and Mexican President Enrique Nieto to pardon this U.S. citizen and send him home before the holidays. Holding him on what appears to be fabricated charges can only hurt U.S. relations with Mexico. Holding a U.S. citizen and chaining them to a bed in a prison that has the reputation of being run by a drug cartel will not improve relations, nor support their claim of "stringent laws." In the meantime, Jon is languishing in the worst prison conditions imaginable, with no hope of assistance for his PTSD symptoms, or of coming home to safely before Christmas.
Read more about his story here: Mexico Will Not Release Marine Vet Jon Hammar, Fate Could be in Hands of Pena Nieto