The marine that was detained on weapons charges March 31 after he made a wrong turn in San Ysidro, Calif., and crossed into Mexico may soon be released.
This past Wednesday members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said that they believe Mexico will soon release Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the U.S. Marine who has been held prisoner in Mexico after he crossed into that country carrying weapons in violation of Mexican law.
Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said he met with Tahmooressi in prison back in June, and has continued to press Mexican authorities for his release. Royce said he made a breakthrough in a talk last week with Mexican authorities about Tahmooressi, who has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A lawyer filed a motion earlier this month arguing that the Mexican government does not have the resources to treat Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi’s PTSD. Since the purpose of Mexican sentencing laws is to rehabilitate prisoners, Benitez argues his client’s case should be thrown out and he should go free.
Royce and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) said they have discussed the Tahmooressi case with Mexican Atty. Gen. Jesus Murillo Karam.
Karam suggested he will order the release if Tahmooressi’s PTSD is confirmed by psychologists, the two congressmen told a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
“I am confident a humanitarian release of Andrew will occur very soon,” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) said at the beginning of a congressional hearing in Washington on the incarceration of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) said lawmakers just sent medical information about Tahmooressi to Mexico, which is why they hope he may soon be able to return home.
“The fact is that Mexican citizens violate U.S. law on a regular and continuing basis, illegally crossing our southern border,” Salmon added. “Mexican officials respond by asking the U.S. for compassion and amnesty for their citizens to remain in the U.S. But frankly, compassion goes both ways.”
An online petition to the White House, demanding Tahmooressi’s release, has garnered nearly 135,000 signatures.
In response to the petition, the White House said in late August that it continues “to monitor the case and work with Mexican authorities…. We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously.”
Experts believe that between 11 and 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffer from PTSD, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. Symptoms of PTSD can include nightmares, flashbacks, changes in personality, sleeping disorders, and suicidal thoughts.
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