“I don’t know what to do to get him out before he gets killed,” Jon Hammar’s father said.
Update: 12:4: Jon Hammar is still chained to his bed despite reports to the contrary.
There are reports that high level discussions are taking place with our officials demanding Jon’s release but Rep. Ros-Lehtinen does not know that the Mexican president has the guts to release him.
The Mexican president would have to go up against the Zeta cartel to get Jon Hammar out of prison.
Jon’s father spoke with his son briefly this morning and his son said he is concerned about his situation since the story has gone public.
Original Story: Former Marine Jon Hammar is facing fifteen years in a Mexican jail for bringing an antique gun with papers into Mexico. His parents are desperate to get him out before he is killed.
Jon Hammar came back from Fallujah searching for peace from the horrors of war and found it in surfing. It was that love of the surf that brought him to Mexico with his great-grandfather’s antique rifle, a glorified BB gun. He had papers for the gun and it is not the type of gun that violates Mexican law.
It didn’t matter to the Mexican authorities who lodged serious gun charges against him.
Hammar is currently chained to a bed in a Mexican prison controlled by the vicious Zeta cartel. When he first arrived at the prison and was placed in the general population, his parents received calls from extortionists demanding money for their son’s safety. U.S. diplomats intervened and he was moved into solitary confinement. The threats stopped but he remains in imminent danger.
The Hammars reached out to Washington, but met with resistance.
“The response from everyone is Mexico is a sovereign nation, and, you know, we can’t force them to do anything, which we know, but this is an outrage,” Olivia Hammar said.
His case has the attention, not of U.S. diplomats, but of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Hammars’ local representative who has vowed to help.
MEXICO CITY — As a U.S. Marine, Jon Hammar endured nightmarish tension patrolling the war-ravaged streets of Iraq’s Fallujah. When he came home, the brutality of war still pinging around his brain, mental peace proved elusive.
Surfing provided the only respite.
“The only time Hammar is not losing his mind is when he’s on the water,” said a fellow Marine veteran, Ian McDonough.
Hammar and McDonough devised a plan: They’d buy a used motor home, load on the surfboards and drive from the Miami area to Costa Rica to find “someplace to be left alone, someplace far off the grid,” McDonough said.
They made it to only the Mexican border. Hammar is in a Matamoros prison, where he spends much of his time chained to a bed and facing death threats from gangsters. He’s off the grid, for sure, in walking distance of the U.S. border. But it’s more of a black hole than a place to heal a troubled soul.
The reason might seem ludicrous. Hammar took a six-decade-old shotgun into Mexico. The .410 bore Sears & Roebuck shotgun once belonged to his great-grandfather. The firearm had been handed down through the generations, and it had become almost a part of Hammar, suitable for shooting birds and rabbits.
But Mexican prosecutors who looked at the disassembled relic in the 1972 Winnebago motor home dismissed the U.S. registration papers Hammar had filled out. They charged him with a serious crime: possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces.
Hammar isn’t the only American accused of questionable gun-related charges at Mexico’s border. Last April, a truck driver who was carrying ammunition through Texas got lost near the border, dipped into Mexico to make a U-turn and was forced to spend more than six months in jail.
It’s been months since Hammar’s Aug. 13 arrest, and his former Marine comrades are livid and dumbfounded, impotent to help.
“It’s heartbreaking. This is a guy who I served with in numerous combat situations, and he was one of the best we had,” said veteran Marine Sgt. James Garcia…Keep reading at McClatchy
Why does no one know about this? Why don’t we send in a Marine detachment to get him back or withdraw funds? We didn’t care about Libya’s sovereignty!!!
Our country must not leave this Marine behind. An online petition is gathering signatures to try and help bring Johnny Hammar home. Click here for more information.
Please contact your local representatives and ask them to help.