This is Jon Hammar, former U.S. Marine, in a Matamoros, Mexico prison cell awaiting trial on a gun charge. It’s been around the news here and there for awhile, but has been swallowed up by the Sandy Hook tragedy. Hammar has been trying to get out of prison until his trial — to no avail.
Any hope that Jon Hammar, the Marine imprisoned in Mexico on a disputed gun charge, might be freed in time for Christmas has apparently been dashed by a terse letter a top Mexican diplomat sent to Hammar’s congresswoman.
The two-page missive from Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who has been aggressively advocating for Hammar’s release, leaves little hope of a diplomatic solution. In it, Sarukhan takes a thinly veiled swipe at the U.S., blaming it for gun proliferation south of the border.
“Mexico has had very stringent gun-control laws in place for many years, and have reinforced their application as a result of the flow of weapons illicitly purchased in the U.S. and then trafficked into Mexico and into the hands of Transnational criminal Organizations.”
“As you know well, Mexico has had very stringent gun-control laws in place for many years, and have reinforced their application as a result of the flow of weapons illicitly purchased in the U.S. and then trafficked into Mexico and into the hands of transnational criminal organizations,” Sarukhan wrote.
Hammar has been stuck in a notorious, drug cartel-controlled prison just 15 miles south of the U.S. border since Aug. 13, after he crossed into Mexico and declared an antique shotgun to Mexican customs officials.
Sarukhan failed to mention that Tamaulipas, the state which the CEDES prison in Matamoros is located, is controlled by the Los Zetas Cartel, arguably the most vicious of the cartels.
Hammar’s father said the letter is fraught with statements at odds with what he knows and what his son has told him.
“There are huge inaccuracies about what is happening in their system,” Jon Hammar Sr., said.
Our nation is in quite a state to be sure, but even a cursory analysis of Hammar’s situation shows we still have it pretty good. Yes it is rich to be chided by a Mexican official about gun laws and gun control when a country that is slightly over half of our population has nearly as many murders. But Eric Holder’s trafficking guns into Mexico makes it awkward to officially argue such charges — overblown as they might be. I won’t pretend to know the validity of the charges against Hammar. Lord knows many Americans go to Mexico to raise hell and commit crimes. Most don’t of course and being a former Marine guarantees nothing. No doubt more smart diplomacy by the smartest President ever will bode well. Guilty or not, being stuck in a Matamoros prison on a Wednesday much less Christmas is not a fate I’d wish on many, though I’d trade Eric Holder for Hammar straight up.